COVID-19 Business & Community Resources

(Updated May 19, 2020)
  
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 remains in effect, but amodeling 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.

If able to comply with outlined safety measures, the Governor has issued orders allowing the phased expansion of the operations that may operate.

  • View Mandatory Health & Safety Requirements for All Business Operations and the Phased-in Work Safe Additions here.

  • View Agency of Commerce Restart Vermont Information, including information on Reopening and Training Plans, here

  • View VOSHA Required Training here

  • View required signage here

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 Resources For Small Businesses

Getting Prepared:

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 the latest SBDC/RDC EIDL and PPP information here.

View VtSBDC Recovery Roadmap here

SBA PPP and EIDL Daily Webinar

The Vermont District Office is receiving a very high level of phone and email volume due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. In response to this situation, a free daily webinar from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday to Friday will be held to discuss SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance. The first webinar starts at 9 a.m. April 24.

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 susan.mazza@sba.gov.

SBA PPP & EIDL Webinar Slidedeck
 

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

Note: Congress passed additional funding for the EIDL program on April 23, but the SBA will not reopen the loan application portal. They are using the renewed funding to process the applications that were in the system before funding ran out and allowing only agricultural operations to file new applications.

Summary: EIDLs are lower interest loans of up to $2 million in assistance per business, with principal and interest deferment available for up to 4 years, available to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses. EIDLs may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profit organizations. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, up to a maximum of 30 years. Small businesses with credit available elsewhere may not be eligible.

Emergency Economic Injury Grants (EEIG) provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19. They are paid out immediately after applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you must apply for an EIDL and request the advance during the EIDL application process. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance. It may be used to keep employees on the payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments.

Detail:

  • The SBA EIDL is applied for online via an SBA portal and has two components: a loan and an “advance” grant. 
  • Apply only using the SBA portal:  https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. There are now many scammers online, so only use this site.
  • Available through December 31, 2020. 
  • A low interest, long-term loan. 
  • It is a working capital loan that covers the gap between expenses and revenues for the period from 1/31/20 to 12/31/20 (whether that be a complete or partial reduction of revenues from the same period last year). It does not cover lost sales
  • It will take into consideration other loans that you have secured in relationship to COVID-19. So all loan/financing options should be considered in concert.
  • As of April 24, agricultural operations are eligible to apply.
  • The new application process is streamlined. To apply, you need only the following:
    • Your basic business info (name, address, phone, EIN, the opening date of the business and opening date of the current ownership {these can be the same date})
    • Your personal info (name, address, DOB, SS#, place of birth)
    • The only financial info at this point in the application process:
    • A calculation of Gross Revenues for period 2/1/19 – 1/31/20
    • A calculation of COGS (Cost of Goods Sold) for the same period
    • If you are a non-profit, you will only need Operating Costs for the same period.
    • And if applicable, the dollar amount of rents lost as a result of the disaster.
    • The dollar amount and description for any compensation you have received for mitigating the economic injury of COVID-19 on your business.
    • Note: there is a box at the top of the agent/owner page that asks if you are owned by an entity. If this box is not checked off, you cannot proceed past this page. 
  • You also must certify to some basic questions about your business and personal situation and that you have represented the information truthfully.
  • Once you have completed the application, you will have a chance to review it.
  • Once you hit submit, you will be given a confirmation page with an application number. Print this page, or take a screenshot. Do not lose this number.
  • Begin a file of the data and info that you provided with this number written on the inside of the folder.
  • The Emergency Economic Injury Grant (EEIG) allows a business to request a grant/advance of up to $10,000.
    • To be considered for an advance/grant “up to $10,000,” a business needs to complete the streamlined EIDL application described above and (toward the end of that application) check the box “to be considered” for this advance. You must check this box to be considered for the advance.  There is no detail yet on how the amount of the advance will be calculated. 
    • At this point you will be asked for your BANKING Info:
      • Bank Name
      • Account Number
      • Routing Number
  • If you previously completed an EIDL application before March 30, you must RE-APPLY for the loan and grant. This is regardless of whether you have received a denial. You should have received notice of this requirement from SBA.
  • The advance does not need to be paid back under any circumstances.
  • PLEASE NOTE: There will be a future point where you will be contacted by the SBA to provide more detailed financial and supporting information. The application you submitted through the portal is not the complete application process. We encourage you to have the financial information listed at the top of this page prepared. Regardless of the need for applications, these documents encompass the numbers that you should know about your business anyway so that you can make the best decisions about these applications and going forward after this current disaster.
  • Except for the application confirmation number at the end of the application process (which you should keep), EIDL applicants should not expect any communication from the SBA for several weeks regarding the SBA loan. The "advance" portion of the EIDL should be directly deposited into your account with the label "SBATREAS." Within 7-10 days of the funds being deposited, you should receive and email from the SBA that includes your application number and a request for additional information needed to continue the EIDL loan process.  EIDL applicants can call customer service at 800-659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. They are open 8 am-8 pm every day. 

