COVID 19 Updates
ACCE Weekly Update - Chambers Response to COVID-19
Chambers Being Told they are Ineligible for EIDL Program
We are hearing reports of the Small Business Administration telling chambers of commerce that they are not eligible for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program because chambers are considered “marketing cooperatives.” ACCE believes this designation is a mistake, and we are working with the U.S. Chamber to seek clarity from SBA. We will bring you updates as we get them.
U.S. Chamber Releases Guides to Federal Relief Programs
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released new guides for businesses of all sizes to secure relief under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
- Paycheck Protection Program: New emergency loans for small businesses and 501(c)(3) organizations.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: The CARES Act expands the Small Business Administration’s long-standing Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program (EIDL). The EIDL program was created to assist businesses, renters, and homeowners located in regions affected by declared disasters. Chambers and other 501(c)(6) organizations are eligible for this program.
- Employee Retention Tax Credit: A new tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.
View all U.S. Chamber COVID-19 resources and updates.
Coordinating the Sourcing and Manufacture of Personal Protective Equipment
- The York County Economic Alliance, Hanover Chamber of Commerce, MANTEC, The Manufacturers' Association and many local partners are compiling information on available resources that can be donated, loaned out, or manufactured to meet the demands for critical supplies and expertise.
- The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber is coordinating with local hospitals to identify their needs and working with area businesses and manufacturers to coordinate donations of critical supplies.
Examples of Chambers Providing Access to Bridge Grants and Loans
- The Indy Chamber established its Rapid Response Loan Fund to provide fast and affordable bridge loans of $1k to $25k to help businesses until they can get additional funding from their bank or the SBA.
- The Greater Grand Rapids Chamber Foundation launched its Rapid Response Economic Relief Fund to deliver short-term financial support to small businesses in need.
- The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama worked with the Community Foundation of West Alabama to establish the Small Business Relief Fund to assist small businesses that have experienced a financial hardship as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- The Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce worked with regional partners to create the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Small Business Resilience Grant to help small businesses.
Additional Chamber Outreach Examples
- We’re all in this together … six feet apart: The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber launched a community outreach campaign to promote social distancing and allow anyone in the community to receive chamber updates during the crisis.
- Business Response Helpline: The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber launched a business response helpline to help businesses navigate the COVID-19 outbreak and its aftermath, by providing access to resources and relevant information.
- Digital Signage: The Carroll County Chamber in Maryland is using the dip in inquiries for advertising on its local digital billboards to repurpose the signage to promote shopping local and share positive local business stories.
- Central Oregon SOS: The Bend Chamber partnered with several other chambers, local governments and other partners to launch a new website to serve as a one-stop resource hub for employers, employees, and the community in this time of unprecedented uncertainty.
- Virtual Tip Jar: The Greater West Chester Chamber launched a “Virtual Tip Jar” to collect tips for working in the local service industry, including bartenders, servers, aestheticians, stylists, barbers, retailer sand others.
- Corporate Catering Matters: The Spartanburg Chamber is challenging employers who must have employees on-site to consider placing multiple, in-advance catering orders. Corporate catering greatly reduces potential exposure by limiting the number of people team members come into contact with on a daily basis. A local restaurant gains badly needed business and morale is listed for the team.