Wolf Administration: Hazard Pay Grants Now Available for
Front-Line Workers in Life-Sustaining Industries

Governor Tom Wolf announced the availability of  $50 million in grant funding  to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Hazard pay is intended to keep front-line employees working in vital industry sectors across Pennsylvania.

“In the fight against COVID-19, our front-line workers have put themselves at risk every day in order to continue to provide life-sustaining services to their fellow Pennsylvanians, and this funding will increase their pay in recognition of those sacrifices,” said Gov. Wolf. “These grants will help businesses retain employees, ensure that Pennsylvanians keep working and avoid disruption of critical goods and services.”

Created through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, this reimbursement-based grant is available to employers offering hazard pay during the eligible program period and will be administered by the Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). Businesses may apply for grants up to a maximum of $3 million.

The following applicants are eligible to apply:
• Businesses
• Healthcare Non-profits
• Public Transportation Agencies
• Certified Economic Development Organizations (CEDO)

Eligible Pennsylvania-based industries include:
• Healthcare and Social Assistance
• Ambulatory Health Care Services
• Hospitals
• Nursing and Residential Care Facilities
• Transit and Ground Passenger Transportation
• Food Manufacturing
• Food Retail Facilities
• Security Services for eligible industries listed above and commercial industries that were not closed as a result of the Governor’s Business Closure Order
• Janitorial Services to Buildings and Dwellings

Grant funds may be used for hazard pay for direct, full-time and part-time employees earning less than $20/hour, excluding fringe benefits and overtime for the 10-week period from August 16, 2020, to October 24, 2020. Applicants may apply for up to $1,200 per eligible full-time equivalent (FTE) employee. Employers may apply for a grant to provide hazard pay for up to 500 eligible full-time equivalent employees per location.

Eligible applicants may apply for grants using the online DCED Electronic Single Application for Assistance located at  www.esa.dced.state.pa.us  from July 16, 2020, to July 31, 2020. Program inquiries may be directed to (717) 787-6245 or  ra-dcedcbf@pa.gov .
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Path Forward Special Edition: A Conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation hosted a special edition  Path Forward  event with National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci—during which he shared an update on the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the critical contributions being made by the business community.

E. B. Endres Inc. COVID-19 Products

Contact them to provide Clear Acrylic Safety barriers for your business.
Office safety
Checkout barriers

814-643-1860 
E. B. Endres Inc.
Green Phase Information
(governor.pa.gov)

Reaching the green phase is a real victory. When put to the test, we are proving our resilience. But we aren’t going back to the way things were before. Now is the time to stay alert so we can keep COVID-19 contained.

  • General safety rules are still in place. Keep wearing your mask to enter a business, stay six feet apart, and follow all the general health and safety rules as before. This is our new normal.
  • We can gather in large groups if we’re outdoors (up to 250 people). But we can only gather in groups of up to 25 people if we’re indoors. Schools and most childcare centers must still follow the Department of Education rules for operating. Nursing homes and group care facilities still have visitor restrictions. Prisons and hospitals can decide their own visitor policies for each facility.
  • All businesses can reopen. Please keep teleworking if you can. All businesses, except for restaurants and bars, that were operating at 50% occupancy in the yellow phase may increase to 75% occupancy. To reopen in-person operations you must follow all the worker and building safety requirements for employers. Remember to check the COVID-19 Guidance and Resources page for more details.

There are still restrictions for reopening businesses that work with the public. You must limit occupancy if your business is in one of the following categories:

  • Restaurants and bars can open indoor dining, up to 25% occupancy 
  • Indoor recreation can have up to 50% occupancy, but appointments recommended and fitness facilities are directed to prioritize outdoor fitness activities (including gyms, indoor malls, bowling, arcades, indoor sports, go-kart, pool halls, and similar facilities)
  • Health and wellness can have up to 50% occupancy, but customers can enter by appointment only (this applies to spas, barbershops, hair and nail salons, saunas, tattoo parlors, massage therapists and other personal care service businesses)
  • Entertainment may have up to 50% occupancy (like casinos, theaters, zoos, museums, concerts, historical sites, amusement parks, and other group venues)

Change in Office Hours

Following the Governor's guidance, staff is once again working remotely and only going to the office as necessary. If you need to reach us, please call 814-643-1110 and leave a message for Yvonne or email ymartin@huntingdinchamber.com
State-by-State Analysis of COVID-19 Trials Shown in U.S. Chamber GIPC's New Interactive Map

The U.S. Chamber's Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) unveiled its new interactive map— Innovation Enlisted in the Coronavirus Fight: A State-by-State Analysis —which breaks down COVID-19 clinical trials to date by state and congressional district. With COVID-19 clinical trials being conducted in all 50 states and 85% of congressional districts, this new resource provides an in-depth analysis of the methods scientists, universities and innovative companies are using to identify COVID-19 treatments, vaccines, diagnostics, and cures.  Click here  to view the interactive map.


Free Re-opening Signage

As Pennsylvania businesses begin to reopen,  each business owner will need to examine their operations and make changes to meet public safety guidelines. PASBDC has created signage to address common health concerns. All images are completely free to use, so please share,  download , print and distribute as you wish!
Reminder About Wolf's Targeted Mitigation Efforts

The mitigation efforts included in the new orders from Gov. Wolf and Dr. Levine include:

Bars and Restaurants

All businesses in the retail food services industry, including restaurants, wineries, breweries, private clubs, and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, as required by the order, including:

  • Prohibition from conducting operations unless the facility offers sit-down, dine-in meals or is serving take-out sales of alcoholic beverages. All service must be at a table or booth; bar service is prohibited.
  • Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.
  • Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.
  • Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e. tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
  • Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons.
  • Occupancy is limited to 25 percent of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining, or 25 persons for a discrete indoor event or gathering in a restaurant. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

Other restrictions include:

  • Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 persons are prohibited.
  • Outdoor events and gatherings of more than 250 persons are prohibited.
  • Teleworking is required where possible.
  • Where teleworking is not possible, masks are mandatory.

Enforcement

Businesses and individuals in violation of these orders, issued pursuant to the authority granted to the Governor and the Secretary of Health under the law, including the Pennsylvania Disease Control and Prevention Law, could be subject to fines, business closure or other applicable enforcement measures.

Click here to read more.
Quick Connect Coaching Sessions
Weekly, Tuesdays at 8:30 am

Looking for a quick answer to a question related to disaster recovery, reopening, stabilizing, or projecting for growth? Then attend a "Quick Connect" session to get your questions answered. Each week a consultant will address answers related to a specific topic.


The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund is a non-profit recently launched to provide forgivable loans of $3,000 to Pennsylvania small businesses struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility criteria is simple:
 
  • Employs between 3 and 30 people
  • Based in Pennsylvania and operating for at least a year
  • Owned and operated by a Pennsylvania resident
  • Operate as a for profit business.
 
Eligible employers must complete a  short application  and submit a video detailing how they could benefit from the funding. The funds do not need to be repaid. However, business owners who are able may choose to "pay it forward" by paying the proceeds back to the Fund to be used by other small businesses.
 
Additional questions about the PA 30 Day Fund can be directed by Maia Comeau at  maia@comeaucompany.com .

The Chamber has been informed that the application process is simple and that preference is being given to those that are involved in their community.
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.

Click here for access to timely resources.

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
    
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