For the latest information, news, and resources available to businesses as we navigate the impact of the novel coronavirus together, visit our COVID-19 Business Bulletin

COVID-19 Business Bulletin

COVID-19 Business Bulletin2020-04-03T10:55:56-04:00

Last Updated: Friday April 3 at 11:00 a.m.

Our team at Roswell Inc wants to keep you informed about the latest information, news, developments, and resources available to businesses as we navigate the impacts of COVID-19 together. We have created this “Business Bulletin” format as a way to provide you with timely, relevant information. We will publish updates to this information here on this page and will also send them out to our email list. If you would like to receive updates via email, you can subscribe below.

We know each business has its own unique circumstances and challenges during this time, and we are here and ready to do all we can to help you and your business navigate this uncertain time. Our team is working virtually, connecting with businesses every day through emails, phone, and video calls. Contact Our Team.

Join Our Business Email List

If you know of any information or resources you think would be of interest or valuable to the Roswell business community, please send an email to carisa@roswellinc.org.

On April 2, Governor Brian Kemp officially issued the statewide shelter-in-place, which goes into effect at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 3. The order mandates that residents stay home except to engage in essential services, perform necessary travel, or if they are part of the workforce for critical infrastructure.
Our team is currently reviewing the order to determine more specifically how this impacts our businesses and nonprofits. Please contact us if you have any questions about how this relates to your business, and we will do our best to assist.

The President has officially signed the $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue bill passed by the House on March 27. The measure will send payments of up to $1,200 to millions of Americans, bolster unemployment benefits, offer loans, grants and tax breaks to businesses large and small and provide billions more to states, local governments and the nation’s health care system. Read the full AJC story.

The CARES Act specifically allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. More details about how this will be implemented are forthcoming.

CARES Act Business Resources
The U.S. Chamber has developed new and updated resources to assist businesses under the CARES Act (Phase III bill).
The U.S. Department of Treasury issued additional guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, which will provide up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
The New York Times has created a CARES Act FAQ. You can view it here.
As full details become available about how small businesses can take advantage of this program, we will share them with you here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has officially designated Georgia as a disaster area, which means small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia can now apply for economic injury disaster recovery loans of up to $2 million per loan/business to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19.

These economic injury disaster loans can help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. This presentation contains a full overview of the program.

—— > Learn more and apply for a loan at sba.gov/disaster.

Additionally, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan. Learn more.

Additional SBA News & Resources
  • The SBA announced on March 23 changes to help borrowers still paying back SBA loans from previous disasters. By making this change, deferments through December 31, 2020, will be automatic. Now, borrowers of home and business disaster loans do not have to contact SBA to request deferment. Read more.
  • The SBA has a wealth of resources available on its website that cover everything from guidance for business and employers during COVID-19 to information about programs to assist with access to capital and exporting. Learn more.
  • Roswell businesses may place temporary business signage on their property without obtaining a temporary sign permit. The signs still must follow the city’s current code standards. Signs placed in the public right-of-way will be removed by code enforcement.
  • Mayor Lori Henry has announced restrictions limiting establishments that serve food to takeout, drive-through and delivery only. The executive order runs through 11:59 p.m., on April 3, 2020. The order also closes gyms and fitness centers, movie theaters, live performance venues, bowling alleys, arcades, and private social clubs’ food services and indoor gatherings.
  • Excise Tax & Business License Fees have been suspended for 60 Days. One provision in the Mayor’s full executive order is the following ——— Order No. 5: The collection of Excise Tax on alcoholic beverages and Business License Fees is suspended for 60 days.
  • All indoor City facilities, including City Hall, are closed to the public until further notice.
  • All events through May 10 and all public meetings through March 29 are canceled.
  • The closures will not impact public safety services provided by Roswell’s Police and Fire departments, who will be staffing stations and working to respond to the needs of the community as usual.
  • Although the City will be making some operational modifications, staff will continue to conduct the essential business of the City. If you have a question for any of the departments, you can find email contact information on each department page on roswellgov.com or you can send a question to communityrelations@roswellgov.com. You can also contact Our Team as we will do our best to assist.
  • At the direction of the Georgia Secretary of State’s office, the March 24 Presidential Primary and Special Election has been rescheduled for May 19. Early voting at all Fulton County early voting sites has been suspended. Learn more.
  • Roswell Municipal Court will be closed for 30 days beginning Monday, March 16. Court staff will contact affected individuals to reschedule court dates. For more information, call 770-641-3790.

