COVID-19 Business Information & Resources
T his email is meant to share updates with our downtown and partnered businesses.
We are here to help - If you have questions or need help getting word to your customers/community let us know. We will use social media and other means to help you share news and updates.

Please send details or links to the items you want shared by email or Facebook Message and
Or call 402-223-3244

We have been working to share business posts on Facebook
Let us know if you have a post we can share.
Gage County has first COVID-19
Confirmed Case & Death
If the person from Adams is determined to be a case of "Community Transmission" then our region will be placed in a State Directed Health Measure.
What would a Direct Health Measure mean?
A common question we have heard is what will the limitations likely be on people and businesses if confirmed community transmission cases of Covid-19 are found in the Beatrice area?

Below is a link to the rules now being imposed on some Nebraska Counties: Nebraska Directed Health Measure Explained - DHHS

Link to The Official Guidance in effect for locations such as Beatrice Nebraska as of 3/31/20 The 10 person restrictions are in place for some businesses, this applies to customers but does not include paid staff members.
>>> Please note that the guidance for Beatrice and Gage County is likely to change <<<
Nebraska - Updates from the Governor
Thursday, April 2 at 8:30pm CT - Speaking of Nebraska live one-hour Nebraska town hall session, on NET Television and  NET Radio 91.1 FM  and live on Facebook via NET Nebraska.

Questions will be answered by Gov. Ricketts, John Albin,  Nebraska Department of Labor  and Dr. Ali Khan,  University of Nebraska Medical Center .

Friday, April 3rd at 2:00pm CT the Governor will provide an update on the state's  #COVID19  response along the  Nebraska Department of Economic Development  and the  U.S. Small Business Administration . This should provide helpful information to business owners and owners. Here is the link to the Live Stream
*** Federal Stimulus Package Promises Relief
for Small Businesses *** Package Approved
Broad Highlights:

Business Provisions (all numbers are approximate) 1)   $500 billion in loans to eligible businesses 2) $350 billion in small business loans 3)   $24 billion to stabilize the farm economy

Labor Provisions
1) Paid leave payment cap and advance tax credit 2)$600/week add-on to state unemployment programs 3)Create state short-term compensation programs 4) Provisions for the self employed

Tax Provisions
1) 2018 - 2020 losses can offset previous income 2) Allowable interest deductions up to 50% 3) 2-year payroll tax deferral 4)   Access to tax refunds when paying taxes on overseas earnings 5) Create employee retention tax credit 6)   Accelerate corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) credits 7)    Fix to Qualified Improvement Property

Health Care Provisions
1) $150 billion for health care facilities 2) Liability protections for PPE makers 3) Clarifies insurance coverage for tests and treatment 4) $200 million for telehealth

Individual Provisions
1) Individual rebate checks ($1,200 for individuals, $500 per child) 2)   Waives 10% penalty for retirement plan distributions
Business Resources
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers guidance for businesses and employers to plan for and respond to Coronavirus disruptions, for general information please visit: The SBA is now offering two primary assistance tools The Paycheck Protection Program known as PPP (through local banks) and through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program that provides small businesses with working capital loans and a $10,000 forgivable advance. These tolls are to provide vital economic support to small businesses to help avoid closure and keep employees or rehire employees. These tools are open to non-profit organizations, sole-proprietors, contract workers, and all traditional small businesses.

Guide to all available SBA Covid-19 Small Business Funding Resources can be found here - This includes the PPP, EIDL, Express Bridge Loans, Debt Relief Programs

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive PPP loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.
Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Forgivable $10,000 Advance Payments are now available
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all states are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid.
Take caution when using both the $10,000 advance and the PPP program, talk to your local lender to determine best action steps.
The forgivable cash advance is applied for online with the SBA

  • If you have not already done so - be sure to communicate with your lender about any difficulties you are having or expect to have - Many banks are extending lines of credit and providing other assistance in this difficult time. Do not be afraid to seek help!

Unemployment Resources
Gov. Ricketts has issued an Executive Order to Loosen Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements.

 The Nebraska Department of Labor is waiving the required work search requirement and the one week wait period for unemployment benefits for those who are unable to report to work due to closure or illness. The employer fee for the short-term benefits is also waived. In addition, the State has expanded their Short-Time Compensation program to help reduce or prevent layoffs by providing prorated unemployment benefits to those still working but who have had their hours reduced.

More information can be accessed on the Department of Labor’s website at: 

If you are needing to temporary lay-off your employees these resources are for you.
Don't Be Afraid to Call and Ask Questions to ensure you get the paperwork done right.

New Federal guidelines have added additional unemployment assistance that included the self employed, contract workers, gig workers, and others. The State of Nebraska hopes to be able to start processing those applications soon. This new program is called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Unemployment insurance does not cover those who quit their jobs.

There are new emergency rules regarding Sick Leave and Family Leave and Medical Act
Additional Business Resources
Local, State and Federal disaster relief resources and information.

