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Resources for Chamber Business Members

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program Reopened to All Eligible Small Businesses and Non-Profits Impacted by COVID-19 Pandemic

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 on Monday, June 15.

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Executive Orders Reopen More Regions, Economic Sectors Under MI Safe Start Plan

On Friday, June 5, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-115 to reopen more regions and economic sectors under the MI Safe Start Plan.

Starting on June 10, Regions 6 and 8 — which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula — will advance to Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan. Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

On June 15, personal services including salons and barbershops, and massage, nail, and tattoo parlors will reopen statewide. Though the remaining regions, 1 through 5 and 7, will remain in Phase 4 under Friday's executive orders, the governor said she expects the entire state will advance to Phase 5 in the coming weeks.

City of Mt. Pleasant Provides Outdoor Business Activity Options

In response to the Coronavirus pandemic, and the changes in current business operations, the Mt. Pleasant City Commission recently adopted a resolution temporarily authorizing outdoor business activities through September 30, 2020. These activities include waiving certain standards and fees for outdoor dining, tent and merchandise display permits.

For more details visit www.mt-pleasant.org/outdoor.

Governor Rescinds Safer at Home Order, Moves Michigan to Phase Four of the MI Safe Start Plan

On Monday, June 1, 2020, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding her Safer at Home order and moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan

The order will allow retailers to reopen on June 4 and restaurants to reopen on June 8, both subject to capacity limits. Day camps for children will likewise be permitted to open on June 8. Effective immediately, groups of 100 or less will be allowed to gather outdoors with social distancing. Office work that is not capable of being performed remotely can resume. And in-home services, including housecleaning services, can resume operations. 

Michiganders must continue to wear facial coverings when in enclosed public spaces and should continue to take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community. And they should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible.

Subject to local regulation, gyms and fitness centers may conduct outdoor classes, practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants maintain six feet of distance from one another during these activities. Outdoor pools can also reopen, with restricted capacity.

New capacity limit guidelines for retailers and bar & restaurant owners can be found in Executive Order 2020-97.

  • If your business is within the City of Mt. Pleasant, and you need assistance determining your standard approved occupancy numbers, contact City Building Official Brian Kench at (989) 779-5301 OR at bkench@mt-pleasant.org.
  • In addition to new capacity limits, business owners must post signs at store entrance(s) instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering when inside the store, and informing customers not to enter if they are or have recently been sick.

Workplace Safety and Re-Opening Resources

Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety is one-stop-shop for workplace safety resources as businesses reopen
The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) within the Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) launched a new online COVID-19 Workplace Safety Resources website, which provides guidance and a toolkit of resources to keep workplaces safe as sectors of the state’s economy reopen.
With the continued risk of COVID-19 spread, everyone in the workplace must take necessary precautions. The site includes MIOSHA issued guidelines, posters for employees and customers, factsheets, educational videos and a reopening checklist – all of which will help businesses safely reopening their doors.
In addition to the general workplace guidelines for employers and employees, MIOSHA provided further clarification on necessary steps several other sectors must take when reopening, including:
The site also provides guidance on how employers create and make available to employees and customers, a written exposure control plan, which includes exposure determination and outlines measures that will be taken to prevent employee exposure to COVID-19.
Michigan’s Work Share program allows employers to restart their business and bring employees back from unemployment. Employers can bring employees back with reduced hours - while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. Employers can also retain their current workforce and are given the flexibility to choose which of their employees are part of a Work Share plan.
In an effort to help reopening businesses safely reengage in the economy, the MI Symptoms Web Application is a cost-free way for employers to comply with Executive Order 2020-97 and implement a COVID-19 symptoms screening questionnaire for employees.

PMBC Offering Free Procurement Program to Assist Businesses in Accessing Personal Protection Equipment

The Pure Michigan Business Connect (PMBC) program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation has developed a portal specifically designed to support the personal protective equipment (PPE) needs of Michigan businesses as they start the process of re-opening.

Through the free PMBC COVID-19 Procurement Platform, the PMBC team will work to connect those businesses in need of access to PPE – including face masks, face shields, gloves, goggles and other materials as necessary to ensure the health and safety of their employees and customers – with Michigan businesses that have supplier capacity to meet that demand. Open to companies of all sizes and industries, and is available for all scales of PPE demand.

  • Reopen Main Street Website Launched
    • In partnership with Main Street America, Michigan Main Street and the MEDC have launched a new Reopen Main Street website offering resources, strategies, and assets for downtowns and communities as they plan for their re-openings following the COVID-19 crisis.

MI Safe Start: A Plan to Re-Engage Michigan's Economy

The phases of the pandemic include:

  1. Uncontrolled Growth: Increasing number of new cases every day, likely to overwhelm the health system. Only critical infrastructure remains open.
  2. Persistent Spread: Continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity. Only critical infrastructure remains open, with lower-risk recreational activities allowed.
  3. Flattening: Epidemic is no longer increasing and health system capacity is sufficient for current needs. Specified lower-risk businesses can reopen given adherence to strict safety measures.
  4. Improving: Epidemic clearly decreasing and health system capacity is strong with robust testing and contact tracing. Additional businesses can reopen given adherence to strict safety measures.
  5. Containing: Epidemic levels are extremely low and outbreaks can be quickly contained. Health system capacity is strong with robust testing and tracing. Most businesses can reopen given adherence to strict safety measures.
  6. Post-Pandemic: Community spread is not expected to return (e.g., because of a vaccine) and the economy is fully reopened.

