Tompkins County a Regional Leader in Vaccination Progress; Please Help Support Efforts
Tompkins County Health Department is disseminating Coronavirus vaccines to eligible groups. If you are an employer of people eligible in Phase IA, please share this important information with your staff - and do what you can to support them being vaccinated.

Phase 1A Includes:
  • High-risk hospital staff, affiliates, volunteers and contract staff, following the clinical risk assessment guidance
  • High-risk hospital staff including State-operated OMH psychiatric centers
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Personnel
  • Medical Examiners and Coroners
  • Funeral workers who have direct contact with infectious material and bodily fluids
  • Health care or other high-risk direct care essential staff working in LTCFs and long-term, congregate settings overseen by OPWDD, OMH and OASAS
  • Agency staff and residents in congregate living situations run by the Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) the Office of Mental Health (OMH) and the Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS).
  • Persons living in LTCFs and in long-term congregate settings overseen by OPWDD and OMH
  • High-risk hospital and FQHC staff, including OMH psychiatric centers
  • Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Personnel
  • Medical Examiners and Coroners
  • Urgent Care providers
  • Any staff administering COVID-19 Vaccinations
  • All Outpatient/Ambulatory front-line, high-risk health care workers of any age who provide direct in-person patient care, or other staff in a position in which they have direct contact with patients (i.e., intake staff).
  • This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who work in private medical practices; hospital-affiliated medical practices; public health clinics; specialty medical practices of all types; dental practices of all types; dialysis workers; diagnostic and treatment centers; occupational therapists; physical therapists; speech therapists; phlebotomists; behavioral health workers; and student health workers.
  • All front-line, high-risk public health workers who have direct contact with patients, including those conducting COVID-19 tests, handling COVID-19 specimens and COVID-19 vaccinations, will be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Home care workers including those in the consumer directed programs
  • Hospice workers
  • Staff of nursing homes/skilled nursing facilities who did not receive COVID vaccination through the Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program. (Under the federal Pharmacy Partnership for Long-Term Care Program, employees of CVS, Walgreens, and other select pharmacies will vaccinate residents and staff in long-term care facilities including nursing homes, much like they do for the flu vaccine.)

According to New York State, Phase IB is expected to begin next week and will include:
  • Teachers and education workers
  • First responders
  • Public safety workers
  • Public transit workers
  • People 75 and older

If your employees qualify for Phase 1A, please consider allowing them to leave work or schedule their appointment during working hours to facilitate maximum vaccination rates for our community, and ensure that our allocated doses go to the appropriate populations.

If your employees may qualify for Phase IB, please remain alert for that phase to begin, and consider your role as an employer in encouraging time away from work for vaccination.

Our community is anxious to protect our most vulnerable and our front line workers, but also to return to more normal economic activity before the end of 2021. Widespread adoption and facilitation of vaccinations are one of the best ways for us to do our part to achieve that goal.
Wondering what your rights and responsibilities are as an employer related to the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Can you mandate your employees to be vaccinated? What are the implications of such a policy?
What role should area employers play in supporting widespread vaccination of our workforce?

The Chamber Team is pulling together a LEARN Series Webinar on this topic for later in January. Please feel free to submit your questions to David Walton at dwalton@tompkinschamber.org. We'll share the date/time as soon as possible!
Paycheck Protection Program to Reopen Next Week; Interim Final Rules Released


WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Treasury Department, announced today that the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and certain existing PPP borrowers. To promote access to capital, initially only community financial institutions will be able to make First Draw PPP Loans on Monday, January 11, and Second Draw PPP Loans on Wednesday, January 13. The PPP will open to all participating lenders shortly thereafter. Updated PPP guidance outlining Program changes to enhance its effectiveness and accessibility was released on January 6 in accordance with the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Non-Profits, and Venues Act.

This round of the PPP continues to prioritize millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $284 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses through March 31, 2021, and by allowing certain existing PPP borrowers to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.
“The historically successful Paycheck Protection Program served as an economic lifeline to millions of small businesses and their employees when they needed it most,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Today’s guidance builds on the success of the program and adapts to the changing needs of small business owners by providing targeted relief and a simpler forgiveness process to ensure their path to recovery.”

“The Paycheck Protection Program has successfully provided 5.2 million loans worth $525 billion to America’s small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This updated guidance enhances the PPP’s targeted relief to small businesses most impacted by COVID-19. We are committed to implementing this round of PPP quickly to continue supporting American small businesses and their workers.”

Key PPP updates include:
  • PPP borrowers can set their PPP loan’s covered period to be any length between 8 and 24 weeks to best meet their business needs;
  • PPP loans will cover additional expenses, including operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures;
  • The Program’s eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations, among other types of organizations;
  • The PPP provides greater flexibility for seasonal employees;
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers can request to modify their First Draw PPP Loan amount; and
  • Certain existing PPP borrowers are now eligible to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan. 
A borrower is generally eligible for a Second Draw PPP Loan if the borrower:
  • Previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will or has used the full amount only for authorized uses;
  • Has no more than 300 employees; and
  • Can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020.
 
The new guidance released includes:
 
For more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses, visit sba.gov/ppp or treasury.gov/cares

EIDL Applications Are Still Being Accepted through 12/31/21
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners, including agricultural businesses, and nonprofit organizations in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories can apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The EIDL program is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to coronavirus (COVID-19).



Area lenders are awaiting final PPP guidance and access to a new application portal; please be patient while they await final instructions from the Small Business Administration.
Have questions?
Our team is here to help.
 
Just call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at info@tompkinschamber.org. For specific need areas:
 
Ritza Francois, Membership Referrals & Support
Carly Hansen, Operations/Account Assistance
Jordan Herson, E-blasts, Chambergram ads, Member of the Week
Diane Hemly, Bookkeeper - AP/AR Questions
Jennifer Tavares, Economic Recovery/Communications & PR
David Walton, Event & Program/Sponsor Inquiries
 
Note: Our offices are staffed regularly and open by appointment -
please reach out to Carly, Diane, or Jennifer if you need to visit us.