Last Updated: 05/21/20 at 4:30 PM
As COVID-19 emerges as a global concern, the Chamber is monitoring the situation and we want to provide you with accurate information, useful tools, and resources that allow you to operate your business effectively.
- Webinar Wednesday Archives
Tell Us What You Need
COVID-19 Business Resources
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) [Updated 05/21/20]
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- SBA $10K Emergency Economic Injury Grant
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Department of Labor Assistance for Employees [Updated 05/21/20]
- U.S. Chamber Foundation Save Small Business Fund
- IRS Tax Relief
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- COVID-19 Internet Access Resources
- Executive Order Guidance for 04/20/20
Community Assistance & Resources
- Goodwill Career Center - Assistance for Job Seekers
- Food & Financial Assistance
- Dahlonega Restaurants: Who's doing Takeout, Curbside, Delivery, Etc.
View the entire Webinar Wednesday series here on YouTube.
- 04/15/20 - "Loan Programs During COVID-19" presented by Will Wade
- 04/29/20 - "Facebook & the First Amendment" presented by Steve Leibel
- 05/06/20 - "Modern Work-From-Home Models and Maintaining Connectivity and Culture Remotely With Your Team" presented by Dobbin Buck
We recognize that COVID-19 is causing difficulties for many members of our business community throughout Lumpkin County. The Development Authority of Lumpkin County is conducting a survey to help better understand these impacts and be able to provide you with relevant resources and up-to-date information from local, regional, and state entities.
Thank you for your feedback as we monitor the business climate in Lumpkin County.
City of Dahlonega Government Coronavirus Information
Lumpkin County Government Coronavirus Information
CDC Resource Page for COVID-19
Georgia Department of Public Health COVID-19 Daily Status Report
U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Tool Kit
Georgia Chamber of Commerce Resource Page
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.
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. The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.
Under this program:
- Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply.
- Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
- Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
- If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
PPP Loan Forgiveness
Under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act, loans may be forgiven if borrowers use the proceeds to maintain their payrolls and pay other specified expenses. The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration recently released the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. The forgiveness forms, instructions, and worksheets can be downloaded here. PPP borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness with the lender that processed the loan.
Overview - Paycheck Protection Program
Application - Paycheck Protection Program
Fact Sheet for Borrowers - Paycheck Protection Program
Fact Sheet for Lenders - Paycheck Protection Program
Loan Forgiveness Guide - Paycheck Protection Program
Local Lenders Participating in the PPP:
- BB&T (Truist)
- Southern Bank & Trust (Pinnacle Bank)
- SunTrust (Truist)
- United Community Bank
- Wells Fargo
SBA disaster assistance is now available to the entire state of Georgia. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Georgia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans can provide vital economic support to 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.
Please note the following:
- Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
- Applicants are applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, so they MUST select the Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Option.
- If applicants select a different option, they do not have to re-register but they will need to start the application again.
- For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster
The U.S. Chamber has prepared a Small Business Guide and Checklist regarding the SBA’s disaster relief loans. Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
A small business (under 500 employees) who has had a loss of revenue due to COVID-19, can follow this link to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Updated for the federal stimulus package, the CARES Act. Near the end of the form, businesses can check a box to receive a $10,000 advance (followed by fields to fill in the name of his/her bank, the routing number and the account number).
The $10K advance is the Emergency Economic Injury Grant. The grant does not have to be repaid, and is immediate cash for a small business.
It’s available by legal entity too, so if a business owner owns five different businesses—as long as they are set up as different entities (LLCs, S-Corps, Sole proprietorships, etc.)—the owner can apply for this for each small business entity.
Please note: This is not the 7(a) loan that has to go through an approved SBA bank lender.
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA, is the program that will provide unemployment benefits to those not ordinarily eligible for them. This includes individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits 501C3s, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits. The GDOL has modified its current online unemployment application adding new questions to better identify those individuals who may be eligible for PUA. These individuals must be determined not to be eligible to receive state benefits before being evaluated for federal PUA benefits.
The new federal PUA program is still under development and must be built from scratch to allow verification of wages. Once the programming is completed, individuals determined to not be eligible to be paid regular state benefits will receive an email with instructions for filing a PUA application. The GDOL has partnered with the Georgia Department of Revenue to help verify wages, subject to approval from the applicant. Emails should begin to go out to applicants potentially eligible for PUA on April 22, 2020.
Once the PUA application is received, it will be reviewed for eligibility and a written determination will be released with appeal rights. See detailed instructions on PUA.
Governor Brian Kemp and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler issued a statement regarding the Georgia Department of Labor Assisting Workers during this difficult time. Commissioner Butler is mandating that all employers electrically file a partial claim on behalf of their employees if the current situation has deemed it necessary for you to significantly reduce hours or temporarily lay off workers.