Paycheck Protection Program Information

President Trump Signs Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act into Law (6/5/20)

The Flexibility Act modifies several provisions of the PPP loan program. The major changes, which are intended to expand the number of loans which qualify for forgiveness, include:

  • Giving borrowers 24 weeks to use PPP funds – up from 8 weeks.
  • Reducing the amount of a PPP loan which must be used for payroll in order to qualify for forgiveness from 75 percent to 60 percent. Up to 40 percent can now go to expenses such as rent, mortgage or utility payments.
  • Allowing borrowers to defer payroll taxes.
  • Letting lenders set more flexible repayment terms for loans that don’t qualify for forgiveness.
  • Helping borrowers who show good faith efforts to rehire employees to qualify for loan forgiveness until Dec. 31, 2020.

Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Paycheck Protection Program

  • Link to Michigan Paycheck Protection Program (MiPPP)
  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) from the U.S. Small Business Administration provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
    • Fully Forgiven | Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.
    • Must Keep Employees on the Payroll - or Rehire Quickly | Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
    • All Small Businesses Eligible | Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and independent contractors— are eligible.
    • How to Apply | You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.

Consumers Energy Committed to Helping Michigan’s Small Business Community Prosper

  • Consumers Energy can provide meaningful and immediate help by:
    • Working with you on your utility bill
    • Connecting you to potential sources of state and federal relief
    • Providing new business opportunities through the Pure Michigan Business Connect Program

Davenport Offers Free Course to Help Unemployed Land Their Next Job

Davenport University announced they will offer a free, career-focused class to people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.

The online course will provide an opportunity for participants to hone their presentation skills, build their resumes, enhance their LinkedIn profiles and earn three college credits. It's a 7-week course and there will be four different sessions with two starting May 6 and two beginning July 1.

Michigan Chamber Offers All COVID-19 Resources at No Charge

  • Webinars | Register for the FREE content here: https://webinars.michamber.com/on-demand-webinars. Future COVID-19 related webinars will be available at no charge in both live and on-demand formats.
  • Posters | There is currently a mandatory update to federal posters in response to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. During the stay at home order, employers should post it in an intranet or email it to all employees. Once the order is lifted it must be posted through December 31.
    • Follow this link to be sure you are in compliance.
  • Full Toolkit | The Michigan Chamber continues to update its toolkit with resources.
To aid in the evaluation of the economic impact of the current situation, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce is strongly encouraging participation in an online survey. This survey will be useful by increasing legislature awareness of hardship on YOUR business. The information gathered will be passed onto lawmakers. This survey can be found HERE. Please encourage other business owners to fill it out as well.
For BCBS members, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Michigan has provided the following Group Customer COVID-19 FAQ as part of initiatives designed to help members get the care they need during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The FAQ can be accessed HERE.

Chamber Updates, Ways to Support Local & More

Hello Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber Members!

 

In light of our current situation regarding COVID-19 precautions, please note the following changes to our calendar:

 

  • Business After Hours at Hunter’s Ale House will be RESCHEDULED, Date TBD
  • Legislative Breakfast is RESCHEDULED for Friday, August 21, 7:30 – 9:00 am
  • April Business After Hours at Ascend will be RESCHEDULED, date TBD
  • YPN Statewide Conference is RESCHEDULED for 2021
    • Tentatively Friday, May 14, 2021
  • YPN Social: Hike at Bundy Hill is RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, June 24, 6:30 - 8:00 pm
  • July Annual Chamber Golf Outing is RESCHEDULED for Wednesday, August 26 at Mt. Pleasant Country Club

 

The Chamber will honor reservations and paid sponsor promotion benefits on the affected dates. Contact us with questions. Future events will be evaluated based on the recommendations of MDHHS.

 

Ways to Support Local
While there are new restrictions by Governor Whitmer issued March 16, 2020, we strongly encourage you to patronize local business as much as possible!

 

Many small and local businesses have very low profit margins and this temporary change may harshly impact them. Many businesses will be happy to accommodate a customer if there is any way possible to avoid loss of profit, so please call them to ask what options are available. If none are available, support them on social media by interacting with their pages, by liking and sharing their posts.

 

The money you save from the imposing of these restrictions can still be used for local business to regain economic loss once the restriction has been lifted.
SPEND if you can, SAVE if you can’t, SHOP later! Keep our local economy going as much as possible.

 

We are happy to promote through social media promotions that you may have going on despite the situation. If you are still open and able to provide your service, please let us know and we can share the information.

To support your fellow Chamber members, please view our online business directory HERE.

For updates on local events, COVID-19 and economic legislation:
Michigan Chamber of Commerce www.michamber.com
State of Michigan www.michigan.gov
Center for Disease Control www.cdc.gov
City of Mt. Pleasant www.mt-pleasant.org

Please follow all proactive state and county health officials’ recommendations in order to decrease the spread of this virus.

Most importantly, remember that the current situation is temporary. Stay positive and find some joys in each day as much as possible. Every storm runs out of rain eventually and we will all get through this! Spring is HERE to be followed by SUMMER so we still have good things to look forward to.
Best to you all and please let us know if we can help with anything,

 

Mt. Pleasant Area Chamber of Commerce Staff

989-772-2396

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