Covid-19 Resources

In these uncertain times, the EDA is working diligently to provide the last news on government assistance and news, as well as any local resources available.  This Covid-19 resource page will be updated frequently.

St. Clair County businesses are encouraged to contact the EDA if we can be of assistance in connecting companies facing supply chain issues or to discuss other Covid-19 related business issues your company may be facing.  Please keep in mind, we are here to assist in any way possible. Call 810.982.9511. EDA staff is working remotely to practice social distancing, but your calls and voicemails will be promptly responded to by an EDA team member.

 

St. Clair County Emergency Operations Center:

You can reach someone with immediate and appropriate COVID-19 guidance at (810) 966-4163 from 0800 - 1700 (5:00 p.m.).
You can also email at covid19@stclaircounty.org.    

St. Clair County Health Department: ​(810) 987-5300 https://www.stclaircounty.org/offices/health/default.aspx
 

Pure Michigan Business Connect 

PMBC is looking for both buyers and suppliers of critical health & human service supplies across a broad range of product categories.
https://pmbc.connect.space/covid19/forms    
 

potential items to supply could include:

  • Cleaning supplies
  • Equipment
  • Food and water
  • Medical Devices
  • Paper products
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Testing Supplies
  • Textiles
  • Vitamins
  • …and more

Potential buyers could include:

  • Childcare Facility
  • Community Center
  • Educational Institution (K-12/Post-Secondary/College)
  • Food Distribution Center
  • Healthcare Facility
  • Homeless Shelter
  • Municipalities/Government
  • Non-Profit
  • …and more
 

Governor Issues Stay @ Home Order / Non-Essential Businesses to Close (3/23)

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.  

Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.

Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work. The state is mostly following guidelines from the White House on "essential critical infrastructure workers found here.

View link to Press Release discussing order / business exctions: Michigan Executive Order No. 2020-21

Stay Home.  Stay Safe.  Save Lives.  -- What you can and can't do:  View
 

Small Business Grants, Loans and Financial Resources
 

Announced 3/25/20 
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has approved a regional grant for the I-69 Thumb Region submitted collaboratively by Region 6 economic development partners.  Approval of this grant in the amount of $850,000 allows the I-69 Thumb Region, consisting of seven (7) counties, to issue prompt Small Business Relief funding.  St. Clair County’s portion of the grant is approximately $142,000. Applications are open Thursday, March 26 and close on Sunday, March 29.  You can also view more details on our news page here

Michigan Small Business Relief Program - GRANT
Businesses must meet the following criteria for this grant:

  • The company is in an industry outlined in Executive Order 2020-9, or any subsequent Executive Order of similar intent (“EO”), or demonstrates it is otherwise affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, that meets one or more of the following: provides support to impacted employees, is located in a downtown district or high impact corridor or has 50 employees or less, or is a company that provides services to companies outlined in the EO and requires additional employees to support to companies or employees impacted by EO;
  • The company has 50 employees or less;
  • The company needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business; and
  • The company can demonstrate an income loss as a result of Executive Order 2020-9.

    Click here to download the application (Excel file)
    1) open 2) fill both tabs (a. qualification tab questions/b. application tab questions)  3) Save as your business name/SBRGrant
     For best results, use Microsoft Office. If you do not have a copy of Microsoft Office, there are alternative options, like Google Sheets or Apache Open Office
    Qualifying business seeking the Small Business Relief grant, send completed forms (both tabs) to Kjones@edascc.com  

Michigan Small Business Relief Program - Loan

The program will be used to provide low-interest loans to support certain small businesses that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans to eligible borrowers must be a minimum $50,000 and are capped at $200,000. Loans provided under the program may include the following terms:

  • Interest Rate: .25% per annum
  • Draw Period: 24 months following loan closing.
  • Term: Interest only for 60 months following loan closing followed by a fully amortizing 60 month term.
  • Repayment Terms: Anticipated to be monthly interest only payments for the first 60 month of following closing. Payments made in excess of interest due will be applied to principal. Payments of principal and interest will begin at 61 months following closing and will be paid monthly with all principal due to be repaid no later than 120 months following closing.
  • In order to qualify for loan support, businesses must meet the following criteria:
  • The company is in an industry outlined in Executive Order 2020-9, or any subsequent Executive Order of similar intent (“EO”), or demonstrates it is otherwise affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, or is a company that provides goods and services to companies to the aforementioned;
  • The company has fewer than 100 employees;
  • The company needs working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business;
  • The company can demonstrate that it is unable to access credit through alternative sources;
  • The company can demonstrate an income loss of as a result of Executive Order 2020-9.


