Join Login COVID-19 Updates

Photo by Richard Hurd

COVID-19

Updated: 10/22/2020, 4:58 p.m.

To review Dane County’s Forward Dane business reopening strategy, click here.

The Chamber has a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Responses are posted at madisonbiz.com/covid19faq.

To submit or vote up questions, visit Slido.com and enter the event code #ASK4BIZ or simply click here to be directed to that page. Questions can also be submitted via email at ask@madisonbiz.com.

To view businesses’ reopening plans that have been shared through our new portal, click here.

To participate in the #JustAsk campaign, print this flyer (English or Spanish) and display it in your business to encourage customers to #JustAsk about policies and procedures being implemented to reduce risks to their health and safety.

To learn more about resources available to small businesses, click here.

To view the Chamber’s agenda for reopening the economy and accelerating our recovery, click here.

To view the first video in the Chamber’s “For You. For Us. Forward.” series, click here.

To learn more about community resources that Greater Madison businesses are offering, click here.

To sign up for regular COVID-19 updates, click here.

Jump to topics:
#JUSTASK CAMPAIGN
BUSINESS REOPENING BEST PRACTICES
CAP TIMES IDEA FEST: MADISON’S POST-COVID ECONOMY
CHILD CARE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
COLD-WEATHER STREATERY GUIDELINES
COVID-19/RECOVERY UPDATE ARCHIVE
ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS UPDATE
FEDERAL RESERVE ACTIONS
FEMA ASSISTANCE
HELPFUL RESOURCES
HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
KIVA SMALL BUSINESS LOAN MATCH PROGRAM
LUNCH(UP)DATE ARCHIVE
LUNCH(UP)DATE WITH U.S. REP. MIKE GALLAGHER
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
MASK AND FACE COVERING REQUIREMENTS
NEW CITY WEBSITE AND RESOURCES
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN FORGIVENESS
PAYING IT FORWARD TO HEALTH CARE HEROES
PHMDC SAYS NO CHANGE FOR DANE COUNTY BUSINESSES
PUBLIC HEALTH: BUSINESS IMPACTS
PUBLIC HEALTH: NEW ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
PUBLIC POLICY RESPONSE PLAN
READINESS TO REOPEN SELF-ASSESSMENT
SE NECESITA AYUDA (HELP WANTED)
SHARE YOUR STORY
STATEWIDE MASK REQUIREMENT EXTENDED
UNEMPLOYMENT NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT
UW CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION
VIRTUAL INDUSTRY MEETING RECAP
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
WEDC PPE PORTAL
WE’RE ALL IN, PHASE TWO
WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
WISCONSIN SHARES EXPANDED

CITY COUNCIL’S UW RESOLUTION DEFEATED
This week, the Madison Common Council rejected a resolution by a 14-5 vote that would have called on UW–Madison to, with limited exceptions, discontinue in-person classes and close residence halls indefinitely.

The Chamber strongly advocated against this resolution with Madison alders ahead of the vote and also opposed a similar, head-in-the-sand resolution recently passed by the Dane County Board. We cited the harmful message these resolutions would send to students who live, study, work and vote here, the economic impact of removing a significant portion of the City’s population and the fact that sending students to other communities goes against the advice of the nation’s foremost public health experts.

The University has been a respected and trusted institution in our community for more than a century. They leveraged some of the brightest minds in our region when developing the Smart Restart reopening plan and made adjustments when needed this fall.

This moment necessitates an equilibrium where we balance public health with the economy. The Common Council resolution failed to strike that balance and was rightly defeated.

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VIRTUAL INDUSTRY MEETING RECAP
Last week, the Chamber hosted the latest in our Virtual Industry Meeting (VIM) series, as regional healthcare leaders assessed their current needs and shared projections for the three phases of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak: relief, reopening and recovery.

Attendees said as COVID-19 cases have increased statewide, they have begun treating more patients, many from outside Dane County. They are also seeing an increase in need for services for individuals struggling with behavioral and mental health issues.

Participants emphasized the importance of working together on a path forward, with improved communication and collaboration among various stakeholders to strike the appropriate balance between public health and the economy. The leaders said all of this is important because we know the virus will not go away completely, reinforcing the need to take common-sense steps, such as wearing masks.

