March 29, 2020
Here’s today’s update:
- A reminder about the statewide Stay-at-Home Order issued by Governor Cooper that goes into effect at 5 p.m. Monday.
- A useful frequently asked questions document regarding the order is available here.
- Restaurants that offer curbside pick up, drive-thru or delivery can remain open.
- Businesses that believe they should be considered essential to remain open can file a request with the N.C. Department of Revenue here.
- New Hanover County has issued its own restrictions in conjunction with the Governor’s order, more info is available here.
- The CDC issued a formal travel advisory for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — three states that have rapidly become the nation’s biggest hotspot for the virus. The advisory urges residents of those states to refrain from non-essential domestic travel for 14 days effective immediately. Individuals who are returning from the New York City metropolitan area are asked to self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure they do not show any signs of symptoms.
- The first unemployment claims related to the coronavirus outbreak will be going out this week in North Carolina. Workers applying for benefits must complete their weekly certifications in order to receive unemployment insurance payments. The weekly certification is a series of ‘yes or no’ questions that helps determine a person’s eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits each week. If you do not complete a weekly certification, you will not receive a payment for that week. The weekly certification must be completed through an individual’s online account at des.nc.gov.
- Employees with questions about the application and benefits can read more about requirements and steps to get an unemployment benefit payment here.
- Employers who have questions about their role in the process can read more about what is required of them to help their workers qualify for benefits here.
- The CDC has also issued updated guidance on steps you can take to protect yourself and your family if someone in your home is sick. Taking simple steps like regularly cleaning frequently-touched surfaces can reduce your risk of infection and help keep your family safe.
- The CDC has a useful, up-to-date FAQ page with answers to some of the most common questions about COVID-19, including how it spreads, what you can do to protect your home and your family, and how it affects animals.
- The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is now encouraging individuals who feel sick with mild COVID-19 symptoms to stay home and self-isolate until they recover. They’ve also released this new fact sheet with guidance on what to do if you feel sick.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has prepared this helpful guide for small businesses that are seeking emergency loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed into law by President Trump last week.
This is very important for small business owners: Do not go to the SBA and make an application for a disaster loan. If you do so you may very well box yourself out of getting the forgivable loan from your local bank or credit union. No collateral is required. The link in the bullet above has a lot of good detail on how this program works. So if you skipped over it, go back and read it.
For today’s “good news” story, I want to highlight the Wilmington Home Depot and Store Manager Stacy Walton for donating 460 masks and 12 respirators with filters to the Wilmington Police Department. It’s just one of the countless businesses across our area that are pitching in and helping those on the front lines of combating this crisis and keeping us safe.
As always, stay tuned to Coronavirus.gov and NC’s Department of Health and Human Services website for the latest on the outbreak.