The Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce Joins Coalition to Urge Safe Harbor Protections for Business

PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr issued the following statement after  a coalition of 80 chambers of commerce throughout the Commonwealth sent a letter to Pennsylvania’s federal and state lawmakers  urging support for safe harbor protections for employers related to COVID-19 in the pandemic era:
“Pennsylvania employers have faced unimaginable challenges during this pandemic, the mandatory business shutdown and resulting economic fallout. Many now face the threat of unwarranted, opportunistic lawsuits, including hospitals and many healthcare professionals bravely treating patients, companies who have been working to keep our critical supply chains intact, manufacturers producing personal protective equipment and others on the front lines. Businesses that have stayed open to serve communities, as well as those who were forced to shut down but have managed to survive, should feel confident that if they take the necessary steps to comply with public health and safety guidelines, they are protected from unscrupulous plaintiffs’ attorneys seeking to profit from this disaster.”
“Pennsylvania employers have the talent, ingenuity and grit to rebound and rebuild, but they need smart policies out of Harrisburg and Washington D.C. to help remove obstacles to economic recovery. We urge Pennsylvania’s lawmakers to recognize this particular significant obstacle, as well as the hundreds of thousands of Pennsylvania employers depending on them to act.”
“Pennsylvania’s chambers of commerce are effective and passionate advocates for the businesses in their communities. Employers should be proud and lawmakers should take heed that so many chambers from throughout the Commonwealth have come together to support a most critical issue at this most critical time.”

The Huntingdon County Chamber of Commerce will be in contact individually with the local officials representing Huntingdon County to urge them to take the necessary action to protect our businesses from unwarranted lawsuits.
Penn Highlands Huntingdon To Maintain Hospital Precautions

As Huntingdon County prepares to transition into a less restrictive phase, Penn Highlands Huntingdon (formerly J.C. Blair Memorial Hospital) reminds the public that their hospital and physician practices are open, safe and fully operational. Penn Highlands Huntingdon also lists the precautions the organization will keep in place to help maintain the safety of patients, employees and the community, all in accordance with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Penn Highlands Huntingdon may allow one support person to be present with a patient undergoing a surgical or endoscopy procedure, or if the patient is in need of assistance. The designated support person must pass the symptoms and temperature screening. Because this practice is designed to minimize the potential for exposure, the support person is a single designated individual throughout the duration of the patient’s stay, not multiple relatives or friends.
Entry points for Penn Highlands Huntingdon and any affiliated clinical care settings remain limited to the main entrance, where verbal screenings and temperature checks will continue to take place. Anyone who does not submit to the screening may be denied entry.
For the safety of patients, staff and support persons, everyone must wear a mask while inside Penn Highlands facilities unless medical reasons render breathing difficult.

Penn Highlands Healthcare thanks the public for their cooperation and cites the safety of patients, staff and the community as the health system’s highest priority.

For more information, the public may visit .
Flowchart Helps Employers Understand New Tax Credits

The IRS recently issued  Publication 5419, New Employer Tax Credits (PDF)  to help employers understand the tax credits available to them due to the coronavirus pandemic. The one-page document breaks down the details of the Employer Retention Credit and the credits for paid sick and family leave in easy-to-follow charts. Using the document, employers can quickly determine whether they are eligible for the credits, the amount of the credits and which wages apply to the credits.
Gov. Wolf: Mask-Wearing is Required, Critical to Stop
COVID-19 Spread

Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf today reminded Pennsylvanians that mask-wearing is required when entering any business in all counties in the state in both yellow and green phases of reopening. Masks are considered critical in stopping the spread of COVID, now and in preparation for a possible resurgence of the virus in the fall.

The mask requirement is part of Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel’s Levine’s  order , “Directing Public Health Safety Measures for Businesses Permitted to Maintain In-person Operations,” which pertains to all counties regardless of the phase of reopening.

“In yellow and green counties, it is required that masks are worn when visiting businesses to protect employees, employees’ families, and communities as a whole,” Gov. Wolf said. “Mask-wearing has proven to be an important deterrent to the spread of the virus, and as more counties move to green and more things reopen, we need to be vigilant in our efforts to continue our mitigation efforts.”

A recent  study  from Cambridge and Greenwich universities in the United Kingdom found that cloth masks, “even homemade masks with limited effectiveness can dramatically reduce transmission rates if worn by enough people, regardless of whether they show symptoms.”

Peer-reviewed studies published in scientific journals such as  The New England Journal of Medicine  corroborate the need for masks and the U.S. Surgeon General said that wearing a mask doesn’t impinge on our freedom – it gives us more freedom from unknowingly spreading COVID-19.

