Resources for MRV Businesses

Mad River Valley logoUpdated: 3/27 @ 9:00 am

Here are resources we have compiled to assist MRV businesses deal with the COVID-19 Crisis. Clearly the situation is fluid and is being updated constantly so please be sure to check back;

The Mad River Valley Emergency Response Team Facebook Page has been created to provide you OFFICIAL up to date information from our towns, state leaders, and national decisions. PLEASE follow the page and share it aggressively.

Helpful links for MRV businesses;

Guidance With Respect to the Governor’s Most recent Stay Home/Stay Safe Order:

CLICK HERE  If you are a MRV business owner that would like to get regular business updates during the crisis.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
By April 1, when the new federal paid sick/leave law (Families First Coronavirus Response Act or “FFCRA”) takes effect, employers with less than 500 employees need to post this notice below in a conspicuous place at work.  Even if in a state with greater protections, employers must comply with both federal and state law. Families First Coronavirus Response Act FAQ’s

Federal Stimulus Package
There is a lot of talk about the Federal Stimulus Package currently being debated. We have acquired (Thanks Mimi @ Mad River Distillers)a fact sheet about the legislation that looks like it will be passed very soon.Take a look at the Congressional Aid to Small Businesses currently being discussed. While the package does provide for easy access to loans, not grants, there is forgiveness for funds spent over an 8 week period for business continuity items like payroll, utilities and mortgage interest. This provision could be really helpful for many of our business, and allow help to employees.  We will keep you posted on when the final version is passed and what it means for MRV businesses.

Unemployment Insurance Claims

In an effort to facilitate increased applications to its Unemployment Insurance Claims Center, the Vermont Department of Labor has announced the creation of an electronic formand staffing increases to assist those individuals impacted as a result of COVID-19.

In addition, the Department has tripled the overall number of staff at its Unemployment Insurance Claims Center and has added a supplementary number for the intake of initial claims.  As the Department prioritizes its response to the significant number of claims, certain regional offices will be closed to the public, while others will be providing services by appointment, as well as virtually. To make an appointment, individuals may contact their local Career Resource Center.

For individuals looking for more information on how they may be impacted, the Department encourages them to visit the Department of Labor website.

Individuals looking to establish an initial claim can contact the Department of Labor in the following ways:
Phone:

  • Full-Service Filing of Claims: 1-877-214-3330 (individuals should try this line first)
  • Supplemental Initial Claim Intake: 1-888-807-7072 Electronic:
  • Electronic Form for Initial Intake

Special New Hours for Unemployment Center Claims
Monday – Friday: 8:15am – 6:00pm
Saturday:  9:00AM – 3:00PM

Employers Looking to Suspend
If there are employers out there that are looking to temporarily suspend operations, please reach out to DOL to allow a smooth transition for your employees. UI laws are very complex and there are a lot of nuances. Please consult with DOL about suspending operations before you move forward.

  • Existing UI Claimants: Claimant Assistance Line – 877-214-3331
  • Employers: UI Employer Services – 802-828-4344
  • General questions: Department of Labor Commissioner’s Office – 802-828-4301

Business Insurance
Coronavirus & Business Insurance – What you need to know – Thanks to John Jamieson for supplying this important information

Banking
Be in touch with your bank as soon as possible if you foresee issues making loan payments or need a short term loan for working capital.

If you are having difficulty with loan payments, whether they are car loans, credit cards, mortgages, business loans or other obligations, contact your lender immediately. The Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), credit unions, and banks will work with borrowers to the maximum extent possible to alleviate financial pressure.

Renting
If you rent your space be sure to talk to your landlord now if you foresee rent becoming a problem down the line.

Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration has created a SBA Guide for Small Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to COVID-19. We have also been in touch with our contact at the Vermont SBA office. They want the business community to know that they working closely with their Disaster Loan folks, the State of VT, Emergency Management and others.  They have some basic info about the SBA Disaster Assistance Resources for Businesses.  They expect the state’s Emergency Management Office will be putting out instructions for affected businesses as the coordination of this has to go through them.  The local SBA office will keep us posted as the situation develops.

The Agency of Commerce for the State of Vermont will be putting out updated instructions for affected businesses as the process of requesting an SBA Declaration needed to be initiated by them.  The ACCD website is … https://accd.vermont.gov/about-us/disaster-planning/covid-19-guidance-vermont-businesses The local SBA office will keep us posted as the situation develops.

The Mad River Valley Community Fund
The MRVCF created a short form application for assistance in response to a variety of Covid- 19 concerns and challenges we face as a community.    In an effort to bridge the gap between layoffs and receipt of unemployment benefits. They have created an expedited financial support process. Following the link, enter the information and select submit when finished.  Rebecca Baruzzi, the program coordinator, will be in contact with you regarding your application.

Mental Health
For mental health assistance contact:
Hannah’s House
802-496-9715
or
Washington County Mental Health
• 802-229-1399
• Crisis Hotline 802-229-0591

MRV Chamber Initiatives

We have created a Help MRV Businesses NOW, a web page aimed at encouraging our community near and far to support our local business community. The idea is to encourage folks to buy gift certificates at local businesses. The idea being to help create some cash flow to the business which will help them pay their bills until this crisis end. We are working to add links to business websites to purchase gift cards and other  online shopping options.If you want to add your business to the Gift Card  list please contact us the MRV Chamber

As a community service we have publishing a web page outlining the status of our local business communityarranged by sector. There is also a specific list of Take-Out Meals available in the MRV,  Please make sure that your information is accurate and/or if you note anything that is incorrect.Please contact us with information.

All of these pages are linked from the homepage of the MRV Chamber website.