Dear Community of Pickens County,
With the spread of COVID-19, it is imperative for our business community to make fact-based decisions to keep our local economy strong while also taking precautions to protect all employees and the Pickens County community.
The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce will continue to communicate innovative ways many local businesses are adapting during this time. Please send us your updates by calling directly or email to email@example.com. Also, allow us to serve you in these days with information and connection to other businesses. Contact us at 706.692.5600 as we are ready and eager to continue to serve you during these times.
Please consider continuing to support our small business community during this time while also protecting yourself and others in the community. Some considerations are:
Purchase a gift certificate from a small business over the phone for later use.
Purchase an item over the phone and pick-up curbside.
Purchase meals for curbside pick-up or have them delivered to you.
Thank you for your continued support of the Pickens County Chamber of Commerce. It is our honor and privilege to serve you.
President & CEO
Pickens County Chamber of Commerce
SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. When faced with a business need, use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: SBA.gov/Disaster.
The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.
How to get access to lending partners? SBA has developed Lender Match, a free online referral tool that connects small businesses with participating SBA-approved lenders within 48 hours.
SBA provides export loans to help small businesses achieve sales through exports and can help these businesses respond to opportunities and challenges associated with trade, such as COVID-19. The loans are available to U.S. small businesses that export directly overseas, or those that export indirectly by selling to a customer that then exports their products.
SBA is focused on assisting with the continuity of operations for small business contracting programs and small businesses with federal contracts. For more information on federal contracting, visit https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide
8(a) Business Development program serves to help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, and the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate. The 8(a) program offer and acceptance process is available nationwide, and the SBA continues to work with federal agencies to ensure maximum practicable opportunity to small businesses. 8(a) program participants should stay in touch with their Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS).
HUBZone program offers eligibility assistance every Thursday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET at 1-202-765-1264; access code 63068189#. Members of the HUBZone team answer questions to help firms navigate the certification process. For specific questions regarding an application, please contact the HUBZone Help Desk at hubzone(at)sba.gov.
If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses with government contracts from successfully performing their contract, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek to obtain extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. The SBA’s Procurement Center Representatives can assist affected small businesses to engage with their contracting officer. Use the Procurement Center Representative Directory to connect with the representative nearest you.
The Small Business Development Center understands that many small businesses will suffer a decline in business as a result of COVID-19. Social distancing protocols are an important part of controlling the spread of the virus, but may also have an unintended significant negative impact on business activity. We are here to help with no-cost, one-on-one counseling services and can accommodate with teleconferencing in lieu of face-to-face meetings. As we are funded by the SBA and the University of Georgia, these services are provided at no cost to the business owner. Our focus during this unique and challenging time is helping small businesses with a tactical plan, cash flow issues, and connecting them with the resources that may be of help. We have three experienced business consultants on staff who have the experience to help small business during challenging times. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 706-622-2006 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Other resources are available at https://georgiasbdc.org .
In response to the recent development of COVID-19, the Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. In accordance with Governor Kemp’s recommendation, the GDOL is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services.
Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee.
All employers need to consider how best to decrease the spread of acute respiratory illness and lower the impact of COVID-19 in their workplace in the event of an outbreak in the US. They should identify and communicate their objectives, which may include one or more of the following: (a) reducing transmission among staff, (b) protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications, (c) maintaining business operations, and (d) minimizing adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains. Some of the key considerations when making decisions on appropriate responses are:
All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.