Small Business Loan Application Form

  • Click here to download the application (Excel file)

    1) open 2) fill both tabs (a. qualification tab questions/b. application tab questions)  3) Save as your business name/SBRLoan
    For best results, use Microsoft Office. If you do not have a copy of Microsoft Office, there are alternative options, like Google Sheets or Apache Open Office
    Businesses that do not qualify for the grant, but that are interested in the loan option, send completed forms (both tabs)  to: bseymore@edascc.com  

 

Economic Impact Relief / Small Business Federal Disaster Loans:

The U.S. Small Business Administration is making low-interest federal disaster loans available to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This relief loan assistiance is provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act signed by the President.

Low-interest loans (up to $2 million per business) will become available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The SBA Underwriters will review your financial statements and determine an appropriate loan amount and repayment terms on a case-by-case basis. The entire process is projected to take approximately 30 days from application to receipt of funds. These low-interest loans will have up to a one year payment deferrment. 

  • 3.75% interest for small businesses without credit available elsewhere
  • 2.75% for non-profits 
  • Long term, low/affordable repayment options (max 30 years / terms made on a case-by-case basis)
  • Eleven month payment deferral---first payment due in month 12 after date of signing promissory note
  • Estimate 30 days from application to funding
  • As of 3-26-20, dropped credit score/worthiness requirement
  • As of 3-26-20, dropped credit elsewhere questions, don’t have to prove denials

Covid-19 related disaster assitance loans for small businesses may be used for:

  • Fixed debts
  • Payroll
  • Accounts Payable

For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids. The official application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan can be found here sba.gov/disaster.  You may also use the SBA disaster assistance hotline at 800-659-2955.

Great guidance on how to apply, what documents to gather, etc. is available from the MI-SBDC here:  https://sbdcmichigan.org/disaster-loan-help/
 

Business Webinars / Online Resources

MI-SBDC (mutliple on demand webinars, resources and assistance to assit during Covid-19)
SBA (Small Business Guidance during Covid-19)
 

 

For Employers

Unpaid Leave vs. Termination

 Posted 3/16/20 – By order of the Governor, Michigan Employment Benefits have been temporarily expanded through April 14.  Under the order, an empoyer must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations.  Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA  or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found here. Due to the uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether furloughed workers will be able to access federal resources, employers are urged to place employees on temporary leave as opposed to termination. View the State’s guidance for employers contemplating potential layoffs. 

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) provided guidance on March 18th to Michigan employers on how to avoid potential layoffs related to Covid-19.  LEO strongly encourages job providers facing work shortages to place their employees on temporary leave as opposed to termination, so that they may remain eligible for potential federal assistance resources (which may include access to federal paid sick, family and medical leave).  Employers are strongly urged to place employees on temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120-days as opposed to termination.  There is NO additional cost employers, employees remain eligible for UI benefits through the state. 

Steps for employers placing employers on temporary unpaid leave:

  • Do not terminate the employee - specify a temporary/indefinite leave with return to work expected that is within 120 days.
  • Do not create a contractual obligation to bring the employee back to work - Let the employee know the situation is fluid and subject to change.
  • Provide the employee with a formal Unemployment Compensation Notice.  Employers will need to provide their Employer Account Number and Federal Identification Number.  Link to Form.
  • Communicate to the employee about their rights.  Under the Governor's Executive Order, workers are placed on leave, or unable to work because they are sick, quarantined, immunocompromised, or have an unanticipated family care responsibility, are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Ensure employers are provided information on how to obtain unemployment insurance benefits.  Fact sheet link here
  • Get each employee’s up-to-date contact information.
  • Let employees know if you will be putting updated information on the entity’s website or intranet, if applicable.
  • Appoint a single, or limited number of individuals who will field questions, and communicate that information to employees.
  • Keep a tally of all questions and answers.  Periodically share with employees.
  • The state is monitoring issues related to continued medical insurance coverage and will update accordingly.

