COVID-19 Business & Community Resources

(Updated October 6th, 2020)
  
Table of Contents
Note: We endeavor to include the most recent information, but new and updated program guidance are released daily.
 

Restart Vermont Information

The Governor's Stay Home, Stay Safe order, as amended,  remains in effect, but as modeling indicates continued progress in slowing the spread of COVID-19, Governor Scott is announcing incremental, evidence-based steps forward to put Vermonters back to work.

For information on Vermont’s Work Smart, Stay Safe protocols, including training and re-opening plans, click here

  • View Mandatory Health & Safety Requirements for All Vermont Business Operations and the Phased-in Work Safe Additions, including a sector-specific list, click here.

  • View VOSHA Required Training here

  • View required signage here

 

Resources For Small Businesses

Business Planning and Re-Opening Tools

The Vermont SBDC has created a great tool called a Recovery Roadmap for small businesses.  The tool provides resources and support to help you respond to the continuing and ever-changing business climate.  The Master Flowchart is designed to be a strategic framework to help you navigate the next two weeks, 24 months and beyond. You’ll see a series of “Action Items” that ultimately lead to decision nodes about your business in addition to “things to consider” as you revisit your business model, marketing plan, budget, and financials. To view the Recovery Roadmap, click here

The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center also has created tools to help businesses of all types through recovery. Click here for more information.

Financial Information

Preparing necessary financial information will enable you and your financial advisors to assess your options from the available loan/financing programs and to determine which is right for you and your business for the short- and the long-term. Some or all of these documents may be needed in various applications. Regardless, to make financial decisions now and after this crisis, and to prepare to apply for any loan/financing option, have the following prepared and ready to be uploaded electronically. 

  • A list (diary or narrative) of actions that you have taken in response to COVID-19, and direct impact you have seen. For example, 3/17/20 “laid off two employees” {names, # of hours typically worked, and pay rate} and directed them to unemployment. Return to work date given with the date. This list will help identify economic impact.

  • Your most recent financial records:

    • Profit and Loss
    • Balance Statement
    • Sales records for 2019 and 2020 to date (this should come from QuickBooks or your POS or whatever system you use to capture daily income). Showing the actual impact on revenues is the basis of economic impact lending.
    • Three years of completed tax returns (personal and business). If 2019 is not complete, then a 2019 Profit & Loss Statement.
    • Up to date Accounts Payable.
    • Up to date Accounts Receivable.
    • An up to date list of your collateral (including your personal real estate) with item description and current replacement value.
    • Up to date schedule of current liabilities. Sample.
  • Projection of monthly expenses/revenues. These can be estimates and can have multiple scenarios depending on whether you are staying open at full capacity/reducing open hours/closing. At a minimum, project your Profit and Loss for the same months last year: March – December. 

This self-guided assessment is meant to encourage you to take an objective look at your business and make the best decision, not just for the short-term but also for the long-term. 

We highly recommend that you discuss your situation with your business advisor or CPA before applying to debt programs. ACEDC and the Vt SBDC are also available to assist:

  • Sarah Kearns, Vermont Small Business Development Center, skearns@vtsbdc.org,  (802)771-5820

View the VtSBDC COVID-19 website here.

View VtSBDC Recovery Roadmap here

Recovery Grants and Loans

Vermont Grants

Recovery Grants Through the Agency of Commerce and Department of Taxes:
The Recovery Grant program is fully subscribed. The Vermont Legislature recently
approved an additional $76.7 million for business grants. The new program should be
up and running by mid-October. When the new program is launched:

Businesses that collect and submit sales & use and/or meals & room taxes: https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus#relief

Businesses that do not collect S&U and/or M&R taxes:
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/economic-recovery-grants

