Join Login COVID-19 Updates

Photo by Richard Hurd

COVID-19

Updated: 4/19/2021, 5:13 p.m.

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 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 second 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
AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT
BUSINESS REOPENING BEST PRACTICES
BUSINESSES AND GATHERINGS
CHILD CARE SCHOLARSHIP FUND
COVID RELIEF CREDIT FOR DANE COUNTY BUSINESSES
COVID-19/RECOVERY UPDATE ARCHIVE
DEFINING CLOSE CONTACT
ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS UPDATE
EMPLOYER NOTIFICATIONS
FOR YOU. FOR US. FORWARD. (PART 2)
GOVERNOR’S BUDGET: BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
HELPFUL RESOURCES
HOW TO SUPPORT LOCAL BUSINESSES
LIABILITY PROTECTIONS
LUNCH(UP)DATE ARCHIVE
LUNCH(UP)DATE: CREATIVE ECONOMY
MAKING THE DIFFERENCE
OSHA GUIDANCE ON PREVENTING WORKPLACE SPREAD
OSHA GUIDANCE ON WORK-RELATED COVID EVENTS
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM EXTENSION
PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM TAX DEDUCTIONS
PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES ORDER #15
PUBLIC POLICY RESPONSE PLAN
QUARANTINE RECOMMENDATIONS
RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND
SE NECESITA AYUDA (HELP WANTED)
SHARE YOUR STORY
SMALL BUSINESS PANDEMIC SUPPORT GRANT PROGRAM EXPANSION
STATE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
UNEMPLOYMENT NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT
VACCINE GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESSES
VIRTUAL INDUSTRY MEETING RECAP
VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
WEDC PPE PORTAL
“WE’RE ALL IN” UPDATE

LUNCH(UP)DATE: CREATIVE ECONOMY
Business leaders in Greater Madison’s creative economy will join us this Thursday, April 22 for our next Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber program (presented by Perkins Coie) where you can take a break and enjoy lunch while staying curious, connected and informed.

This program will feature conversations with Madison Children’s Museum President & CEO Deborah Gilpin, Frank Productions CEO Joel Plant and Big Top Sports and Entertainment COO Conor Caloia about the unique challenges facing their industries and the future outlook for events and gatherings as we head into summer with a more vaccinated – and healthier – population. If you have any questions for our guests or the Chamber, please submit them at ask@madisonbiz.com.

Register for this free event here.

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RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has announced key details for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), which was established by the American Rescue Plan Act to help restaurants, food stands, caterers, taverns, bakeries, breweries, wineries, distilleries and other eligible businesses stay open.

The RRF will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses by March 11, 2023.

The SBA is not yet accepting applications for the RRF, but the application launch date will be announced soon. Ahead of the application launch and over the next two weeks, the SBA will establish a seven-day pilot period for the RRF application portal and conduct extensive outreach and training on how to apply, where to apply and other application requirements. Following the pilot, the application portal will be opened to the public, with the first 21 days prioritizing reviewing applications from small businesses owned by women, veterans, and individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged.

For full program details, click here.

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

The participants were united in their determination to provide vital services and resources to their members. That includes assisting with business plans and financing options, including the latest phase of the Paycheck Protection Program.

Most attendees said they are looking to return to in-person events, conventions and conferences by summer or fall, though they acknowledged that plans could change quickly. Several said public and consumer confidence will be critical to the success of their members, who are cautiously optimistic about the coming months.

The Chamber has also convened lenders, manufacturers, developers and commercial property owners, hoteliers, retailers, and leaders in the non-profit sector, banking and finance, healthcare, 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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COVID RELIEF CREDIT FOR DANE COUNTY BUSINESSES
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway have announced a new effort with Public Health Madison & Dane County to give licensed establishments including restaurants, hotels, and campgrounds a COVID-19 credit of more than $550,000 to help recover from the pandemic. This 30 percent credit will provide financial assistance to more than 3,500 qualifying establishments in Dane County.

Public Health sanitarians normally conduct annual inspections and provide ongoing consultation for these establishments, but sanitarians have been reassigned to support the COVID-19 pandemic response for much of the past year. They instead worked with businesses to prevent spread and help them implement safe practices for customers and employees.

