COVID-19 Update

ACEDC's Latest COVID 19 Updates

First and foremost, ACEDC urges all businesses and their employees to follow the latest guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

The most current information can be found here: healthvermont.gov/COVID-19 

Stay up to date with Business and Community Resources. Visit our COVID-19 Business and Community Resource Page or sign up for our email updates

For technical assistance, contact:

03.31.2021

Sole Proprietor Stabilization Grant Program Opens April 5; Attend Webinar April 1

A new round of grants for Sole Proprietor businesses will open for applications on April 5. Webinar training for potential program applicants will be available on April 1st. All applications must be submitted online. To learn more about the program visit the program web site: https://www.vermont-cdbg-cv.com/. Beginning on April 5 th at 9:00 AM, the site will also allow applicants to sign up. 

SBA Shuttered Venue Grant Program Set to Begin Accepting Applications April 8 

The US Small Business Administration is slated to begin accepting applications for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant on April 8 and has launched a portal, www.svograntportal.sba.gov, for this economic relief program. Eligible applicants may qualify for grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. Reserved is $2 billion for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Eligible entities may be live venues, promoters, theatrical producers, live performing arts organizations, museums, movie theaters, and talent representatives. To ensure eligible venues do not miss a window to receive assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program, the American Rescue Plan Act also amended the SVOG program so entities that have applied for and received a PPP loan after Dec. 27 can also apply for an SVOG.  The eligible entity’s SVOG would be reduced by the total loan amount of any PPP loans (First and/or Second Draw) approved after Dec. 27.  If a SVOG is granted, that entity is no longer eligible to apply for a PPP loan.  A dedicated SBA website, www.sba.gov/svogrant, includes frequently asked questions, video tutorials and other SVOG details.  To prepare in advance of the SVOG application portal opening  April 8, potential applicants should get registered in the federal government’s System for Award Management, www.sam.gov, as this is required for an entity to receive an SVOG, and reference the preliminary application checklist and eligibility requirements. 

PPP News

  • Congress passed and the President signed HR1799 to extend the PPP application deadline to May 31, 2021. The bill also allows the SBA until June 30, 2021 to process all of the applications that are in the pipeline.  If you have questions, contact your lender. 
  • Forgiveness Application Deadline: The more-simplified PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Process (expected in mid-March) has not been released as of today. Anyone who received a First Draw PPP in the early weeks of April of 2020 should check their dates and contact their lender to begin the forgiveness process. 

Ongoing Vt SBA PPP Webinars

PPP Forgiveness Webinars Tuesdays:

The SBA Vermont District Office hosts free webinars from 11:30 a.m.  to 1 p.m. Tuesdays  about Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness. Topics include criteria, the process, changes and more.

To access the webinar, click here. To access the webinar by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 986 011 495#.

For more information, email susan.mazza@sba.gov.

PPP First & Second Draw Webinar Wednesdays:

The SBA Vermont District Office hosts free webinars from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays about the Paycheck Protection Program First Draw and Second Draw options. What is a PPP loan, terms, eligibility, and the application process. What is the difference between them? What has changed with the Economic Aid Act? Details on both programs will be presented. 

To access the webinar, click here.  To access the webinar by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 142 718 62#.

For more information, email susan.mazza@sba.gov.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) News

  • The US SBA made the following announcement on an increase in the cap of the EIDL amount from $150,000 to $500,000: “Some loans approved prior to the week of April 6, 2021 will be eligible for an increase based on new loan maximum amounts announced March 24, 2021. Businesses that received a loan subject to the current loan limit do not need to submit a request for an increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly via email closer to the April 6, 2021 implementation date to provide more details about how businesses can request an increase.”  Read more. Businesses should consider that the EIDL program offers loans (not forgivable).  As always, businesses should consider the impact of acquiring additional debt on your business.  For assistance, confer with your CPA, ACEDC, or a Vt Small Business Development Center Advisor (https://www.vtsbdc.org/covid-19-lending/)
  • The US SBA also announced extended deferment periods for all COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL program), until 2022.All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note. All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note. Read more. 