Vermont Technical Assistance Grants:
The State announced the distribution of $2.5 million in federal CARES Act funding for Restart
Vermont Technical Assistance. For information on all sources of Technical Assistance, click here.
The Regional Development Corporations of Vermont (RDCs of VT) were among the five
organizations selected to implement the Technical Assistance program. The RDC program,
Restart Vermont Technical Assistance (ReVTA), will leverage a regional and statewide network
of for-profit and non-profit technical assistance providers to help small businesses. Each RDC
will deploy a Recovery Navigator to work one-on-one with businesses and determine the best
form of technical assistance to help each business on its path to recovery. The Navigator, client
business, and technical assistance provider will develop a scope of work appropriate to solving
the client’s issues. The cost of the work will be covered by the grant. In Addison County, the
ReVTA Program is being administered by the Addison County Economic Development
Corporation (ACEDC) and Sue Hoxie has been hired as the Addison County Recovery Navigator.
Businesses that want to request technical assistance and businesses that can offer technical
assistance services must register at www.VermontEconomicDevelopment.com.

Other Vermont Grant Sources

Microbusiness:https://www.cvoeo.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=dep_intro&dept_id=12

Residential Landlord:https://www.vsha.org/rental-housing-stabilization-program/

Dairy Product Producer/Processor:https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/vermont-covid-19-agriculture-assistance-program

Non-Dairy Agricultural Producer/Processor:https://agriculture.vermont.gov/covid-19-information/vermont-covid-19-agriculture-assistance-program

Agricultural, Food, Forest, and Wood Sector Business:https://workinglands.vermont.gov/

Forest Economy Business: https://fpr.vermont.gov/FESGrantProgram

Health Care Provider:https://humanservices.vermont.gov/help-and-resources/covid-19-information

Arts & Culture Non-profits: https://www.vermontartscouncil.org/grants/covid-19-
Vermont-arts-council-grantmaking

 

Federal Programs

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Emergency Economic Injury Advance (Grant)

New EIDL Loan applications are still being accepted; however, as of July 13, the SBA is no longer providing EIDL advances (grants. The SBA continues to process previously filed loan applications. 

SBA EIDL Fact Sheet

SBA EIDL Application Portal

VTSBDC SBA Loan Program Summary and Advice

ACEDC Article on EIDL Expectations

 

Payroll Protection Program

Applications to the SBA PPP are no longer being accepted.

PPP loan forgiveness applications are available. Check with the lender through which your PPP was approved

To locate lenders in Vermont, click here

US Treasury PPP Guidance

SBA PPP General Program Guidance

SBA PPP Compliance Guidance

Treasury "How to Calculate PPP Loan Amount"

SBA PPP Frequently Asked Questions

SBA Forgiveness Application 

 

Can I apply for both the EIDL and the PPP?

For a graphic showing the intersection of the EIDL and PPP, click here.

Borrowers may apply for PPP loans and other SBA financial assistance, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs), 7(a) loans, 504 loans, and microloans, and also receive investment capital from Small Business Investment Corporations (SBICs). However, you cannot use your PPP loan for the same purpose as your other SBA loan(s). For example, if you use your PPP to cover payroll for the 8-week covered period, you cannot use a different SBA loan product for payroll for those same costs in that period. However, you could use it for payroll, not during that period or for different workers. 

If you’ve already received an EIDL between January 31, 2020, and June 30, 2020, you may also apply for a PPP loan. If you ultimately receive a PPP loan or refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant Program would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP. However, you cannot use your EIDL for the same purpose as your PPP loan.

SBA PPP and EIDL Daily Webinars

PPP Forgiveness Daily Webinar
The SBA Vermont District Office hosts a free daily webinar from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday to Friday to discuss Paycheck Protection Program forgiveness and other changes.
To join the webinar, visit https://meet.lync.com/sba123/sbmazza/SFFM2N9R.
To join by phone, call (202) 765-1264 and when prompted enter the code 237511921#. Upon joining the call, mute the phone to cut down on the background noise and please do not place the call on hold as the hold music will be heard over the presenter.

