COVID-19 Business Resources
In the interest of supporting and equipping the business community with resources to weather the uncertainty ahead, the Chamber is providing information for owners and employees to help mitigate the impact of social distancing and other risk-lowering actions by customers.
Chamber/Business Public Health
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The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act
On March 27, the Congress passed and the President signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act that allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. This federal stimulus bill is designed to help business weather the uncertain economic future.
In the interest of helping our small business community navigate how this can impact their business, your Chamber has gathered several tools to help walk you through the process:
- The U.S. Chamber has released a four-page guide to the CARES Act. To read and download the guide, check your eligibility, how to apply, terms of the loans and forgiveness guidelines, please click here.
- The Alabama Bankers Association has developed a guide for the portion of the CARES Act knows as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), that helps cover wages, leave, healthcare benefits, payroll taxes and more. To download this guide, please click here.
Small Business Loan / Grant Assistance Program
The Small Business Loan / Grant Assistance Program is a partnership between the City of Decatur, the Decatur-Morgan County Chamber of Commerce and the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center, and is funded by federal dollars secured by the City’s Community Development Department from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. A fund of $210,000 is available to small businesses with less than 25 employees impacted by Covid-19, such as restaurants, hotels, coffee shops, entertainment, health clubs and other retailers. Businesses must be located in the City of Decatur and have been in business for a minimum of one year prior to March 13, 2020, the date Gov. Kay Ivey issued the first State of Emergency for Covid-19. The application window is Oct. 15 - Nov. 30. For more information about whether you qualify and to submit an application, please click here.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has set up a page with information about their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, guidance for businesses and employers, SBA products and resources, access to capital and exporting assistance, government contracting and local assistance. To visit their page, please click here.
Information on Governor Ivey's Nov. 5 amended "Safer at Home" order with mask requirement
On Nov. 5, Gov. Kay Ivey issued an updated supplemental emergency proclamation containing an amended Safer at Home Order that extends a statewide mask requirement. Individuals will be required to wear a mask or other facial covering when in public and in close contact with other people, as described in the order. This amended order extends until Friday, Dec. 11, at 5 p.m. and loosens some restrictions on businesses For information on what that means for residents and businesses, please click here for several slides and infographics.
Alabama's "ALtogether" Resource page
ALtogether is a one-stop-shop where Alabamians can ask for help or lend a hand during the COVID-19 crisis. This response effort is designed to connect businesses, nonprofits, and people that need help with the right program partners - and to connect program partners with people and resources to help those most in need. At a broader level, ALtogether is a coordinated effort to provide policymakers, businesses, foundations, and the public with (1) information about how the crisis is impacting hardworking Alabamians and (2) opportunities to offer assistance to Alabama business owners and workers. To visit the page, please click here.
Alabama Department of Labor
The Alabama Department of Labor announced it has temporarily ordered that relief be offered to employers whose employees must file unemployment compensation claims for weeks filed dues to COVID-19 related issues. For more details about this move, please click here. Also, the Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association has released an FAQ regarding unemployment insurance benefits and the Alabama Department of Labor. To read the two-page document, please click here.
Alabama Department of Revenue
The Alabama Department of Revenue has established a helpful resource page for taxpayers to understand the tools, relief and information available to them during these challenging economic times for both individuals and businesses. This includes allowing small businesses to file late without penalty. For more information about the steps the department has taken to provide relief, as well as other informative content, please visit their page by clicking here.
Chamber of Commerce / Small Business Resources
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has established “Combating the Coronavirus” on its website with resources including workplace tips for employees, customizable flyers and signage, preparedness checklists, social media toolkits, travel notices, and reports on the worldwide economic condition and how it may impact your business. To visit their page, please click here.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has created a fund supported by corporate and philanthropic efforts to provide grants to those businesses that qualify. To visit the site, see if you qualify and what support may be available to your organization, please click here.
North Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments Small Business Fund
Our friends at NARCOG have updated their loan policies to more quickly respond to the needs of small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 virus. To read their updated terms and conditions, loan guidelines, and information about the approval process please click here. To visit NARCOG's website for more information about their services, please click here.
PPE Resource Guide and Vendor List
The Business Council of Alabama and the Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama have teamed up with Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, Alabama Works, Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Alabama Works, and West Alabama Works to develop a database to help connect businesses with personal protection equipment (PPE) vendors and suppliers. The database will serve as a conduit in helping businesses locate and acquire the supplies needed to open safely, protect their customers and employees, and adhere to public health guidelines. The effort is being hosted on the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama and has four categories of resources: PPE Supplies, Cleaning and Disinfecting, Other Supplies, and Services and Solutions. To visit the database, please click here. To sign up as a vendor and be included in the database, please fill out this survey
Public Health Resources
Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta hosts a page on their website with a thorough Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about COVID-19, resources on how to prepare your family, as well as information for travelers, schools and childcare, businesses and employers, and community and faith-based organizations. To visit their page, please click here.
Alabama Department of Public Health
For the most updated information about COVID-19 in Alabama, please visit the Alabama Department of Public Health's resource page on the outbreak by clicking here.
Our friends at Red Sage Communication of Decatur have launched Armchair MoCo, a great way to explore everything Morgan County has to offer from the comfort of home while exercising a safe social distance. The site provides information on attractions, virtual gatherings, online educational opportunities for both students and adults, curbside shopping and eating guides, economic recovery resources, online cultural events, platforms for helping your neighbor and so much more. To visit Armchair MoCo, please click here.
During these times of social distancing, you can still enjoy the restaurant and retail services of small businesses in your community. A crowdsourced list of restaurants still operating during the pandemic has been developed by Decatur-area realtor Clint Peters provides information about adjusted menus, hours, and whether they are doing delivery, curbside or drive-thru services. To see this daily updated list, please click here.
The United Way of Morgan County Community Crisis Fund / 211 Connect
In partnership with local governments, businesses, and non-profits, The United Way of Morgan County is launching the Community Crisis Funds to allow the public to join us in supporting those affected, with a focus on feeding people, providing emergency assistance (utility bills, eviction avoidance and other urgent needs), and supporting distressed agencies. By donating to the United Way of Morgan County – Community Crisis Fund, you are providing agencies in Morgan County with the resources they desperately need to keep our most vulnerable neighbors healthy. To help our community through this crisis, please make a tax-deductible donation today by clicking this direct link here or by sending a check to United Way of Morgan County – CCF, PO Box 1058, Decatur, AL, 35602. And if you or someone you know is in need of information or assistance, please call 211 or visit www.211ConnectsAlabama.org, United Way of Morgan County’s Information and Referral Service.
Remote Working Resources
Many businesses large and small are transitioning to remote working environments in the interest of keeping employees and customers from potential exposure. But what do you need to consider as a workplace to make sure it's safe, secure and efficient for the company? Take a look at this article that focuses on the questions you need to ask your IT professional by clicking here.
Because of social distancing and a reduction of non-essential travel, business meetings – whether across town or across the country – must happen in non-traditional settings. The Chamber has used video conferencing tools to still connect when we can’t be in the same room with members and partners. To read a great article about free video conferencing tools your business could use when you can’t meet with team members or customers, please click here.