 

03.16.2021

American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Signed into Law
Congress has passed and the President signed the next COVID relief legislation allocating $1.9 trillion for relief.  Additional resources will come into Vermont through competitive programs, unemployment insurance benefits, and other means, but Vermont will directly receive an estimated $2.7 billion. See below for an outline of the legislation organized by where the dollars will go and what the funds are for. Many thanks to our Congressional Delegation for their work on this bill. 

ARPA, Funds to Vermont Through Government Entities:

  • $1.052B to the State, most to be allocated by the Administration and General Assembly
  • $19M to "Metro Areas" (Burlington)
  • $57M to other "non-county" regions
  • $121M to Counties (Since Vermont does not have county government, these funds will flow through the State)
  • $113M to the State for capital projects

ARPA, by Use of Funds:

  • $1.35 billion from the Coronavirus Relief Fund (see above). Includes $113 million for infrastructures such as broadband and $197 million for Vermont municipalities.
  • $731 million in Direct Economic Impact Payments to Vermonters
  • $293 million for Vermont K-12 Schools
  • $152 million for Rental Assistance
  • $65 million for Vermont Colleges and Universities
  • $50 million for Homeowner Assistance
  • $47 million for Childcare Subsidies and Support for Childcare Providers
  • $27 million for Vaccine Distribution
  • $20.7 million for LIHEAP (Federal heating assistance)
  • $14.3 million in Public Transit Funds
  • $7.9 million for Burlington Airport and Vermont State-Owned Airports

The Act also includes $28.6B in direct relief for restaurants and an additional $1.25B for the shuttered venue program, nationally, administered by the USSBA. The Act expands eligibility for the PPP and adds over $7B for the program. The Act did not extend the PPP beyond March 31, 2021, but Congressional sources report that there will be a follow-up bill to extend the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) beyond March 31.

Click here for a Title-by-title Summary of the ARPA.

 

03.04.2021

Webinar Series: PPP Updates for Your Small Business
The Small Business Administration has some key changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) which will be available for a limited amount of time to ensure America’s smallest businesses get exclusive access. If you are a small business owner with 20 employees or less or are self-employed; there is new information for you. Please join us for a series of webinars hosted by the U.S. Small Business Administration, Public-Private Strategies Institute, & other stakeholders to hear about:

  • What steps you can take now to take advantage of this special opportunity, which closes at 5:00 P.M. EST, Tuesday, March 9th, 2021.

  • Additional changes and recent policy announcements made by Biden-Harris Administration

  • Have your questions answered by SBA Leadership

Schedule

Mar. 3, 12:30 p.m. ET, Women Business Owners, Click here to register.

Mar. 4, 3:00 p.m. ET, Asian-American + Pacific Islander, Native American + Tribal Small Business Owners;  Click here to register.

Mar. 5, 1:00 p.m. ET,  Black + African-American Small Business Owners, Click here to register.

Mar. 5, 3:00 p.m. ET, Hispanic Small Business Owners, Click here to register.

Mar. 6, 2:00 p.m. ET, Veterans, Self-Employed Business Owners, Click here to register.

Mar. 8, 3:00 p.m. ET, LGTBQ Business Owners, Youth Entrepreneurs, Restaurant Owners, Click here to register.

01.29.2021

Middlebury Non-Profit Offers Grants to Local Restaurants and Farms
Table 21 is a Middlebury non-profit with a mission to provide grants to local farms, restaurants and small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Table 21 welcomes grant applications from any farm, restaurant, or small business in greater Middlebury, Vermont that has experienced a negative impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the intention of Table 21 to prioritize grants that will strengthen the applicant businesses, strengthen and assist the Middlebury food network, and support the community. Initially, preference will be given to applications from restaurants located in Middlebury and farms in and around Middlebury. Future rounds may consider other types of small businesses within and around Middlebury. Applicants must use this application. Grant applications will be accepted through February 15, 2021, and grants will be distributed to selected recipients on or around March 1, 2021. Grants up to $25,000 will be awarded to eligible and selected applicants. 