Qualifying licenses are associated with food and drink establishments, tattoo and body piercing, hotels and tourist rooming houses, bed and breakfasts, swimming pools, campgrounds and recreational campgrounds. Operators in these categories must renew for the 2021-22 licensing year to receive the credit. School and temporary food establishment licenses are excluded from this funding.

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“WE’RE ALL IN” UPDATE
Gov. Tony Evers, together with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and the Department of Revenue (DOR), has announced more than $46 million for “We’re All In,” the state grant program designed to provide direct assistance to businesses most impacted by the pandemic.

The latest round of grants is funded through the federal CARES Act and will support roughly 9,300 small businesses with grants of $5,000 each. More than $240 million in “We’re All In” grants were awarded to small businesses in three phases throughout the first year of the pandemic.

Demand for the program has exceeded available funding in some phases. These new grants will be distributed by Thursday, April 15, to adversely impacted small businesses that applied for pandemic relief through the “We’re All In” Phase 2 program last year but for which additional funds were not available.

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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 challenges posed by COVID-19.

This week, we are highlighting Nordic, a Madison-based healthcare consulting company that jumped in to help as safety precautions became critical to flattening the curve. Partnering with CERTIFY, they created a technology solution that allows businesses, hospitals, schools and other facilities to monitor people on-site for COVID-19 symptoms and ensure proper safety precautions are being taken.

We previously highlighted the efforts of EpicDelve, Midwest Prototyping, UW–MadisonTeel PlasticsAmerican Family Insurance and Catalent as part of this series. Stay tuned to our FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram pages 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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PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES ORDER #15
Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) has issued Emergency Order #15, which eliminates outdoor gathering limits (while maintaining physical distancing) and removes outdoor face covering requirements, among other changes. While indoor face covering requirements remain in effect in Dane County despite last week’s Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling, PHMDC officials have confirmed to us that businesses can hold unmasked events outdoors, as long as physical distancing is maintained.

The new order goes into effect Wednesday, April 7, at 12:01 a.m. Changes in the order include:

— Numbers at outdoor gatherings must be limited to ensure people who don’t live together can maintain six feet physical distancing at all times;

— Face coverings remain required in indoor public spaces, but face covering requirements for outdoor spaces are removed;

— Schools and childcare policy requirements, including distancing and cleaning, have been updated;

— Self-service food stations (e.g., salad bars, buffets and sampling) may resume; and

— Saunas and steam rooms may reopen, with certain provisions.

Indoor gathering and capacity limits remain unchanged. That includes:

— A gathering inside where food or drink is offered or provided is limited to 150 individuals. A gathering inside where food or drink is not offered or provided is limited to 350 individuals. Individuals must maintain six feet physical distancing and face coverings are required.

— Indoors, restaurants may open up to 50 percent of their capacity, and tables are not limited to individuals from the same household or living unit, providing six feet of distancing is maintained between customers who are not members of the same household or living unit. Outdoors, restaurants may open up to 100 percent of their capacity, provided they meet the other industry-specific requirements in the order, including that patrons are seated and physically distanced.
 
— Indoors, taverns may open up to 25 percent of their capacity. Outdoors, taverns may open up to 100 percent of their capacity, provided they meet the other industry-specific requirements in the order, including that patrons are seated and physically distanced.

— Businesses continue to be limited to 50 percent of approved building capacity and must have written cleaning and hygiene policies in place.

Read the full order 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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VACCINE GUIDELINES FOR BUSINESSES
With businesses playing a critical role in encouraging widespread vaccination from COVID-19 (and all Wisconsin residents 16 and older now eligible for vaccination), the state has released new resources to assist businesses in continuing to contribute to the vaccination campaign.

Among the resources are guidance for effectively encouraging vaccination among employees, information about how to set up a workplace vaccination clinic, and links to posters that can be downloaded or adapted for posting in workplaces.

You can find guidance to help promote vaccination among employees here, a customizable PowerPoint presentation through this page, and information on how employers can raise awareness and connect employees with vaccination options here.

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PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM EXTENSION
The application deadline for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been extended until May 31, 2021. The PPP authorization has been extended through June 30, 2021 to provide the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) additional time to process applications received by the application deadline.