The Chamber has also convened lenders, developers, commercial property owners, manufacturers, hoteliers, retailers and leaders in the non-profit sector, health and wellness, legal and accounting services, education, child care, construction, design, insurance, technology, biotech, healthtech, arts, culture, entertainment and sports as part of our Virtual Industry Meeting series to help inform our advocacy. Please continue to share with us any policy ideas and recommendations.

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UNEMPLOYMENT NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT
Starting Monday, Nov. 2, Wisconsin employers must notify employees of the availability of Unemployment Insurance (UI) at the time of separation from employment (e.g., by email, text message, letter, providing printed poster in person or by mail). Providing this notice does not necessarily mean employees will meet the requirements of Wisconsin UI eligibility laws.

For more information about the requirement, including suggested language and resources to provide to employees, click here.

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PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN FORGIVENESS
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has released a streamlined forgiveness application for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans totaling $50,000 or less. According to the Wisconsin Bankers Association, this measure would apply to roughly two-thirds of all PPP loans.

The application, Form 3508S, requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Borrowers that use SBA Form 3508S are exempt from reductions in loan forgiveness amounts based on reductions in full-time equivalent (FTE) employees or in salaries or wages. Form 3508S also does not require borrowers to show the calculations used to determine their loan forgiveness amount. However, SBA may request information and documents to review those calculations as part of its loan review process.

The form, which must be submitted to your lender, can be found here, with form instructions available here. The interim final rule outlining the changes can be found here.

For frequently asked questions about PPP loan forgiveness, click here.

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WE’RE ALL IN, PHASE TWO
Applications are now open for Phase Two of “We’re All In,” the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) initiative designed to provide direct assistance to businesses most impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Funded through the CARES Act, these $5,000 cash grants will help small businesses with the costs of health and safety improvements, wages and salaries, rent, mortgages and more.

To be eligible, businesses must be Wisconsin-based and for-profit, employ 50 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees, earn less than $1 million in annual revenues, have started operating prior to Jan. 1, 2020 and have operated in 2020. At least 10,000 small businesses will receive grants.

Apply here before the Nov. 2 deadline.

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LUNCH(UP)DATE WITH U.S. REP. MIKE GALLAGHER
U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher was our guest on our most recent Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber’s weekly program presented by Perkins Coie where you can take a break and enjoy lunch while staying connected, curious and informed.

During his conversation with Chamber President Zach Brandon, Rep. Gallagher said he found it remarkable that the federal government was able to pass significant economic relief, including the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, in the early days on the pandemic. While he thinks it’s more unlikely the closer we get to Election Day, he said he is holding out hope for further relief, particularly in the form of liability protections and targeted assistance such as deploying unspent Paycheck Protection program funds to small businesses.

Gallagher also discussed the future of bipartisanship, his role as a lead sponsor of the Endless Frontier Act and what it could mean in Wisconsin’s push for federal research dollars, the economic impact of the pandemic on Door County and other tourism destinations in his district, and the economic and emotional hit of fans not being able to see Packers games at Lambeau Field for the foreseeable future. In addition, while he doesn’t believe Gov. Tony Evers has the authority to mandate masks statewide, he said, “I’ll wear a Bears mask” if it means saving small businesses in his district.

View the full recording of Lunch(UP)date here.

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PHMDC SAYS NO CHANGE FOR DANE COUNTY BUSINESSES
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) says there is no change for Dane County businesses under the statewide order relating to limiting public gatherings announced by the Evers administration. The statewide order ends on Friday, Nov. 6.

According to the PHMDC statement, “Under Emergency Order #3, local municipalities are permitted to have orders that are more restrictive than the Wisconsin Department of Health Services Order. After review of both orders, Public Health Madison & Dane County has determined that our local Emergency Order #9 is more restrictive, therefore no change in operation is necessary and all businesses and individuals must continue to follow Public Health Madison & Dane County’s order.

“For example, our local order requires all businesses to implement written hygiene, cleaning, and protective measures policies and procedures, as well as ensure that all staff are trained on all required procedures. It also requires businesses to the greatest extent possible facilitate remote work and ensure whenever possible that individuals are six feet from others.  As a result, even though our local order permits a larger threshold of individuals in certain places, the additional restrictions render the provision more supportive of reduced disease transmission than what is in the statewide Emergency Order #3.

