Businesses, organizations and municipalities must alter the way they do business during the State of Emergency.
Please review the Work Safe Guidance memo and the accompanying FAQ for additional information about what steps businesses and organizations must follow when operating during the pandemic. The Agency has also provided resources, signage and tools for businesses to use while operating under the State of Emergency.
The State and Federal government have recognized operating in this environment has created economic hardship. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development will post resources to help businesses overcome these challenges here under “Financial Assistance”.
Compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act
Consider how the re-opening process and operational changes might impact compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The health and safety guidance provided by ACCD does not negate any obligations as outlined by the ADA. Refer to A Primer for Small Business for additional information.
Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grants | Guidance Clarification Regarding Time Limit to Spend Funds
ACCD guidance had previously stated that all businesses receiving a Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grant must spend the grant money by December 30, 2020. We are pleased to clarify that if a business obtains an Emergency Economic Recovery Grant for qualifying losses incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020, the awarded grant funds are not required to be spent by the business by December 30, 2020.
On March 27, 2020 the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law to assist business owners with immediate financial needs including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These funding sources are made available through lenders on a first-come, first-served basis and are quickly allocated.
Contact your lender and regional business assistance providers for alternative loan products and funding sources as well as access to free technical assistance for help navigating options currently available including:
- The Small Business Debt Relief Program could help assist to keep up with payments on your current or potential SBA loan.
- The SBA Express Bridge Loans may enable small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
- Businesses that have been severely impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) may qualify for two New Employer Tax Credits – the Credit for Sick and Family Leave and the Employee Retention Credit.
Paycheck Protection Program Reopens
The U.S. Small Business Administration is currently offering First Draw PPP loans (for first-time program participants) and Second Draw PPP loans (for certain businesses that have previously received a PPP loan). Learn more about the program.
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 December 31, 2021 as a result of the recent COVID-19 relief bill passed by Congress. For full details, visit the SBA website.
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development held a Virtual Town Hall on April 24, focusing on the work of the Employer Financial and Technical Support Team, an action team of the Economic Mitigation and Recovery Task Force, including detailed explanations by business advisors about the financial assistance programs available from the U.S. Small Business Administration, including the PPP and EIDL programs. The following archived webinar materials are available:
- Webinar Video (archived) If prompted, the password to download the video is: FmTtKDi3
- Webinar Slides
Please note that information was current as of the time of the event (April 24, 2020, 2:00pm).
- What if I am forced to shut down my business due to COVID-19 impact? Are my employees eligible for unemployment benefits?
- What if I need to temporarily reduce my employees’ hours due to slow-down in business as a result of COVID-19? Are my employees eligible for unemployment benefits?
- What if I need to temporarily shut down my operations as a result of COVID-19? Are my employees eligible for unemployment benefits?
- What if I permanently close my business because of COVID-19 coronavirus?
- My business has to reduce staff or close due to the global impact that COVID-19 has caused. Is there anything that can help my affected workers?
- Where can I find updates about unemployment assistance for those typically not eligible for unemployment insurance?
What if I am forced to shut down my business due to COVID-19 impact? Are my employees eligible for unemployment benefits?
If you are forced to temporarily shut down business operations, your employees will likely be eligible for unemployment benefits, assuming they meet all other eligibility criteria, and have a return to work date that occurs before the 10-week maximum. Under this circumstance, unemployment insurance claims made by impacted employees will be charged against the employer’s account.
What if I need to temporarily reduce my employees’ hours due to slow-down in business as a result of COVID-19? Are my employees eligible for unemployment benefits?
If you experience a slow-down in business, causing a reduction in available work hours for employees, your employees may be eligible for partial unemployment benefits. unemployment insurance claims made by impacted employees will be charged against the employer’s account.
What if I need to temporarily shut down my operations as a result of COVID-19? Are my employees eligible for unemployment benefits?
If you need to shut down operations temporarily because an employee becomes sick and other employees need to be isolated or quarantined, your employees may be able to receive unemployment benefits. Unemployment insurance claims made by impacted employees will be charged against the employer’s account.
The Vermont Department of Labor, Workforce Development Division, provides Rapid Response services to businesses in transition, downsizing, laying off workers and/or closing a facility. This includes coordination with key state and regional partners to explore alternative layoff aversion strategies if possible.
My business has to reduce staff or close due to the global impact that COVID-19 has caused. Is there anything that can help my affected workers?
The Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program is a federal entitlement program that assists U.S. workers who have lost or may lose their jobs as a result of foreign trade. This program seeks to provide adversely affected workers with access to funding opportunities to obtain the skills, credentials, resources, and support necessary to become reemployed.
Where can I find updates about unemployment assistance for those typically not eligible for unemployment insurance?
Please access the pre-recorded message from the Department of Labor providing updates for those seeking Pandemic Unemployment Assistance who are self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors and others not typically eligible for unemployment insurance. Call the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Line for the latest updates: (877) 660-7782.
CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
For the full list of employer and business guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html
If you have inquiries related to the business or organizational impacts of COVID-19, please contact us through our dedicated email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.