For more information, visit RoswellGov.com/Coronavirus.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Effective April 1
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) gives businesses with fewer than 500 employees the funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.
The FFCRA goes into effect Wednesday, April 1 and applies to leave taken between April 1 and December 31, 2020. The legislation enables employers to keep workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat COVID-19.
Below is a basic overview about FFCRA. Our goal is to provide these FAQs to you as a refresher about what the act entails and how it may impact your business.
This is not a comprehensive overview of the program. This is simply a starting point.
For in-depth information, including employee rights, which employees qualify, requirements of employers, employee notice rules, qualifying reasons for paid leave, how it applies to teleworking, duration of pay, calculating pay for full- time and part-time employees, and tax credit information, visit the links below:
Basic FAQs about FFCRA

What is required of employers?

Covered employers must provide to all current employees:
Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave:
  • At regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
  • At 2/3 rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
 Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave:
  • 2/3 the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
  • Employee must have been employed for at least 30 days.


Who is considered a “Covered Employer”?

The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.


Who is considered a “Covered Employee”?

All current employees of covered employers are eligible for two weeks of paid sick time for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Employees employed for at least 30 days are eligible for up to an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child under certain circumstances related to COVID-19.


Does my business qualify for an exemption?

A small business is exempt from certain paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements if providing an employee such leave would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern. This means a small business is exempt only if the:
  1. Employer employs fewer than 50 employees;
  2. Leave is requested because the child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; and
  3. An authorized officer of the business has determined that at least one of the three conditions described in Question 58 in this FAQ section is satisfied.


How will I be reimbursed for the paid leave?

Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to FFCRA. Private sector employers that provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave required by the FFCRA are eligible for reimbursement of the costs of that leave through refundable tax credits.
Employers may claim tax credits beginning on April 1.
For full information from the IRS about this process, including how to claim a tax credit and receive an advance payment of the credit is available at:
***If you think this program applies to your business, please contact your CPA, banker, and/or attorney to discuss the specifics, along with any potential overlap there may be with the recently approved CARES Act, the federal economic stimulus package, the details of which are still forthcoming.***


What is my employee notice requirement?

Each covered employer must post a notice of the FFCRA requirements in a conspicuous place on its premises. An employer may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website.
Notice must be provided by April 1. 

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is temporarily suspending in-person requirements for services provided by the agency. In accordance with Governor Kemp’s recommendation, the GDOL is providing online access to unemployment services, partial claim access for employers, and other reemployment services.

What Employers Need to Know
  • Employers are required to file partial claims on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee. Learn more.
  • Employers now have two methods of submitting partial claims (now known as employer filed claims) – Multi-Claims Upload or Single Claim Entry. Multi-Claims Upload allows employers to upload an Excel spreadsheet using a GDOL template. This method saves time by eliminating the need to manually enter each employee’s information each week.You can simply update earnings information and upload a new spreadsheet for each week. You must download and use the GDOL Excel template. The template is available in the Employer Portal on the File Employer Filed Claims application. Read more and get the template.
Have you already filed an unemployment claim?

The DOL has posted information for both individuals and employers that includes time frames, important details to share with your employees, and ways to check the status of your claim. Read more.

Tax Deadline Changed

The deadlines to both FILE and PAY federal income taxes are extended to July 15, 2020.

The IRS has established a special section of the agency’s website focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by this coronavirus. Their page will be updated as new information is available.

Help Georgia Fight COVID-19

The Georgia Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) is leading the state’s charge to identify manufacturers and distributors across Georgia that produce, distribute, or store critical health care supplies that are already limited in supply or may become scarce in the weeks ahead. GDEcD is also looking for facilities that can be repurposed for the production of these vital products.

