March 2020
CHAMBER MEMBER NEWS
Member News is a monthly newsletter that provides news about Chamber members.
SPECIAL OFFER FROM ECONO STORAGE
Chamber Member Special!

Econo Storage is offering 30% off of the monthly rent for any available storage units for six months! This is only available for new accounts only.
Give them a call at 434. 334.7283.
SUPPLY CHAIN SURVEY FROM VDEM
T he Virginia Department of Emergency Management would like to learn more about the supply chain challenges that businesses are facing. If you would like to sign up to receive information from VDEM, click here .
LOCAL VET OFFERS TO HELP
As health care professionals and first responders dedicate extended hours and sacrifice their personal lives to care for the increase in hospitalized patients from this pandemic, often they have no way to care for their own pets. Imagine working around the clock shifts at the hospital and wondering what your dog is going to do for food and walks back at your apartment. As people become infected and admitted to the hospital, often times the pets left at home are not considered.  
 
A local vet has offered up a solution. Dr. Jeff Smith of Danville Family Vet says, “We want to help our community in this time of crisis.  We are offering a free place to stay in our pet hotel for dogs and cats of people closely affected by the Coronavirus.  While space is available, we will accept pets from anyone who is in a difficult situation because of this pandemic and at least, they won’t have to be worried about their pets being cared for. We are trying to get the word out on social media so that people will know about this solution when the need arises.”
STRONGER NOT HARDER
As many of us are finding isolation time on our hands, now is as good a time as any to invest in some #selfcare . Personal growth, professional development, annual reviews, whatever name you call it…taking time for yourself to be the best you can be is something we all NEED to do if we ever want to achieve our dreams. Every person’s journey will look different, but that does not mean we need to re-invent the wheel. Here are some free or cheap strengths tools to support you in your journey!
VIRGINIA TOURISM CORPORATION COVID-19 RESOURCES
FUNDRAISER TO HELP LOCAL BUSINESSES
KG Graphics has released a fundraiser to help local businesses in our area.

They are selling support local shirts and 100% of the proceeds will go to a local business of your choice! If you would like to purchase a shirt, please click the button below or visit the KG Graphics Facebook page for more information.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO KEEP YOUR INFORMATION SAFE
Dear Fellow Chamber Member:

As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, many states and localities have issued quarantines and shelter-in-place mandates on businesses considered “non-essential” based on information released by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Now that we are beginning to see such mandates in Virginia, many of you have staff working remotely from their homes. The following are things to consider if you have or plan to have staff work remotely:

On-Line Threats To Remote Workers:
  1. Unsecured WIFI networks
  2. Using personal devices and networks
  3. Scams targeting remote workers

Tips for Businesses with Staff Working Remotely:
  1. Use strong passwords
  2. Set up two-factor authentication
  3. Use a VPN
  4. Set up firewalls
  5. Use an antivirus software
  6. Secure your home router
  7. Install updates regularly
  8. Back up your data
  9. Beware of remote desktop tools
  10. Look out for phishing e-mail and sites
  11. Watch out for work-from-home scams
  12. Use encrypted communications
  13. Lock your device

Our company will be offering two shredding service options for companies
with employees working remotely:

1) We will schedule residential on-site shredding service visits. All shredding
will be done at employee homes at a negotiable rate. We ask that the
employee place the documents outside their front door or garage. A credit
card must be on file for this service and will be billed at the time of service.

2) We will provide companies and/or remote employees with Seal & Shred
Bags. The bags will be provided at a flat rate of $25.00 per bag which includes shredding service. The bags must be returned to the business for shredding. The bags will hold up to 25 pounds of confidential documents.

But, if you are interested in finding out more about or would like to schedule one
of the shredding options for your remote workers, please contact our office at
434.797.2332 for assistance.

Sincerely,

Rob Giannini
Chief Executive Officer
Commonwealth Document Management, Inc.
THE FAMILY FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT
Just a few days ago, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, “Family First Act.” This is a package of provisions aimed at providing emergency relief to workers [by ensuring paid leave] and employers [through payroll tax credits]. The two main provisions of this bill are additions to the Family Medical Leave Act [FMLA] and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. We will cover these two provisions known as the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act below.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

This provision amends the FMLA to provide for a new type of public health emergency category of leave. This amendment applies to:
  • Businesses with less than 500 employees
  • Employees seeking leave for COVID-19 related reasons

Employees covered under this section must have been employed for at least 30 days. A qualifying public health emergency in connection with COVID-19 is added as a category by which an employee may qualify for paid leave. Any leave taken in connection with this new category will count towards the 12 weeks of leave over a 12-month period that the FMLA currently allows for.

