Covid-19 Business Resources
We will update this page as we learn about more resources. If you have a resource you think would be helpful to other members of the business community, email our membership coordinator Barbara Rodgers at email@example.com
The Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber of Commerce remains devoted to helping our local businesses and residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. As always, please reach out to the Chamber for any additional resources and questions. Let us know how we can help you!
- List of local businesses who are open: Are you a local Chamber member business open during Covid-19? Please fill out this rolling document with current information about your business's hours and operations. Updating your listing allows customers to find your business and information. Highlight your safety protocols.
Remember, It's Not Too Late: Surveys to Take
- Orange County Survey: Please take the Orange County Survey if you haven't yet. The information provided helps inform the long-term economic recovery strategy for Orange County.
- Local Member Covid-19 Hours: As listed above, please take the time to fill out and update your business's hours and information on this rolling document.
- COVID-19 Worksite Impact Survey: Please take this survey to help Carolina PROSPER uncover the COVID-related safety and health needs/interests of local small and medium-sized businesses.
Member Business Efforts
- Area restaurant updates from our friends at Chapelboro/WCHL.
- Duke Energy Extended Payment Options
Recovery Guides and Resources
- CO-STARTERS Recovery Guide is a global network established to support small businesses. Their recovery guide has many resources from funding to self-care.
- Statewide Resources: The Triangle Business Journal has pulled together a list of statewide resources.
- The NC Department of Commerce's Main Street and Rural Planning Center has compiled this list of resources.
- State, Regional and Local Business Support: Basic Overview of what it means to be in Phase 3, links to the Reopening Playbook, and previous executive orders. State, regional, local business support.
- The US Chamber Foundation produced a helpful guide to better understand the Payment Protection Program.
- Reopening Business Guide: This link gives a breakdown of how different states are reopening, guidance for different sectors and small business should reopen, webinars, tools, and resources.
- Terminology, Acts and Healthcare Options: Families First Coronavirus Response Act, Healthcare options and a guide on what to do when an employee and/or patron tests positive for COVID-19.
Remote Working Tips
- Remote Work: Working from home? Check out this link for tips, tricks, and mental health and well-being support.
- Childcare Hotline: Find info about the Childcare Hotline for last-minute care.
Updated PPP Guidelines webinars. This series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders will cover:
- Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m. ET, Women Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 4, 3:00 p.m. ET, Asian-American + Pacific Islander, Native American + Tribal Small Business Owners; Click here to register.
- Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET, Black + African-American Small Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 5, 3:00 p.m. ET, Hispanic Small Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET, Veterans, Self-Employed Business Owners, Click here to register.
- Mar. 8, 3:00 p.m. ET, LGTBQ Business Owners, Youth Entrepreneurs, Restaurant Owners, Click here to register.
New to Virtual Meetings?
Covid-19 Printable Media
Individual Unemployment Assistance Links
The North Carolina Division of Employment Security is providing the following guidance to help people understand the impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus on unemployment insurance benefits.
- Unemployment Benefits Due to COVID-19 Tip Sheet
- FAQs for Individuals Filing for Unemployment
- FAQs for Employers
- Online Account Help
- Apply for Unemployment
DES Links and Information:
- NCDES (NC Department of Commerce and Employment Security) Customer Service hotline: 888-737-0259. Their main unemployment website is linked here.
- NCDES Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation: This website link takes you to the PEUC page where DES offers specific unemployment help due to the pandemic. Their hotline number is 866-847-7209.
- This Pandemic Assistance Link takes you to information about Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and tips for making an account and applying.
- This Appeals link takes you to DES's Appeals Form and walks you through how to apply.
- This is a DES Unemployment Application if you need to start the process over or read more about it.
North Carolina/Federal Unemployment Assitance
- This is a link to the NC Department of Labor's contact page. I am not positive if they'd have more information for you, but it is worth a shot. Their number is 1-800-625-2267.
- This is a link to the U.S. Department of Labor's website about assistance. They have how-to's and more information that may help.
- Here is a link to USA.Gov's Unemployment information site. They also have an assistance program called Cobra for retaining employer's insurance benefits through Covid-19, from what I understand. Perhaps this will give you some help or more information if you qualify.
- Here is a link to an Unemployment Insurance Aid application. I believe there are multiple categories of applications that may help.