Is your business able to provide assistance and resources with either existing or adaptable production lines and facilities? Please complete this form.
  • Through our partnership with SCORE North Metro Atlanta, businesses and nonprofits in Roswell have access to a variety of FREE resources:
      • Mentoring (right now, accomplished through email, phone, and video calls)
      • On-demand business workshops and webinars
      • SCORE will also be revamping its live, in-person workshops and will soon be announcing interactive workshops via video conference.
      • Learn more about SCORE’s full offerings.
  • Georgia Commute Options is hosting a FREE Telework Webinar Series to share information about managing objectives and deliverables while teleworking, collaborating through technology, supporting good working habits and more.

Our team has been talking with businesses around the clock, counseling them on important steps they can be taking during this time of global uncertainty related to COVID-19. Our biggest piece of advice? To be proactive in asking questions and gathering information.

To help with this, we have compiled our Top 6 recommendations for things your business can be doing right now to prepare for the months ahead.

**

6 Things Your Business Can Do Right Now

1. Talk to Your Banker
Reach out to your local bank or creditor to discuss your current loan structures, lines of credit, equity lines, and availability of credit. Being proactive and having these conversations now will help you prepare for the weeks and months ahead. Your banker can also be a great local resource to discuss the economic injury disaster loans now available to small businesses and nonprofits in Georgia through the Small Business Administration.  

2. Review Your Lease
Contact your landlord to talk through your current lease and analyze together how you can plan and potentially adjust the agreement and terms to meet the immediate and future needs of both your business and your landlord.

3. Analyze Your Business Insurance
Contact your business insurance agent and discuss and review your current policy and coverage. Make sure you know what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t. Adjust your policy for any needs you anticipate having in the future. This is also a great time to contact your business health insurance provider to discuss your current plan and coverage for you, your employees, and their families.

4. Discuss Your Financial Status With Your CPA
Review your current financial status with your CPA and go over any tax issues you may be facing, such as making payments. Discuss deferral options at the federal, state, and local levels – including corporate tax, sales tax, and business licensing. Lastly, analyze your cash flow projections to help shore up the foundation of your current business.

5. Check With Your Vendors
Take an afternoon and check with all your current vendors and suppliers, such as your copier/printer, phone/internet, utilities, etc. Some are giving customers special offers, discounts, and grace periods to help businesses navigate this uncertain time.

6. Call Your Attorney
Be sure to contact your attorney to talk about your leases, contracts, and policies – as many of us do not read the fine print. Let your attorney know how your business is currently operating and ask for advice to help you over the coming months. 

The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact. Read more here.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has an entire section of its website dedicated to providing guidance to businesses and employers to help them navigate the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes preparing workplaces, reducing transmission among employees, and maintaining healthy business operations.

Please visit the site and help do your part in slowing the spreading of COVID-19.

Our team is working on collecting information on grants and other financial resources available to businesses. Please contact carisa@roswellinc.org if your company has established a grant program or another financial resource for businesses, or if you know of a program not listed here.

  • Facebook has announced $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. They will begin taking applications in the coming weeks; however, if you are interested in learning more, you can visit the website and sign up to receive information via email when applications begin being accepted.
  • A group of restaurants in Roswell have started a program to help schools providing lunches to children who need them. You can purchase gift cards to participating restaurants and then donate the value to a school meal distribution program. The restaurant prepares healthy meal options based on the amount of gift cards purchased. Volunteers pick up the meals and distribute them to the students in need. Learn more.
  • COVID-19 has caused a tremendous strain on our healthcare industry. Wellstar Health System has created a page on its website to provide businesses with information on how they can best assist during these difficult times. If your company is interested in donating supplies/services or making a monetary donation to the Wellstar Foundation click here.

Contact Our Team

Steve Stroud

Steve Stroud
Executive Director, Economic Development

steve@roswellinc.org
Direct: 470.359.6644

Carisa Turner

Carisa Turner
Director of Communications

carisa@roswellinc.org
Direct: 470.359.6646

Debra Ewing

Debra Ewing
Business Development & Government

debra@roswellinc.org
Direct: 470.359.6643

Ashley Allen

Ashley Allen
Marketing & Creative Specialist

ashley@roswellinc.org
Direct: 470.359.6640

Kimberly Allred

Kimberly Allred
Business Development, Retail and Events

kimberly@roswellinc.org
Direct: 470.359.6645

Tori Davis

Tori Davis
Administrative Coordinator

tori@roswellinc.org
Direct: 470.359.6641