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

PPP & EIDL Webinar Tuesdays & Thursdays
The SBA Vermont District Office hosts a free webinar from 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance, and any pertinent updates.
To join the webinar, visit https://meet.lync.com/sba123/sbmazza/6F6N4YK6.
To join by phone, call (202) 765-1264 and when prompted enter the code 470177937#. Upon joining the call, mute the phone to cut down on the background noise, and please do not place the call on hold as the hold music will be heard over the presenter.

For more information, email chris.herriman@sba.gov.

 

SBA Small Business Debt Relief and SBA Express Bridge Pilot Program

One step every business should take is to talk to their current lenders regarding the potential for current debt term modifications during this crisis. That includes any SBA loans you have through your local lender. The SBA Debt Relief Program provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, including 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under the program, SBA will cover six months of loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out non-disaster loans (not the EIDL or PPP) within six months of March 27, 2020.

The SBA Express Bridge Pilot Program allows small businesses that currently have a relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loan or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA EIDL.

SBA Resource Page

SBA Lenders in Vermont

PPP Loan Forgiveness Information

 

Other Programs

Unemployment Benefits

To file an initial unemployment claim for regular unemployment benefits, click here

For employee information regarding regular unemployment benefits, click here.

For employer information regarding unemployment benefits, click here.

Unemployment Benefits for Self-Employed, Sole Proprietors, or Independent Contractors

For information on unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program authorized by the CARES Act for self-employed, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and others, click here. 

Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family & Medical Leave

The US Department of Labor has issued guidance to implement the Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave provisions of the CARES act.

For legal guidance from Downs, Rachlin, and Martin on unemployment and FMLA matters, click here.

For guidance from the U.S Chamber of Commerce, click here

 

Tax-Related Provisions

Federal

The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service announced March 21 that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations, and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax. 

The CARES Act contained several federal tax provisions. Businesses should seek advice from their payroll services and tax preparers regarding which provisions impact them immediately and when their 2020 tax returns are prepared.

For IRS information on Federal tax changes, click here.

Click here for a summary of the tax provisions in the CARES Act.

ACEDC member Davis & Hodgdon has prepared a summary of the tax provisions here.

For guidance from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on the Employee Retention Tax Credit, click here

State

For details on COVID-related Vermont Tax issues, click here.

Business Assistance

Businesses should consult their CPAs and Attorneys for questions specific to their business and before any final decisions are made. There are several resources available to help you navigate the fast-changing assistance landscape:

ACEDC:  We are actively assisting any Addison County business. Call Fred Kenney at (802) 777-8349 or email fkenney@addisoncountyedc.org and see our COVID-19 Updates and Resource Page on our website.

VtSBDC: Contact the Small Business Development Center advisor for Addison County, Sarah Kearns at (802) 771-5820 or email skearns@vtsbdc.org and see the VtSBDC COVID-19 webpage.

SCORE: Volunteers are serving Addison County. See their website.

CWE: The Center for Women & Enterprise is assisting small businesses. See their website

 

Community Information

Health & Safety

Vermont Department of Health

VT Dept of Health Guidance for Businesses

US CDC

Porter Medical Center

To make donations, support health care staff, and assist patients at Porter Medical Center, click here. 

Working Remotely and WiFi Connections

For support and resources to help you and your employees with the challenges of working remotely, join the Addison County Chamber of Commerce’s remote workers' support group.

ACEDC is offering space with WiFi connectivity to Addison County Businesses. We have space for four people to work separately with no in-person contact. Call Fred Kenney at (802)777-8349.

Find local WiFi hotspots throughout Vermont on the Public Wifi Hot Spot Map

Community Resources

- Resources for Communities

- Resources for Individuals

Town of Middlebury

Better Middlebury Partnership is providing a list of local businesses and their status. 

Town of Bristol

Bristol Core is providing a similar list, including what local businesses are doing to continue serving the public. 

City of Vergennes

Vergennes Partnership has a joint list of information with the City of Vergennes and a list of all local businesses with their phone numbers. 

The Addison Independent is providing COVID-19 updates to their email list and has taken down their paywall for all COVID-19 related articles. You can sign up for their COVID-19 related email list here.