The state’s  business guidance  outlines mask-wearing requirements and additional safety parameters for both employees and customers. 

Read more on Gov. Wolf’s Process to Reopen PA  here .

More from the office of the Governor:

Green Means Go?

More counties are now in the 'green' phase of the Wolf Administration's color-coded, county-by-county re-opening plan than not. While this is great news as it signals that most businesses are able to get up and running – albeit with safety protocols in place that you can read more about by visiting – many employers still have questions about what the "green" phase actually means for them, how they can protect themselves from a legal standpoint, and what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

As part of our "Bringing PA Back" initiative, the PA Chamber will be hosting a free webinar next week with answers to employers' most pressing questions, with insight from legal experts and leading officials at the Department of Community and Economic Development. We hope you'll join us from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. next Thursday, June 25. Registration details will be available in the near future on the website,
Updated: U.S. Chamber Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness

The U.S. Chamber published an updated version of the previously shared Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness. The updates were made to reflect the changes made to the PPP following the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act—which eases rules around how small businesses can use their loan funds—earlier this month.  Click here  to view the U.S. Chamber's updated Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) are responsible for updating the application form and instructions for loan forgiveness. You can find the most up-to-date information  here .

Program changes include:

  • Extending the time to spend PPP funds from 8 weeks to 24 weeks;
  • Lowering the amount that must be spent on payroll from 75% to 60%;
  • Extending the deadline to restore FTEs and payroll from June 30, 2020 to Dec. 31, 2020; and
  • Setting the repayment term for loans made after June 4, 2020 at five years.
Office Hours by Appointment

Staff is returning to the office to work on a part-time basis. Please contact us if you need to make an appointment to meet and we will adjust our office hours accordingly. Masks are required for anyone entering the Chamber office.
Now Available:
Disposable Personal Protection Face Masks

In partnership with the American Labor Law Company, the PA Chamber is making PPE available. Designed to be used for your employees, customers or visitors to support safe and healthy environments.

As businesses re-open their physical locations in the COVID-19 era, the Centers for Disease Control recommends the wearing of face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus from one person to another. 

Two Colors: White or Blue
Price: $47 per box (50 masks per box)
Shipping: FREE

Supplies are limited, order today !
Join the U.S. Chamber on Tuesday, June 23, for a special edition of Path Forward featuring  Bill and Melinda Gates in conversation with   U.S. Chamber President Suzanne Clark .

This wide-ranging interview will explore the work the Gates Foundation has been doing to fight the coronavirus. 

We will discuss the  importance of a coordinated international response to the pandemic the   lasting changes we might see coming out of the crisis how to ensure equitable access to COVID-19 treatment and vaccines , and much more. 

You won't want to miss it. Reserve your spot now

Click here for access to timely resources.
COVID -19 County Relief Block Grant Program

The  COVID-19 County Relief Block Grant Program  makes $625M available to, among other purposes, offset the cost of direct county COVID-19 response, assist municipalities with COVID-19 response and planning efforts, fund nonprofit assistance programs, deploy broadband to unserved or underserved areas and support CEDOs, LDDs, IRCs, SBDCs and EDCs for costs related to assisting businesses during the COVID-19 disaster emergency.
Only county governments not directly funded by the federal government are eligible to receive the COVID-19 County Block Grant Program funding through DCED. There are 60 out of 67 PA counties that meet this criteria. Because DCED is only managing the grants to counties, inquiries by entities other than eligible counties should be directed to the offices of the appropriate county commissioners.  
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program Reopens

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the  Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal   to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact. With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible. To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”

Small Business Development Center Webinars

R3: Designing a Resiliency Roadmap for 30/60/90 Days
Beginning Monday, June 29

This 4-part series will address small business Re-evaluation, Recovery, and Regeneration strategies in the introductory workshop followed by check-ins at the 30-60-90 day marks. The R3 program will give business leaders a chance to learn from experts, network with other businesses, and create a new way of doing business.

Refining the Retail New Normal Recorded Webinar Series
Host: Penn State Extension

Download this questionnaire for sample screening questions to ask employees upon return to work and on a regular basis moving forward. This template is based on questions required or recommended by various states as well as input from U.S. Chamber member companies of all sizes and sectors.
Huntingdon County Strong:
Business and Community Resources

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Contact Us

Yvonne Martin
President/ CEO

MacKenzie Huntsman
Program Director

Phone: 814-643-1110
Fax: 814-643-1115
Stay Connected

Looking to start an endowment or to support community efforts? Click the logo above to learn more about the Huntingdon County Foundation.