New resources are being added daily - We will attempt to share as many as possible with our downtown merchants and business owners. Please feel free to contact us with any questions regarding these resources and we will attempt to help you in every way possible. Send emails to Director Morrissa Angi, or Assistant Director Madeleine Epley at any time, we're always here for you! We are also sharing resources multiple times a day on our Downtown Valdese Businesses Page specifically for
- A new grant program called RETOOLNC is available to help North Carolina historically underutilized Businesses (HUB) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) firms impacted by COVID. Additionally, NC Commerce has resources to support mortgage and utility and rent assistance to firms that experienced extraordinary disruptions through the MURR Mortgage Utility and Rent Relief Program. To learn more about these programs please go to: https://www.nccommerce.com/grants-incentives/disaster-recovery/mortgage-utility-and-rent-relief-murr-program and https://ncadmin.nc.gov/businesses/hub.
- The Z Smith Reynolds Foundation is accepting applications for its Community Progress Fund to help communities test an idea, expand a promising effort, and/or achieve greater impact. Preference is given to areas of the state with relatively higher needs and fewer resources, with grant amounts ranging between $20,000 and $30,000 per year for one or two years. The foundation’s goal is to award a significant portion of grants to organizations that are run by and primarily serve people of color and it strongly encourages applications from such organizations. The foundation began accepting Letters of Intent on October 1 and will contact those invited to move forward into the next phase of the process. Grant decisions are expected to be made in May of 2021
- America Walks is accepting applications under its Community Change Grant Program for awards up to $1,500 to provide community stipends for projects that create healthy, active and engaged places to live, work and play. Applications must be submitted by November 9, 2020.
- EPA is inviting applications from communities interested in receiving technical assistance to support local food systems. Salisbury, NC is a current EPA Local Foods, Local Places winner and would be great to have other communities in NC working to promote their local food systems apply. This opportunity connects federal partners at EPA, USDA, EDA and others with private and state resources and facilitates a series of workshops and strategic plans on how local foods can be built in an area. Applications must be received by October 30, 2020.
- NC Job Retention Grant Program
- NC Main Street COVID-19 Resources - Link Here
- On the Funding page, links to the new Commerce managed CDBG CV and the Job Retention Grant programs have been added.
- On the Small Business Recovery page, there is information on Contactless Menus, a Design Handout in the Context of COVID and an article from Michael Shuman on rebuilding your local economy, plus several upcoming webinars that may be of interest to you.
- Extension of Phase 2 - Details
- Count On Me NC - Consumer Confidence Campaign
June 26, 2020 | NC Phase 2 Extension | Executive Order 147
- Executive Order 147 Full Text - Phase 2 Extension *June 26, 2020
- Executive Order 147 FAQ
- Staying Ahead of the Curve - What Phase 2 Means for NC
- NC DHHS Interim Guidance for Restaurants *Updated June 26, 2020
- NC DHHS Interim Guidance for Retail Businesses *Updated June 26, 2020
- NC DHHS Interim Guidance for Salons, Massage and Personal Care Business Settings *Updated June 26, 2020
- NC DHHS Guidance for Day Camp or Programs for Teens and Children *Updated June 26, 2020
- NC DHHS Child Care Guidance *Updated June 26, 2020
- Face Coverings Posters for Businesses
May 20, 2020 | NC to enter PHASE 2 of Reopening North Carolina | Executive Order 141
- Executive Order 141 full text - NC Phase 2 of Reopening NC
- Executive Order 141 FAQ
- NC Guidance for Places of Worship *Updated May 22, 2020
May 5, 2020 | NC to enter PHASE 1 of Reopening North Carolina | Executive Order 138:
- Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers
- NCDHHS Checklist for Businesses
- What Phase One Means for NC
- FAQ on Masks Coverings
- Know your W's -- Sign for your Businesses ***REQUIRED for opening businesses
- Maximum Occupancy -- Sign for your Business ***REQUIRED for opening businesses
- Stay Strong -- Sign for your Business ***REQUIRED for opening businesses
- Employeer Symptom Screening Checklist ***REQUIRED for opening businesses
- NC Main Street Small Business Recovery
- Shop Small Toolkit
- Burke County Chamber of Commerce Resource Hub
- Burke County Chamber Back-To-Business Toolkit
- CDC Guidelines to reopening Restaurants
- CDC Guidelines to reopening the workplace
- CDC Printable Signage for Businesses
- Department of Labor Guidance to preparing the workplace
- Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act
- NC Department of Health and Human Services Interim Guidance for Owners, Staff and Patrons of Essential Businesses
- Duke University Coronavirus Funding Tracker
- Grant Watch - tracks grants for businesses and non-profits
- NC Main Street and Rural Planning Center Resources
- NC Department of Commerce Resources
- CDC's Interim Guidance for Businesses & Employers
- GoDaddy Free Website + Marketing Tools & #OpenWeStand
- Bartender Emergency Relief Assistance
- Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
- Yelp's COVID-19 FREE Advertising Grant
- Go Fund Me Small Business Relief Initiative
- Business for All
- Google Advertising Grants
- Verizon Small Business Recovery Grants
- Beauty Industry Relief Grant
- Women Empowering Women Grant For Women-Owned Businesses - The application will open again on May 4, June 1, July 6, and August 3.
- Amazon Neighborhood Small Business Relief Fund - Currently not offered for our area, but check back as they add more cities.
- Facebook Small Business Grants Program - Currently not offered for our area, but check back as they add more cities.