- Friends of Orange County DSS Emergency Assistance may offer some unemployment resources? I am not positive, but their Hillsborough Phone Number is 919-245-2800.
- Here is a news article Covid-18 assistance checks coming! Perhaps this will give you some peace of mind and hopefully you'll get this assistance ASAP if you qualify.
- Here is a link to Congressman David Price's Coronavorus Resource Guide. It has Covid-19 Information but may give you some names and numbers to call in government.
If your business is looking for money, here are some updates regarding Covid information. These services offer information on grants and loans, restructuring options, debt management, lenders and more.
- PPP Loan Forgiveness:PPP lenders are opening their forgiveness portals. Take time to explore them now, but maybe wait a minute to see if Congressional Stimulus IV includes blanket small loan forgiveness.
- Emergency Funding List: This link includes links and information about Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the EIDL Grant (Cash Advance), Expense Bridge Loan, Loan Payment Relief and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Golden Leaf has launched an innovative recovery-lending program, NC Rapid Recovery Relief Fund.
Business Grants and Funding
- Grants, Loans and other recovery Links: NC Department of Commerce Job Retention Grant, NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan and more!
- Save Small Businesses Initiative: This webpage offers resources that include funding, polls, State by State Employer Reopening Guidance, Financial Aid and Tax Guides, and Advocacy from the U.S. Chamber as well as info on Legislation targeted to help small businesses.
Orange County Grants and Covid-19 Aids
- Orange County’s Round #3 Emergency Small Business Funding Program: To assist Orange County-based small businesses that are experiencing financial difficulties such as mandated shutdowns, employee layoffs, and operating losses as a result of ongoing efforts at the Federal, State and local authorities to contain and minimize the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Application deadline: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 5:00 p.m.
- Businesses that have already received COVID-19 related financial assistance from either the state, federal or local governments are eligible to apply for this third round of emergency funding.
- Agriculture Relief: $13 billion allocated to agricultural programs from Covid-19 relief package.
Small Business Administration Help
There are multiple U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) loan programs that could be relevant for your business:
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program - This program helps small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by COVID-19 to overcome temporary loss of revenue with low-interest loans (up to $2 million) with favorable terms (3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, repaid over 30 years). The application process has been updated.
- Payment Protection Program - This is a new $350 billion program that is part of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, called the CARES Act, that was signed into law on March 27, 2020. This program helps small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations keep employees on payroll by offering loan forgiveness. Loans of up to $10 million are available and the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses.
- The US Chamber Foundation produced a helpful guide to better understand the Payment Protection Program.
- US Small Business Administration Restaurant Revitalization Fund Virtual Events
Extended PPP Coverage - Masks can be removed outdoors in NC
- Under the new Executive Order, masks will still be required indoors but are no longer mandated outdoors.
Mask Mandate Updates - Congress approved extended PPP through May 31st, 2021
- This also gives the Small Business Administration until June 30 to process backlogged PPP loan applications.
NCACPA - PPP Expense Addback
- State legislators have filed a pair of bills that would allow business expenses associated with forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to be deductible at the state level.NCACPA has not taken a position on either bill, except to advise lawmakers that swift action on the measures would eliminate the uncertainty faced by tax professionals and taxpayers ahead of the March 15 filing deadline.SB 104 is sponsored by Sen. Chuck Edwards (R-Henderson), Sen. Jim Perry (R-Lenoir), and Sen. David Craven (R-Randolph) and would permanently repeal the expense addback requirement adopted last year in S.L. 2020-58.A second bill, SB 112 by Sen. Jim Burgin (R-Harnett), Sen. Kevin Corbin (R-Macon), and Sen. Don Davis (D-Pitt), would repeal the provision for the 2020 tax year only and reinstate the addback effective January 1, 2021.The bills were referred to the Senate Rules Committee following introduction, and neither have been scheduled for a vote.
- To read more, visit the NCACPA page about these proposed bills. To reach out to State Legislators to voice your opinion, speak to Senator Jim Perry, an Orange County Representative, or Bill Rabon, Sentate Rules and Operations Committee Chair.
U.S. Grant Opportunities
- EDA (Economic Development Administration):
- Inviting applications for economic development grant opportunities.
- Smart Cities Council
- The Challenge will open to any city beginning on February 1, 2021 and will provide a range of technical assistance and peer support.