The Biden administration also recently announced several changes to the PPP aimed at providing relief to small and minority-owned businesses. Those changes include:

— Revising the loan calculation formula to help sole proprietors, independent contractors and self-employed individuals – many of which are women and people of color – receive more relief, and establish a $1 billion set-aside for businesses in this category without employees located in low- and moderate-income areas;

— Eliminating an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions from obtaining relief through the PPP;

— Eliminating an exclusionary restriction that prevents small business owners who are delinquent on their federal student loans from obtaining relief through the PPP; and

— Ensuring access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers to apply for relief.

For the latest PPP FAQ document for lenders and borrowers, click here.

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SMALL BUSINESS PANDEMIC SUPPORT GRANT PROGRAM EXPANSION
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi has announced an additional $15 million for the county’s Small Business Pandemic Support Grant Program, which launched last year and is being administered by Dane Buy Local. Funds for the new grants were made available through the recently adopted federal stimulus legislation.

Funds are still being awarded from the $4 million allocation the county announced in January, which prompted more than 2,800 applications with an average grant request approaching $18,000. To date, the program has received more than $14 million to assist Dane County small businesses throughout the pandemic.

The application for this round is expected to open by mid-April.

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BUSINESSES AND GATHERINGS
Public Health Madison & Dane County has posted information helping to clarify gathering requirements and how they apply to businesses under the current order.

When hosting a gathering, businesses are limited to their capacity or the gathering limit, whichever is lower. The venue must also be able to maintain six feet of distancing between people not from the same household or living unit. In some spaces, the gathering limit will be lower to meet the distancing requirements of the order.

For example, a venue with a capacity of 500 people that offers food and drink at an event would be limited to 150 people, even though the venue’s capacity is larger. On the other hand, a venue with a capacity of 200 people that offers food and drink at an event would be limited to 100 people, because their 50 percent capacity limit is lower than the gathering limit of 150.

See PHMDC’s full guidance here.

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AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT
President Joe Biden has signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act, which includes several new measures intended to assist businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some key provisions include:

— $350 billion worth of direct assistance for state, local, tribal and territorial governments;

— Stimulus checks for individuals and families;

— Additional small business assistance of $50 billion, including $25 billion for a Restaurant Revitalization Fund;

— Nearly $47.8 billion for testing and tracing, $7.5 billion for vaccine distribution and administration, and $7.6 billion for the public health workforce;

— $128.6 billion for emergency and secondary school emergency relief;

— $40 billion for childcare block grants to states;

— Nearly $50 billion for emergency rental assistance, homeowner assistance, housing vouchers, utility assistance and funding to prevent and address homelessness;

— $30.5 billion for transit;

— $8 billion for airports;

— An expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the child tax credit; and

— An extension of subsidies for government and nonprofit entities; and an expansion of paid sick and family leave tax credits for employers.

For questions about the American Rescue Plan 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 ask@madisonbiz.com.

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LIABILITY PROTECTIONS
Gov. Tony Evers recently signed into law Special Session Senate Bill 1, which includes COVID-19 liability protections – retroactive to March 1, 2020 – for businesses, individuals and schools, a provision the Chamber supported. The bill overwhelmingly passed the Senate and Assembly last month.

Under the law, businesses, individuals and schools are not liable for “the death of or injury to any individual or damages caused by an act or omission resulting in or relating to exposure, directly or indirectly, to the novel coronavirus identified as SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 in the course of or through the performance or provision of the entity’s functions or services.” However, liability protections do not apply “if the act or omission involves reckless or wanton conduct or intentional misconduct,” such as intentional violation of public health orders.

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FOR YOU. FOR US. FORWARD. (PART 2)
Last spring, with the entire business community still in relief mode, the Chamber began creating content designed to offer hope and encouragement.

To that end, we have released the second video in a series of short vignettes called: “For You. For Us. Forward.” (The first video can be found here.)

The voices you hear are taken from our Lunch(UP)date broadcasts. The dates remind us of the pandemic’s duration and all that we have endured as a community.

