Hello Business Owners of the Deerfield Valley,

Governor Phil Scott announced Monday that retail operations can begin reopening starting Monday, May 18th. In coordination with the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Health, the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) will develop and release guidance this week on how the phased restart will work. Stores will be required to follow all health and safety guidelines and will need to limit the number of people in the store to 25% of a store’s maximum legal capacity. As soon as the guidance is provided, we will be sharing it with you.

While the Governor did announce the potential extension of the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order, he was optimistic that in the coming days and weeks we would see other sectors receiving guidance to reopen. It will still take some time before we see things back to 'normal', but this is a positive sign that we are headed in the right direction. Careful tracking of case numbers amid the current re-openings will dictate additional allowances moving forward. He will update again tomorrow when he holds his press conference at 11am.

There is still more news of our State and Federal legislators working to ease the forgiveness restrictions on the SBA loans for our small businesses. A great example of this is evidenced below in the letter signed by Senator Leahy and others asking for larger portions of PPP loans to be used for things like rent, utilities, and other obligations. We will continue to monitor these updates and share any additional information with you.

Some updates since last week...

In Order Below
REMINDER: Deerfield Valley Restaurant Resource Call Tomorrow 11AM
Treasury Provides Updated Guidelines for PPP Loans
Updated COVID-19 Signage for Valley Businesses
Senator Leahy Signs Letter for PPP Forgiveness
Retail Recovery Toolkit from Retail Works Inc.
Web Marketing Series for Specialty Foods Producers
Re-Sending: VT Dept. of Health Signage
Show Us What You're Working On
Previous Updates
REMINDER: Deerfield Valley Restaurant Resource Call Tomorrow
Wednesday May 13th, 11AM

Deerfield Valley Restaurant Owner Call Series
Call #2: May 13 2020 at 11:00 am.
Whether or not selling food for customers to take out has ever been part of your business plan in the past, it is now a critical component that can help you increase sales volume through a summer of social distancing. The call will address this, as well as other pressing concerns brought up by YOU, our local restaurateurs.

The interactive call will address several main topics:
Renewing Guest Confidence
Procedure / Flow Plan
Menu/Packaging strategies
Staff Training and buy in of vision

The call will be facilitated and led by Keith Arnold, owner of Duo Denver and until recently owner of Duo in Brattleboro, VT. Keith has owned and operated 4 full service restaurants in total over the past 17 years. He has served as a restaurant group consultant, and has been a panelist on the topic of the hospitality approach. As a cofounder of EATDENVER (a community 250 restaurants strong), he is steadfast in the belief that creating a restaurant community is imperative to regional success.

Treasury Provides Updated Guidelines for PPP Loans
The Treasury issued updated guidan ce around PPP forgiveness. The guidance specifically addresses scenarios when employers offer to rehire an employee who was previously laid off and that employee declines the offer. The Treasury determined this would not negatively impact the amount of loan forgiveness provided to the employer.
Updated COVID-19 Signage for Valley Businesses
The Chamber and Wilmington Works have made a guidelines poster that all businesses can display in their location to create uniform local signage around state recommendations.

Free printed editions will be available for distribution next week. We'll let you know locations where you can get one (or several) ASAP.

There will also be state-issued signage coming out with a blank spot for occupancy numbers and any additional recommendations you might want to require.
Senator Leahy Signs Letter for PPP Forgiveness
Senator Leahy was one of several members of the U.S. Senate who signed a letter calling on the Treasury to increase the percentage of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that can be used for non-payroll expenses. Currently, PPP loans will only be fully forgiven if borrowers spend at least 75% of proceeds on payroll expenses, leaving only 25% for non-payroll costs. The U.S. Senate letter specifically asks the Treasury and Small Business Administration to permit up to 50% of the PPP loans to be authorized for expenses other than payroll costs. These costs could include rent, utility payments, and other fixed monthly obligations. In April, the Vermont Chamber sent a letter to the congressional delegation recommending changes to PPP.
Retail Recovery Toolkit from Retail Works Inc.
Retail Works Inc. has provided a free Retail Recovery Toolkit. This document contains the '10 Things you can do NOW to get your business ready for "Re-Opening Day"' You can see the toolkit HERE
Web Marketing Series for Specialty Food Producers
The Vermont Specialty Foods Association presents a three-part  webinar series on how to maximize the online presence of your business. This series, happening May 13th, 20th, and 27th, will focus on certain aspects of e-commerce for companies looking to expand, leverage, and grow their current e-commerce business.
Re-Sending: COVID-19 Posters for Businesses from VT Department of Health
In addition to signage that will be provided for the Chamber and Wilmington Works, the Vermont Department of Health has provided signage to use as businesses start reopening. It is recommended that you use these signs in your business, or utilize them as a reference when creating your own.

The following signs are currently available:

Show Us What You're Working On!
We want to know what you've been up to! Do you have a special project you've been working on while you've been closed? Have a new or unique product you'd like to share? Let us know! We want to make sure that we're still promoting your business and letting all of our visitors know that you're still here. Please feel free to share anything you'd like to share via email with the Chamber or Wilmington Works and we'll show your accomplishments! Also, if you've shared something on Facebook and would like it to be shared by our group, just let us know and we'll share it for you. We do our best to follow all of our local businesses, but if we missed something, just let us know!
Previous Updates
If you have missed any of our previous updates to businesses, be sure to check out the News Section on the home page of VisitVermont.com . Here you will find all the important updates we've sent and links to videos of the Chamber COVID-19 Town Hall meeting and the Restaurant and Lodging Sector meetings from last week.
Don't forget to reach out to us if you have questions or concerns at any time, we are here to help. Contact the Chamber , Wilmington Works , or either of the Economic Departments of Dover or Wilmington for assistance.
Stay healthy and stay awesome, Deerfield Valley
(802) 464-8092