SBA EIDL Fact Sheet

SBA EIDL and EEIG Application Portal

VTSBDC SBA Loan Program Summary and Advice

Sample EIDL Application (unofficial) 

ACEDC Article on EIDL Expectations


Payroll Protection Program

Note: Congress passed additional funding for the PPP on April 23. Funding is still available. Businesses interested in the PPP should contact their lender or VEDA

Summary: The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) provides forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as the loan proceeds are used to cover eligible costs: payroll costs, most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the eight weeks after the loan is made; and employee and compensation levels are maintained.

Detail:

  • All businesses can apply, including agricultural operations, certain nonprofits, veterans organizations, Tribal business concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees.
  • The program is open until June 30, 2020, but applicants are encouraged to apply as quickly as you can because there is a funding cap, and lenders need time to process your loan.
  • Lenders re-started taking applications at 10:30 am on April 27.
  • Apply starting April 3, 2020: small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply.
  • Apply starting April 10, 2020: independent contractors and self-employed individuals.
  • No collateral or personal guarantee required.
  • Unforgiven portions of the loan will be due within two years, with a 0.50% fixed rate interest, but principal payments are deferred for six months
  • Apply through any existing SBA lender or any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. Start with your current local lender as some banks are choosing to work with only their existing customers.
  • Contact your bank and get their PPP application and a list of their requirements. Requirements vary slightly bank to bank, but items on this list are consistent across the banks (note this is a partial list, so talk with your bank and prepare accordingly):
    • Certificate of Good Standing for your business.
    • Articles of Incorporation (and some banks are also requesting Operating Agreements and Bylaws.
    • The Drivers Licenses or Passports of all owners of 20% or more of the business.
    • All tax documentation on Employee Costs for 2019. See your bank for the exact documents they need. Note: this is for paid employees and 1099 personnel only and not independent contractors (who will be allowed to apply themselves).
    • Sole Proprietors and LLC Owners will need to provide proof of compensation. Again, see each bank for how and what they require for documentation.
    • Verification of the number of employees (FTE) on 2/15/20 and verification that these employees live in the US.

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 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

 

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:

Vermont has extended the deadline for filing Vermont income tax from April 15 to July 15, and the Department will provide relief to businesses owing Meals and Rooms Tax and Sales and Use Tax by foregoing any penalty or interest for those who are not able to meet the March 25 or April 25 deadlines. 

For details, click here.


Childcare for Essential Workers

Specific public schools and some private providers have been selected to provide care for the children of "Essential Workers." For information on essential workers, click here.

To find out which schools and providers are providing care for essential workers in Addison County, click here or contact the referral specialist at the Mary Johnson Children's Center,  office@mjccvt.org, or (802)388-2853.

 

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:

For a great summary of the COVID-19 bills passed by Congress, click here. (Thanks to the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce for this)

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.  

Vermont Legislature:

H.681: Passed and signed by the Governor on March 30, 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.

H.742: Passed and signed by the Governor on March 30, 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

 

Useful COVID-19 links:

Federal Agencies:
 
 
 
Other: