COVID-19 MEMBER GUIDE


WEEKLY MEMBER COVID-19 BRIEFING

Join the WI Veterans Chamber team for a COVID-19 Weekly Member Briefing every Friday on Google Hangouts Meet.

Join Webinar Here               
Join by phone United States: +1 (646) 749-3112
Access Code: 175-995-869

Please disable your audio/video upon entry, and use the chat function for questions.

Watch our past videos here

WISCONSIN TO START TO REOPEN

Wisconsin to allow some nonessential businesses to restart no-contact service this week.

Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) new emergency order will permit nonessential businesses to conduct curbside drop-off of goods and animals starting Wednesday at 8 a.m. The governor said the move “turns the dial a notch” toward reopening the state economy, according to a press release.

The order will allow businesses like dog groomers, small engine repair shops, upholstery businesses, and others to operate with curbside service. Outdoor recreational rentals, like those for boats, golf carts, kayaks, ATVs and other vehicles, will be permitted to conduct business. Automatic or self-service car washes will also reopen. All of these businesses “must operate free of contact with customers” and allow consumers to pay by phone or online, according to the release. More Here

Gov. Tony Evers has directed the Department of Natural Resources to reopen several state parks and forests under special conditions. The parks had closed on April 9, due to concerns over crowds and vandalism.

Evers directed DNR to reopen 34 state parks and forests on May 1. The special conditions are to help minimize overcrowding and allow for social distancing requirements. More Here

ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR PPP AND EIDL

The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications today from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. SBA has updated FAQs for the program and provided specifics on calculating maximum loan amounts by business type. For all program information and to find a lender, visit www.sba.gov/paycheckprotection.

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) and Health Care Enhancement Act of 2020 (“PPP Act”) was signed into law on April 24, 2020.

The $484 billion PPP Act has been enacted with the goal of replenishing the PPP with approximately $310 billion in additional funds, increasing availability of Emergency Economic Injury Disaster (“EIDL”) Grants, and providing federal funding to assist hospitals and healthcare providers.

This second round of PPP loans may end up distributed even faster than the first round since thousands of applications had been submitted to lenders by the time the first round of funds had been depleted. Sixty billion dollars of the new PPP funds will be specifically set aside for small, medium, and community lenders to distribute.

For those who have already submitted their loan applications, there is no need to resubmit one to the same lender.

In addition to the guidance included in our previously issued articles, you can find the SBA Interim Rules and FAQs here for additional information. The Interim Rules were updated on April 24, 2020, to touch on the following:

  • -Hedge Funds and Private Equity Firms are not eligible for PPP Loans
  • - Some portfolio companies of private equity funds may be eligible for a PPP loan, but applicants should apply the affiliation rules set forth by SBA and should carefully consider whether they can certify that “current economic uncertainty makes the loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.”
  • - A hospital that is otherwise eligible to receive a PPP loan as a business concern or 501(c)(3) will still be eligible, regardless of ownership by state or local government, if the hospital receives less than 50% of its funding from state or local government sources, not including Medicaid.
  • - A business’s participation in an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) does not result in an affiliation between the business and the ESOP.
  • - An applicant is not eligible for a PPP loan if it is involved in a bankruptcy proceeding during the time it submits the application or at any time before the loan is disbursed
  • - Applicants should keep in mind that the Borrower Application Form requires a certification that “current economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” This is consistent with SBA’s publication of FAQ #31, which provides that, “although the CARES Act suspends the ordinary requirement that borrowers must be unable to obtain credit elsewhere, borrowers still must certify that their PPP loan request is necessary.” It is anticipated that publicly traded companies will find it more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a PPP loan during this second round of funding.
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It is expected that the SBA will issue additional guidance via “FAQs” in the coming days and weeks. Full Article Here. 

Small Business Administration Business Loan Program Temporary Changes; Paycheck Protection Program – Additional Criterion for Seasonal Employers -Info Here

FROM SAFER AT HOME TO THE BADGER BOUNCE BACK

Gov. Tony Evers today announced Wisconsin's "Badger Bounce Back" plan which outlines important criteria for Wisconsin to be able to reopen its economy in phases and includes steps to make sure workers and businesses are prepared to reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

The Badger Bounce Back plan is informed in part by the President's Guidelines for Opening Up America Again that was issued by the White House on April 16, 2020. Currently, Wisconsin does not meet the criteria the White House established to start reopening our state. The Badger Bounce Back plan takes important steps to get the state of Wisconsin there.

The Badger Bounce Back plan is available here. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation’s portion of the Badger Bounce Back plan aimed at helping to ensure workers and businesses are prepared and ready to bounce back is available here. The Badger Bounce Back plan, in brief, is also available here.

CARES ACT AND THE PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

From the U.S. Chamber: Grant opportunity for small businesses with 3-20 employees.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with founding partner Vistaprint, has launched the Save Small Business Fund, a grant program to provide assistance to small business owners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities in the United States and its territories.

Grant applications open on April 20, 2020. To qualify, applicants must employ between three and 20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community, and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be awarded weekly on a rapid and rolling basis until all funds have been disbursed. To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund or apply for a grant, visit www.savesmallbusiness.com.

SMALL BUSINESS OWNERS
SBA LOW INTEREST LOANS AVAILABLE NOW

SBA Processed More Than 14 years’ Worth of Loans in Less Than 14 days

The Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans are saving millions of jobs, providing much-needed relief, and helping America’s small businesses make it through this challenging time.

As of this morning, the SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the PPP based on available appropriations funding.

Also, the SBA is unable to accept new applications for the EIDL COVID-19 related assistance program, including EIDL Advances, based on available appropriations funding. Applicants who already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza issued this joint statement with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to “urge Congress to appropriate additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program — a critical and overwhelmingly bipartisan program — at which point we will once again be able to process loan applications, issue loan numbers, and protect millions of more paychecks."

Additional Resources for Small Businesses
The SBA is committed to helping small businesses recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. Additional assistance includes:

- Funding: SBA 7(a), 504 and microloans, on which the SBA is offering Debt Relief; or, SBA Express Bridge Loans.
- Advising: The SBA Resource Partner Network for business resiliency readiness advising and training.
- Tax Relief: IRS information about tax relief for businesses.
- State Resources: Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation for employers and small businesses and Wisconsin Small Business Development Center network

NEW INFO ON LEGISLATION  

Key Takeaways: Wisconsin Emergency Legislation
Provided by Chamber Members- Davis & Kuelthau Attorneys at Law

Emergency legislation was passed by the Wisconsin legislature and was signed by Gov. Tony Evers earlier today. This bill adjusts administrative procedures to make Wisconsin eligible for federal COVID-19 aid and includes several other measures. Key takeaways for business leaders include measures related to:
• Temporary suspension of the unemployment insurance waiting week
• Non-charging employer unemployment insurance accounts
• Interest and penalties on 2020 property taxes
• Interest and penalties due on taxes owed during the public health emergency
• Income and franchise tax filing extension
• Exemption from civil liability for manufacture of medical supplies during public health emergency
• No cost sharing for covid-19 testing
• Prohibit coverage discrimination based on covid-19
• Out-of-network charges and payments during a public health emergency related to covid-19
• Prescription drug limits
READ MORE >>


Governor Evers Removes Barriers to Emergency Assistance for Veterans To see the
order click here.


To apply for the Assistance for Needy Veterans Grant online,
visit here.

U.S. Department Of Labor Announces New Paid Sick Leave And Expanded Family And Medical Leave Implementation

WHD will post a recorded webinar on Friday, April 3, 2020, to provide interested parties with a more in-depth description and help them learn more about the FFCRA. To view the webinar visit here

Governor Tony Evers Releases Second Legislative Package
This afternoon, Governor Tony Evers released a second legislative package aimed at the COVID-19 crisis. At this time we do not yet have actual bill language, but you can see the Governor’s summary of the proposal here.

Workers Compensation Rate Relief for Employers Who Pay Furloughed Employees. Employers can find additional information at www.wcrb.org or by contacting their insurance agent.

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U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Introduces loan forgiveness plan to support small businesses hurt by coronavirus pandemic. See It Here

U.S. Sen. Baldwin: Helps introduce updated emergency paid leave; small business support legislation. See It Here

Gov. Evers Issues Emergency Order on Unemployment Benefits. See It Here

Gov. Tony Evers issued Emergency Order #11, suspending several utility-related administrative rules. See It Here

BUSINESS RESOURCES & ASSISTANCE LOANS  

 

Legal Guidance - WI Veterans Chamber Gold Sponsors Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren

Need Help Transitioning to digital sales? Members and nonmembers can contact John Francis - Heartland - john.francis@e-hps.com for assistance

Wisconsin Emergency Response Program
gener8tor is hosting emergency one-week virtual programs for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Dates and Sign-up Here 

U.S. Bank Announces 20% Premium Pay Program for Employees and $30M Commitment to Support Individual and Small Business Recovery- Read about their commitment here

Small Business Resource Guide - Milwaukee Business Journal

WWBIC’s Business and Financial EDUCATION

WWBIC Business LENDING

  • WWBIC is offering loan clients affected by COVID-19 loan modification options. In some cases, these small business owners may have options for deferments and additional relief measures as they become available. Clients should contact their assigned Small Business Consultant or email WWBIC Servicing at wwbicservicing@wwbic.com

For current, past and new existing business clients, we are offering fast-track loans up to $15,000, and fast-track line of credit options up to $10,000! Please click here to review the qualifications for our “Fast Track” loans.

Marketing in the Fog: Perspective for business leaders in a covid-19 world – Provided by TRG Marketing

Members Davis|Kuelthau attorneys at law have free webinar recordings and PowerPoint materials guiding businesses through the gamut of considerations for weighing and applying for a loan. PowerPoint and webinar recordings are available for free viewing here.
Additional D|K webinar recordings and other complimentary COVID-19 related guidance are also available via their COVID-19 Resource Hub located here.