“Public Health Madison & Dane County will continue to enforce Dane County Emergency Order #9 as written.”

You can review the current PHMDC order here.

If you have additional questions about the order or other issues impacting your business, please continue to submit them through our Q&A portal here and our staff and team of regional partners will work to get you an answer. All responses are posted on our website here.

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CAP TIMES IDEA FEST: MADISON’S POST-COVID ECONOMY
Chamber President Zach Brandon was invited to participate in a panel discussion at Cap Times Idea Fest focused on Greater Madison’s post-COVID-19 economy, our strengths and the challenges we will face on the road to recovery.
 
Moderated by Cap Times City Editor Jason Joyce, the panel also featured Seth Lentz, CEO of the Workforce Development Board of South Central Wisconsin, and Sabrina Madison, Founder of the Progress Center for Black Women. During the session, Zach said since the pandemic hit, the Chamber’s overall mission has been unchanged but that we have shared resources and thought leadership so that partner organizations and the broader community can utilize them. He also said pivots made by businesses, highlighted through projects such as “Making the Difference,” have reinforced his perspective that Greater Madison is a place that imports global talent and exports global solutions.
 
While numerous national analysts have said Greater Madison is well-positioned for economic recovery, Zach said success will not be guaranteed without protecting small businesses and a strong commitment to diversity, equity, justice and inclusion. He said much of the former could come through government action and assistance, particularly as federal relief programs are running out, while the latter could be addressed by a comprehensive data collection and sharing strategy similar to one being coordinated by hundreds of companies in Milwaukee.
 
View the full video of their discussion here.

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COLD-WEATHER STREATERY GUIDELINES
The City of Madison has extended to April 14, 2021, its Streatery Program, which was launched earlier this year to allow expanded outdoor dining to assist restaurants that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. However, colder weather will present new challenges in maintaining outdoor dining while also abiding by Public Health orders.

City Fire Inspection has issued fire safety guidelines for heaters and tents while reminding operators that tents and propane heaters cannot be used together; many restaurants will have to choose one or the other to get through the season. The City has also released cold-weather guidelines for sidewalk cafes and cafes in the parking lane, as well as guidelines for private property.

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WHEN AN EMPLOYEE TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19
A common question we have heard from members is what to do if an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

To assist businesses with these questions, Public Health has created an FAQ document to share best practices on issues such as cleaning, how long an employee should stay away from the job site and how to determine if other employees may have been exposed. We strongly recommend you review this document to take the appropriate action.

Meanwhile, an Evers administration plan to release the names of Wisconsin businesses that have had multiple employees test positive remains on hold after a judge issued a temporary restraining order last week. The Chamber had previously stated that creating “a shame list for businesses that may have no additional exposure and have complied with all laws is not only wrongheaded, it’s detrimental to the economy, public health and consumer confidence.” We will continue to follow this issue closely and provide further updates as they become available.

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STATEWIDE MASK REQUIREMENT EXTENDED
Gov. Tony Evers has extended the statewide mask requirement for individuals age five and older until Saturday, Nov. 21. The full emergency order can be found here, and an updated FAQ document about the order can be found here.

Public Health Madison & Dane County recently issued an order that incorporates aspects of the statewide mask requirement, including mandating face coverings at outdoor taverns and restaurants. That order can be found here.

If you have questions about the order or other issues impacting your business, please continue to submit them through our Q&A portal here and our staff and team of regional partners will work to get you an answer. All responses are posted on our website here.

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PUBLIC HEALTH: NEW ENFORCEMENT PROCEDURES
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) recently sent a letter to licensed establishments in Madison – and copied all licensed food and drink establishments in Dane County – about a change in enforcement procedures, moving away from a policy of education first and now shifting to financial penalties for non-compliance.

According to the letter, PHMDC will partner with the City of Madison Police Department on this effort, with violations carrying a penalty of up to $1,000 per violation. The letter states: “An establishment with an occupancy capacity of 100 is required under the Order to limit indoor capacity to 25%, which is 25 people. Thus, if this establishment is found to have 100 people inside, they face a potential forfeiture of $75,000 plus court costs and fees. In addition, any establishment holding an alcohol beverage license may also be subject to an enforcement action against their alcohol beverage license up to and including suspension or revocation.”