The collective message is a reminder that we rely on each other. That we are intertwined. The Madison we aspire to be – that we can be – is on the horizon. In the darkness, there is light.

This new video is designed to be shared, so we hope that you will do so by sharing, liking and retweeting the posts from our FacebookTwitterLinkedIn and Instagram pages.

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PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE REQUIREMENTS
Thousands of Wisconsinites are being notified by the state Department of Workforce Development (DWD) about a new federal requirement that they must provide documentation to continue receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). The requirement was included in the federal Continued Assistance Act passed in late December.

Under the new law, the federal government requires that people seeking PUA benefits send proof of employment or self-employment (or planned start of employment or self-employment) for the year before their PUA application date. Anyone who fails to provide proof will be required to repay PUA benefits received for the week of Dec. 27, 2020, or later.

Acceptable forms of documentation include:

— Employment: Paycheck stubs, earnings and leave statements showing the employer’s name and address, and W-2 forms.

— Self-employment: Business licenses, tax returns, business receipts and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s self-employment.

— Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and educational/religious organizations: Documentation provided by the organization and signed affidavits from persons verifying the individual’s attachment to such organizations.

— Proof of the planned commencement of employment: Letters offering employment, statements/ affidavits by individuals (with name and contact information) verifying an offer of employment.

— Proof of the planned commencement of self-employment: Business licenses, written business plans or a lease agreement.

To submit the required proof of employment, claimants may now upload their documentation directly to their portal here. Individuals unable to upload documents may mail or fax them, with instructions included in the notice letter they receive.

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GOVERNOR’S BUDGET: BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Gov. Tony Evers announced economic development plans as part of his 2021-2023 Executive Budget, including:

— Providing the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) with $200 million to assist small businesses in recovering from the pandemic, including assistance with job retention and rehiring;

— Providing more than $29 million for workforce development initiatives, including $8 million for pandemic recovery grants to local workforce development boards, and $10 million for the Fast Forward program supporting training for individuals, businesses, and organizations affected by the pandemic; and

— Creating a $100 million venture capital fund under the direction of the WEDC to jumpstart innovation and startup growth coming out of the pandemic. This fund of funds investment program will require that at least 20 percent of the total funds under management be invested in minority-owned or women-owned firms or in businesses located in underserved areas.

The Governor’s full budget proposal was introduced Feb. 16 and can be found here.

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STATE LEGISLATIVE UPDATE
In February, Gov. Tony Evers vetoed Assembly Bill 1, a broader COVID relief package. In addition, shortly after the state Assembly passed Senate Joint Resolution 3 to put an end to his statewide face covering requirement, the Governor issued a new order to immediately reinstate the requirement and keep it in effect until March 20.

Following these actions, a mask requirement remains in effect statewide unless overturned by subsequent legislative action or a ruling by the Wisconsin Supreme Court. (Regardless of what happens at the state level, Dane County’s mask order is still in effect.)

The Chamber opposed SJR3 because face coverings are a scientifically proven mitigation strategy that protects public health and builds public confidence that businesses can be frequented safely. In AB1, the Chamber supported liability protections for businesses, individuals and schools but opposed a prohibition on businesses from being able to require COVID-19 vaccinations for employees.

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PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM TAX DEDUCTIONS
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) awarded forgivable tax-free loans to businesses facing financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because that money was not taxed as income, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Ruling 2020-27, determining that expenditures paid with those funds are not tax deductible under current federal and state laws.

In January, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which effectively reversed the IRS determination. The appropriations act includes the COVID-related Tax Relief Act of 2020, which provides for the full deductibility of ordinary and necessary business expenses that were paid with a forgiven or forgivable PPP loan.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Revenue (DOR) decided to follow the original IRS determination that expenditures paid with PPP funds are non-deductible. Without legislative correction, the result would be an estimated $450 million in taxes on PPP recipients.

In response, legislative Republicans drafted an amendment to align the state with federal action, making PPP expenses tax-free. The final bill, Assembly Bill 2, passed both the Senate and Assembly and was signed into law by the Governor on Feb. 18.

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OSHA GUIDANCE ON PREVENTING WORKPLACE SPREAD
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently released guidance to employers on mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Separate guidance is applicable to healthcare and emergency response settings, and OSHA has additional industry-specific guidance.

