As the Commonwealth of Virginia and our local governments have declared states of emergency regarding COVID-19, ChamberRVA continues to coordinate with regional partners to address developments related to the coronavirus and impact to businesses and the community.

We are closely monitoring and following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Virginia Department of Health, and our regional jurisdictions. Get the latest on conditions in Virginia from VDH, and updates pertinent to your organization below.

Important Update: On March 30, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam issued a Stay at Home order to combat the rise in COVID-19 cases until June 10, 2020. Read the Executive Order (EO 55) to learn more about how this effects schools, businesses, and everyday life. You can find the Governor’s list of essential and non-essential businesses here.

Paycheck Protection Program

The federal government has just passed a far-ranging $2.2 trillion CARES Act designed to provide economic relief from COVID-19. The Act is very broad, but includes a number of key provisions relevant to employers and workers, including:
  • Paycheck Protection program: loans to help cash flow for “small” businesses and nonprofits with 500 employees or less; the amount of the loan can be up to 2 ½ times your average monthly payroll (up to a maximum of $10 million); 1% interest rate; importantly, a significant portion of these loans will be forgiven for businesses that retain or rehire employees between now and June 30
  • Providing $500 billion for loans to struggling businesses and governments
  • Adding $600 per week to unemployment benefits (the pre-existing Virginia maximum was $378 per week) and extending the benefit period
  • Providing $1200 per person to adults earning less than $75,000 per year, plus $500 per child 16 years or younger.
For small businesses and other entities, the Paycheck Protection Program can be very important. Not only does the loan provide immediate cash to keep your business afloat, but an amount equal to the total of your payroll, health insurance costs, mortgage interest, and rent incurred for 8 weeks after your loan will be converted to a grant upon submission of documentation. Additional details about these loans is laid out in a document prepared by the U.S Chamber of Commerce. You can find this document and the application form below:
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Last week, we wrote you about the federal Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to help cash flow for “small” businesses, self-employed individuals, and 501(c)(3) charities with 500 employees or less. The amount of the loan can be up to 2 ½ times your average monthly payroll (up to a maximum of $10 million). Importantly, an amount equal to the total of your payroll, health insurance costs, mortgage interest, and rent incurred in the 8 weeks after your loan will be converted to a grant upon submission of documentation. Additional details about these loans is available on the ChamberRVA website and is laid out in this summary prepared by the U.S Chamber of Commerce.
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April 3 Update: The qualification requirements are simple, and the loans are intended eventually to be approvable in a single day. You can apply for the loan by going directly to a lender approved by the SBA. The Small Business Administration issued regulations for these loans last night. Lenders can start accepting applications from small businesses and sole proprietorships today and from independent contractors and self-employed individuals on April 10, and many lenders are hurrying to get their procedures finalized as fast as possible. Some lenders have indicated that they will start by processing loans for existing customers, so we encourage you to reach out directly to a lender with whom you already have a relationship. You can also find eligible lenders by going to this SBA website. If you have trouble accessing the SBA website, here’s an SBA list of lenders approved for Virginia as of January 1. In addition, federally insured depository institutions and credit unions will be able to participate. We encourage you reach out to a lender immediately because demand is likely to be huge.
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While you are waiting to hear back from a lender, you can review the SBA-approved application and assemble some of the documentation you will need:
  • Evidence you paid salaries and payroll taxes on or around February 15, 2020
  • Evidence of your monthly payroll for the previous year

For more information, contact John Easter.

Small Business Loans

One of our responsibilities is to make sure you have all the information you need to support your small business. The information in this box contains a step-by-step process that will walk you through how to apply for a small business loan and how to learn about different loans and qualifications.

Click here to go to the new SBA website for COVID-19 financial problems.

The Richmond, Virginia, skyline, as seen over the James River.

Business Resources

Know you are not alone. Every business in Greater Richmond is facing impacts from the coronavirus outbreak, and your Chamber partners are here to support you. At the link, find updated resources for your business as you navigate this challenging time.

Get Business Resources

Regional Resources

Local business organizations are doing their part to keep their community informed. Here, get the latest from Richmond-area counties and towns as we combat the coronavirus spread together.

Access Regional Resources

Employee Resources

If you have been laid off, furloughed, or otherwise impacted in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, we can help guide your next steps.

Find Employee Resources

Staying Safe. Keeping Strong.

Your employees’ safety is paramount, and we understand you may be shifting the way you work — and for possibly quite some time. Keep your team safe and help prevent the spread of COVID-19, and get tips on how to set up a remote workforce to succeed.

Find Health and Safety Resources

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