This enforcement change raises many questions that we are working to clarify, including if this is limited to businesses located in the City of Madison. The Chamber continues to advocate for education first and that PHMDC provide guidance that is clear, data-driven and devoid of politics.

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PUBLIC HEALTH: BUSINESS IMPACTS
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Chamber has been in regular contact with Public Health, local elected officials and other stakeholders to share our positions on key issues and advocate on behalf of the business community for a safe, effective reopening strategy.

Following a recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Dane County, largely centered around an infection increase in those aged 18-22, some have suggested that UW–Madison students should be sent home or that downtown Madison is unsafe. This careless rhetoric has already proven harmful to downtown businesses and contradicts guidance from leading national experts Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx about how to best control the spread of the virus.

The Chamber continues to engage with our partners in the public and private sector to ensure we support local businesses and offer them needed resources. That includes everything from working to lift up childcare opportunities to keep our workforce intact (see below) to communicating insights and analysis gleaned from conversations with Public Health about the Forward Dane reopening plan.

For more about Forward Dane and the Chamber’s advocacy relating to business reopening, check out this story from Cap Times.

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CHILD CARE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
Following the announcement by the City of MadisonMadison Metropolitan School District (MMSD) and United Way of Dane County that they were creating a Child Care Scholarship Fund, we called for employers, foundations and the community to donate to the fund to support Greater Madison families and help close the childcare gap.

Just days after the announcement, several organizations stepped up to give back. We are thankful for the leadership of American Family InsuranceM3 InsuranceMGE FoundationMadison-Kipp Corp.6AM MarketingGroup Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin, UW–Madison and others who have contributed to date.

The Child Care Scholarship Fund has a goal of raising $400,000 to provide need-based scholarships for approximately 150 children to attend full-time childcare. This ambitious effort is an important foundation to build upon, but we will need more help to reach our collective goal.

To donate, click here.

Read Chamber President Zach Brandon’s column about the fund in the Wisconsin State Journal. Find additional coverage in the Cap Times here and an editorial from WISC-TV here.

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WISCONSIN SHARES EXPANDED
The state Department of Child and Families (DCF) has released a series of Back to School guidance documents, including updates to the Wisconsin Shares program, which provides subsidized assistance for families where parents are working.

For this school year, parents can receive Wisconsin Shares childcare authorizations during the day when school is delivered virtually and childcare is needed for parents to participate in their approved activity, while the program previously restricted eligible financial support to time periods outside of traditional classroom hours. Parents may receive authorizations even if they are working from home, but they must be participating in their approved activity during the times when care is needed.
 
The Chamber discussed this issue with Gov. Tony Evers during a recent Lunch(UP)date and advocated in follow-up communications for expanded eligibility to provide more flexibility for working parents. The changes announced by DCF will bolster the equilibrium between the education and safety of students and the economic health of their families while enhancing the state’s ability to provide essential services including health care, government, education, utilities, food and transportation logistics.
 
For more information on Wisconsin Shares, click here.

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MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
In collaboration with local designers UnderBelly, the Chamber recently launched “Greater Madison: Making the Difference” to tell the stories of area businesses that have taken extraordinary steps to solve the global challenges posed by COVID-19.

The latest company we are highlighting is Teel Plastics, who ramped up its manufacturing to produce hundreds of millions of swab sticks for test kits as the need for increased COVID-19 testing grew in the U.S.

Stay tuned to The BEAM and our Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram pages in the coming weeks for more stories about businesses that are Making the Difference.

We encourage you to share these stories and support local leadership. If you have your own story to share, send it to Director of Business Development Nikki Javurek.

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MASK AND FACE COVERING REQUIREMENTS
With statewide and Dane County face covering orders both currently in effect, Public Health Madison & Dane County has released additional guidance relating to which requirements must be followed in Dane County.

According to Public Health, individuals age five and older must wear a face covering:

–Indoors and in any enclosed building where people other than members of the person’s household or living unit could be or are present.

–In line to enter any indoor space.

