COVID-19 RESOURCES AND INFORMATION FOR VERMONT BUSINESSES
Governor Scott Issues "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Order
In case you missed it, below is a link to the press release announcing the new restrictions under Vermont's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order. If you have any questions about your company's status after reading this release and the full text of the order linked in the release, we strongly recommend that you contact ACCD as directed in the release and the order, but also let us know your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will get back to you and do what we can to get you the answers you need.
For the full text of the Governor's press release, click here. If you have any difficulties with the link, let us know as above.
Updates on Vermont's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Order:
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) has followed up with new links and resources on its website including:
Stay Home, Stay Safe FAOs for Businesses
The link above includes a NAICS Code Guidance for Vermont Businesses
For the full ACCD COVID-19 website, click here.
Extremely Important Update on Vermont's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Order and Critical Supply Chains:
As companies grapple with determining whether they are considered "critical" and can stay operating under Vermont's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order, it is becoming apparent that a number of companies that aren't sure or don't think they are themselves "critical" are shutting down, even though they actually are critical, particularly if they are part of the supply chain necessary for critical businesses or NAICS codes even if their own individual NAICS code has not been designated as critical in general.
This not only hurts the companies shutting down, but it can also cripple the critical companies that depend on their supply chain partners.
If you are a critical business, please contact your suppliers to make sure they understand that they are part of a critical business supply chain and can keep operating. If you are a supply chain participant, please contact your customers to determine whether they are a critical business or themselves part of a critical business supply chain.
As a reminder, for some guidance on critical business status, you can refer to the NAICS table posted by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) by clicking here, but also review the CISA Guidance from the Department of Homeland Security by clicking here.
If you have any difficulties connecting with suppliers or customers, or have any other questions or challenges, certainly contact the ACCD, but also contact us at email@example.com so that we can provide whatever assistance we are able to.
NOTE: ACCD is working to deal with a very large number of requests for clarification of critical status. They are working on broad responses and other new outreach and guidance on these issues. Watch for more from them, and AIV will also work to pass on new information as available.
The following resources and information will continue to be updated as warranted. If you are looking for any kind of resource or information that is not provided below, or if you have any questions or suggestions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the latest news and alerts, click here. Included in the most recent news and alerts at this link are:
BREAKING | Governor Scott Issues “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Order
Expanded State UI Eligibility and Conditional Experience Rating Relief for Employers. March 24
Information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act; First Look at Guidelines Under Development. March 24
UPDATED | Vermont Still Requesting N95 Facemasks, Now Also Ultraviolet Lights for Disinfecting, and New Drop Off/Pick Up Options. March 24
Please take a moment to review and complete, as warranted, the surveys below. They will help us serve your needs and the needs of Vermont and the country during this crisis. If you have any questions or suggestions, don't hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Identifying Current and Potentially Convertible Suppliers of Critical Products and Services
Survey of COVID-19 Impacts, Needs, Questions, and Recommendations
Promoting Vermont Manufacturing and Supporting Sectors as "Essential"
SELECTED VERMONT GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
Unemployment Insurance/Lay-Off/Work Reduction Resources and Guidance
Many employers have laid off or reduced hours for employees, and many more are considering plans or contingencies to do so. The Department of Labor is working hard to update guidance and information about options for employers and employees, and AIV is working with the Department to help make sure updates are made available to Vermont employers. If you have any questions or suggestions for the Department regarding access to information and improvements in policies and practices, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For the primary web page for employer and employee resources and services, click here, and for COVID-19 information, click here.
A set of COVID-19 FAQs for Employers and Employees is also available online. If you have specific questions, you may wish to contact the Employer Services line at 802.828.4344. Please understand that they are experiencing high call volume.
Vermont Department of Labor Mass Claims Process (please note that AIV is seeking clarification whether the Department will be maintaining the five day lead time and minimum of 10 employee requirements for employers to make use of this mechanism, and we will provide updates as available)
Vermont Department of Labor COVID-19 Updates
Vermont Department of Labor COVID-19 FAQ
Vermont Department of Labor COVID-19 Employer Page
Note on the Governor's Executive Order restricting the size of mass gatherings to 10 or fewer people:
This order should not affect regular business operations that are not otherwise specifically identified. See this clarification quoted below (emphasis added):
A "non-essential gathering" does not include normal operations at airports, bus or railway stations where persons may be in transit; typical office, construction, manufacturing, grocery, food production, retail and retail banking, professional or other employment environments; gatherings of the press; or operations of the Vermont Judiciary or General Assembly consistent with their constitutional authority. Questions from commercial entities, employers, event sponsors and others shall be directed to the SEOC which shall provide appropriate guidance.