Center for Rural Affairs / REAP - emergency credit available — They have implemented an Express Loan based largely on credit history and pre-COVID-19 income that offers expedited funding of up to $7,500 for new borrowers and up to $10,000 for return borrowers with strong payment histories. Center for Rural Affairs Emergency Loan Assistance Information
Southeast Nebraska point of contact is Craig Eberle - 402-736-4417 -

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help
U SDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief.

Local Banks and the City of Beatrice have loan tools and deferment plans that may be able to help you if the need arises, do not hesitate to reach out.

The U.S. Chamber is working to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides extensive information and updates on  how to prevent community spread.  Below is specific guidance for community organizations, businesses, and event planners. 

Beatrice Media Release for Community & Businesses
A Joint Media Release from our community partners was sent out on Tuesday.

It provides a concise summary of our recommended response to the ongoing COVID-19 Emergency.

Quick Highlights:
* If you or your business think you might need help, or that you may or have fallen behind on your obligations pick up the phone and talk to your creditors, vendors, landlord, and lenders and also explore assistance tools. You are not alone.

* Landlords - be sure to open communications and be willing to be flexible with your tenant(s).

* Take measures to ensure health and safety.

* If you have questions or are running into problems reach out. We and others want to help.

Please click below to read the full release:

Business Impact Survey Early Findings -

Gage County business community,

Thank you  to those who participated in the Business Impact Survey this last week. We know you are being bombarded daily with information and we appreciate the time you took to provide us with valuable data about our community.

We want to share some of the survey results with you along with information about resources that are available. We have spent countless hours researching and listening to webinar (after webinar after webinar) to absorb as much information as possible to best assist you. Read below for more, and please do not hesitate to contact us with questions or concerns.

Survey Results
One thing we learned was: you are not alone! 63 small businesses from a wide variety of industries responded and the results gathered point to many similarities, such as:
· 81% of businesses remain open and of those 19% that are closed, 77% of closures were voluntary
· 70% of businesses' employee counts remain unchanged
· Workforce morale is averaging 5 out of 7
· 80% of businesses have experienced a drop in revenue
· Employee well-being is a concern for most employers
· Most respondents fear decreased consumer confidence and a global/U.S. recession

Weekly Virtual Coffee Calls - Wednesday
The Beatrice Chamber, Main Street Beatrice, and NGage are here to serve you -  always -  but certainly during this time. We want to connect with you virtually in a new weekly series we're calling "Gage County Watercooler Talk". Join us on Facebook live starting next Wednesday, where we'll give you an update on the survey, provide a quick resource that may be useful to you, and answer any questions you have for us. Check the NGage , Beatrice Chamber , or Main Street Facebook pages for details in the coming days!
City of Beatrice offers utility relief measures
The City of Beatrice suspended late fees and disconnections for non payment through May 31 2020. Please contact the Board of Public Works to inform them if you plan to delay your payment, they may be able to help you make additional arrangements, so that you do not get further behind.

Tips for Businesses 
✓ If your business is staying open, publish a commitment to public health and outline actions for ensuring a clean facility and healthy staff; have hand sanitizer available for customers and latex gloves available for employees.

✓ Offer digital gift cards that customers and patrons can buy now and use later

✓ Start, maintain, and enhance business webpages, online shopping opportunities, and social media presence

Keep customers updated on new experiences or products you'll offer when conditions improve

✓ Develop customer membership programs, such as “subscribe and save” on delivery or pickup of coffee beans, fresh produce, etc.

✓ Develop online/phone shopping list services. For example, many grocery stores offer grocery pickup or delivery to customers who submit shopping lists online.

✓ Offer digital/phone services and support to virtually sell, answer questions, and provide customer service

✓ Keep it lively! Example: Offer trivia nights via livestream and provide virtual tours of your shop - A lot of people are spending extra time on their phones and on social media, use this chance to create a positive marketing experience and opportunity. It can pay off after these challenges pass

✓ Be sure to keep open communication with your lenders, landlord, suppliers, etc. Most are willing to be flexible as we are are dealing with this crisis. Reach Out and Talk.

If you have the capacity to do so now is a great time to have employees take on new roles such as delivery drivers or tackle refresh projects at your businesses. If you can, get creative and take steps to keep your business open, your employees in a job, and most of all keep your team and customers safe.
Other News Links
We continue to promote Shop Local Safely
If you have a social media post or message you would like us to help share please contact us.
Community Events
The community has been launching several events that aim to safely get residents out of their homes. Some of these events encourage them to support local in ways they deem safe.

Nebraska has declared every Tuesday to be Takeout Tuesday in an effort to support local food and drink establishments.
The City of Beatrice & Beatrice Community Hospital are posting regular updates.

Community Partners
We have been working closely with our community partners, if you have a request of us please ask.

Main Street Beatrice | Website | 402-223-3244 |
205 N 4th Street / P.O. Box 125 Beatrice, NE 68310