Business Resources for Coronavirus

Coronavirus Business Resources

Concerns about the Coronavirus have results in temporary changes in our normal routines to contain the virus and minimize the spread of disease in our community. Here are some resources to help businesses navigate this situation and remain connected to the community. The health of our businesses and the community is our top priority.

DISASTER RELIEF GRANTS AND LOANS

COVID-19 Business Support Grants to Help Employers during the COVID-19 Crisis
Virginia Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Rapid Response is providing grants to support Northern Virginia employers to remain open during the COVID-19 emergency.

These funds are intended to assist local employers to avert layoffs and support other operational needs. These strategies and activities are designed to prevent, or minimize the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

SBA Fact Sheet on Disaster Loans
Virginia has been granted disaster status, which allows small businesses to receive a disaster loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). For more information or to apply, visit the SBA Cononavirus Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources page on their website.

TAX DEFERRALS

The IRS pushed the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, giving taxpayers and small businesses additional time to file and make payments without interest or penalties. For more information you can visit the IRS’ Coronavirus Tax Relief page.

Virginia tax payments have been deferred. February’s sales tax payment due on March 20, 2020 and income tax payments due on May 1, 2020 by 30 days. You must still submit a waiver request or file your income taxes. Here are the tax bulletins provided by the Department of Taxation for Tax Bulletin 20-3 and Tax Bulletin 20-4.

Fairfax County

Businesses now have until June 1, to file their personal property with the county. This includes vehicles, furniture and fixtures, machinery and tools, and computer equipment that are located in Fairfax County as of January 1.

The county extended the deadline to pay the first installment of real estate taxes until Friday, Aug. 28. Normally, the first installment is due by July 28.

Fairfax County Coronavirus Updates

Virginia Coronavirus Updates

Center for Disease Control Guidelines for Businesses

Governor Northam orders to prohibit any public or private gathering of ten or more people and guidelines for business operations for the next 30 days beginning March 24. Here are the highlights: 

  • Public and private schools will remain closed through the balance of the academic year.
  • Recreational and entertainment businesses much close. The specific types of recreational and entertainment businesses to close are listed in the order.
  • Essential businesses such as grocery stores, pharmacies, medical providers, and certain retailers may remain open. See paragraph 5 of the order for further clarity.
  • Restaurants can only provide take out and curbside but no sit down dining.
  • Essential businesses may remain open and observe new stringent disinfectant protocols.
  • Non-essential businesses may remain open if they can limit patrons to 10 persons at a time (excluding staff) and maintain social distancing.
  • Personal care and grooming businesses such as beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage parlors, tanning salons, tattoo shops must close.

FAQs for Governor Northam’s Guidelines

UNEMPLOYMENT

Helpful resources and can file for unemployment benefits in Virginia.

HR 6201 FAMILY FIRST CORONAVIRUS ACT

Congress passed and President Trump signed into law HR 6201 Family First Coronavirus Act requiring employers to implement this act April 2 to December 31, 2020. It requires employers of less than 500 employers and more than 50 employees to provide paid sick leave of two weeks and up to 12 weeks of paid family leave due to the coronavirus. For more information visit the PBMares Coronavirus Resource Center and scroll down to “Proposed Coronavirus Emergency Leave: Impact on Employers.”

US DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Here are some resources from the US Department of Labor to help navigate recent changes in Federal laws regarding paid sick leave and FMLA. Check this website periodicaly for updates.

The Wage and Hour Division is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Learn more.

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS

Limited three-month waiver and extension for Federal Contractors. Learn more.

CDC Best Business Practices for Preventing the Spread of the Coronavirus

CDC Guidance: The highest priority of any business is to protect the health, safety, and life of employees and clients. While many, if not most, businesses may never experience an incident of coronavirus on their premises, almost all will feel the effects of the illness. Best practices encouraged by business and health care experts separate into two categories, those who are not feeling well or suspect they have the coronavirus and those who are feeling well and need to take precautions.

Those who believe they may have been exposed to Coronavirus or who are not feeling well should:

  • Be actively encouraged to remain at home except to receive health care.
  • Stay separate and apart from individuals and animals within the home.
  • Call the doctor before visiting to describe symptoms and receive instructions.
  • Wear a facemask in public and among household companions.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes.
  • Clean hands and wash often with soap and water for 20 seconds or an alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Avoid sharing household items.
  • Clean all “high touch” surfaces every day.
  • Have clothing and bedding washed as frequently as possible.
  • Monitor symptoms and inform healthcare professionals, particularly if they worsen.
  • Confirm illness and contagion have passed before returning to work or public engagement.
  • CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work or become sick during the day should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. Sick employees should cover their noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).
  • Perform hand hygiene frequently.
  • Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Try to remain in open spaces with good air flow.
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise.
  • Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, and clothing items with workmates.
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces, such as counters, desk- and tabletops, doorknobs, bathroom fixtures, toilets, phones, keyboards, and tablets, every day.
  • Sanitize workspaces and public transportation areas like handles and stabilizing bars in subway cars, as well as arm rests and tray tables in buses, trains, and airplanes.
  • Wash clothing regularly.
  • Maintain a comfortable distance in conversations and tight working environment, such as two or more gathered around a computer.
  • Consider replacing a handshake with a fist bump or friendly salute.

For additional information, please see Interim Guidance for Preventing the Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Best Practices for Restaurants and Retailers

Let the World Know You Are Open: If you are open, make sure the public knows about it. Share on social media and your other available channels.

Share and Show Your Proactive Health Measures: Let customers know how you are maintaining a healthy environment. Promote it in your store and in the digital world. Customers want to be reassured that your business is a safe place. This may include how you are sanitizing public areas, ensuring your employees are healthy and providing tips for shoppers and patrons.

Be conspicuous about cleaning.: Make hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer obvious for customers. Check soap dispensers often and keep them supplied.

Reevaluate Self-Service Food Stations: Consider suspending self-service operations for food and beverage, including buffets, coffee stations, soda fountains, condiment bars, and product sampling.  Some restaurants are making table condiments available on request (and wiping them down before and after use).

Consider Curbside Pick-up and Meal Options for Customers Practicing “Social Distancing”: Promote carry-out and delivery options that your customers can use to enjoy your products and prepared food at home.

No Sick Employees: Take extra measures to ensure your employees only come to work healthy. Monitor and incentivize employees’ health and healthy practices. Require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of acute respiratory illness, fever, cold, or flu, or have traveled to regions where the virus has been active. Some employers are adjusting PTO and compensation policies. Many are creating work-at-home policies. A sick team is more expensive than making accommodations for a potentially sick team member.

Payment Processing: When possible, encourage contactless payment methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, or tap to pay credit cards. If cash is necessary, it is recommended you use gloves to handle transactions, changing them regularly to avoid contamination.

Surface and Equipment Sanitation: Frequently sanitize commonly touched surfaces and objects, including counter tops and tables, point-of-sale systems, doorknobs, faucet handles, and menus. This practice may need to be completed more frequently than normal. As a reminder, sanitizing solution should be changed at least once every four hours.

Handwashing, Handwashing, Handwashing: Yes, it’s Prevention 101. It is proven that the best method is to wash with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitizer is helpful but not as effective as proper handwashing.

Contain Coughing and Sneezing: Provide tissues in prominent locations for employees and customers. Include readily-accessible, no-touch disposal receptacles. Employees should wash hands immediately after coughing or sneezing, especially when food service is involved. Avoid touching your face as much as possible.