    Elimination of Certain Unemployment Costs to Employers

    Under the governor’s order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations. 

Work Share
The Work Share program allows employers to keep their employees working with reduced hours, while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Learn more at www.michigan.gov/WorkShare

Visit the Unemployment Insurance Agency website for: 

·    Unemployment Resources for Employers

·    Employer Frequently Asked Questions

     Labor and Economic Development / FAQ's

 

Tax Assistance for Small Businesses 

The Michigan Treasury Department is providing small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment. Small businesses scheduled to make these payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. Penalties and interest penalties will be waived for 30 days. Learn more about penalties and interest online or by calling the Treasury Business Tax Call Center at 517-636-6925. 

 
 

FOR EMPLOYEES 

Filing for Unemployment Benefits 

Eligible employees are strongly encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA or by calling 866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can also be found online.

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-10 expands unemployment benefits to: 

·    Sick Workers: Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. 

·    Workers Caring for Loved Ones: Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off

·    First Responders: Individuals working in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
 

The governor’s order also extends access to benefits for unemployed workers:

·    Increased Weeks: Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. 

·    Longer Application Time: The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days. 

·    Fewer Requirements: The in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended. 
 

Visit the Unemployment Insurance Agency website for: 

 

Self-Employed Workers

The State is also seeking solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance. The governor has requested that President Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration so that Individual Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance through FEMA may be made available to additional Michiganders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Latest Covid-19 news issued by State of Michigan:

https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus/0,9753,7-406-98158---,00.html
 

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers:

This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will update this interim guidance as needed and as additional information becomes available.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fspecific-groups%2Fguidance-business-response.html
 

American Society of Employers - Coronavirus: What Employers Need to Know to be Prepared:

ASE has curated a list of helpful resources to assist employers in protecting their employees and plan for future outbreaks or spread of the illness.

https://www.aseonline.org/Insights-Analytics/Coronavirus-Resources?_cldee=amFtZXMuYWhlZUBtYWNvbWJnb3Yub3Jn&recipientid=contact-befcb3039425e11199b50015177e2ff8-425d8c9ae65a4eb8bece5c83b73c2ac4&esid=9291dcae-3465-ea11-a815-000d3a4f62e7
 

OSHA Guidance:

Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19.

https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
 

Food Related Businesses:

Important information regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19).

https://www.michigan.gov/documents/coronavirus/Coronavirus_Handout_Final_683449_7.pdf

 

Philanthropic:

In response to the outbreak, the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) has launched the CDP COVID-19 Response Fund to support preparedness, containment, response and recovery activities for those affected and for the responders.

https://disasterphilanthropy.org/cdp-fund/cdp-covid-19-response-fund/
 

Community Foundation of St. Clair County Grants available in response to COVID-19 Crisis:

As you all know our community is facing some unprecedented challenges right now. We here at the Community Foundation need to prioritize how we use the discretionary funds available to insure we are serving St. Clair County to the best of our abilities, in this time of ever-evolving needs.

That being said, all current grant applications are being put on hold until further notice. At this time we are only accepting grant applications for Coronavirus/COVID-19 responses and services, including organizations addressing the basic needs of those adversely effected by the virus.

http://www.stclairfoundation.org/receive?fbclid=IwAR07colWkmujX4hKwaEVOlNiVvm-r6rKtkyWEoKfmwFsDlIG1ypqULLZGdc


COVID-19 Thumbcoast Regional Response Fund
Community Foundation of St. Clair County

This Fund is designed to give added support to those organizations on the front lines of caring for and assisting vulnerable populations, and those communities where the loss of jobs and benefits, or the closure of institutions and businesses, are creating a significant new burden for community members and the social service organizations that provide a safety net for them.

http://stclairfoundation.org/uploads/news/2020_COVID-19_Community_Action_Grant_Application_2.0.pdf

 

Michigan Information on The Outbreak:

Covid-19 Map:  https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

Michigan Department of Health & Human Resources: https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus

Travel Advisories:  https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories.html/

 

GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO COVID-19

View this Government Response to Covid-19 page, which provideds links to various departments associated with:

  • Health/Safety
  • Travel/Transportation/Immigration
  • Money and Taxes
  • Education
  • Housing
  • Businesses
  • Scams and Fraud
  • Grants
     

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