The benefits of partial claim filing:
- Employers retain their workforce – this is not considered a full lay-off
- There is no additional cost to the employer and the UI ratio will not increase due to these lay-offs during the current situation
- Your employees will be able to begin receiving monetary benefits within days of the electronic filing which will assist them with meeting the needs of their families
- Partial claims are temporary – they have a 6 week period (which can be extended under certain circumstances)
- Partial Claims do not count against any full claims you may need to make in the future. Should you end up having to lay off employees, those employees would still be entitled to the full 14 week benefit (the current length of time unemployment benefits are allowed).
Please go to https://dol.georgia.gov/ to begin the process.
Claims Conversion Program for Employer Filed Claims
The Claims Conversion Program allows employers to convert employer filed partial claims to regular unemploument insurance (UI) individual claims. This process allows employees who have been permanently laid off the opportunity to instantly transition their employer filed claim to a regular UI individual claim without having to refile their own claim. This also ensures the claimant can receive benefits without interruption. Find more information here.
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): Service Directory
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): How to File an Unemployment Claim
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): Employer Filed Claims Instructions
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): File an Unemployment Claim
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): Claims Conversion Program for Employer Filed Claims
The Georgia Chamber has a summary of expanded rules and resources recently announced by the GA Department of Labor as part of the state’s COVID-19 response. Click here to view their resource.
Small businesses are the foundation of our communities and our economy. Employing nearly half the American workforce, they keep our neighborhoods running and make them feel like home. The impacts of the coronavirus pandemic have wrought unprecedented financial uncertainty. These businesses need resources and relief — and they need it now.
That’s why the Save Small Business Fund, a grantmaking initiative funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, is providing $5,000 in short-term relief to employers across the United States. These one-time supplemental cash grants are for businesses that have between three and 20 employees and operate in an economically vulnerable community.
The grant application will go live on Monday, April 20 at 3:00 PM ET. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund and to apply for a grant, visit savesmallbusiness.com.
The IRS has moved tax dates due to staffing and financial stress. Please view the IRS website to view updated developments.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expands access to emergency paid sick leave to as many as 87 million U.S. workers. Many of these workers currently have no paid leave and are being forced to choose between their paycheck, their health, and the health of the people around them. This is a critical step toward protecting families’ financial security and mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. Click here to learn more.
In response to social distancing requirements and stay-at-home instructions, broadband providers are temporarily offering various options to get Georgians internet connectivity. These include free internet service, waiving disconnect and late fees, providing free access to WiFi hot spots, reducing limitation on data-usage, and offering other time-limited options.
Visit the Georgia Broadband Deployment Initiative website to find free public WiFi or to get internet in your home.
On April 20, 2020, the offices of Governor Brian Kemp, Lt. Governor Geoff Duncan and Speaker David Ralston, announced Phase I for the prudent reopening of the state’s economy which continues to prioritize the health and safety of Georgia citizens. While further details and guidance are forthcoming from the state’s leadership, the Georgia Chamber has compiled pertinent information for all businesses to consider as plans are developed to get back to work.
The Georgia Chamber has compiled two primary pieces of information that are relevant to businesses under this new executive order:
- A list of the minimum basic operations – located in the subsequent pages - that every business, authorized to open, must adhere to for effective and legal operation under these new parameters.
- A copy of the Governor’s executive order dated April 20, 2020.
Document - Executive Order Guidance for 04/20/20
Job Seekers can visit CareerConnector.org and register for free. Be sure to select the "Dawsonville" location, not virtual. Once registered, job seekers should call the Goodwill Career Center in Dawsonville at 706-344-3409 for:
- Application assistance
- Job lead cultivation
- Online resume maker
- Tutorials on how to effectively look for a job
- Interviewing skills practice
The Goodwill Career Center offers all of these services at no cost. The only requirement is registration via the website.
As we continue to work through these trying times, the Lumpkin County School System has compiled a comprehensive list of non-profit organizations and churches that are providing food and financial assistance. The list also includes open childcare facilities, companies currently hiring, and mental health resources. Check back often as this document is being updated as new information becomes available. Visit bit.ly/lumpkinassistance to view the list.
View the dynamic listing of Dahlonega restaurants along with information about which are doing takeout, curbside, delivery, delivery via service, and which are closed. It's updated as we receive info, so it'll be as up-to-date as possible every time you access it!
The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce seeks to provide access to recommendations, regulations, services and expertise to its members. During the COVID-19 pandemic, this mission remains constant. Prior to acting, members should consult their own professional advisors for information and counsel specific to the individual and unique situations faced by organizations, individuals and corporations. The opinions, interpretations and recommendations of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber are informational only and should not be relied upon by the recipient as legal or professional advice. The Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber makes no representations as to the accuracy or reliability of the content contained herein. Users of this information accept any and all risks associated with the use of such information and agree that the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber has no liability to user.