Businesses, don’t wait to apply for economic relief

Over the past few weeks the business community has had to scramble to adjust to implications of the coronavirus. This past week many businesses applied for economic relief that has been made available through the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Those businesses that have not yet applied should begin the process immediately. Small businesses have some options including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Contractors and self-employed individuals may look as well to the PPP along with EIDL program and in some cases may need to apply for unemployment insurance for the first time.

The CARES Act expanded one existing loan program for small businesses and created an additional program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program was expanded to include a loan advance of up to $10,000, and the Paycheck Protection Program was created. EIDL applications must be submitted directly through the Small Business Administration online. PPP applications will be submitted through local participating banks and business owners should reach out first to the bank where they have their business accounts established.

The two can work in tandem with one another, or individually, depending on your business needs. They cannot cover the same expenses. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as there is a high demand for these products.

We encourage that you contact the local Small Business Development Center to advise you on the best program(s) for your business. Call (716) 338-1024, visit them online at www.sbdcjcc.org and/or work with your accountant.

For self-employed and independent contractors who have not traditionally been eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, the CARES Act now means you are eligible either for existing Unemployment Insurance or under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The application process is all online through the New York State Labor Department.

We have collected some helpful links and resources on our dedicated web page for Coronavirus and Businesses. You can find a direct link to that page through our website at www.chautauquachamber.org. There are also links that can assist employees who may have questions about the new Paid Leave program available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please use our online resource page as a handy reference guide to walk you through the questions you may have. It is all available online and free to anyone who may need links or resources.

COVID-19 Leave & Unemployment Overview: Weekly Businesses Call

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier are dedicated to providing our local business community with the resources they need to navigate during this challenging time. All businesses are invited to join us each Monday at 3:30 p.m. for a weekly conference call via web or phone.

On Monday, April 13, our special guest will be James R. Grasso, partner with Phillips Lytle LLC, to provide an overview on COVID-19 Leave & Unemployment. Mr. Grasso represents management in the private and public sectors in all aspects of labor and employment law. He counsels clients on workplace policies and practices and legal compliance issues, and represents employers in litigation concerning employment discrimination, harassment, wage and hour matters, wrongful termination, employment contract disputes, and confidentiality and non-compete agreements.

On Monday, April 20 our special guest will be Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand Officer, Deluxe and the Host and Creator of the Small Business Revolution series.

Any business or organization is welcome to join these meetings. For a link and access information, see our web page at https://www.chautauquachamber.org/covid-19-and-the-workplace.html

Chamber State Legislative Breakfast is April 24 Online

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce is pleased to once again this year provide an opportunity for members to have a conversation with our local elected state representatives. Senator George Borrello and Assemblyman Andy Goodell will be our special guests for this online event at 8:30 a.m., Friday, April 24. You can register now through the Chamber’s online events calendar and we will email a link to the meeting to each participant. We encourage you to get up and get out and find your favorite local breakfast or coffee takeout restaurant, and then head home to join us online at 8:30 a.m.

This event is sponsored by Affinity One Federal Credit Union, Chautauqua Institution, DFT Communications, Jamestown Community College and the JCC Foundation, Jamestown Mattress Company, Media One Radio Group, OBSERVER, Serta Mattress, the Division of Advancement at the State University of New York at Fredonia, The Post-Journal, and UPMC Chautauqua. Please support our sponsors and register online for this event at www.chautauquachamber.org.

Shoptauqua: Buy Safe. Buy Small. Buy Local.

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and all six of its Community Chambers in Dunkirk, Fredonia, Hanover, Jamestown, Mayville-Chautauqua, and Westfield-Barcelona continue to encourage support of small local businesses that remain open even during this challenging time. There are numerous retailers that are still operating as essential services including grocery stores and pharmacies, and many local restaurants and some small independent retailers that are open for takeout or delivery only. Please visit our website at www.chqbuylocal.com to get the full list.

Our Community Chambers are working now to establish a weekly Shoptauqua Cash Dash program. The goal of this program is to bring sales to our businesses, especially at a time when our small businesses need it the most. Local businesses can participate and get more information by emailing their Community Chamber Coordinator. See the list on our website through the Contact Our Team page.

The Chamber has launched the Shoptauqua Marketing Program. This is currently a free service for local businesses that want to turn prospects into customers and turn customers into fans of your business. The program is designed to encourage new and existing customers to re-engage with your business, build your database of customers, enable targeted marketing and importantly track your return on investment. For more information reach out to Joanna Dahlbeck on our staff at jdahlbeck@chautauquachamber.org.


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