Addison County Regional Planning Commission has a list of resources for municipal officials and first responders.- Vermont League of Cities & Towns information for municipalities.

ACORN has created an interactive online map that lists farmers and food producers in the Champlain Valley who sell food locally.  ACORN is also organizing a virtual farmers' market to encourage people to shop online using individual producer's websites. All payments are made online, and orders will be ready for curbside pick-up at one of two distribution sites beginning Wednesday, April 29:

  • Tandem, 26 Main St, Bristol on Wednesdays 4 pm-6 pm

  • Hannaford Career Center, 51 Charles Ave, Middlebury on Thursdays 10 am -12 pm

Age Well Helpline is available if you need help with getting on Meals on Wheels, Grocery Shopping, accessing 3SquaresVT Benefits, Options Counseling, Accessing Care Services, and Medicare Counseling. 

Addison County Worship Directory - while many websites are providing health and business support, during a crisis like this one, we can also use support for our soul. The Chamber is providing a worship directory as a resource for those seeking spiritual support, encouragement, and community.

Counseling Services of Addison County continues to provide essential services in mental health, substance use treatment, and developmental services to clients and the residents of Addison County. All therapists, psychiatric providers, case managers, community support staff, and others are equipped to offer telemedicine or telephone appointments and support. Their emergency crisis support is 24/7 and can be reached at 802-388-7641.

LoveVermont.org - Buy a gift card, shop their online store, pick-up take out or donate to them. Stay home while supporting your favorite local businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis. You can also Sign Up to offer your business services on this site.

- Click here for a list of area restaurants that are offering take out/delivery

- United Way of Addison County has launched Addison County Responds to bring together people and resources to help our non-profit organizations respond to the crisis.

- Local volunteers in each Addison County town have banded together to launch Addison County Mutual Aid to assist individuals in our region directly. 

- The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is organizing volunteers with farming skills to help any farms that lose workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Please respond to Bill Cavanaugh on the Farmer Services team.

- The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages. As the number of coronavirus cases grows in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further. It is SAFE to Donate. They have implemented all types of safety precautions! Search for a local blood drive

 

COVID-19 Legislation

US Congress

H.R. 6074: Passed March 5, 2020, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act  provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including:

  • $2.2 billion in public health funding for prevention, preparedness and response, including $950 million for state and local health agencies.

  • $3 billion for research and development of potential vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics via the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) and National Institutes of Health (NIH).

  • $1 billion for procurement of medical supplies, health care preparedness, and medical surge capacity.

  • $1.25 billion for overseas assistance to combat the spread of the virus.

  • $300 million to ensure that vaccines are affordable once developed.

  • $100 million for health services through Community Health Centers.

H.R. 6201: Passed March 14, 2020, the Families first Coronavirus Act enacted provisions to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease and help affected Americans. The bill:

  • Ensures that all Americans have access to free testing for coronavirus (COVID-19).

  • Establishes paid emergency leave, including both 14 days of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave.

  • Enhances Unemployment Insurance, a step that will extend protections to furloughed workers.

  • Suspends Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or 3SquaresVT in Vermont) work requirements.

  • Gives schools flexibility on how free and reduced-price lunches are delivered in case of school closures.  The Vermont Agency of Education received a federal waiver yesterday, allowing for greater flexibility to deliver meals.

  • Boosts Medicaid funding for states during the crisis.

  • Provides additional funding for home-delivered and pre-packaged meals to low-income seniors.

H.R. 748: Passed March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: 

  • Provides direct payments of $1,200 to individuals making up to $75,000 a year, or $2,400 for couples making up to $150,000. Families would receive $500 for each dependent child.

  • Increases unemployment compensation benefits for recipients by an extra $600 per week. Eligibility is extended to self-employed and independent contractors.

  • It provides $100 billion for hospitals and health care providers on the front lines of this crisis.

  • Makes $367 billion worth of loans and grants available to small businesses.

  • It provides $9.5 billion to support farmers.

