Photo by Richard Hurd
Updated: 6/30/2020, 4:40 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 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:
—BUSINESS REOPENING BEST PRACTICES
—CITY LOOKING FOR PPE DONATIONS
—COVID-19/RECOVERY UPDATE ARCHIVE
—ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS UPDATE
—FEDERAL RESERVE ACTIONS
—FORWARD DANE UPDATE
—GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
—HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
—LUNCH(UP)DATE WITH U.S. REP. MARK POCAN
—MADISON REGION REMOTE WORK SURVEY
—NEW CITY WEBSITE AND RESOURCES
—PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
—PARTNERSHIP TO INCREASE TESTING CAPACITY
—PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM CHANGES
—PAYING IT FORWARD TO HEALTH CARE HEROES
—PPP LENDER MATCH
—PUBLIC POLICY RESPONSE PLAN
—READINESS TO REOPEN SELF-ASSESSMENT
—SE NECESITA AYUDA (HELP WANTED)
—SHARE YOUR STORY
—SMALL BUSINESS PANDEMIC SUPPORT GRANT EXPANSION
—STATE COVID-19 RELIEF
—STATE STREET STREATERY PROGRAM
—VIRTUAL INDUSTRY MEETING RECAP
—WEDC PPE PORTAL
FORWARD DANE UPDATE
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) anticipates remaining in Phase Two of the Forward Dane reopening plan for at least a month following a recent spike in positive COVID-19 cases. A new data snapshot released June 29 shows two metrics with a red status (Cases Per Day and Community Spread).
In an effort to curtail the spread, Public Health amended the Phase Two order, effective June 25. Changes include:
–Mass gatherings are now limited to 10 people indoors, while the limit remains 100 people outdoors. Commercial facilities, such as banquet rooms and event spaces, continue to have an indoor limit of 50 people.
–Restaurants and bars are now limited to seated service only, and customers must be seated at all times when not in transit. Tables should be restricted to members of the same household, but they are once again limited to six people. People from different households should be spaced at least six feet apart.
Based on information gleaned from recent contact tracing interviews, Public Health will be stepping up enforcement for these targeted changes. Please review the order for more details on business requirements.
To enhance safety, businesses are required to have hygiene, cleaning and protective measure policies and documented staff receipt or training in place before reopening and should incorporate general and sector-specific best practices, encourage remote work as much as possible, accommodate sick employees, assist contact tracers, and know what to do when an employee that tests positive. Customers should follow Public Health recommendations for shopping and visiting establishments.
If you have questions about 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.
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM DEADLINE EXTENDED
June 30 is the deadline to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the federal initiative designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll. We encourage business owners that did not previously apply for a PPP loan to review these changes and consider contacting their lender to start an application.
Additional SBA information about the PPP can be found here.
STATE STREET STREATERY PROGRAM
The City of Madison has announced that – starting this Friday, July 3 – State Street will be closed to all vehicular traffic for weekends through Aug. 23 as the Streatery Restaurant Recovery Program rolls out there.
The Streatery program expands outdoor dining to assist restaurants and bars disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and reduce transmission risks compared to indoor dining. The State Street vehicle closure is also designed to help retailers and merchants benefit from exclusively pedestrian traffic.
Streatery is set to expire on Oct. 25, 2020, unless Public Health allows restaurants to return to normal operations prior to that date. Full program details can be found here.
Last week, we 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.
PPP LENDER MATCH
On June 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) announced the launch of a dedicated online tool for small businesses and non-profits to be matched with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs), Minority Depository Institutions (MDIs), Certified Development Companies (CDCs), Farm Credit System lenders and Microlenders, as well as traditional smaller asset size lenders in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This tool is intended for businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 but have not applied for or received an approved PPP loan.
Within two business days of entering their information into the Lender Match platform, a borrower receives an email from lenders who have been matched with them. Borrowers can see lenders’ requests for them to begin an application and are then able to begin the application process directly from the email they receive. Lender Match does not accept Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications.