- USDA Application for Economic Development:
- USDA Rural Development has announced it is now accepting applications from nonprofits, cooperatives, federally-recognized tribes, and public agencies interested in creating revolving loan funds to support rural businesses and community development projects in their area. Applications are competitive and must be submitted to the NC Rural Development State Office by 4:30pm on March 31, 2021 for the third quarter or by 4:30pm on June 30, 2021 for consideration in the fourth quarter.
- NC DOT Application for Traffic Mitigation Grants
- Have a data-driven idea to mitigate traffic deaths and injuries? Are you part of a non-profit, local and state law enforcement office, hospital, state agency or other group? You may be interested in knowing the NC DOT is accepting applications for just these types of projects. Applications must be received by 5pm on January 31, 2021.
Federal Covid Relief (new rules for PPP1 and who is eligible for PPP2)
The following is a highlighted article in the American Institute of CPAs’ Journal of Accountancy (updated December 27). The full article can be Read HERE.
- President Donald Trump on Sunday night signed into law the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill passed Dec. 21 by Congress. Key provisions in the bill include:
- $325 billion in aid for small businesses struggling after nine months of pandemic-induced economic hardships.
- $166 billion for economic impact payments
- $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year
- $1,200 for married couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each child dependent.
- $120 billion to provide workers receiving unemployment benefits a $300 per week supplement from Dec. 26 until March 14, 2021.
- $25 billion in emergency rental aid and an extension of the national eviction moratorium through Jan. 31, 2021.
- $45 billion in transportation funding
- The bill also extends the employee retention tax credit and several expiring tax provisions and temporarily allows a 100% business expense deduction for meals (rather than the current 50%) as long as the expense is for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. This provision expires at the end of 2022.
- Who is eligible to apply
- PPP2 loans will be available to first-time qualified borrowers and, for the first time, to businesses that previously received a PPP loan. Specifically, previous PPP recipients may apply for another loan of up to $2 million, provided they:
- Have 300 or fewer employees.
- Have used or will use the full amount of their first PPP loan.
- Can show a 25% gross revenue decline in any 2020 quarter compared with the same quarter in 2019.
- PPP2 will also permit first-time borrowers from the following groups (so far as we can tell, no revenue reduction is required for first time applicants):
- Businesses with 500 or fewer employees that are eligible for other SBA 7(a) loans.
- Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals.
- Not-for-profits, including churches (as well as professional associations and destination marketing organizations, with some lobbying caps).
- Accommodation and food services operations (those with North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) codes starting with 72) with fewer than 300 employees per physical location (PPP borrowers with NAICS codes starting with 72--hotels and restaurants--can get up to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll costs).
- The bill allows borrowers that returned all or part of a previous PPP loan to reapply for the maximum amount available to them.
- PPP loan terms
- PPP2 also makes the following potentially forgivable:
- Covered worker protection and facility modification expenditures, including personal protective equipment, to comply with COVID-19 federal health and safety guidelines.
- Expenditures to suppliers that are essential at the time of purchase to the recipient’s current operations.
- Covered operating costs such as software and cloud computing services and accounting needs.
- To be eligible for full loan forgiveness, PPP borrowers will have to spend no less than 60% of the funds on payroll over a covered period of either eight or 24 weeks — the same parameters PPP1 had when it stopped accepting applications in August.
- PPP borrowers with NAICS codes starting with 72 (hotels and restaurants) can get up to 3.5 times their average monthly payroll costs, again subject to a $2 million maximum.
- Simplified application
- The new COVID-19 relief bill also:
- Creates a simplified forgiveness application process for loans of $150,000 or less.
- Repeals the requirement that PPP borrowers deduct the amount of any EIDL advance from their PPP forgiveness amount.
- Includes set-asides to support first- and second-time PPP borrowers with 10 or fewer employees, first-time PPP borrowers that have recently been made eligible, and for loans made by community lenders.
- Tax deductibility for PPP expenses (Important)
- The bill also specifies that business expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans are tax-deductible.
- The COVID-19 relief bill clarifies that “no deduction shall be denied, no tax attribute shall be reduced, and no basis increase shall be denied, by reason of the exclusion from gross income provided” by Section 1106 of the CARES Act (which has been redesignated as Section 7A of the Small Business Act). This provision applies to loans under both the original PPP and subsequent PPP loans.