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The Network Effect

NOTE: Last week, the Chamber launched a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Responses to several questions are already posted at madisonbiz.com/covid19faq.

To submit or vote up questions, visit Slido.com and enter the event code #ASK4BIZ or simply click here to be directed to that page. Questions can also be submitted via email at ask@madisonbiz.com.

Good evening --

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

"SAFER AT HOME" ORDER

Today, Gov. Tony Evers announced that he will issue a “safer at home” order that will come out tomorrow (March 24). Our team is in regular contact with the Evers administration and will share further information about this order as it becomes available regarding date of enforcement and duration.

While details are still being finalized, we do know policies for restaurants and bars will not change. The order is ultimately expected to resemble Ohio's model. The full Ohio order can be found here, with an FAQ about the Ohio order available here.

SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS

As of Friday, March 20 at 10 p.m., the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has made available Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to assist businesses in Wisconsin affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, following a request from Gov. Evers. The loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills. These loans are not intended to make up for lost profits or to be used for expansion.

For eligibility guidelines, application guidance, options for application assistance and answers to frequently asked questions, see this document from Wisconsin’s SBA Office. For a list of documents recommended for the loan application, as well as fillable PDF forms required by the SBA, click here.

The deadline to apply for an EIDL is Dec. 21, 2020.

For additional assistance, contact the SBA’s helpline at 800-659-2955 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT seven days a week or by email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. You can also visit their website at sba.gov/disaster.

SMALL BUSINESS VIRTUAL MEETINGS

The SBA is offering webinars every day this week to help Wisconsin businesses prepare and apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.

To register for one of the 10 a.m. sessions, visit here. To register for one of the 2 p.m. sessions, visit here.

Tomorrow (Tuesday, March 24), U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan will hold a Small Business Virtual Roundtable conversation on state and federal solutions for Wisconsin small business owners. He will be joined by representatives from the SBA and Wisconsin state government.

There will be an opportunity to submit written questions during the webinar through Zoom, or to Dane.Varese@mail.house.gov if you're joining by phone (Dial-in: 929-205-6099; Webinar ID: 696 758 593). Join the webinar here.

EMERGENCY AND RECOVERY FUND

United Way of Dane County, Boys & Girls Club of Dane County, Selfless Ambition and other area organizations recently announced they were leading a fundraising effort to support those affected by COVID-19. As of Sunday evening, the Dane County COVID-19 Emergency and Recovery Fund has brought in $1.357 million, with substantial gifts coming from the Chamber board and Chamber member businesses.

The application for receiving money through the fund will be available on the United Way of Dane County website starting this Friday, March 27. One hundred percent of the fund will be invested back into the community. 

For more information about the fund, the application process and how to donate, click here.

UTILITY RULES

Over the weekend, Gov. Evers issued an emergency order suspending several utility-related administrative rules. One notable change as a result of this order is that regulated utilities are directed to stop service disconnection for nonpayment for all customers – including commercial, industrial and farm accounts – rather than only for residential accounts.

View the full order here.

PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT

Last Monday, at the request of Dane County Emergency Management and Public Health Madison & Dane County, the Chamber reached out to Greater Madison bio companies to request an inventory of donatable Personal Protective Equipment. That includes masks, face shields, paper gowns and cloth gowns that could be used by healthcare providers and first responders.

If you are able to help, please share information about your available items (including quantity and cost) and contact information for the appropriate person on your team with Emergency Management at 608-266-5374 or dcems@countyofdane.com.

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

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