PAID SICK LEAVE FOR EMPLOYEES - FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

IMPACT ON MILITARY AND VETERAN FAMILIES  

AARP has released a fact sheet for veterans, military and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic

DAV has established a COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide financial
aid to service-connected disabled veterans who have lost employment or income due to COVID-19. The issued grants are meant to help veterans pay bills, obtain food and provide for their families during these difficult times. The application for this relief can be found here.

- Office of Veterans Employment Services
Director: Gary Meyer
Desk/VOIP number: 608-733-3906
Cell: 920-229-2431
Gary should be the initial contact if anyone wants to be connected to his local LVER staff (employers), or DVOP staff (veterans).

Dept of Labor VETS contact
Mike Beck
Email:  beck.michael.d@dol.gov
Phone: 608-266-8600
Mike is the federal contact for State of Wisconsin for USERRA matters
 

Veterans Access will be hosting a Virtual Job Fair.
May 20, 2020 at 10:00AM CST
No cost to candidates seeking gainful employment. The virtual job fairs present an opportunity for employers to meet, interview, and hire on the spot.
Veterans Access – www.vetsaccess.com
Virtual Job Fair – www.vetsaccess.vfairs.com

COVID-19 Military Spouse Initiative Here - online resources and webinars.

Wisconsin National Guard helps set up, staff voluntary COVID-19 self-isolation facility

WI Department of Veteran Affairs Updates Here 

Free audio books for Veterans with disabilities here

No Veteran Should Be Without a Place to Call Home

Free Help for Homeless Veterans Dial 1-877-4AID-VET (1-877-424-3838) for 24/7 access VA’s services for homeless and at-risk Veterans

Homeless Veteran Chat Confidential, 24/7 online support for homeless Veterans and friends - for more information

WDVA Veterans Outreach and Recovery Program-
Face-to-face meetings will occur only when necessary.
- All other intakes and case management check-ins will occur by phone.​
- Veterans in need should contact their local outreach and recovery coordinator.
- More WDVA resources here

Vets 4 Warriors
Vets4Warriors understands the concerns many of you may have regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We want to assure you that we have worked through contingency plans that allow our peers to remain standing by 24/7 to talk with you and connect you to needed resources. No matter the issue, please don’t hesitate to reach out to a peer, who is prepared to stay connected with you until the issue is resolved. You are not alone. Together, there is no problem that can’t be solved and no challenge that cannot be overcome. Reach us by calling 1-855-838-8255

Department of Defense-related coronavirus updates and impacts here

Veterans and COVID-19: Projecting the Economic, Social, and Mental Health Needs of America’s Veterans. Provided by Bob Woodruff Foundation

TALENT ACQUISITION IN THE POST-CORONAVIRUS

Talent Acquisition in the Post-Coronavirus New Normal

"While we have entered a general period of “hiring hibernation,” we need to do more than just play defense. Sure, it may be easier for companies in logistics, grocery, healthcare and financial services to play offense because they must meet increased demand. But how might any business position itself for hiring success in the "post-coronavirus new normal?"

Early feedback from large employers indicates they will be moving quickly toward an “online, virtual hiring” model. BMR plans enthusiastically to support that new normal—and do it in a way that meets an ever-growing mandate to amplify corporate diversity and inclusion—through the efficiency of its military hiring platform and the delivery of effective training and education content.  

If we can play some offense today, we’ll find ourselves in the red zone when the hiring market rebounds amid a larger pool of jobseekers. The rewards will be abundant." - Bob Hogan, Founder and CEO of Bridge My Return

Bridge My Return (BMR) is free to Veteran jobseekers; employers who are Chamber members are charged platform subscription fees or consulting fees on a preferred provider basis.

Bridge My Return has a military hiring platform to help Wisconsin advance the private sector success of its service members. Concurrently, employers can leverage the technology platform to identify military talent with greater efficiency and speed.  

Employers can contact BMR for more information—and service members can register and create their BMR profile—by visiting www.bridgemyreturn.com

Service Members Click Here

COVID-19 SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT GRANT

COVID-19 Small Business Impact Grant

The Ethnic & Diverse Business Coalition (EDBC) is a coalition of 14 ethnic and diverse chambers of commerce and partner organizations that serve the State of Wisconsin.

This grant application is to assist small ethnic and diverse businesses of any industry that are a business member in one of our coalition members during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before filling out this application, please note that you MUST be a member in good standing with one of our member Chambers of Commerce.

If you are NOT a member of a chamber, please reach out to a chamber (you can view a list at www.edbcwisconsin.org) to view chamber memberships and to inquire about your eligibility. Grants will be available up to $500.

If you have any questions, please call (414) 287-4172 for more information.

PLEASE CLICK HERE TO FILL OUT THE APPLICATION FOR THE SMALL BUSINESS IMPACT GRANT.

Milwaukee Business Journal - Associated Bank, Town Bank work with EDBC on grants for small businesses harmed by COVID-19. Read the article here 

UPDATES OR CLOSURES - SENATOR BALDWIN, VA AND WDVA
- click on the images to read more