–Driving or riding on public transportation or in a paratransit vehicle, a taxi, a private car service vehicle, a ride-sharing vehicle or any other for-hire vehicle, or a personal vehicle where individuals not from the individual’s household or living unit are present.

–In any other confined space open to the public where individuals congregate, including but not limited to outdoor bars, outdoor restaurants and outdoor park structures.

–That does not have a valve, because a mask with a valve does not prevent droplets from escaping.

Exceptions to the orders are made for certain activities such as while actively eating or drinking, while obtaining a service that requires the temporary removal of the face covering, when necessary to confirm an individual’s identity or when engaging in work where wearing a face covering would create a risk to the individual, as determined by government safety guidelines.

Visit here for more Public Health guidance on face-covering requirements, along with information on signage, enforcement, how to discuss masks with customers, social media graphics, a fact sheet and answers to frequently asked questions.

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KIVA SMALL BUSINESS LOAN MATCH PROGRAM
The City of Madison has announced it is committing $100,000 to match Kiva small business loans. Kiva loans from $1,000 to $15,000 will be available to qualified owners, with the City matching the amount raised at no cost to the business owner.

Kiva is an international, non-profit, crowdfunding platform for small businesses that provides zero percent interest capital to local small businesses with no fee. Businesses use the funding as working capital, then pay back their lenders each month.

If you are interested in a loan – or in becoming a Kiva lender for as little as $25 – click here.

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#JUSTASK CAMPAIGN
The Chamber recently released a Spanish-language version of the flyer for #JustAsk, a collaboration between the Chamber and Public Health encouraging people to feel comfortable inquiring about the steps businesses are taking to enhance their safety.

Along with balancing the needs of our health and the economy, bolstering public confidence is a critical component to reopening Greater Madison. In addition to participating in #JustAsk, businesses can also share reopening plans through this portal so we can aggregate best practices by industry type and socialize them with businesses and the broader community.

You can print and display the Spanish-language #JustAsk flyer here. The English version can be found here.

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ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS UPDATE
On June 15, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications from qualified small businesses and U.S. agricultural businesses.

Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For agricultural businesses that previously submitted an EIDL application through the streamlined portal, SBA will process these applications without the need for re-applying.

The EIDL program offers up to $2 million in assistance to small businesses to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. However, these loans are not intended to make up for lost profits or to be used for expansion.

The CARES Act affords the opportunity to get up to a $10,000 advance on an EIDL. This advance will be forgiven, and small businesses may receive an advance even if they are not approved for a loan.

Eligible small businesses can apply here. For a list of recommended documents and required forms as part of the application process, click here.

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READINESS TO REOPEN SELF-ASSESSMENT
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) has created a self-assessment to help businesses determine their readiness to return to in-person work during the Forward Dane reopening plan. The assessment consists of six sections and should take less than 15 minutes to complete.

At the end of the assessment, the participant will receive a score to give them an idea of how their business is doing and how they can improve. Questions are weighted by importance.

Take the assessment here. Submissions are anonymous and not used by PHMDC.

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SHARE YOUR STORY
We have long said that Greater Madison is a place that solves global challenges. Now we are actively collecting stories of businesses that have taken extraordinary steps to solve the global challenge posed by COVID-19.

If you have a story to share, please contact Director of Business Development Nikki Javurek.

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BUSINESS REOPENING BEST PRACTICES
As we reopen our economy, we are committed to helping businesses take the steps necessary to ensure the health and safety of their workers and customers. To that end, we are launching a portal to aggregate reopening best practices by industry type, socialize them with businesses and the broader community, advocate on your behalf with local government officials and bolster public confidence in this reopening phase.

Some resources you can consult for examples of reopening procedures and protocols include guidelines from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (general and industry-specific), Wisconsin Safety Council (Returning to Work) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Reopening Guidance and Business FAQ).

Share your reopening plans here.

With our economy on the cusp of reopening, your participation is important as we work to meet this unprecedented challenge. Please contact us with any questions.

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WEDC PPE PORTAL
As part of the Wisconsin Ready plan, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is working to identify manufacturers to supply Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other materials to businesses as they reopen. 

Businesses looking for PPE can search for masks, gloves, hand sanitizer and shields. Manufacturers of PPE can list themselves as a supplier by filling out a profile on the site.

