WBON COVID-19 resources

Vetted, verified information for women business owners, from women business owners. We are focusing on information for self-employed, micro-business, or small business employers in every sector. We will update this page continuously and recommend you bookmark and visit it periodically to get the most current and relevant information.

Please note that sharing information from a non-government source does not imply legal advice, financial counsel, or endorsement by WBON. If you have reviewed this information and still have questions, please contact info@wbon.org so we can connect you with a WBON member who has volunteered to help.

New information is in red.  Last updated 10/22/2020, 8:25 p.m. EDT

NOTE: The State of Vermont announced an Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program on Tuesday, October 20. Applications are now open through both the Tax Department and the Agency of Commerce and Community Development, aka ACCD. (See below.) 

The federal government authorized new legislation to provide additional funding for the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Emergency Impact Disaster Loans (EIDL). If you qualify and believe you might benefit from the PPP or EIDL programs, there is still money available and we encourage you to consider applying as soon as possible. Note the deadline for applying for the PPP closed Aug. 8, while EIDL ends in December. See resources and links below.

Expanded Economic Recovery Grant Program 10/20/20

ACCD and the Department of Taxes are administering Expanded Economic Recovery Grants.
The Department of Taxes application is open now through the myVTax portal until 11:59pm on October 30, 2020.
ACCD will be opening its application on Monday, October 26, 2020 at 8:00am, and it will be open until Friday, November 9, 2020 at 11:59pm.

Visit the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center for full details, eligibility requirements, how to apply,
and FAQs for businesses. If you missed the webinar this week about the program, a recording has been posted
to the website as well. Your business may be eligible for a second grant even if awarded an earlier grant.

New Technical Assistance Program Now Available 9/18/20

Free technical assistance is now available through the Small Business Recovery Technical Assistance Program.
The program is now live, and businesses can begin accessing resources immediately but note that all work and invoicing must be completed by December 4, 2020.

CVOEO Launches EMBRACE Program to Provide Grants to Micro Businesses 9/16/20

The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) have launched
the EMBRACE grant program for micro businesses. Grants are available to
businesses with 0 – 5 employees in which the applicant (owner) makes 80% of
state median income or less. Applicants can request between $2,500 – $5,000
depending on their need. See CVOEO for details.

REPORT on CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Fund grant assistance for Vermont businesses [PDF]
COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Program Report – 2020-08-17

Note the original economic relief funding is no longer available. For details see:
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/economic-recovery-grants

Governor Scott announced his proposal for a $400 million Vermont Economic Relief and Recovery package 5/20/20
Agency of Commerce & Community Development (ACCD)
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/vermont-economic-recovery-and-relief-package

Vermont Economic Recovery Relief Package unveiled

Health & Disease Updates
VT Department of Health
https://www.healthvermont.gov/response/infectious-disease/2019-novel-coronavirus

Covid-19 Resource Recovery Center for Business, Individuals & Communities
VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19

SBA reopens EIDL portal and PPP funds still available, 6/16/20
Small Business Administration
https://vermontbiz.com/news/2020/june/16/sba-eidl-portal-reopens-virtual-town-hall-tuesday-6-pm

Small Business Guide to the CARES Act (PDF)
National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO)

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

Guidance for Vermont Businesses
VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development
[Look at left-hand navigation]
https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/business

For Employers: VT Dept of Labor
VT Department of Labor
https://labor.vermont.gov/covid19

For Small Businesses: SBDC
VT Small Business Development Center
https://www.vtsbdc.org/coronavirus/

CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers
US Centers for Disease Control
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html

Small Business Loans
US Small Business Administration – Vermont District Office
https://www.sba.gov/offices/district/vt/montpelier

Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loan Q&A (PDF)
US Small Business Administration
SBA IFR 2_1_PPP

Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) loan application (PDF)
US Small Business Administration (Note that your lender may use a variation.)
PPP Borrower Application Form_SBA

PPP Flexibility Act Passes U.S. Congress, Signed by President
LCRCC as of 6/5/20
https://www.vermont.org/chamber/legislative-updates/legislative-update-week-21/#ppp

Initial unemployment claim (Vermont)
VT Unemployment
https://vermont.force.com/DOLClaim/s/

Change to alphabetized structure for unemployment claims and calls, as of 4/12/20
VT Unemployment
https://labor.vermont.gov/alphabetized-structure-information


INFORMATION FOR SELF-EMPLOYED AND INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS, as of 4/17/20
PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE HOTLINE ESTABLISHED FOR UPDATES FOR SELF-EMPLOYED
PUA Line:  (877) 660-7782
VT Department of Labor
https://labor.vermont.gov/CARESact_Vermont/SelfEmployed

Updated Process and Application for PUA, PANDEMIC UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE, for Self-Employed and Contractors, as of 4/24/20
https://labor.vermont.gov/PUA

“Safe harbor” announcement on PPP loans under $2 million  5/14/20
Small Business Administration (SBA), Journal of Accountancy
https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/news/2020/may/sba-safe-harbor-for-ppp-loans-under-2-million.html

Guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a PPP loan
U.S. Chamber of Commerce [PDF]

Independent Contractor’s Guide to Cares Act Relief: PPP, EIDL, Unemployment
U.S. Chamber of Commerce [PDF]

SBA and Treasury release PPP Loan Forgiveness Application [PDF] SBA form and instructions released 5/15/20
US Small Business Administration (Note that your lender may use a variation.)
3245-0407 SBA Form 3508 PPP Forgiveness Application

PPP EZ Loan Forgiveness Application, 6/16/20 [PDF]
Sole proprietors and small business owners who did not reduce payroll by more than 25%
are eligible to use the shorter EZ Form for forgiveness application.