- SBA Paycheck Protection Program - resumed and re-funded on April 27, 2020.
- SBA EIDL Emergency Advance- resumed and re-funded on April 27, 2020.
- SBA Debt Relief Program
- NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans - As of April 16, 2020, applications received for this program are in excess of the current funding available. Applications already submitted are being processed in the order they were received. Businesses are welcome to continue with an application, and it will be reviewed as additional funding becomes available.
- Golden Leaf Rapid Recovery Loan - Additional $125 million added on 5/4/2020.
- US Chamber Loan Information - capacity met, no longer accepting applications
Counseling & Advice Resources for businesses:
- SBA SCORE Free Business Mentoring on navigating COVID 19, Grants, and Loans
- Receive one-on-one counseling and professional advice and programming from the experts at the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC).
SBTDC has supported small businesses in North Carolina for over 35 years. In the current environment, SBTDC is being flexible and innovative in its delivery of services. With physical access to most of its host campuses limited, SBTDC's professional counselors are meeting with clients by virtual technology or phone.
- Receive advice and access webinars, on-demand content, and articles from the N.C. Community Colleges’ Small Business Center Network (SBCN).
SBCN can assist you with SBA disaster loan applications and other sources of funding. Center personnel can also review your financial obligations and your status with creditors, offer strategies for scaling operations and generating revenue, and provide referrals to additional sources of assistance. In addition, a host of COVID-19 resources are available online to help your business cope with the current situation.
- If your business is at risk of laying off significant numbers of workers, consider participating in a consultation and assistance program designed to help minimize job losses.
“Business Edge” is a program that works with 'at risk' firms. Offered by the Workforce Solutions division within the N.C. Department of Commerce, in partnership with local workforce boards and other agencies, the program connects you with experts who can help assess your current needs and available options, including helping you access potential services that address your needs.
- Public health guidance for businesses and restaurants is available.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services publishes guidance for dealing with the current COVID-19 situation, including specialized advice for businesses and restaurant operators.
North Carolina seeks companies and manufacturers that can produce critical supplies to help our state meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
DETAILS: North Carolina Emergency Management has assembled a vetting team to review vendors wishing to supply critical products to the State of North Carolina. Supplies urgently needed include: NIOSH-Approved Respirators (N95s, etc), Other Respirators (KN95s, etc), Procedural or Surgical Masks, Powered Air-Purifying Respirators, Goggles, Safety Glasses, Face Shields, Nitrile Examination/Medical Gloves, Nitrile Non-medical Gloves, Coveralls, Gowns (Isolation or Surgical), Hand Sanitizer, Disinfectant (Spray or Wipe), and Invasive Ventilators.
Executive Order NO. 118 | Governor Roy Cooper | March 17, 2020
This Order will directly aid workers who may have lost wages in restaurants and meeting places due to mass gathering restrictions. For example, workers who lose income due to tips or scheduled work hours, but are still employed, would be eligible for benefits because of this Executive Order. Among other changes:
• It removes the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment payment for those workers who lose their jobs;
• It removes the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job during this time when many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect.
• It allows employees who lose their jobs or, in certain cases have their hours reduced due to Covid-19 to apply for unemployment benefits.
• It directs that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these COVID-19 claims.
• It waives the requirement that people must apply for benefits in person; workers can apply for benefits online or by phone.
View FULL Executive order here: https://files.nc.gov/governor/documents/files/EO118.pdf
Apply for Unemployment Here: https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment/
- Under new Stimulus Bill unemployment is now available to self-employed AND part-time employees. Under federal plan, eligible workers would also get an extra $600 per week on top of their State Unemployment Benefit.
- Creation of Paycheck Protection Program
- For other 7(a) loans, as well as loans made under Title V of the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, SBA will pay the principal, interest, and any associated fees that are owed on a covered loan for six months. Applies to loans made before the CARES Act was passed.
EXECUTIVE ORDER 131 | GOVERNOR ROY COOPER | The Order is effective for attached claims filed as of April 1, 2020.
Provides flexibility on the enforcement of some of the normal requirements for filing attached claims. Under the order:
- An employer does not need to prepay the cost of the unemployment benefits for their employees at the time the attached claim is filed.
- Employers may file attached claims for a period of more than six weeks of benefits.
- Employers may submit an attached claim for an employee more than once in a year.
- Employers do not need to have a positive credit balance with DES to file attached claims.
Executive Order 121 | Friday, March 27, 2020. | Essential Business Designation
This order directs that non-essential business and operations must cease, effective on Monday, March 30 at 5:00pm, and will remain in place for 30 days. [EXTENDED UNTIL MAY 8, 2020 THROUGH EO 135] 121 outlines a set of businesses that are considered "Essential Businesses and Operations," and the Order goes into detail regarding those businesses. If your type of business is excluded from the list of COVID-19 Essential Businesses and Operations, set forth in EO 121 — and you believe that in fact your company's operations are essential — you may direct a request to be considered for inclusion to the 'Essential Business' list. The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) will be mangaging your requests in this matter. If your company has submitted a request to the Department of Revenue to be included as a COVID-19 Essential Business or Operation, you may continue to operate until that agency (NCDOR) acts on your request.
If your business is experiencing supply chain disruptions due to the impact of COVID-19:
• Find a manufacturer or supplier for your business here: https://www.manufacturednc.com/
Federal Coronavirus Tax Relief:
-The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. More details are available here, including FAQs.