GRANT CRITERIA: 

Applicant business:

  • must be a for-profit business entity;
  • must be headquartered in Vermont;
  • that is a farm must have a physical location in or around Middlebury and provide goods and services to greater Middlebury.
  • that is a restaurant or other type of small businesses must have a physical location in Middlebury, Vermont;
  • must be registered with the State of Vermont;
  • must not currently be in bankruptcy;
  • must have been established on or before March 15, 2020;
  • must be open at the time of grant distribution or have a plan to reopen in 2021;
  • must be able to substantiate need due to a loss of business or other negative impacts due to the COVID-19 pandemic; anmust be able to demonstrate that the grant funds will be used by the applicant business to mitigate the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     

Applications will be accepted from any Middlebury area farm and Middlebury-based restaurant or small business. However, for initial awards, priority will be given to applications from restaurants and farms that:

  • Demonstrate that the funds will be used to mitigate negative COVID-19 pandemic impacts and strengthen or reopen the applicant business through, for example, expenditures on the cost of goods sold and/or wages and salaries of employees.
  • Demonstrate substantial community involvement such as volunteering, donations to non-profit organizations or community events, and efforts to buy local. 

Access the Table 21 Grant Application here.

COVID Pandemic Recovery Webinars:

Weekly State Business Update:

Join the Vermont Department of Health and the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development for a weekly webinar series focused on health and commerce pandemic updates for the business community. Decision-makers from the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development, the Vermont Department of Health, and the Vermont Department of Public Safety will provide updates and be available to answer your questions. This webinar is designed for business owners and organizations that primarily serve businesses.

To help us serve you better during the webinar, please consider submitting your questions ahead of time. Businesses joining the webinar by phone must enter their questions using this link ahead of time, as only those participating via the Microsoft Teams online platform will be able to ask real-time questions. Participants can submit anonymous questions via the webinar’s online questionnaire.

To link to the weekly webinar, go here: https://accd.vermont.gov/calendar/list 

Weekly SBA PPP Webinars: 

The SBA Vermont District Office hosts free webinars from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Wednesdays about the Paycheck Protection Program First Draw and Second Draw options. What is a PPP loan, terms, eligibility, and the application process? What is the difference between them? What has changed with the Economic Aid Act? Details on both programs will be presented. 

To access the webinar, click hereTo access the webinar by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 142 718 62#.

For more information, email susan.mazza@sba.gov.

PPP Forgiveness Webinars Tuesdays

The SBA Vermont District Office hosts free webinars from 11:30 a.m.  to 1 p.m. Tuesdays  about Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness. Topics include criteria, the process, changes and more.

To access the webinar, click here.  To access the webinar by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 986 011 495#.

For more information, email susan.mazza@sba.gov.

 

01.12.2021

Business Provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The COVID relief bill passed by Congress on December 22 contained many benefits for businesses including the extension of existing programs and the allocation of new funds. 

Here is a summary:

COVID EIDL Advance Payments (Grants) Available for Certain Businesses

The bill makes available a direct grant from the SBA for businesses that have under 300 employees, have suffered a reduction in gross receipts greater than 30%, and are located in "low-income communities." The only area in Addison County that meets the location criteria is the City of Vergennes. The portal to apply for an EIDL Advance (grant) is expected to open on January 17, 2021.

