All posts tagged business

The Four Most Common Questions Surrounding COVID-19 and Your Business


From the PA Chamber of Business and Industry – March 31, 2020

The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is dedicated to helping business across the Commonwealth. The following are the four most common questions the PA Chamber is receiving from PA employers and the best resources they are using to find answers.


1. What are the loans and financial resources being made available to small businesses?

Click here for information and to apply for a federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan of up to $2 million, including a grant of up to $10,000 if available within three days of a successful application.
Click here for guidance on key business programs in the recently-passed federal financial recovery bill.
Click here for an explanation of the Paycheck Protection Program to provide loans for small businesses.
Click here for information on Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program to provide working capital financing o impacted small businesses.

2. Does Governor Wolf’s business shutdown order affect my business?

Click here for the most current list of exempt industries and HERE for a FAQ document developed by the Wolf Administration.
Click here to apply for a waiver if your business is subject to the shutdown.

3. What are the new paid leave mandates and unemployment compensation changes?

Click here for a brief summary from the US Department of Labor.
Click here for an FAQ document from the US Department of Labor.
Click here for a PA Chamber summary of both Pennsylvania and Federal changes o the unemployment compensation system.

4. How can my business help?

As the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the Commonwealth and the nation, there has been much attention paid to the fact that the health care community is critically low on the personal protective equipment (PPE) that will help guard them against contracting the virus as they continue to perform the important work of diagnosing and treating patients. The PA Chamber is making two urgent requests of businesses across Pennsylvania:
• We are imploring businesses that have access to or a supply of N95 masks, eye gear, medical gowns and medical gloves and o not anticipate the need to utilize these items in the near future to donate them to their local hospitals. At the moment, a shortage of these items is resulting in health care providers having to wear the same PPE for hours on end, heightening their risk of contracting the virus. A complete list of in-demand supplies that are needed can be found here.
• If you are able to assist in this crucial request, please email opportunities@hapevolve.com. Any questions may be directed to Joe Tibbs, President of HAPEvolve, who is coordinating the effort on behalf of HAP.
• We are urging all businesses that believe they are able to turn their existing supply chain into the PPE output that the health care industry so desperately needs to please contact PA Chamber Government Affairs Director Kevin Sunday at (717) 645-2071 or ksunday@pachamber.org.

Business Resources for COVID-19


Below you will find a list of resources from a local, state, and federal level. We will continue to update this page as new resources become available. If you know of something that should be listed here, please let us know! Contact the Chamber at 814-676-8521 or chamber@venangochamber.org if you have any questions.

LOCAL UPDATES FROM VENANGO COUNTY BUSINESSES
The Venango Chamber is collecting updates from local businesses. View all updates here.


COVID-19 LOAN/GRANT INFORMATION

GUIDANCE FROM THE SBA
Guidance for Businesses & Employers from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
View the SBA Loan Resources page here.
View the SBA’s Three Step Process guide here.
Payroll Protection Loan or Paycheck Protection Program: The Payroll Protection Loan (that offers generous forgiveness) will be available soon, but you want to make sure you have your documentation in order to make sure you qualify and maximize your potential forgiveness. The checklist will help with this, and we will walk you through the process. Find FAQ’s here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan: The application for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance is available, and funds will be available for businesses that have suffered a loss in revenue. Reach out for help with this application. You need to make sure you have every piece of it completed before applying.

NORTHWEST BANK – CHECKLIST FOR SBA LOAN / CARES ACT
View the checklist from Northwest Bank here.

VERIZON-LISC SMALL BUSINESS RECOVERY GRANT
View information about the grant here.
View the application here – DUE DATE APRIL 4

COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) Program
Find more information here.


ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES

PA CHAMBER RESOURCES AND FOUR MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
The state Chamber has compiled a list of the four most common questions they have received from businesses and their answers to those questions, find that list here.
The PA Chamber has also developed a list of business resources. View their resource page here.

LIST OF LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESSES
Unsure if your business is still allowed to operate under the order from Governor Wolf on March 19? View the list of Life-Sustaining Businesses here. To request a waiver to keep your location open, submit the form found here.

US CHAMBER RESOURCE KIT
The U.S. Chamber has released a comprehensive resource kit for businesses. 
View the kit here. 
• View the emergency loans small business guide and checklist here.
• View the US Chamber Foundation’s Small Business Disaster Recovery Quick Guide here.
• Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit found here.

CARES ACT INFORMATION – US SENATE COMMITTEE
The US Senate Committee has created a guide to the CARES Act for small business owners. View the guide here.

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTER (SBDC) RESOURCES AND WEBINARS
The SBDC has compiled a list of resources for businesses, view the webpage here. They have also scheduled a series of webinars on the SBA Disaster Loans, click the link below to register or view the webinar:
March 30
March 31
April 1
April 2
April 3

US DEPT OF LABOR RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS AND EMPLOYEES
The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus: View the COVID-19 webpage here.
Fact Sheet for Employees
Fact Sheet for Employers
Questions and Answers

IRS UPDATES AND NEWS RELEASES
The IRS is updating their webpage with updates and news releases. View the webpage here.

DCED MANUFACTURING EMERGENCY SOURCING PORTAL
The PA Department of Community Development (DCED) has created a Manufacturing Emergency Sourcing Portal for the purpose of solving some supply side issues with known critical medical supplies throughout the Commonwealth. The list of needs, as it currently stands, can be found here.

NWIRC RESOURCES FOR MANUFACTURERS
The NWIRC has compiled a full list of resources for manufacturers. Find the list here.

INFO ABOUT EMPLOYEE COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
Davevic Benefits Group has created a document answering questions about compensation and health benefit coverage. View the document here.

