UPDATED | COVID-19 Resources and Information for Vermont Businesses

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 info@aivt.org.

For this resource page on our website, click here.

For the latest news and alerts, click here.

AIV Surveys

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 info@aivt.org.

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 info@aivt.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.

Other Links:

 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 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 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: commerce.covid19@vermont.gov.

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

VMEC Resources

IRS:  Coronavirus Tax Relief Information

CDC:  COVID-19 Overview

VDH:  Vermont COVID-19 Overview

NAM COVID-19 Resources

Best Practices

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