March 2020
Economic Development Newsletter
COVID-19 Resources
COVID-19 Update from the JDA
As COVID-19 guidance continue to evolve, we will be working alongside and for you to provide the most up-to-date information and resources. The JDA has made operational and scheduling adjustments to ensure they stay healthy and practice safe social distancing.

As always, please continue to follow the guidance from public health officials regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.
Georgia Department of Labor COVID-19 Information
Employers are required to file Employer Filed Claims (Partial Claims) on behalf of their employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no work available for a short period. Any employer found to be in violation of this rule will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee.

Here is the link to the most recent information issued by the Georgia Department of Labor.

On this link you will find:
• Instructions to employers on how to file Employer Filed Claims (Partial) Unemployment Insurance Claims. FYI—this process results in employees receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefit payments faster, usually within 48 hours for claims filed electronically.
• Information to individuals on how to file Unemployment Insurance claims.
• A list of resources available to job seekers concerning reemployment services.
• Information released by the Department of Labor concerning the Emergency Rule as it relates to COVID-19 and Unemployment Insurance.

Businesses should be receiving additional correspondence from the Georgia Department of Labor concerning the filing of Employer Filed Claims (Partial Claims) on behalf of their employees.

The Georgia Department of Labor website , will be updated with any additional information.

PPE and Essential Business Information
Geogria Department of Economic Development (GDEcD) has been asked to identify as many manufacturers/distributors/etc who either already make/store the critical items listed below, or can shift towards producing or sourcing these products. These are the products in limited supply, and what we anticipate being short in as we continue to respond to COVID-19. Identifying these companies is critical to meeting the state healthcare system challenge ahead. Therefore, we are initiating a 2nd push to identify these companies. GDEcD has created a unified document where we are entering this info and sharing with the Governor’s office and other state officials. The information from each organization that we are looking for is:

Company Name
Point of Contact (phone/email)
Critical items from list
Any special comments/info about increasing supply
GDEcD staff that has been in contact with company

Here is the list of needed items:
•            Ventilators
•            Negative Pressure Machines
•            Hospital Beds
•            Sanitation Units
•            No-Touch Thermometers (Regular Thermometers if No-Touch Thermometers are not available)
•            Sanitizing Wipes
•            Sanitizing Spray
•            Hand sanitizer
•            Shoe Covers
•            Gloves (Various Sizes/Nitrile or latex-free)
•            Surgical Gowns
•            Tyvek Suits
•            Surgical Masks
•            N-95 Masks or Equivalent
•            Safety Goggles
•            Face Shields
•            Hair Covers
•            Air Purifying Machines

Secondly, GDEcD has been asked to track the "exclusion" requests that are coming in from industries/companies that want to be considered “essential businesses” and allowed to remain open if some sort of government mandated shut down is ordered. We do want to stress that Governor Kemp does not believe that a mandated shut down is in the best interest of the state at this time, but as we all know, this is an extremely fluid situation. We will track the requests, inputting the information below so that it can be pulled and considered if circumstances warrant. Our GDEcD regional team will follow up with the company at the appropriate time. Here are the data points that we need on each request:

Company/Industry Association Name
Location (address if an individual company, "statewide" if it’s a trade association")
Type of Industry
Point of contact (name, phone, email)
Reasons for exclusion request
GDEcD staff member that has been in contact or followed up (via GDEcD’s regional team)

GDEcD will not be determining if a request is valid or not, we will only track and report.

Thank you to everyone for your partnership as we move forward with collecting this crucial data, as your knowledge and connections in your community are of utmost importance to this mission. Although the identifying of PPE is our top priority at this time, please know we remain committed to supporting your local industry and community needs, as they arise. 

Please submit all inquires to Taylor Kielty, Project Manager for Georgia Department of Economic Development at

SBA Economic Disaster Loan Information
The UGA Small Business Development Center at UWG is available to answer your questions and help you address any concerns you may have about your business including cash flow, payroll, marketing, the effect of the COVID-19 virus on your business and keep you up-to-date on the latest on the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.

Contact your consultant to set up a virtual appointment or email .
SBA Economic Disaster Loan Information

Which businesses are eligible to apply?
SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans (or working with capital loans) are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most non-profit organizations in Georgia.

This Includes:
  • Businesses directly affected by the disaster
  • Businesses that other services directly related to the businesses in the declaration
  • Other businesses indirectly related to the industry that are likely to be harmed by losses in their community (Example: manufacturer of widgets may be eligible as well as the wholesaler and retailer of the product.)

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% for small businesses and 2.75% 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?
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.

  • Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA's secure website at 
  • Paper loan applications can be downloaded from Completed applications should be mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 
  • Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA's Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to
*Although a paper application and forms are acceptable, filing electronically is easier, faster and more accurate. 

Other Facts:
  • SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDLs) funds come directly from the U.S. Treasury.
  • Applicants do not go through a bank to apply. Instead apply directly to SBA's Disaster Assistance Program at:
  • There is no cost to apply.
  • There is no obligation to take the loan if offered.
  • The maximum unsecured loan amount is $25,000.
  • Applicants can have an existing SBA Disaster Loan and still qualify for an EIDL for this disaster, but the loans cannot be consolidated.

To learn more about the EIDL program:

Dalton Chamber COVID-19 Updates and Resources
As we all keep a close eye on the spread of COVID-19, there are many sensible steps each of us can take to safeguard ourselves, each other, and our businesses. At the link below you will find some simple guidelines developed by the Centers for Disease Control. We are beginning to implement some of these measures at the Greater Dalton Chamber, and we hope you find them useful as well. We have also provided additional resources for you and your business.

Check out links to Facebook Live updates from our Chamber President, Rob Bradham, small business resources, local health updates, and remote working tools at the link below.

Local Government Updates
City & County declaring emergency, limiting social gatherings to stem spread of COVID-19 Virus. Follow the latest local govenment updates at the websites below.

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.

Great Resources
Board of Directors

Kevin Harris, Chairman
Bill Davies, Vice Chair
Frank Robertson, Secretary
David Jolly
Bob Kinard
Sara "Skeeter" Pierce
David Renz    
Carl Campbell, Executive Director
Ali Harp, Project Manager
Anna Kate Sisson, Intern

Dalton-Whitfield County Joint Development Authority | 706-278-7373| Website