This guidance contains recommendations, as well as descriptions of mandatory safety and health standards. Included are recommendations for implementation of workplace prevention programs in the workplace, as well as details relating to:

— Separating and sending home infected or potentially infected people;

— Implementing physical distancing;

— Installing barriers;

— Use of PPE; and

— Improving ventilation.

OSHA will update this guidance over time to reflect developments in science, best practices and standards. View the full guidance here.

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QUARANTINE RECOMMENDATIONS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently issued updated quarantine recommendations that have also been adopted by the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

This guidance clarifies that, while the safest option is for people to quarantine for 14 days after close contact with someone who has COVID-19, there are additional options available for those who have had close contact but do not have symptoms:

— Quarantine for 10 days, then continue to monitor symptoms for four additional days; or

— Quarantine for seven days and get tested on day six or seven of your quarantine. End quarantine once your test comes back negative and then continue to monitor symptoms until 14 days after your last exposure.

Additional information can be found here.

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DEFINING CLOSE CONTACT
With Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) having announced they are moving to a crisis model of contact tracing and no longer able to follow up with everyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, in order to limit spread at home or in the workplace, it is critically important to understand what constitutes “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

Public Health has released guidance about understanding close contact and outlined potential scenarios, including scenarios such as “the repeat chit chatter,” “the hugger” and “kitchen co-workers” that may be particularly relevant to workplaces.

To see additional PHMDC scenarios and guidance, click here.

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EMPLOYER NOTIFICATIONS
Public Health Madison & Dane County recently announced that their case investigators will no longer call employers to inform them of employees who have tested positive for COVID-19, due to the current high number of residents with positive tests.

According to Public Health, individuals testing positive are responsible for notifying their employer and working with their employer to identify other employees, clients or customers they may have had close contact with during their infectious period. Case investigators will continue to notify employers of employees who test positive and work in schools, child care, health care and congregate living settings.

Employers are being advised to consider anyone who had close contact with a positive employee as exposed and that these individuals should quarantine for 14 days after the last contact with the positive employee. For additional procedures to follow when an employee tests positive, click here.

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OSHA GUIDANCE ON WORK-RELATED COVID EVENTS
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released guidance to employers on how to report in-patient hospitalizations and deaths resulting from work-related cases of COVID-19, as well as the requirements for doing so.

Employers are only required to report in-patient hospitalizations to OSHA if the hospitalization “occurs within twenty-four (24) hours of the work-related incident.” Employers must report a fatality to OSHA “if the fatality occurs within thirty (30) days of the work-related incident,” and that fatality must be reported within eight hours of knowing both that the employee has died and that the cause of death was a work-related case of COVID-19.

Work-related COVID events can be reported by calling the nearest OSHA office, calling the OSHA 24-hour hotline at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742) or by electronic submission.

See the full OSHA reporting guidance here.

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UNEMPLOYMENT NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENT
As of 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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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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#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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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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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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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
April 1, 2021 – Chancellors Rebecca Blank and Mark Mone
March 25, 2021 – Spring 2021 Business Survey
February 25, 2021 – MadREP President & CEO Jason Fields
February 11, 2021 – Public Health Madison & Dane County
January 21, 2021 – PHMDC Pandemic Operations Section Chief Doug Voegeli
January 7, 2021 – Madison College President Dr. Jack Daniels III
December 17, 2020 – Public Health Madison & Dane County
December 3, 2020 – United Way of Dane County President & CEO Renee Moe
November 19, 2020 – Destination Madison President & CEO Deb Archer and MadREP President Paul Jadin
November 12, 2020 – NAMI Dane County Executive Director Anna Moffit (presentation)
November 5, 2020 – UnityPoint Health – Meriter CEO Sue Erickson
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
April 19, 2021
April 12, 2021
April 5, 2021
March 22, 2021
March 15, 2021
March 1, 2021
February 22, 2021
February 15, 2021
February 8, 2021
February 1, 2021
January 11, 2021
December 14, 2020
December 7, 2020
November 30, 2020
November 16, 2020
November 9, 2020
November 2, 2020
October 26, 2020
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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