COVID-19 Resources
The federal government recently enacted legislation to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 crisis, including the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act passed on March 25th. Subsequently, additional funds were allotted to the Payroll Protection Program and the Economic Impact Disaster Loan Fund. Below are links to organizations and federal and state agencies that we hope will prove useful during this time.
Please click on the links below for more information.

Links to the most recent, in this case May 15th, work additions to the Best Smart, Stay Safe Order.  This includes guidance on the phased reopening of retail establishments, and lodgings, campgrounds, and other accommodations.

Congressman Peter Welch heard from over 150 businesses in the state’s tourism industry during a remote Vermont Chamber Tourism Town Hall on April 2 about how COVID-19 is affecting Vermont. The Town Hall was an opportunity for tourism businesses to further Congressman Welch’s understanding of COVID-19’s impact, share ideas, and help shape what future assistance will look like.
This factsheet uses flowcharts to explain the Paycheck Protection Program and EIDL Grants Program. It also provides links to resource partners like the Small Business Development Centers.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans program provides cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy to snap-back quicker after the crisis.
Links to a business impact survey which will help the state track how COVID-19 affects businesses, which, in turn, will help us advocate for eligibility.
This link navigates to the department’s COVID-19 Guidance for Food and Lodging Businesses.
VHCB announces the availability of quick-response business consultations as we all navigate the developing situation with COVID-19. To help businesses navigate urgent needs related to the pandemic VHCB is now offering quick-response consultations to farm, food, and forest businesses through its team of expert business advisors.
The VtSBDC has long been an advising Vermont small business owners. Now, in the midst of a global pandemic, VtSBDC stands ready to assist Franklin County businesses as they navigate the current crisis and try to plan for an uncertain future.
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.
In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak, including the Paycheck Protection Program, EIDL Loan Advance, SBA Express Bridge Loans, and SBA Debt Relief.
The video provides an overview of the small business provisions of the CARES Act.
This link navigates to the Small Business Administration’s informational video on the Paycheck Protection Program.
This link takes you to the SBA’s application should you choose to apply.
The Vermont Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to supporting businesses impacted by the novel coronavirus. Vermont and federal recommendations are evolving rapidly, and public officials are working to quickly and clearly communicate new guidelines for businesses to follow and assistance available.

The Vermont Chamber is tracking important updates related to COVID-19 that impact businesses and employers.

This link is an overview of resources available to small businesses affected by COVID-19. These resources include funding sources beyond the federal CARES Act, including industry-specific grants.

April 24, 2020 Virtual Town Hall

May 1, 2020 Virtual Town Hall

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.
The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:
* The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage
interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8 week period after the loan is
made; and
* Employee and compensation levels are maintained.
Many businesses that have been severely impacted by (COVID-19) will qualify for two new employer tax credits – the Credit for Sick and Family Leave and the Employee Retention Credit.
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations, and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 Federal Rural Resource Guide is a first-of-its-kind resource for rural leaders looking for federal funding and partnership opportunities to help address this pandemic.
The Vermont Department of Labor is holding a series of Town Halls with the next being on Thursday, April 9th from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m. It will cover the step-by-step process for employers who feel they may need to lay off employees, such as steps to take, who to notify and work with, as well as what to do when and if they are looking to hire.
Below are additional resources for small businesses as you navigate through COVID-19 and try to plan for the future.
Operation Main Street – Its mission is to help small businesses all over the US sell more gift cards, providing additional cash flow to get them through the crisis.
Support Local – Support Local is an initiative that lets you show your support for your local businesses during this challenging time.
SCORE – Connect with mentors who are available to assist small business owners navigate COVID-19 issues and to prepare for the continued reopening of the economy.
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