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VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development: Guidance for Businesses

March 16, 2020

COVID-19 BUSINESS UPDATE – 3/13/20

As a follow up to the Governor’s Executive Order, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and the Department of Labor are assessing and responding to the community impacts of COVID-19 on Vermont businesses.

First and foremost, ACCD and the Department of Labor urge all businesses and their employees to follow the latest guidance from the Vermont Department of Health and U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). The most current information can be found here healthvermont.gov/COVID-19

Department of Labor Guidance

The Department of Labor will be issuing guidance for Employers and Employees, including information on the potential impact on unemployment insurance benefits, employee sick-time and other issues as a result of COVID-19. More information and further updates can be found at labor.vermont.gov

Business Impact and SBA Loans

ACCD is asking any Vermont business impacted by the response to the COVID-19 virus to share these impacts with the Agency through a dedicated email address: commerce.covid19@vermont.gov.

In addition, the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently passed by Congress expanded the Small Business Act’s definition of a disaster to include Coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, the SBA will be able to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) under a Governor’s Certification Disaster Declaration. In order for the SBA to consider an EIDL declaration, the Governor must demonstrate that at least five small businesses in a disaster area have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of the disaster.

The Agency is working to identify businesses that meet the Small Business Administration’s threshold for SBA disaster loan assistance. Businesses are asked to complete an assessment form (available on the ACCD website at https://accd.vermont.gov/content/sba-worksheet) and return it to commerce.covid19@vermont.gov as soon as possible to help us advocate for eligibility. Our goal is to gain information in each of the 14 counties across the state. We are looking for data on impacts in the following areas:

  • Economic Injury
  • Supply Chain
  • Workforce (Including that caused by lack of childcare)
  • Business Travel
  • Visitor Travel and Tourism Activities
  • Remote Work Capabilities

The Agency has also established a hotline so that businesses may call to report impacts and be directed to resources: (802) 461-5143. The hotline will be staffed Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Stay Up to Date

ACCD and the Department of Labor are working to keep you updated whenever new information becomes available. We encourage you to sign-up for the Business and Economic Response to COVID-19 Newsletter.

For more information on Unemployment Insurance: UI Employer Services - 802-828-4344

For general Department of Labor Questions: Department of Labor Commissioner’s Office – labor.commissioner@vermont.gov