Note on the Notice of Potential Layoffs Act:
The Department does not intend to enforce the provisions of Vermont’s Notice of Potential Layoffs Act against businesses who are forced to lay off employees due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers closing facilities or engaging in mass layoffs of 50 or more are generally required to provide 45 days’ notice to the Commissioner of Labor and the Secretary of Commerce, and 30 days’ notice to the employees and to the chief elected or administrative official of the municipality where the layoff or closing occurs. However, the Act provides exceptions to that rule in the event that the business closing or mass layoff is caused by business circumstances that were not reasonably foreseeable at the time the 45-day notice would have been required; and/or the business closing or mass layoff is due to a disaster beyond the control of the employer. Affected employers are still encouraged to reach out to the Department of Labor and Agency of Commerce and Community Development for assistance if they are contemplating a layoff.
SBA Emergency Loans for Small Businesses
The Small Business Administration has approved Governor Scott’s request for a disaster declaration. Disaster assistance is available to businesses and non-profit organizations in all Vermont counties.
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) offer up to $2 million in assistance per business, providing economic support to overcome temporary loss of revenue. EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profit organizations, which are also eligible for EIDLs.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers EIDLs to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. EIDL assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. Small businesses with credit available elsewhere may not be eligible.
To apply online, visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. Documents that may be requested when applying include recent federal tax return, profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet.
For more information, call the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 800.659.2955 (TTY: 800.877.8339) or e-mail email@example.com. For local SBA information, call 802.828.4422.
Businesses are encouraged to seek professional business counseling and technical assistance before taking on additional debt. Vermont has a robust business technical assistance provider network. More information about these resources can be found online at https://accd.vermont.gov/economic-development/resources.
Other SBA Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Agency of Commerce and Community Development Impact Outreach and Contact Information
ACCD is interested in hearing from all Vermont businesses impacted by the response to the COVID-19 virus. Please continue to share these impacts via the Agency Business Impact Form, which will help them assess the full impact as they work toward solutions.
If you have other inquiries, please contact ACCD through their dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Agency has also established a hotline so that businesses may call to report impacts and be directed to resources: (802) 461-5143. The hotline will be staffed Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Department of Financial Regulation Updates
In addition to other updates and guidance from the Department of Financial Regulation, if you have questions regarding your insurance coverage, Business Income Insurance Guidance is available for review, or contact your insurance agent for details on your specific policy.
Guidance from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets
The Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets has developed a new set of resources, including guidance on Food Safety and Food Industry Resources.
VTSBDC Small Business Assistance
If your business is looking for technical assistance, the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC) is providing various resources to help support small business during the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here to learn more and to request assistance.
Guidance on Childcare for Essential Persons
Vermont Emergency Management has published a new list of who is considered an Essential Person in regards to the Executive Order regarding Childcare for Essential Service Providers. Families with Essential Persons who need help finding childcare can now submit a webform for assistance in connecting them with options for childcare for their children (up to grade 8). Families can also call 2-1-1 ext. 6.
OTHER COVID-19 UPDATES AND RESOURCES
ACCD: COVID-19 Guidance for Businesses
Emergency Executive Orders from Governor Scott
IRS: Coronavirus Tax Relief Information
CDC: COVID-19 Overview
VDH: Vermont COVID-19 Overview
NAM COVID-19 Resources
CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
OSHA: Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
OSHA: COVID-19 Information and Prevention
HHS/CDC: Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist
CDC: Pandemic Preparedness Planning For U.S. Businesses With Overseas Operations
Getting Ahead of the Coronavirus Outbreak: A Checklist for Multinational Employers
FEMA: Every Business Should Have A Plan. 12-page Booklet
DHS: Business Continuity Plan
EEOC: Pandemic Preparedness in the Workplace and the Americans with Disabilities Act
VtSBDC: Disaster Recovery Guide for Businesses