Guidance for Businesses and Employers
VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development
https://accd.vermont.gov/about-us/disaster-planning/covid-19-guidance-vermont-businesses

Family First coronavirus relief bill: small employers
U.S. Treasury, IRS and Labor
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan-to-implement-coronavirus-related-paid-leave-for-workers-and-tax-credits-for-small-and-midsize-businesses-to-swiftly-recover-the-cost-of-providing-coronavirus

Family First coronavirus relief bill: small employers
MarketWatch (summary in everyday language)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-the-family-first-coronavirus-relief-bill-means-for-small-business-owners-and-self-employed-people-2020-03-21

VBSR Covid-19 Webinar Series
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility
https://vbsr.org/vbsr-resources/planning-preparing-for-covid-19/

Family First coronavirus relief bill: self-employed individuals
U.S. Treasury, IRS and Labor
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/treasury-irs-and-labor-announce-plan

Family First coronavirus relief bill: self-employed individuals
MarketWatch (summary in everyday language)
https://www.marketwatch.com/story/what-the-family-first-coronavirus-relief-bill-means-for-small-business-owners-and-self-employed-people-2020-03-21

How to pause your federal student loans, other financial counsel for individuals
NYT: Your Money Hub for Help During the Coronavirus Crisis
https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-money-unemployment.html#link-3c2b8d5f

COVID-19 Guidance for Employers  (podcast)
ADP HRpreneur podcast episode, March 17, 2020
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/covid-19-guidance-for-employers/id1451358989?i=1000468706871

COVID-19 FAQs & Resources for Employers (ADP)
ADP COVID-19 Resources for Small Business Employers (comprehensive & updated regularly)
https://sbshrs.adpinfo.com/covid19-faqs

Public buildings with open WiFi access: Interactive map
Vt Dept. of Public Service
https://bit.ly/VThotspots

EEOC updated Guidance for Employers on discrimination or harassment based on COVID-19
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/pandemic_flu.html

Coronavirus Update for Vermont Employers & HR Professionals: Answers to 7 FAQs
Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer PC
https://www.primmer.com/news-and-events/covid-19-faq

Emergency Family Medical Leave Act for New York & Vermont Employers (PDF)
Helpful decision tree flowchart model
Plattsburgh Chamber + Stafford Owens, PLC
FMLA Expansion Act_updated_NY

Navigating Uncertain Times Together: An Online ‘Brain Trust’ with Women Business Owners to Connect, Problem-Solve, & Inform
Center for Women’s Enterprise (CWE)
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/cwevt-women-entrepreneurs-business-brain-trust-tickets-100323508314

Fact-checker for coronavirus information
PolitiFact, the Poynter Institute’s nonprofit fact-checking organization, has a website dedicated to confirming and debunking coronavirus information spread by government officials, text messages and social media.
https://www.politifact.com/

IRS: Filing and Payment Deadlines Questions and Answers
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/filing-and-payment-deadlines-questions-and-answers

Small Business Loans for COVID-19: PPP (ADP) Updated 4/7/20
ADP on IRS changes made 4/6/20 that affect Protect Payroll Program SBA loan applications
https://www.adp.com/contact-us/customer-service/paycheck-protection-program.aspx

FAQs about the SBA Payroll Protection Program (aka PPP) 4/24/20
KeyBank
NOTE: Independent Contractors, Sole Proprietors, or Self-Employed individuals ARE eligible
https://www.key.com/small-business/promo/stimulus.jsp#faq

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIRECTORY
Directory provides links to critical local resources including: EDA regional office contacts, state government contacts, and EDD, TAAC, RLF, University Centers, and Tribal planning organization sites.
U.S. Department of Commerce
https://www.eda.gov/resources/

Covid-19 Resources for the Cooperative Business Community (English & Spanish)
Webinars for co-op businesses regarding safety, employment law, managing cash flow.
Also support for applying for SBA EIDL loans.
U.S. Federation of Worker Cooperatives
https://www.usworker.coop/covid-19/

RESOURCES FOR REOPENING YOUR WORKPLACE

Mandatory safety training with documentation required for every employee before reopening workplace, 4/27/20
Vt. Dept. of Labor
https://labor.vermont.gov/VOSHA

Restart Vermont: Update to Work Safe Resources, 06/05/20
VT Agency of Commerce & Community Development
https://accd.vermont.gov/news/update-new-work-safe-additions-stay-home-stay-safe-order

Reopening your business as COVID-19 restrictions ease
ADP HR{preneur} podcast (packs lots into 12 minutes of Q&A with attorney)
https://hrpreneur.podbean.com/e/reopening-your-business-as-covid-19-restrictions-ease/

Guidance for Specific Industries
U.S. Dept. of Labor, OSHA
https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/controlprevention.html#interim

Workplaces Decision Tool & Webinars by Sector
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/office-buildings.html