COVID-19 EIDL (Loan) Application Deadline Extended To Dec. 31, 2021

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration is extended to Dec. 31, 2021.  EIDL loan applications will continue to be accepted through December 2021, pending the availability of funds. Loans are offered at very affordable terms, with a 3.75% interest rate for small businesses and 2.75% interest rate for nonprofit organizations, a 30-year maturity, and an automatic deferment of one year before monthly payments begin. Apply online using ONLY the SBA portal here.

Payroll Protection Program
The new program offers two applications

  • First Draw PPP for new borrowers.
  • Second Draw PPP for any business that received a PPP in 2020. 

The program will open by categories of lending institutions as follows

  • The program will be open in two rounds via Community Lending Institutions (such as VEDA (https://www.veda.org/ppp-program ), Credit Unions, Farm Credit System Institutions and Insured Depository Institutions

OPEN - 1/11/21 for First Draw Loans for NEW PPP Borrowers.

OPEN - 1/13/21 for Second Draw Loans CERTAIN EXISTING PPP Borrowers.

  • The PPP will open to ALL Participating lenders shortly thereafter.
  •  If you are interested in applying for a First Draw PPP and your local lending institution is not doing these loans, you can call the Vermont SBA office at (802) 828-4422 (M-F 8:00 am to 4:30 pm).    

The first two Interim Final Regulations (IFRs) were issued on 1/7/21 about the PPP Second Draw Program:

Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program as Amended by Economic Aid Act

Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program Second Draw Loans

All IFR’s on the previous PPP programs for reference is here

Shuttered Venue Operator Grants 
(Also known as the "Save Our Stages" grants) The bill includes a new $15 billion grant program through which the U.S. SBA will provide aid to struggling live venue operators and related businesses. The grants will offer a critical lifeline for the nation’s performing arts venues, movie theatres and museums. Read more about the program and eligibility. The grant portal has not yet opened. We encourage organizations and businesses who may be eligible to begin preparations. To that end, the Vermont Arts Council is hosting an online session about the Grants from 1-2 p.m., Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. Darcy Carter and Susan Mazza, the director and deputy director of the Vermont District Office of U.S. Small Business Administration, will share information and answer questions. Register for the Vermont Arts Council's Save Our Stages Online Informational Session. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to join the meeting. Unable to attend? Register anyway and they will send you a link to view the recording.

Unemployment Insurance Programs under the CARES Act have been extended. Programs include Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which has been reinstated to provide an additional $300 per week to claimants. Full details and updates to these programs are available at the Department of Labor website.  

Employee Retention Tax Credit

This is a very complicated tax credit, made even more complicated by the new COVID relief bill. Businesses should confer with their accountant/CPA.  

Wednesday State of Vermont Business Webinars

The Agency of Commerce is hosting COVID-related informational webinars every Wednesday at 3:00 p.m. for businesses. For information click here. The topic of the January 6 webinar was the newly-passed COVID relief bill. To view the slide deck from the webinar, click here

PPP Forgiveness Webinars Tuesdays & Wednesdays

The SBA Vermont District Office hosts free webinars Tuesdays and Wednesdays about Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness. Topics include criteria, the process, changes, and more.

PPP Forgiveness Webinars Tuesdays
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Click here to access the webinar link.

To access by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 986 011 495#.
PPP Forgiveness Webinars Wednesdays
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Click here to access the webinar link.
To access by phone, call 202-765-1264 and enter code 984 055 02#.
For more information, email susan.mazza@sba.gov.

What a COVID Vaccine Will Mean for Vermont Businesses 
On January 13 at 9:00 a.m. Vermont Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine and Dept. of Financial Regulation Commissioner Michael Pieciak will discuss the impact a COVID-19 vaccine will have on Vermont’s businesses and workforce and share their predictions for the year ahead. This event will be moderated by Betsy Bishop, President, Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Register Here

Signage for Businesses
As a reminder, the State has signage available for businesses and communities to help educate customers and visitors with guidance and restrictions in place. New signage has been added to reiterate specifically the need to quarantine for those returning to the state, or for those who are visiting the state. You can find the signage at the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center.