NC Business Grant Program –
Applications due January 31, 2022.
This year’s North Carolina state budget created the $500 million Business Recovery Grant Program. This funding will be critical to hospitality and other small businesses across the state who have been devastated by the impact of COVID-19. Businesses who have suffered 20% or more in loss will be eligible for a grant of 10% of their losses up to $500,000. This is specifically for arts, entertainment, recreation, hotels, bars, restaurant, food services and others.
The grant has just gone live and North Carolina Department of Revenue has opened the application period. The deadline is January 31, 2022. The application can be found here.
OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard Information
The Greensboro Chamber, in collaboration with the North Carolina Chamber, is currently focused on updating our members about these developments via numerous communication channels and weeding through the many details of this order to help them understand it in full. With partnership from other engaged stakeholders like the N.C. Department of Labor, we are in the process of dissecting the contents of the ETS, determining specifically how it will affect the North Carolina business community, and figuring out how it will be implemented. Please check back here often for the latest information as we receive it.
A critical conversation with N.C. Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson on employer vaccine mandates was held on Wednesday, November 10. Access the recording here.
Message from the North Carolina Chamber:
Since early September, when the White House directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a new Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) implementing new vaccine mandates on businesses with at least 100 employees, questions about the ETS have been myriad while answers have been hard to come by.
Thursday, November 4, 2021, that ETS was approved and issued. The NC Chamber is engaging on your behalf with stakeholders like the N.C. Department of Labor to sift through its contents and find the answers you’ve been seeking. To read their public statement, click here.
What you need to know now:
- North Carolina employers have time. Because North Carolina has a State OSH plan, the NC DOL has 30 days to either adopt the federal plan or come up with a state plan equal to or stronger than the federal plan. Under federal rules, NC DOL will announce a decision within 15 days whether to enforce the ETS or come up with a state plan – both of which would go into effect in 30 days. Click here to read Commissioner Dobson’s statement.
- IF NC adopts the federal plan, the vaccination requirement will go into effect by Dec. 5th.
- IF NC adopts the federal plan, the weekly testing requirement goes into effect in 60 days for unvaccinated covered employees, or on Jan. 4, 2022.
- Federal contractors’ deadline for vaccinations has been extended to Jan. 4, 2022.
- While the testing requirement for unvaccinated workers will begin after Jan. 4, employers must be in compliance with all other requirements, such as providing paid time off for employees to get vaccinated and masks for unvaccinated workers, by Dec. 5.
- Federal requirements are subject to change if a state plan is issued.
What does the ETS require employers to do?
- Develop, implement, and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy, with an exception for employers that instead establish, implement, and enforce a policy allowing employees to elect either to get vaccinated or to undergo weekly COVID-19 testing and wear a face covering at the workplace.
- Determine the vaccination status of each employee, obtain acceptable proof of vaccination from vaccinated employees, keep records of each employee’s vaccination status, and maintain a roster of each employee’s vaccination status.
- The requirements of this ETS do not apply to the employees of covered employers who work exclusively outdoors.
- This standard does not apply to workplaces covered under the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force COVID-19 Workplace Safety: Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors or in settings where employees provide healthcare services or healthcare support services when subject to the requirements of the Healthcare ETS (29 CFR 1910.502).
- The ETS does not apply to employees who do not report to a workplace where other individuals such as coworkers or customers are present, employees while they are working from home, or employees who work exclusively outdoors.
Below is from the U.S. Department of Labor regarding the federal standards for implementation:
Thursday, November 4, the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced an Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) to minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace. The ETS establishes binding requirements to protect employees of large employers (100 or more employees) from the risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace.
More information can be found at these links:
Vaccination and Testing ETS landing page: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2
Full Vaccination and Testing ETS text: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2021-23643/covid-19-vaccination-and-testing-emergency-temporary-standard
Vaccination and Testing ETS fact sheet: https://www.osha.gov/sites/default/files/publications/OSHA4162.pdf
Vaccination and Testing ETS FAQs: https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/ets2/faqs
Visit our Vaccine Resource Page: greensboro.org/vaccine.
The American Rescue Plan includes a tax credit for employers who provide full paid leave to employees to get the COVID-19 vaccination. This includes days employees take off to recover from the vaccination.
- The tax credit is available to organizations with fewer than 500 employees.
- The credit covers up to $511 per day for each vaccinated employee.
- The tax credit is available for wages from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021.
For updates from the Guilford County Health Department, text GC19 to 888777 to subscribe for updates via a text message opt-in system.
Greensboro Location – Piedmont Hall
2409 West Gate City Boulevard
Greensboro, NC 27403
High Point Location – Guilford County Division of Public Health Parking Lot
501 East Green Drive
High Point, NC 27260
Locations across Guilford County.
We’ve put together a checklist, some helpful links, posters for your workplace, and links to our member businesses providing PPE, cleaning supplies and services, and everything you need to get back to work safely.