  • Creates a $150 billion state relief fund to help states address this pandemic. Vermont will receive $1.25 billion.

  • Stabilizes the SNAP program with $15.8 billion.   

S. 4116; Passed June 30, 2020, the PPP Extension Act.

 

Vermont Legislature

H.742: Passed March 25 and signed by the Governor on March 30 (Act 91), the Act:

  • Provides waivers, authorities, and permission for health care and human services sector

  • Includes provision related to the regulation of professionals to allow

  • Expands the use of telehealth

  • Provides relief to child  care programs

  • Provides changes to unemployment insurance and benefits

H.681: Passed March 25 and signed by the Governor on March 30 (Act 92), the act:

  • Authorized public bodies, including local boards and commissions, to hold meetings remotely during the COVID 19 crisis. During the current declared emergency, a public body would not need to provide a physical location for an open meeting or need to have a person physically present.

  • The public body may hold the meeting by electronic means. It would be required to provide for telephone access whenever feasible. The school board and select board would have to record their meetings unless unusual circumstances made it impossible to do so. In the event of a staffing shortage, a public body could extend the time for posting minutes to ten calendar days.

  • The amendment also provides that during the declared state of emergency relative to COVID 19, the governor could authorize state agencies to extend any deadline applicable to municipal corporations or regional planning commissions for up to 90 days after the emergency ends. A municipality would be authorized to extend or waive deadlines applicable to its licenses, permits, programs, or plans, but not those of the state.

  • Prohibits disconnections from public water or wastewater systems.

 S. 350: Passed June 16 and signed by Governor June 23 (Act 115), the act:

  • Allocates CFR funds as follows:

    • $70 million to ACCD and Tax for small business grants

    • $23 million to VHCB for housing grants

H. 961: Passed June 25 and signed by Governor June 30 (Act 120), the act:

  • Appropriates funds for the operation of State government for the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 (July-October 2020), including:

    • $1.4 million for microbusiness through the community action programs

    • $1 million for agricultural, food, and forest businesses through the Working Lands Enterprise Fund

    • $2million to the State of Vermont Agency of Administration to develop a business portal

    • $2 million to the UVM business center to provide technical assistance to businesses

H.965: Passed June 26 and signed by Governor on July 2 (Act 136), the act:

  • Allocates $326.850 million in CFR funds as follows:

    • $275.700 million for health care and health care providers

    • $28 million for hazard pay

    • $14.7 million for childcare, family support and vulnerable populations 

    • 421.7 million for food insecurity programs

    • $3.8 million for public health programs

H. 966: Passed June 26  and signed by Governor on July 2 (Act 137), the Act:

  • Allocates $213.2 million in CFR funds as follows:

    • $93.5 million to ACCD and tax for small business grants

    • $2.5 million to the Working Lands enterprise Fund

    • $15 million to local governments

    • $2.5 million for State and regional marketing

    • $2.5 million for small business technical assistance

    • $62 million for housing and homeless programs

    • $30.2 million for connectivity and other Department of public service programs

    • $5 million for a Restaurant and framer Feeding the Hungry program

 

S. 351: Passed June 26 and signed by Governor on July 2 (Act 138), the act:

  • Allocates $35.692 million in CFR funds for agricultural and forestry  entities

 

For a complete list of CFR allocations by the Vermont Legislature, click here.

 

Useful COVID-19 links

Federal Agencies

US Treasury

SBA

IRS

US Department of Labor

HUD

FEMA

CDC

Senator Leahy

Senator Sanders

Congressman Welsh

 

State Agencies
Governor Phil Scott

Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Department of Labor

Department of Taxes

Agency of Agriculture

Department of Health

 

Regional Organizations
Addison County Economic Development Corporation

Addison County Chamber of Commerce

Addison County Regional Planning Commission

United Way of Addison County

 

Other

US Chamber of Commerce

Vermont Chamber of Commerce

Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce

Vermont League of Cities & Towns

Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center

Vermont Small Business Development Center