COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

September 2021

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Return to Earn Update- NO MATCH NEEDED

The Return to Earn program now offers eligible small businesses the $500 employee hiring incentive award without requiring a match from the company.

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New Mandate: Vaccines or Weekly Tests for Large Companies

The Biden administration recently announced that companies with 100 or more employees will be required to vaccinate against COVID-19 or test weekly for the virus. Details about this mandate are still emerging.

Read More Here

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August 2021

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Small Business Update: 
Family Vaccine Tax Credit

 Through the American Rescue Plan (ARP), small and medium-sized employers who offered employees time off for vaccinations could qualify for a tax credit. Recently, the Biden administration extended this vaccine tax credit to include family members of employees.

Read More Here


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Earlier This Year

Governor Northam Lifts Mask Mandate to Align with CDC Guidance, Announces Virginia to End COVID-19 Mitigation Measures on May 28

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RICHMOND - Governor Ralph Northam lifted Virginia’s universal indoor mask mandate to align with new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Governor Northam also announced that Virginia will ease all distancing and capacity restrictions on Friday, May 28, two weeks earlier than planned. The updates to Virginia’s mask policy are reflected in amendments to Executive Order Seventy-Two and will become effective at midnight tonight along with previously announced changes to mitigation measures.

The CDC guidelines state that fully-vaccinated individuals do not have to wear masks in most indoor settings, except on public transit, in health care facilities, and in congregate settings. Businesses retain the ability to require masks in their establishments. Employees who work in certain business sectors—including restaurants, retail, fitness, personal care, and entertainment—must continue to wear masks unless fully vaccinated, per CDC guidance. Those who are unvaccinated or not fully-vaccinated are strongly encouraged to wear masks in all settings.

Read The Full Release 



Virginia Invests Over $203.6 Million to Expand Access to Child Care, Increase Support for Providers

Families with household income of up to 85 percent of the state median income with children five and younger now eligible to receive subsidies

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RICHMOND - Governor Ralph Northam announced that an additional $203.6 million in federal stimulus funds and expanded eligibility criteria for the Child Care Subsidy Program will help further stabilize Virginia’s early childhood care and education system, provide child care assistance to additional families as they seek stable employment or return to work, and deliver critical operational and technical resources to new and returning child care providers.

Read The Full Release 



What's the American Rescue Plan Act and what does it mean for business owners?

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 provides $1.9 trillion in relief and economic stimulus for those affected by the coronavirus. The new law includes:

  • Additional funds are allocated for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, and now allows businesses to apply for both a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, and the SVOG. Friendly reminder! Looking to apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant? You will need to be registered in the U.S. government’s System for Award Management, SAM.gov.
  • $15 billion additional for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDL) payments, including NEW $5 billion for Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance payments for those hardest hit
  • NEW: $28.6 billion for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund for industry-focused grants
  • NEW: $100 million to establish a Community Navigator pilot program; grants will go to eligible organizations supporting efforts to improve access to COVID–19 pandemic assistance programs and resources.

Learn more about the American Rescue Plan Act 

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Telework!VA Offers FREE Telework Assitance to Businesses

This past year has shown industries across the board the importance of teleworking - so how's your teleworking program?
Telework!VA is a one-stop resource for FREE assistance in implementing a successful telework program for your business. 

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Note: The following information is courtesy of economic development colleagues, Business Oregon.

Para español, descargue esta este documento.

Operational Planning During Crisis

  • First off, DO NOT panic; you are not alone. Seek the advice of people you trust and then think things through carefully.
  • Be proactive and respond, do not be reactive. Deal with what is in front of you and that which you have control over. Let the rest go. Worry and fear never solves the problems and can actually exacerbate them.
  • Nobody wins if your business fails, so involve your partners and employees in the solution.
  • No one will manage your business like you do. It is important that you stay active in the day-to-day management. The outcome of your business is dependent on the decisions you make.
  • Preserve thy capital. Living to fight another day is priority #1.
  • You don’t have to come up with all of the solutions. Seeking the advice of others and holding a brainstorm meeting can be very helpful. Work with your CPA, Small Business Development Center, financial institution, key employees and even other business owners to come up with ideas. In turn, share with others what is working…and what is not working.
  • Who are your key employees? Do they know the plan? Now is not the time to hide or to go silent; it is the time to communicate, communicate and communicate some more.
  • Work with key employees and involve them in implementing the plan. Many of them will have sound solutions that you might not have thought of. Some of the best solutions can be developed and implemented by those closest to the problem and who have a vested interest in a positive outcome.

Financing a Business During Crisis

  1. Cash Flow Planning
  2. Managing Cash Flow
  3. Increase Cash Inflow
  4. Managing Payments
  5. Lower Cash Outflow
  • Cash flow modeling is the critical tool. Work with your CPA and or Small Business Development Center in putting together a cash flow plan. Stress test it for a 25% and 50% reduction in revenue. Develop a weekly cash flow model going out a minimum of three months, possibly six. Longer is less useful and not as critical. Not that you shouldn’t look out further, but first focus on what is immediately in front of you. Use the cash flow projections to help develop your survival strategy.
  • Pay attention to your financials. They are neither good nor bad, just a tool to show you where you are. They are like indicators on your vehicle. Pay attention to them.  Manage your business based on what you are seeing. Work with your CPA or financial professional to better understand them and to understand what actions can impact them.
  • Work with your partners to get through this. It should not be a surprise to anyone that companies may be starved for cash. Talk to you bank/credit union, suppliers, customers and start working on solutions driven by your cash flow modeling. For instance, if through your modeling it looks like a key to your survival is getting extended terms from say 45 to 90 days that may become a specific request of your vendors to extend their terms to you. Conversely, get your big customers to expedite payments.
  • Do an honest assessment of how long your business can stay viable with little or no revenue.
  • Build up an emergency cash reserve fund and keep it as strong as possible. Cash is king.

Other Crisis Considerations

  1. Insurance
  2. Staffing
  3. Long Term Decisions
  • Are you properly insured? Review your business insurance policy, understand your coverage and exclusions, especially business interruption. There may be a number of relatively low cost insurance options to address business interruption and closures due the state and federal disasters. 
  • Are they up-to-date? Are there ways to reduce the cost and yet maintain adequate insurance coverage?