During these uncertain times, communication is key! Open or closed it is important to continue to post on social media and update your website. Please keep the Chamber informed if you are modifying your business hours. We are doing our best to promote those still open or when you plan to return.

Communications tools:

Update the Chamber - You can reach us by phone or email

Update your business social media - customers are following along!

Signage in your business store front or windows

 

Please continue to practice CDC and North Carolina recommend steps to keep you and our community healthy! While, these are gloomy times, it's best we stay healthy for the upcoming summer season. The Chamber is doing its best to gather information and resources to share with our business members to support you and your employees. We are with you every step of the way!

 

All the best,

The Blowing Rock Chamber Team

 

Click Here for Updates on Blowing Rock Businesses

 

Important Local Information 

 
 
 
AppHealthCare - AppHealthCare will provide updates on the status of COVID-19 in the High Country. 
  
 

Watuga County State of Emergency

 
 
 
 

Business and Employee Resoucres  

Small Business three-page guide from the N.C. Main Street Program

Small Business Assistance

The Small Business Center at SCC has a number of great resources and upcoming webinars for businesses related to COVID-19.

Confidential counseling is still available, but will be done virtually for the time being.

Contact: Tiffany Henry

Director, Small Business Center, Southwestern Community College

Email: t_henry@southwesterncc.edu

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Street Resource

  • Relevant information from federal agencies and national organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Chamber of Commerce;

  • A listing of funding opportunities as well as information on upcoming webinars and virtual events;

  • Tip Sheets with quick ideas and inspiration that your program can implement during the crisis;

  • Social graphics highlighting ways your local community can continue to engage and support your Main Street businesses--ready for download and sharing! Be sure to use #SupportLocalSafely when posting; Link

 

SBA Loans

What businesses are eligible to apply?

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (or working capital loans) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations

What is the criteria for a loan approval?

Credit History-Applicants must have a credit history acceptable to SBA.

Repayment –SBA must determine that the applicant business has the ability to repay the SBA loan. 

Eligibility- The applicant business must be physically located in a declared county and suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster, not due to a downturn in the economy or other reasons. 

 

How much can I borrow?

Eligible entities may qualify for loans up to $2 million.  

The interest rates for this disaster are 3.75 percent for small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations with terms up to 30 years.  

Eligibility for these working capital loans are based on the size (must be a small business) and type of business and its financial resources.  

How can I use the loan funds? What are the collateral requirements?

Economic Injury Disaster Loans over $25,000 require collateral.

SBA takes real estate as collateral when it is available.

SBA will not decline a loan for lack of collateral, but requires borrowers to pledge what is available.

These working capital loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that could have been paid had the disaster not occurred.  The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits or for expansion. 

Other information that may be requested:

Complete copy, including all schedules, of the most recent Federal income tax return for principals, general partners or managing member, and affiliates (see filing requirements for more information). 

If the most recent Federal income tax return has not been filed, a year-end profit-and-loss statement and balance sheet for that tax year.   A current year-to-date profit-and-loss statement .

Additional Filing Requirements (SBA Form 1368) providing monthly sales figures. (This is especially important for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.)

To apply go www.sba.gov/disaster 

 

Additional Loan and Disaster Financing Resources

 

US Small Business Administration Small Business Guidance and Loan Resources

 

Small Business Loans

Small businesses will be negatively affected by this crisis. There are many loan funds available to assist with emergency funding.

 

Thread Capital (NC Rural Center)

Telephone: 919-212-4950; Email: connect@threadcap.org

 

 

Mountain Bizworks

Telephone: 828-253-2834

 

Small Business Administration

 

Self-Help Credit Union

Telephone: 800-476-7428

 

Carolina Small Business Development Fund

Telephone: 919-803-1437

 

NC Community Development Initiative

Telephone:  919-828-5655

Check out the market research information page.

 

Thread Capital

Thread Capital has an online application  https://www.threadcap.org/ . They are currently designing a rapid recovery loan product with no payments or interest for 6 months, $50k max. Thread is a subsidiary of the NC Rural Center. They are leading a statewide collaborative partnership of CDFIs to respond to the economic impacts on small business. Partners in our region include (as of now) Mountain Bizworks and NCIF. 

 

Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Summary

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act Fact Sheet
 

Coronavirus Response Funding

EDPNC Business Relief Resources

Link.

 

211 Resource Page

2-1-1 has compiled a comprehensive resource page related to unemployment, benefits and mortgage assistance. Link.

 

Unemployment Benefits:

Highlights from the press conference with Governor Cooper regarding unemployment insurance for those affected by COVID-19:

  • No one-week waiting period

  • No requirement for work search (didn’t address weekly certifications)

  • Loss of job or loss in hours are both eligible

  • Can apply remotely and do their mandatory appointment by phone or online

  • Employers are not responsible for benefits paid.

  • The state and federal level are looking at extensive relief packages for businesses.

  • NC Employer Call Center - 866-278-3822

  •  Local - 828-265-5385

  • ncworks.gov

Fair Labor Standards Act Questions and Answers

Answers to questions on fair labor standards during this time of the Coronavirus. Link

 

Additional Unemployment Information

 

Assisting Your Employees Filing for Unemployment Benefits

Employers Quick Reference Guide

Disaster Unemployment Assistance

 

Do you need business counseling services, including layoff aversion strategies?

Business Edge Services

919.814.0400 or Toll Free: 800.562.6333 (Choose Option 2 – Business Services)

DWS_BusinessServices@nccommerce.com

Business Edge is a series of layoff aversion strategies and activities designed to help North Carolina employers prevent or minimize job losses. Through Business Edge, workforce partners collaborate with business leaders to assess the needs of, and options for, “at-risk” firms, and to deliver services that address those needs.

 

Looking for other helpful government resources?

N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services: COVID-19 Recommendations for Businesses and Employers

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

 

 

Facebook Small Business Grants Program (sign up now for future assistance)

Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. Link.