After the PPP application deadline passes on June 30, Lender Match will be open to all participating SBA lenders.
To access Lender Match, visit here. For additional information about the PPP and other business relief options, click here.
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.
VIRTUAL INDUSTRY MEETING RECAP
The Chamber recently hosted the latest in our Virtual Industry Meeting (VIM) series, as leaders in the technology space assessed current needs for their businesses and shared projections for the three phases of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak: relief, reopening and recovery.
As one might expect for companies in the tech space, moving to a distributed workforce was easier for them than for other industries. For many, this is creating internal conversations about what the future of their office spaces should look like and whether more employees should be allowed to work from home long-term.
From an economic standpoint, there was a consistent hope that the message around our community’s and nation’s response to COVID-19 should move from “fear to caution” and to ease concerns from the public who could be skeptical to reengage with businesses that have been most immediately impacted by the outbreak, such as restaurants and retail. Another consistent theme was the importance of employee health and how companies are working to check in with employees and provide opportunities to boost wellness.
The Chamber has also convened lenders, developers, commercial property owners, manufacturers, hoteliers, retailers, and insurance, biotech and healthtech leaders as part of our Virtual Industry Meeting series to help inform our advocacy. Please continue to share with us any policy ideas and recommendations.
LUNCH(UP)DATE WITH U.S. REP. MARK POCAN
U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan discussed the latest federal relief and accelerated recovery efforts during last week’s Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber’s weekly program where you can take a break and enjoy lunch while staying connected, curious and informed.
As a small business owner for 32 years, Pocan says he has tried to bring that perspective to the legislative process, especially with so many small businesses hit hard during the outbreak. He says while negotiating legislation among the Democratic House, Republican Senate and President Trump has been challenging, he appreciates what they have been able to accomplish to help individuals and employers.
Looking forward, Pocan says he’s hoping to bolster Work-Share, a 100 percent federally funded program that allows employers to retain workers part-time who can still receive benefits such as health insurance and unemployment wages. He also anticipates new investments in infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, airports and ports to pass in late June or early July. In addition, Pocan addressed shortages in Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), his hopes for systemic change around racial justice and what the Endless Frontier Act could mean in Wisconsin’s push for federal research dollars.
View the full recording of Lunch(UP)date here.
MADISON REGION REMOTE WORK SURVEY
The Madison Area Transportation Planning Board invites you to participate in an important survey to assess the impact of COVID-19 on work-from-home trends and attitudes in the Greater Madison region.
Your participation is critical to understanding the unique impacts of COVID-19 on work trends in our region, as well as ways that area agencies and organizations can help employers and employees build resiliency for the future.
This survey is for all employees, managers and executives in the Greater Madison region. It takes approximately 8-12 minutes to complete and will be open through Tuesday, June 30.
Fill out the survey here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SMALL BUSINESS PANDEMIC SUPPORT GRANT EXPANSION
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has announced an additional $10 million in funding for the county’s Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program, bringing total program funding to $10.8 million.
Through the program administered by Dane Buy Local, Dane County small businesses can receive assistance with retaining employees and mitigating losses experienced as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the program was announced on April 1, 297 local businesses have received awards totaling more than $890,000.
Business owners can get information and apply for a grant here. Grants as small as $1,000 will be awarded, and applications will be accepted through June 15, 2020.
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.
PARTNERSHIP TO INCREASE TESTING CAPACITY
There has been a significant increase in the state’s lab testing capacity for COVID-19 through a public-private partnership announced by Gov. Tony Evers in late March. Working with the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network, the state grew the number of labs performing COVID-19 tests from eight to 36 in the first month.
The partnership includes lab support, test processing and equipment sharing from organizations including Epic, Exact Sciences, Promega and UW Health, who all work with the Wisconsin Clinical Lab Network to share knowledge, resources and technology to bolster Wisconsin’s testing capacity.
For more information on the statewide COVID-19 response, click here or here.
