COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses and Communities
Update on April 6, 2020Falls Church Chamber of Commerce EffortsFalls Church Business Support Video - Click here to see our new video featuring some of our amazing business leaders encouraging support of our small business community.Falls Church Business Support Spreadsheet - Click here for a link to a page on the Chamber's website outlining ways in which you can support our small business community.
Let Us Know What You Need - Click here to add your info to our web page.
Business Offers of Help - Two groups have been created by local business owners to gather people interested in helping others at this time. Click here for the FB group Realtor Alison Miller is leading and here for the FB group created by Neighborhood Barbershop's Dustin Foley.
The Toy Nest Opening - The Toy Nest is opening just in time to help parents keep their kids entertained! Click here for their press release and details.
Free Hand Sanitizer - All Things CBD and Falls Church Distillers & Ekoe Health are making hand sanitizer available for free in small quantities. Click on the names of the businesses to see their Facebook updates on availability.
Virtual Meeting and Event Support - Falls Church Tech Support is offering payment plans for those who need help with virtual meetings or events while Erik Pelton & Associates has offered space and access to equipment. Click on their names to email them for details.
Main Street vs The Corona Virus - check out CBS's video highlighting Falls Church downtown businesses by clicking here!
Falls Church City Supports - Falls Church City Council will discuss City support of the business community at its virtual meeting on Mon, April 6, 7:30 pm. Click here for the agenda. Becky Witsman has been monitoring and sharing information on resources and her office has created a listing of Falls Church City restaurants open for take-out and delivery. Additional supports will be announced soon.Fairfax CountyFairfax County Microloan Program - Fairfax County is considering a microloan program that would include loans of up to $30,000 with an interest rate of 3.75 percent. To qualify for funds, businesses must have fewer than 50 employees, demonstrate financial hardship linked to COVID-19 and be based in the county. Click here for an article from Tysons Reporter which includes the public comment period.Arlington CountyCheck out this BizLaunch webinar regarding resources available to Arlington businesses.
State and Federal Legislative EffortsUpdate on April 4, 2020
The Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program, part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, offers cash-flow assistance to small businesses through loans that can be forgiven and converted into grants! They cover up to 2.5 months of payroll costs, not to exceed $10 million. The funds must be used to retain/hire back employees, cover rent or mortgage interest, and pay utilities. The grant is available to small businesses and charitable nonprofits (501(c)3 organizations) up to 500 employees.
Applications are now being accepted for small businesses and sole proprietors. They will be accepted on April 10 for independent contractors and self-employed individuals.
· If you are a potential borrower, click here for information and here for the just recently released "final" application. Work with your bank if possible. If not, click here for a list of SBA lenders.
· If you are a business that needs help with the available loans, click here to email Mike Diener of Diener & Associates, CPAs.
Click here for additional information on the program.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans – Governor Northam has finalized the application for VA and is set to submit it today. We will let everyone know when it has been approved. For now, businesses are encouraged to register. Arlington, Fairfax, and Alexandria are separately approved to receive these loans but all VA localities should have the ability to apply within the next day or so. Please click here for more information.
The CARES Act
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was passed and signed. The Act includes key provisions to support the small business community including the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program. The text of the bill can be found here. The guide for Small Business owners can be found here on the Senate website.
Grants and LoansUpdate on April 1, 2020
James Beard Fund for Restaurants - The James Beard Foundation has created a Restaurant Relief Fund to support the industry during this time. Click here for more info and the application. Deadline is April 3. The online application system was overwhelmed, and has been suspended. Keep checking for availability.
Female Entrepreneurs - Spanx' founder Sara Blakely is giving 1,000 women $5,000 through the Red Backpack Fund. Check back April 6 for application. Additionally, the Women's Business Enterprise National Council is offering a variety of resources.
US Chamber Resources – While we are not a member of the US Chamber of Commerce, they have been very supportive. They have a number of resources available for the business community which is available, along with information about related legislation they are pursuing, at https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus.
What Can Your Business Do to Help Get Through This?
Talk to your bank - If you haven't done so already, start discussions with your bank now regarding the above legislation as well as other SBA or other loans and funding opportunities. It is not clear at this point if banks must be SBA 7(a) certified or not yet - if it is required, they will be able to become certified quickly so they can provide this forgivable loan.
Make sure you and your employees understand unemployment insurance options - Do the new more flexible regulations regarding unemployment insurance effect your employees. Click here for details.
Talk to your landlord and suppliers - If you are having trouble paying bills, talk to the source to discuss your situation.
Collect financial information - If you are interested in the Paycheck Protection Program, make sure your payroll information is easily accessible. We do not know what period they will base the 2.5 month average payroll on, so do what you can to have the info available when necessary.
Let people know if you are open - Make sure your followers are up to speed on your hours and offers. Consider putting a banner outside your business. Do what you can to make it easy for customers to find and patronize you - investigate online ordering and virtual classes if you don't already offer them.
Consider ways in which the community can support you and your employees - Several Chamber members have started GoFundMe pages to raise money for their employees. See the spreadsheet referenced below to see what other businesses are doing to keep afloat.
Share information with us - Please consider sharing ways in which you can be supported through our Live Local Falls Church Facebook group and through our spreadsheet. You can post directly to the FB group. Click here to fill out the form that populates our spreadsheet. Click on spreadsheet to see what others have done or to find out how you can support your fellow members.
In other news, Governor Ralph Northam has issued a stay at home order. For information on this, click here for his Facebook page which includes a copy of his order and video of today's press conference.
More information on grants, loans, and other supports will be provided as it becomes available. Til then, wash your hands, social distance yourself, stay home, and live local as virtually as you can.
Several cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the Washington DC region. We encourage everyone to take necessary and recommended precautions, and to monitor the situation closely.Click on this link for information regarding safety and precautions to be taken during the Novel Coronavirus Outbreak. The information is from the CDC and the Virginia Department of Health. It includes a checklist of important items to have in your home.
Strategies for Businesses from the CDC website:
Important Considerations for Creating an Infectious Disease Outbreak Response Plan
Guidance for Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA -
Workplace Tips for Employees from the US Chamber of Commerce -
What You Can Do to Stay Safe, from Medical News Today: A Practical Guide -