President's Update: Important Local Business Update on COVID-19 and 5 Things to Do Right Now

Southern Pines, NC - To our Moore County business and non-profit community
On Monday, March 23, 2020 Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 120 closing all schools to students through May 15 (8 more weeks).  The Order also closed all “entertainment facilities without a retail or dining component” (swimming pools, movie theaters, skating rinks, health clubs, yoga studios, and bowling alleys) as well as closed “personal care and grooming businesses” (hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, hair removal centers) effective March 25, at 5:00pm.  The Order also limited visitation at Long Term Care Facilities and banned mass gatherings of more than 50 people.
SBA Disaster Loans
This program is designed to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue through low-interest loans with favorable terms (up to $2 million at 3.75% interest for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits, repaid over 30 years).  The SBA and your Chamber strongly encourage ALL our members to apply now.  To learn more visit www.sba.gov
5 (More) Things Businesses Should Do Right Now
Two weeks ago, I shared 7 things businesses should do right now. Here are 5 more things businesses should be doing now as the crisis evolves.

  1. APPLY for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans ASAP (Information above) Pro Tip: Use Internet Explorer as your browser and if the document uploader does not work (error), SBA hotline personnel advise to email the files to the email address provided.
  2. SEEK temporary suspension of payments on existing loans: If you have an existing SBA Loan (7A or other), call your loan officer to request a payment deferral.  Deferrals for between 90 and 120 days are being granted with little hassle.  Local lenders are also deferring non-SBA loans 60 days or longer, so please call and ask.
  3. PLAN - Make plans now for operating under a future Shelter at Home order (now active in 16 states) and make plans to successfully operate if your place of business were ordered closed.  Though no order has been issued, think now about how to maintain operations if you could not return to your place of business. How would you get your mail (forward to a home address)? make deposits and pay bills? manage server maintenance and backups be done? communicate with customers and vendors? sustain working remotely? And what needs attention in the office fridge? etc.
  4. INNOVATE – In this crisis, please make time to think.  How will your organization adapt to succeed?  This does not need to be just one long business funeral.  Don’t be too busy drowning to learn new ways to swim.  Form a small group people (inside and outside your organization) to help work the problems and seek solutions. Try new things and prepare to pivot fast. There are opportunities for your organization in this crisis.  Seek and explore them.  Action is the antidote to anxiety.
  5. TRACK the proposed $2 trillion economic stimulus package and what might be in there to help support your business (we will seek/write/share what we learn when it is passed and signed).
Just a few more things…
Have HR questions?  The following is a resource for tips on how to respond to COVID-19 in the workplace
A reminder to visit our website and to explore the various information to assist you in navigating COVID-19.  We also strongly encourage you to follow us on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date information.
Strengthen Connections.  Navigating these challenging times is complicated and you shouldn’t do it alone. Connect with your fellow businesses.
Let us know how we can continue to serve you.  What do you need, what questions do you have, and what's working? Your updates and questions allow us to better serve you and our local business community.
Thank you for your membership in the Moore County Chamber.  Your investment fuels our ability to serve and support you in this crisis and the coming recovery and we are grateful.
With warmest regards,
Linda M. Parsons, IOM, CCEC
President and CEO