STATE COVID-19 RELIEF
On April 15, 2020, Gov. Tony Evers signed into law AB 1038, a bill that was negotiated by Democratic and Republican legislators for weeks. The primary goals of the bill were to enable the state to receive more federal funding, remove penalties for the late payment of taxes and fees and remove regulatory barriers to the delivery of health care during the public health emergency.
Some notable items include:
–A temporary waiver of the one-week waiting period to receive unemployment benefits, retroactive to March 12. This was a requirement for states to be eligible for expanded Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits.
–UI benefit claims that are due to the public health emergency will not be counted against the employer.
–Expansion of the Work-Share program to include companies as small as two employees and other tweaks that improve the flexibility of the program.
–Allow the Secretary of Revenue to waive interest and penalties on a case-by-case basis for anyone that fails to pay income, sales or gas taxes on time due to the public health emergency.
–All April tax return and estimated tax deadlines are deferred until July 15.
–Taxing jurisdictions are allowed to waive interest and penalties on late property tax payments that are due between April 2 and Oct. 1, as long as the full payment is made by Oct. 1. The county and taxing jurisdiction must first adopt resolutions authorizing the waiver and setting the terms for establishing hardship.
–Requires WEDC to issue a plan by June 30 for providing support to the hardest-hit industries. Those industries include tourism, manufacturing, agriculture, forest products, construction, retail and services.
Many of the fiscal provisions of the Governor’s legislative packages (LRB 5920, LRB 6105) will be funded by the $1.9 billion the CARES Act authorized to the state’s general fund. These funds will arrive no later than April 24 and may be allocated at the Governor’s discretion without legislative approval.
PAYING IT FORWARD TO HEALTH CARE HEROES
A coalition of community partners – led by UW Health, UnityPoint Health – Meriter, Thomas Bradley Insurance, Food Fight, Fearing’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.
You can read more coverage about the initiative from the Wisconsin State Journal and In Business magazine.
CITY LOOKING FOR PPE DONATIONS
In March, at the request of Dane County Emergency Management and Public Health Madison & Dane County, the Chamber reached out to Greater Madison bio companies to request an inventory of donatable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). That includes masks, face shields, paper gowns and cloth gowns that can be used by healthcare providers and first responders.
Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway has made an appeal to local businesses and residents to help provide cloth face coverings for essential City of Madison staff, including workers in Streets, Parks and the Water Utility. That includes asking businesses to manufacture cloth face coverings and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), if they have the capacity to do so.
Read here for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines on how to wear, remove and make your own cloth face covering, as well as proper cleaning and sterilization procedures.
Donations of cloth face coverings will be accepted at Fire Station #2 (421 Grand Canyon Drive) and #8 (3945 Lien Road). Contact the city’s Office of Business Resources to learn more.
Back to Top
FEDERAL RESERVE ACTIONS
The Chamber recently 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.
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.
GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) has developed a document listing businesses and other places in Dane County they have deemed opened or closed, in accordance with Gov. Tony Evers’ “Safer at Home” order.
PHMDC and local law enforcement are following up on complaint reports of non-essential businesses still operating. If the business continues to believe they are essential following initial outreach, city and county attorneys will work with them directly. PHMDC may allow a business to remain open while awaiting legal guidance, although some may choose to close while waiting for a legal answer.
Under the order, businesses determined to be non-essential may still carry out the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, preserve the condition of the business’s plant and equipment, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits and other related functions, as well as minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees being able to work remotely from their residences.
For additional information from PHMDC, check out their Best Practices for Businesses document and Preparing your Business for Coronavirus factsheet. For an FAQ about the Governor’s order, click here.
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.
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.
On March 27, President Trump signed into law the CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package. For questions about the CARES Act and what it means for you and your business, visit Slido.com and enter the event code #ASKBIZ (or simply click here to go directly to the page). You can also email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
COVID-19/RECOVERY UPDATE ARCHIVE
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