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The Network Effect
The Chamber has a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Submit questions by visiting Slido.com and entering the event code #ASK4BIZ (or simply click here to go directly to the page). Questions can also be submitted via email at ask@madisonbiz.com. Responses are posted at madisonbiz.com/covid19faq.

Good evening --

Here are the latest updates on our organizational efforts to inform and ensure an effective community response to COVID-19.

Today's highlights include a preview of this week's Lunch(UP)date with Public Health leadership, relief for restaurants and an opportunity to honor healthcare and other frontline workers.

LUNCH(UP)DATE WITH PUBLIC HEALTH

With the new Public Health Madison & Dane County (PHMDC) order set to take effect this Wednesday, May 5, we will welcome leaders from PHMDC later that day for our next Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber program (presented by Perkins Coie, with support from Accelerate Sponsor Baker Tilly) where you can take a break and enjoy lunch while staying curious, connected and informed.

This timely conversation will focus on answering questions about how the new order may impact your business. Submit in advance any questions you may have for Public Health or the Chamber at ask@madisonbiz.com.

Register here for this free program.

RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND APPLICATIONS OPEN

Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) opened applications for the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF), which was established by the American Rescue Plan Act to help restaurants, food stands, caterers, taverns, bakeries, breweries, wineries, distilleries and other eligible businesses stay open.

The RRF will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the funding as long as funds are used for eligible uses by March 11, 2023.

For the first 21 days, the SBA will fund applications where the applicant has self-certified that it meets the eligibility requirements for small businesses owned by women, veterans or individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. The SBA will accept applications from all eligible applicants but, for the next 21 days, will only process and fund these priority group applications.

For full program details and to apply, click here.

COMMUNITY MOMENT OF SILENCE

To kick off National Hospital and Health Care Week, SSM Health is inviting organizations in Greater Madison to honor healthcare workers, first responders, frontline caregivers and others with a “moment of silence” on Monday, May 10, at 10 a.m. The objective is to show appreciation for these heroes who have supported us during the pandemic while also keeping in our thoughts those who have experienced illness and suffering.
 
If your organization would like to join this effort, please submit your information here. Those who respond prior to May 10 will be recognized at ssmhealth.com/moment, and you may also be featured in SSM Health’s social media communications.

VIRTUAL INDUSTRY MEETING RECAP

Last week, the Chamber hosted the latest in our Virtual Industry Meeting (VIM) series, as technology leaders assessed their current needs and shared projections for the three phases of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak: relief, reopening and recovery.

Most leaders said they have weathered the pandemic fairly well financially, though some of their clients from harder-hit industries have faced challenges. While some attendees said their businesses are eager to return to the office and others said they have adopted more flexible policies that feature increased remote and hybrid work options, they agreed that having the population – and their teams – increasingly vaccinated will be beneficial to the economy and their businesses.
 
Some participants said they are still working to resolve questions around the logistics of in-person events, though they are encouraged by organizations that are starting to host and promote events as a way to reconnect and boost consumer and employee confidence. At least one participant said cybersecurity has been a significant concern during the pandemic, so they are investing an increasing amount of time and resources into combatting threats.

The Chamber has also convened lenders, manufacturers, developers and commercial property owners, hoteliers, retailers, business membership organizations, and leaders in the non-profit sector, banking and finance, healthcare, health and wellness, legal and accounting services, education, child care, construction, design, insurance, biotech, healthtech, arts, culture, entertainment and sports as part of our Virtual Industry Meeting series to help inform our advocacy. Please continue to share with us any policy ideas and recommendations.

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For a full archive of previously shared resources, visit madisonbiz.com/covid19.

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