Chamber Action Calls
Additional calls scheduled for Q1 2021
Jan. 13 – PPP Round 2
Feb. 3 – Vaccine 101
From March 17-May 20, the Chamber held daily Zoom calls to keep our members and the greater Greensboro community abreast of the latest updates related to COVID-19 and quarantine life.
Click here to explore the archives.
Greensboro-specific announcements, cancelations and other updates related to COVID-19.
Effective April 2, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act mandates paid sick leave, paid family and medical leave and enhanced unemployment compensation benefits.
Click here for downloadable workplace posters from the U.S. Department of Labor.
North Carolina remains under restrictions, some of which have been cautiously lifted under the state’s phased “dimmer switch” approach until at least 5 p.m. March 26, 2021. The state of North Carolina’s website has more info about what this means for businesses.
Rapid Response offers no-cost access to HR experts to assist employers in identifying industry-appropriate, family friendly workplace benefits during re-opening and to help employers and working parents build resilience during and after the COVID crisis.
Webinars and dozens of articles on industry-specific relief.
From the Economic Development Partnership of NC Resources.
Business continuity planning, best practices, employment law FAQ and more.
Posting & Finding Jobs
A guide from the Small Business Administration.
Disaster planning for businesses.
The deadline for filing taxes is April 15, 2021.
Advice from Dixon Hughes Goodman LLP.
Guides for employment law changes, workplace safety information and other resources.
As an employer you may be eligible for Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). DUA is a federal program that provides temporary payments to people in a federally declared disaster area whose employment has been lost or interrupted as a direct result of the disaster. Business owners that are self-employed, a farmer, or a commercial fisherman, who is unemployed as a direct result of the disaster may be eligible. For more information go to https://des.nc.gov/; Phone: 888-737-0259.
The American Rescue Plan Act established the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) to provide funding to help restaurants and other eligible businesses keep their doors open. This program 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 no later than March 11, 2023.
Free, one-on-one business counseling to help you find the best path forward. The SBCN also offers a wide range of educational webinars on everything from sales and marketing to supply chain management.
North Carolina small businesses and private nonprofits are now eligible to apply for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. The working capital loans of up to $2 million can provide vital economic support to small businesses and nonprofits to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
The Golden LEAF Foundation is providing bridge loans of up to $50,000 with six months of no interest and no payments. These loans are intended to support businesses until they are able to secure an SBA loan or other long-term assistance.
Small businesses employing 3-20 people and located in an economically vulnerable community are eligible for $5,000 grants from the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation.
Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) are regulated like banks but these are nonprofits, focusing on helping small, community businesses.
- Thread Capital (NC Rural Center) – 919-212-4950, email@example.com
- Carolina Small Business Development Fund (formerly The Support Center) – 919-803-1437. Veterans can obtain a loan with no money down.
- Self-Help Credit Union – 800-476-7428. Special lending for childcare locations.
- Carolina Community Impact, Inc. – 919-861-5321, firstname.lastname@example.org. Backed by Community Loan Center of NC Triangle.
- NC Community Development Initiative – 919.828.5655. Has great market research information too.
Post requests, share availability for supplies, post inquiries about the manufacturing capacity of a facility and/or announce that you are producing a new medical product.
Visit this database of products made or manufactured here in NC. You can also add your products to the list.
Contact the Raleigh Regional Office of the US Department of Commerce at 919-281-2750 or the Charlotte US Customs Office at 704-329-6100.
The Economic Development Partnership of NC has created a comprehensive guide for manufacturers looking to pivot their products and production, add contacts, and gather information.
At the beginning of the pandemic in March, we sourced a guide of local restaurants and retailers. Please continue to use this list as you make choices to shop local and help support our local small businesses.
Click here for a list of local restaurants and retailers that remain open for takeout, delivery and online shopping.
Click here for a list of our members offering services and resources to those affected by COVID-19.
How you can help
A message from the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce
The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives and the way we do business. We’ve learned how to remote work and come together as a community. First and foremost, our members are at the top of our minds and we wanted to let you know our next steps as we navigate this “new normal.”
- We are in constant communication with our federal, state, and local officials each. As information is continually updated regarding new funding sources and information, we want the needs and issues of our membership to be heard.
- We are working with our local restaurants and retailers to provide a comprehensive list of takeout, delivery, and gift card options. You are a critical part of the lifeblood of our community and we want to do everything in our power to amplify your services.
- From March 17 through May 21, we hosted 45 Daily Action Calls full of with local experts, service providers, and officials to provide guidance, support, and direction. Our full archive can be found here.
- As we begin to phase back into our lives and work, we will continue to be here for you. Please check out our Small Business Restart Guide. We’ve put together a checklist, some helpful links, posters for your workplace, and links to our member businesses providing PPE, cleaning supplies and services, and everything you need to get back to work safely.
We believe in the strength of Greensboro and are here for you. Please reach out with any questions and needs you may have.
Public use of our offices are suspended until further notice.
Circle of Champions
C.T. Wilson Construction Co.
Kelly Office Solutions
Staunton Capital, Inc.