Learn more here.

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PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), a new temporary federal program, is now available for self-employed individuals, independent contractors and others who are otherwise ineligible for regular unemployment insurance. Benefits are retroactive to Feb. 8 and payable for up to 39 weeks.

An overview of the PUA program can be found here. For more on PUA eligibility criteria, click here.

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PAYING IT FORWARD TO HEALTH CARE HEROES
A coalition of community partners – led by UW HealthUnityPoint Health – MeriterThomas Bradley InsuranceFood FightFearing’s Audio Video Security and Madison Originals – has started Paying it Forward to Health Care Heroes, a new initiative designed to assist restaurants and health care workers impacted by the outbreak.

The initiative enables you to:

–Make a donation to your favorite restaurant and identify that you want your contribution to go toward Health Care Heroes.

–The restaurant will turn your donation into $15 gift certificates, the approximate price of a meal.

–These gift cards will be delivered to UW Health and UnityPoint Health – Meriter, who will then distribute the gift cards to Health Care Heroes as their shift ends.

Donate here.

You can read more coverage about the initiative from the Wisconsin State Journal and In Business magazine.

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FEDERAL RESERVE ACTIONS
Earlier this year, the Chamber convened nearly 20 banking and finance leaders for the first in a series of Virtual Industry Meetings, with liquidity challenges a top concern expressed by some participants. Now the Federal Reserve has taken several actions to provide additional liquidity in the form of up to $2.3 trillion in loans.

The Federal Reserve is looking to bolster the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by supplying liquidity to participating financial institutions through term financing backed by PPP loans to small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) will extend credit to eligible financial institutions that originate PPP loans by taking the loans as collateral at face value. While this is not a new lending program for small businesses, it should give lending institutions the flexibility to extend more loans to businesses.

For a term sheet about the PPPLF, click here. An FAQ can be found here.

The Federal Reserve is also establishing a Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF) and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF) to facilitate lending to small and medium-sized businesses by eligible lenders. The U.S. Treasury Department will provide an equity investment of $75 billion to the combined facilities to augment the Federal Reserve’s purchase of up to $600 billion of loans.

The Main Street Lending Program will allow eligible lenders to offer four-year loans to businesses with up to 10,000 employees or revenues of less than $2.5 billion in 2019. All principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year.

Firms seeking the Main Street loans must commit to maintain payroll, retain workers and abide by certain restrictions outlined in the CARES Act. Firms that have taken PPP loans are still eligible for Main Street loans.

A term sheet for the MSNLF is here. A term sheet for the MSELF is here.

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NEW CITY WEBSITE AND RESOURCES
The City of Madison has redesigned its website to focus on information about city services impacted by COVID-19, including prominently featuring office openings and closings, direct links to health and community resources, and the latest news and information from city agencies.

In addition, residents are now able to sign up for text and email alerts to stay informed on timely developments related to the COVID-19 response. You can also sign up for the city’s new weekly e-newsletter to receive a compilation of the week’s news and resources, including links to press conferences. Those who subscribe to email alerts will also receive the weekly e-newsletter.

The City’s website, newsletter, email alerts and text alerts are also available in Spanish.

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PUBLIC POLICY RESPONSE PLAN
The Chamber is continuing to advise all levels of government on the development of a public policy response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

We’re looking for immediate needs that will help employers and workers. Ideas have ranged from helping the newly unemployed with emergency unemployment insurance (UI) benefits; specific ways to help shuttered businesses; ways to help businesses with HR issues or health and safety concerns; or any additional challenges you are facing from COVID-19.

Ideas can be related to issues including funding, taxes, licensure, temporary loosening of some agency rules and more. Proposals will be shared with policymakers on an ongoing basis.

Fill out the form here.

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SE NECESITA AYUDA (HELP WANTED)
With regular updates and resources being provided for businesses relating to the COVID-19 outbreak, we want to ensure these communications are accessible to all.

If you have experience in language translation around business and government and would be able to assist with this need, please contact Director of Business Development Nikki Javurek.

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VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
United Way of Dane County has set up a webpage devoted to providing information about opportunities to volunteer safely during this time of need. Opportunities include food deliveries, child care, serving meals, transporting needed supplies and much more.

