On Tuesday, members of Main Street Alliance of Vermont had the opportunity to speak with Congressman, Peter Welch. After outlining the packages that have been created in Washington, the Congressman answered questions from our members and heard stories of the enormous impact that this pandemic is taking on businesses and what our needs continue to be. We thank Congressman Welch for this time and for all that he is doing on behalf of our state in Washington.
To listen to the call - CLICK HERE
In an effort to help Vermont small businesses through this crisis, we will update resources on this page.
Advice: In the wake of this national crisis, it is critically important that you keep detailed documentation. From dates, times, who you spoke with, impacts on business, action items taken and action items to do, this information will help you as you navigate through this process more effectively.
FEDERAL ADVOCACY - Main Street Alliance
Main Street Alliance COVID-19 Website: The Main Street Alliance (Our National Organization) is advocating tirelessly on behalf of small businesses on the federal level. We ask that you go to our new website to read and sign onto our policy platform, sign up for emails, AND document the impacts of coronavirus on your business.
Federal Policy Resources
Paid Sick Days and Paid Leave Resources - https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200324
Centers for Disease Control - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
CONTACT OUR FEDERAL DELEGATION: https://advocacy.kidney.org/congressional-social-media-accounts/
SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Advance and Loan - https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance
US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship - The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act:https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5e6a768131c8f538ad00b294/t/5e7e7655aff3dd2806a0036f/1585346134348/Small+Business+Owner%E2%80%99s+Guide+to+the+CARES+Act+%5Bfinal%5D.pdf
Helpful article for small business owners from the Kauffman Foundation: https://www.kauffman.org/currents/a-guide-to-helping-small-businesses-covid-19/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=currents-newsletter3_31_2020
Executive Orders from Governor Scott
Department of Health:
Agency of Commerce and Community Develop
Agency Resource Center: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19
Business Impact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Business Impact Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/vtcovid19
Agency Daily Updates Email Sign-On: https://vermont.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ff50346b45ae607c4e55c01ec&id=73312ef76e
STAY HOME STAY SAFE SECTOR SPECIFIC GUIDANCE: https://accd.vermont.gov/content/stay-home-stay-safe-sector-specific-guidance
Continuation of Operation Request Form: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=O5O0IK26PEOcAnDtzHVZxpZpCEHOHkZNmCwXH5xH5clURUZRTFRVQ0NMVDZWRlNDVEc0RjdNSzNJVS4u
ACCD CARES Act FAQ's: https://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accdnew/files/documents/CARES-Act-FAQ.pdf
ACCD Resources for Businesses: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business
Department of Labor - Unemployment Insurance
Establishing a new claim Online FORM: https://vermont.force.com/DOLClaim/s/
Establishing a "Mass Layoff" https://labor.vermont.gov/unemployment-insurance/ui-employers/mass-layoff
Department of Taxes - https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus
Commission on Public Utilities Statement: Order Granting Temporary Moratorium on Involuntary Natural Gas, Electric, and Telecommunications Service Disconnections: file:///Users/MainStreetAllianceofVermont/Downloads/20-0703-PET%20-%202020.03.20%20DPS%20Comments%20UPDATE.PDF
HEALTH INSURANCE: MVP + BCBS have opened enrollment for those who lose insurance to get on an exchange plan. Out of work and reduced income folks may be eligible for Vermont Due to the COVID-19 emergency, Vermont will be temporarily waiving financial verifications required for those seeking to enroll in health insurance; Extending out coverage periods until after the emergency ends; Suspending certain terminations of health insurance; Offering a Special Enrollment Period (1 month) for those who do not currently have health insurance to enroll in a qualified health plan and receive premium and cost-sharing assistance, if eligible. Eligible Vermonters can continue to apply for, and enroll in, Medicaid at any time.
SBDC Technical Support -
The Vermont Small Business Development Center is offering support to small businesses as they navigate the resources available to them both through the state and federal governments - https://www.vtsbdc.org/coronavirus/
Resources and Information for Childcare -
Essential Person List: https://vem.vermont.gov/sites/demhs/files/Essential%20Persons_03182020.pdf
Essential Person Childcare Webform: https://webportalapp.com/webform/essentialworkers
Resources and Information for Food -
Hunger Free Vermont -hungerfreevt.org/coronavirus
Vermont Foodbank - https://www.vtfoodbank.org/
CONTACT YOUR VT LEGISLATORS:
Any individual questions, please reach out to the Vermont State Director, Morgan Nichols at: morgan@mainstreetalliance org
Morgan Nichols published Small Business and Legislator Forum - COVID-19 3.17.20 in Blog 2020-03-18 07:52:49 -0700
On March 16th, over 100 businesses came together to discuss COVID-19 with legislators from Lamoille and Washington County.
Watch a recording of this session here.
We will continue to bring you the best information that we can from the state and share your stories and experience with those in the legislature.
A few resources that are helpful during this time:
As shared in our membership email - Main Street Alliance is working to advocate at a national level on behalf of small businesses. Stories are being collected here at https://www.smallbizcovid19.com/ We will have access to all of the stories collected and be sure that our lawmakers have access to all Vermont stories so that your voice is represented in Montpelier.
The Department of Labor Website with FAQ's related to COVID-19: https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19/covid-19-frequently-asked-questions
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development is asking businesses effected by COVID-19 to share their stories with them at email@example.com and their website is: https://accd.vermont.gov/about-us/disaster-planning/covid-19-guidance-vermont-businesses
Additionally, as it relates to unemployment insurance. We are hearing that it's is important to just keep calling in order to get through. Once you are able to connect, the support staff is incredibly helpful to walk you through the process. Additionally, we have learned that if you are a business owner and must layoff more than 10 employees during this experience, that you must go through a mass layoff process as outlined here: https://labor.vermont.gov/unemployment-insurance/ui-employers/mass-layoff