Your Business Toolkit for facing the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Coronavirus Resources for Employers brought to you by the Columbus Lowndes Chamber of Commerce
Chamber Virtual Networking Luncheons- Mondays in June
Connect again with your business community! Catch up for lost time over quarantine. Hear a brief update from other businesses and share your own business update. Continue networking and sales while also social distancing. If you can't make a week, no worries! Join us next time, the benefit of weekly meetings.
Save the Date for all Chamber Networking
Mondays in June:
Monday June 1, 2020
Monday June 8, 2020
Monday June 15, 2020
Monday, June 22, 2020
Monday June 29, 2020
Back to Business Mississippi Grant Program
Go to backtobusinessms.org and read if your business is eligible for a grant funding provided by the Mississippi Legislature Senate Bill 2772 and learn how to apply.
Columbus is opening back up! Restaurants, Salons, Gyms, etc. have strict guidelines in place and are able to open if they adhere to those guidelines. We all should go back to our normal habits as much as possible to stimulate the economy and increase the sales tax. This includes scheduling salon appointments, exercising at your gym, dining in or carrying out food from restaurants, participating in parks and recreation, etc. Continue your previous shopping and dining habits as much as you feel safe to. It may look a little different than we were used to, but we can go about our daily lives again. Occupancy has been decreased, while spacing and sanitizing has increased. Please remember patience with business owners as they strive to comply with our government's regulations.
Check out our guide to reopening your business. This guide covers everything from deep cleaning, how long COVID lives on surfaces, keeping the workplace safe, PPE recommendations, and general guidelines for all businesses from exercise and childcare facilities to real estate and retail. It was put together based on resources from other Chambers such as the "Reopen Alabama Responsibly", Tuscaloosa "Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Safe" and the "Springdale is Open for Business Playbook" in Arkansas.
Paycheck Protection Program:
The Paycheck Protection Program 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. Read More Here
Though many restaurants have closed temporarily, some restaurants are still taking food orders. Please click to view the list of participating restaurants, hours of operation and available services. Thank you Visit Columbus for putting this together on your website!
SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Mississippi Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus
Governor Tate Reeves announced disaster assistance for Mississippi small businesses and their employees impacted by the current outbreak of COVID-19.
The U.S. Small Business Administration will offer low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Mississippi small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), according to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following Governor Reeves’ request on March 18, 2020.
Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications by Clicking Here. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339.
Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
- Click Here For a 3-Step Process for Disaster Loans
- Click Here to Apply for a Disaster Loan
- Click Here for More on Mississippi’s SBA Disaster Declaration
- Click Here for Economic Injury Disaster Loans Fact Sheet
Click here for business-specific resources:
The following is from the Mississippi Economic Council, your State Chamber of Commerce:
Information About Coronavirus (COVID-19)
COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus that causes flu-like illness ranging from mild to severe, with symptoms of fever, coughing, fatigue and difficulty breathing. The CDC and MSDH are working to detect, contain and limit the spread of cases in the U.S. and Mississippi should they occur. MSDH is actively preparing doctors and hospitals on how to respond safely and effectively to COVID-19 in Mississippi.
Like the flu, COVID-19 is thought to be spread person-to-person by close contact (within 6 feet) and by coughing or sneezing. Other possible routes of transmission, such as touching surfaces contaminated by the virus, are also being investigated.
Prevention and Preparedness For Individuals
Preventive measures against COVID-19 are the same as those for other respiratory viruses like the flu. To help prevent getting and spreading disease:
- Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with anyone who is ill.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes. When possible, cough, sneeze or blow your nose into a tissue, and throw the tissue away.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after coughing or sneezing, blowing your nose, and using the bathroom. Effective handwashing takes about 20 seconds, and includes cleaning under fingernails, between fingers, and washing the back of hands as well as the front.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that are touched often.
- Stay in good overall health by eating right and staying active. If you are living with diabetes, heart disease or other conditions, keep in touch with your doctor and stay current with your treatment.
- During or before flu season, get a flu shot. Flu vaccination can prevent the flu or make it less severe, and decrease your chance of hospitalization and death. It also keeps you healthier and better able to fight off infections.
Prevention and Preparedness for Employers
It is important for employers to maintain open lines of communication with their employees. To that end, employers should update contact information for employees if necessary and stay informed of the latest news. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also issued “Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease.” The CDC recommends that employers begin implementing the following steps now:
- Encourage employees with acute respiratory illnesses to stay home;
- Separate sick employees;
- Emphasize cough and sneeze etiquette and hand hygiene;
- Perform routine environmental cleaning;
- Advise employees about the risks prior to travel to countries that have had a significant outbreak; and
- Consider informing employees in the case of possible exposure in the workplace.
Suggested Plans for Employers
The CDC also recommends that employers create response plans now that the outbreak has reached the United States.
- Employers should create response plans that would:
- Provide flexibility and input from employees
- Reduce transmission among staff
- Protect people at higher risk for adverse health complications
- Maintain business operations
- Minimize adverse effects on other entities in their supply chains
- Share best practices
- Can your business allow short-term telecommuting? Flexible hours? The cancellation of some or all business travel? Fewer in-person meetings? There is no single answer to these questions for every business.