Check out a list of volunteer options here.

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FEMA ASSISTANCE
To help match businesses’ many offers of assistance to the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is sharing information about the best ways to connect. That can include selling medical supplies or equipment to the federal government (submit a price quote here and see full details in the solicitation here), donating medical supplies or equipment and submitting an inquiry about supporting the response with non-medical goods and/or services.

In addition, licensed healthcare professionals who want to volunteer can get information and register here. Hospitals and healthcare providers in need of medical supplies should contact their state, local, tribal or territory department of public health and/or emergency management agency.

Additional ways to help can be found here.

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HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
It is important that we continue to support local businesses to strengthen our economy and be there for our friends and neighbors. Here are just a few ways you can do so:

Tip well. Tip more if you are able to do so. Service workers make much of their living on tips, and your generosity can help make up for fewer people ordering food or buying services.

Keep those tickets. If you bought tickets for a local charitable or arts event that was later canceled, consider not asking for a refund, or tell the organization to keep the money you paid for your ticket as a donation.

Buy gift cards. Purchasing gift cards and gift certificates for yourself and others is a great way to support local businesses now while frequenting them at a later date.

Seek virtual options. You can browse and order items from local businesses, including many retailers, online as an alternative to in-person shopping.

Shop for friends, family and neighbors. When shopping, consider asking those who are vulnerable or less mobile if you can purchase anything for them.

Get delivery or takeout. Call restaurants directly or use an aggregated order and delivery service like Madison’s own EatStreet.

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HELPFUL RESOURCES
We strongly encourage you to consult these helpful, regularly updated resources as you implement your business’s infectious disease emergency response (IDER) plans:

CDC: COVID-19 Main Page
CDC: Situation Summary
CDC: Resources for Businesses and Employers
CDC: General Business Frequently Asked Questions
CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
CDC: Preventing Spread in Communities
CDC: Print Resources
DHS: COVID-19 Information
PHMDC: COVID-19 Main Page
City of Madison Civil Rights: Mask FAQ

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LUNCH(UP)DATE ARCHIVE
October 8, 2020 – U.S. Rep. Mike Gallagher
October 1, 2020 – 365Nation CEO Henry Sanders
September 16, 2020 – MMSD Superintendent Dr. Carlton Jenkins
August 27, 2020 – SSM Health Wisconsin Regional President Damond Boatwright
August 20, 2020 – WISC-TV & Madison Magazine Editorial Director Neil Heinen
August 13, 2020 – Gov. Tony Evers and WI Tech Council President Tom Still
August 6, 2020 – Black Chamber President Camille Carter and Latino Chamber President Jessica Cavazos
July 23, 2020 – DWD Secretary Caleb Frostman
July 16, 2020 – Chancellor Rebecca Blank
July 9, 2020 – Public Health Madison & Dane County
June 11, 2020 – U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan
May 19, 2020 – County Executive Joe Parisi and Public Health Director Janel Heinrich
May 6, 2020 – MMAC President Tim Sheehy
April 29, 2020 – WEDC Secretary Missy Hughes
April 24, 2020 – UW Health CEO Dr. Alan Kaplan
April 17, 2020 – U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin
April 9, 2020 – SBA Wisconsin Director Eric Ness
April 2, 2020 – Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway

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COVID-19/RECOVERY UPDATE ARCHIVE
October 19, 2020
October 5, 2020
September 14, 2020
August 24, 2020
August 10, 2020
August 3, 2020
July 20, 2020
July 13, 2020
July 6, 2020
June 29, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 15, 2020
June 8, 2020
May 26, 2020
May 18, 2020
May 11, 2020
May 4, 2020
April 29, 2020
April 27, 2020
April 23, 2020
April 21, 2020
April 16, 2020
April 14, 2020
April 10, 2020
April 9, 2020
April 8, 2020
April 7, 2020
April 6, 2020
April 3, 2020
April 2, 2020
April 1, 2020
March 31, 2020
March 30, 2020
March 27, 2020
March 26, 2020
March 25, 2020
March 24, 2020
March 23, 2020
March 20, 2020
March 19, 2020
March 18, 2020
March 17, 2020
March 13, 2020

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