VENANGO COUNTY COVID-19 RELIEF FUND
United Way of Venango County and Bridge Builders Community Foundations are accepting donations online at unitedwayofvenangocounty.org or bbcf.org. Donations may also be mailed to United Way of Venango County, PO Box 303, Reno, PA 16343 or to Bridge Builders Community Foundation, 206 Seneca Street, Oil City, PA 16301 (Please include COVID-19 in the memo line). For more information, or if you are an agency looking to apply for funds, please visit unitedwayofvenangocounty.org/donate-now/.

PAID LEAVE AND TAX CREDITS FOR SMALL AND MEDIUM BUSINESSES
The US Department of the Treasury, IRS, and the US Department of Labor announced on March 23 a plan to implement coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and medium sized businesses. Find more information here.

DAILY LIVE BRIEFINGS FROM PA DEPT OF HEALTH
View live daily briefings from the PA Department of Health for the latest news and updates on COVID-19. View their webpage here.

CDC RESOURCE PAGE
The CDC has developed a list of resources for businesses and employers. View their resource page here.

PA GOVERNOR TOM WOLF
Governor Tom Wolf is updating his website and Facebook page with resources, press conferences, and orders. View the website here.

REOURCES FROM ADAM WILLIAMS, LAWYER AT WILLIAMS & JORDEN (ERIE,PA)
• Podcast: How Businesses Should React to COVID-19 Crisis
• YouTube video: What’s the difference between EIDL and PPP Loans through the SBA?

COUNTY SURVEY FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
The Venango County Commissioners are conducting a survey to assess the impacts of Coronavirus (Covid-19) on local business. Complete the survey here.

FRANKLIN AREA CHAMBER UPDATES
Updates and resources from the Franklin Area Chamber of Commerce. View their update page here.

PA CHAMBER WEBINAR
The PA Chamber hosted a webinar with speakers Dr. Rachel Levine and Jonathan A. Segal on March 19. View the webinar here.


How can residents help support local business?

As you know, the Governor announced recommendations intended to limit the spread of COVID-19 across PA, including a closure of dine-in services, bars, gyms, casinos, and theaters. We understand that these decisions are being made with the best interest of the health of our state, but also recognize that this has a significant and potentially devastating impact on our local businesses. This is new territory for all of us.

The Venango Chamber encourages everyone who has the means to support local at this time. Many restaurants are working hard to offer take-out and pick-up services. Find a list of business updates here.

You can also buy gift cards for later use, shop online, and share positive information on social media to spread the word about shopping local.

#StaySafeSupportLocal

Winter is Here – Taking Time to Prepare


But summer is coming!  Let’s not forget that we have many businesses who depend on winter and they welcome cold and snowflakes as an important season in their business.  For others, this is a quieter time—a time of planning for the recreation season ahead and the visitors that are sure to follow.

Are you making the most of this time to prepare?  If you have the fortune of a little down time, we’d suggest you use it for evaluation and planning.  Take the time to look back at the trends in your business over the last year or two.  What worked well and what did not?

Website work and social media can be overwhelming to most of us, but this is a good time to cozy up to your computer with a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and do a bit of market research.

What are others in your industry doing?  How does your online presence look? Have you included the right information to make it easy for customers to find you on your own sites, Google and on the Chamber’s directory? And do you have great pictures, one that inspire people to want to get to know you and your business better.

If not, grab your phone and getting shooting! Grab a notepad and start writing about your business. Overwhelmed at this idea?  Call us or stop by the Chamber and we’d love to help you get started.  Make 2020 the year to be your best ever.

Photo by Michael Henderson

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s February 2020 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Business Review and Forecast – Deadline January 8


The Derrick and The News-Herald will publish the 80th annual Business Review and Forecast on Monday, February 17.  This special section will feature more than 300 articles on area businesses and agencies, giving information about progress and changes that occurred during 2019 and plans that may be in the works for 2020.

There is no fee involved in having a news story published in the Business Review and Forecast; however, the story must be “newsy” in nature.  Articles should contain information about new products or services, staffing changes, expansion projects, an anniversary or milestone, etc. 

Submitted articles will be edited for content and space. Photos and company logos will be considered as space allows.

Articles may be dropped off at the newspaper office at 1510 W. First St., Oil City; mailed to:  Venango Newspapers, ATTN: Cindi Power, P.O. Box 928, Oil City, Pa. 16301; or emailed to: specialsections.thederrick@gmail.com.

The deadline to submit your story is Wednesday, January 8.

This article was published in the Venango Chamber’s December 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.

Joe Taylor Ford Changes Hands, Now Griffin Phillis Ford Motors


Amy Phillis and Joe Taylor have a lot in common beyond their love of selling cars. While operating their own dealerships in different counties, they both upheld a commitment to their communities and share values around the kind of employers they wanted to be. 

Thankfully, they also shared a mutual friend, who introduced them to each other.  Amy, who owns Griffin Motors in Meadville, was looking for an opportunity to return to Venango County, having previously owned a dealership here.  At the same time, Joe was preparing his succession plan, one that would retain his commitment to his employees and customers.  Months of conversation led to the sale of Joe Taylor Ford, effective April 30.

Now known as Griffin Phillis Ford Motors, much about the dealership remains the same.  However, customers current and future will notice the change in signage and a new website griffinphillisford.com. Amy says “We believe in having a strong digital presence to make it easier for our customers to find their next car with us.”

Amy shared that Joe will still be dropping by the business and working on occasion.  She is excited to continue the relationships she already has with other local dealers and looks forward to meeting more of the community.  Grand opening celebrations are planned for July, with a Chamber mixer scheduled for July 18.  Join us in welcoming Amy and congratulating her team!

This article was published in the Venango Area Chamber of Commerce’s June 2019 VenangoWorks! Newsletter.