The well-being of the county’s businesses and citizens is a priority for us at Rockingham County Economic Development. We have been closely monitoring the numerous updates and gathering resources as they become available in an effort to help manage and reduce any hardships Rockingham County’s workforce may feel as an impact of this epidemic.
Below is an evolving list of resource pertaining to state and federal COVIC-19 announcements, programs, and information to help navigate through this challenging time. If you are aware of anything that needs to be added to the list, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Direct Contact Information
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Hotline-1866-432-3821
PHASE 3 CONTINUES EASING RESTRICTIONS
North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper signed Executive Order 209 lifting more Phase 3 restriction which will remain in effect until June 1, 2021 in an effort to address the on-going, public health emergency. Face coverings remain required in all indoor settings when non-household members are present, regardless of the distance away. Indoor settings include, but are not limited to retail businesses, restaurants (unless actively eating or drinking), lodging, transportation, etc. Face coverings, however, are no longer required in any outdoor setting, but still advised if large crowds are present.
Highlights of Executive Order 209 include:
- Increases mass gathering limits from 50 to 100 people indoors and 100 to 200 people outdoors
- Lifts the requirement for wearing face coverings in any outdoor setting
The following restrictions from Executive Order 204 are still in effect.
- Indoors and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity; Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing
- Museums and Aquariums
- Retail Businesses
- Salons, personal care and grooming businesses
- tattoo parlors
- Indoors up to 75% and Outdoors up to 100% Capacity; Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing
- Breweries, Wineries, and Distilleries
- Recreation (e.g., bowling, skating, rock climbing)
- Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, yoga studios, fitness centers)
- Amusement Parks
- Indoors and Outdoors up to 50% Capacity; Subject to Masks and 6 ft. Social Distancing
- Movie Theaters*
- Gaming Facilities*
- Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces
- Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs
- Auditoriums, Arenas, and other venues for live performances
- Sports Arenas and Fields (includes professional, collegiate, and amateur)
*Movie theaters and gaming facilities may operate at up to 75% capacity outdoors.
We have been and will continue to gather information by working with local, state, and national agencies and encourage our visitors to follow guidance from federal, state, and local public health authorities.
COVID-19 Business Resources
North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan: The Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIFund) North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan program is primarily designed to be a timely source of bridge financing until businesses can access SBA Disaster or other federal disaster funding.
North Carolina Restaurant Workers Relief Fund: Any hospitality employee of a North Carolina restaurant or hotel facing significant financial hardship due to a lay-off, furlough or reduction in hours as a direct result of COVID-19 can apply for the NC Restaurants Workers Relief Fund.
North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS): NCDHHS has a comprehensive list of executive orders passed by Roy Cooper that impact businesses in North Carolina, and resources guidance on how to continue modified operation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC): Provides assistance with continuity planning, disaster capital, and other resources to help your business manage during the current crisis.
Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Assistance & Resources: SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act: The U.S. Department of Treasury CARES Act provides fast and direct economic assistance for American workers, families, and small businesses, and preserve jobs for American industries.
Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
General Business and Small Business Resources
- US Chamber of Commerce: Resource Page
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce-Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
- CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers: see here
- NC Small Business and Technology Development Center
- NC Department of Commerce COVID-19 Resources: see here
- PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund: Professional Beauty Association: see here
- Facebook Grants-offering cash grants and ad credits for eligible small businesses.
- GoFundMe Small Business Relief Fund-$500 grants to any small business that raises $500 on a GoFundMe
- The Red Backpack Fund-up to $5,000 for women-owned businesses
Business Operations Information
- What to say? Templates for member/client communications
- Prepare for possible disruption
- Identifying critical employees and ensuring that work-at-home systems
- CDC checklist
- Establish a response team
- U.S. Chamber guidelines and webinar
- North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services practices
- OSHA guidelines maintain your business operations
- Prepare your supply chain
- Emergency remote-working plan
- Lead your business through the coronavirus crisis
- 8 strategies to set up remote work during the coronavirus outbreak
- How brand managers should address COVID-19
- Coronavirus could force teams to work remotely
- Business planning for the COVID-19 Coronavirus
- Business Resilience and Continuity Planning Resources
- Remote Work Resources
- Count On Me NC training-As businesses open their doors and invite the public back in, cleanliness will be of utmost importance. Completion of this training will grant the business recognition and reassure the public that the business is taking extra precautions to keep them safe.
Food Services Industry Information
Information for Employees/Self Employed
COVID-19 Unemployment Insurance Claims
Under Executive Order #118, individuals who, as a direct result of COVID-19, are separated from employment, have had their hours of employment reduced, or are prevented from working due to a medical condition caused by COVID-19 or due to communicable disease control measures may apply for unemployment assistance immediately.
- Order removes the one-week waiting period for individuals to apply for benefits
- Order removes the requirement that a person must look for another job during this time
- Order also allows employees, who lost their jobs or who have had their hours reduced due to COVID-19 issues, to apply for unemployment benefits
- Order instructs the Employment Security office to not allocate charges to employers’ accounts for individuals who are paid benefits for reasons related to COVID-19
- COVID-19 Unempolyment Insurance FAQ
- Link to Apply for NC Unemployment Benefits
- The Top 11 Unemployment Questions Related to the Cornavirus Answered
Relief Funding for Employees/Self Employed
- North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association Foundation-Provide qualified applicants with $500 within 5 days of their application to help with immediate expenses.
- PBA COVID-19 Relief Fund: Professional Beauty Association-Provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals as a short-term aid for immediate needs such as food and bills.
Information Pertaining to Agricultural Work
- USDA Assistance for Farmer’s and Ranchers.-NC Farmers & Ranchers: May Apply for Financial Assistance via USDA’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.
Information For Re-opening Your Business
As the State of North Carolina prepares to ease restrictions surrounding sheltering in place, including non-essential business practices, there is a lot of uncertainty and concern for safety as well as compliance. Below is information to help you navigate opening your doors as well as keeping yourself and your employees safe. For more information on the COVID-19 Executive Order, please visit here.
- Returning to Healthy Business Operations Checklist
- Frequently Asked Questions on Cloth Face Coverings
- Operational Toolkit for Businesses Considering Reopening
- Back to Work Safety Guidelines
- Guidance On Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
- What Employers Need to Know
- OSHA’s Response to Workplace Safety and Coronavirus Exposure
- OSHA COVID-19 Safety Standards for Employers
- Recovery Readiness: A How-To Guide to Reopening Your Workplace
- Piedmont Triad Regional Council-Helping Organizations Safely Reopen Through Workplace Restart
- Signage Options