The first ten days of leave are unpaid under this particular provision. The employee may opt to utilize paid leave days already provided by the employer or the employee may opt to utilize paid leave days provided for under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, which we will discuss below. After ten days, the employee is entitled to two-thirds of their regular wage with some limitations for higher wage earners.

The provision further requires that employers restore their employee to the same or equivalent position when said employee returns from leave. However, there are certain exemptions that some companies with less than 25 employees may qualify for. Also, there are exceptions for health care providers and emergency responders.

Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

This provision also applied to businesses with less than 500 employees. It provides that employees are entitled to paid sick leave of 80 hours for full time employees and for part-time employees the rough equivalent of hours they would have worked in a two-week period. This expands the paid sick leave coverage to employees who are subject to quarantine or caring for individuals subject to quarantine. Significantly, it also extends to employees with children who are unable to find childcare .

If paid leave is invoked because the employee is directly affected by COVID-19 (they have it or are awaiting test results) then they are entitled to paid leave at the same hourly pay with some limitations for larger wage earners. Employees taking leave to care for others are entitled to two-thirds regular pay with similar limitations for higher wage earners. The employer will be required to post model notices.

The Secretary of Labor has the power to provide exemptions as to the childcare provision described above for businesses with less than 50 employees if the provision would endanger the continued viability of the business.

The provisions provide that employers may receive the benefit of payroll tax credits to assist in paying the leave discussed above. 
UPCOMING EVENTS BY SMOKESTACK THEATRE COMPANY
 S mokestack Improv will return to
2 Witches Winery & Brewing Co. on
Saturday, April 4 and 25 at 6 p.m. 
Smokestack Improv will present a 4 hour workshop to introduce participants to all of the benefits of improvisational comedy
FOUR SEASONS PEST CONTROL ACQUIRES BRADFORD PEST CONTROL
Four Seasons Pest Control has acquired the Bradford Pest Control Company, Inc. of Glade Hill, Virginia. Bradford Pest Control served the Smith Mountain Lake community, including parts of Bedford and Franklin counties. Bradford was a well-known family-owned business serving its communities since 1994.

Brian Bradford and his father started the business 26 years ago. Bradford sought a way to retire last year, and preferred a buyer for his business that would provide a similar level of service or better for his current customers.
Four Seasons Pest Control’s Signature Service combines both termite and general pest control into one plan. This is a new option for lake residents. Signature Service provides annual termite protection, termite damage coverage, and uses Sentricon System Solution®, the #1 brand in termite production, for controlling termites. Sentricon uses an in-ground termite bait system that minimizes treatment runoff. This system is very popular for lake homes. General pest control protects from common household pests, and provides an external cobweb removal service for lake home eaves and overhangs. Four Seasons is very careful about how it applies different types of pest control products. This is important for a lake community that takes water quality issues seriously. The firm takes a green approach and uses the latest tech and strives to exceed industry standards.
AVERETT STUDENTS TO RECEIVE ENDOWED SCHOLARSHIP HONORING FORMER BOARD CHAIR FRANKLIN MADDUX
Averett University recently announced that  American National Bank and Trust Company  has established the Dr. Frank W. Maddux Endowed Scholarship for Averett students. The scholarship was created in recognition of Maddux's 17 years of service on the Board of Directors at American National, as well as his years of service and former chairman position on Averett's Board of Trustees.

“It’s difficult to properly express my gratitude for a man who has done so much for our region, for his strategic guidance during American National’s incredible growth period and for me personally. But on behalf of American National, I am delighted to honor Dr. Maddux for his many contributions through the establishment of the Frank Maddux scholarship,” said Jeffrey V. Haley, president & CEO of American National Bankshares Inc.
This endowment will be funded with an initial gift, and interested parties may contribute to the endowment at any time. Income from the endowment will be awarded annually to a deserving full-time, undergraduate Averett student who demonstrates financial need and holds a minimum GPA of 3.0. First preference will be given to students who are residents of the Dan River Region. The award may be renewable for up to three additional years.

“I was extraordinarily pleased that the bank had so thoughtfully created a way to honor my tenure on its Board of Directors. I feel so attached to Averett, so it was an ideal parting statement to me, one for which I’m extremely grateful,” said Maddux, nephrologist and global chief medical officer at  Fresenius Medical Care.

“I cannot think of a more meaningful tribute for someone who has given so generously to Averett,” said Averett University President Dr. Tiffany M. Franks. “We are grateful to American National Bank and Trust Company for honoring Dr. Maddux, who has made a tremendous impact on both organizations and whose strategic wisdom, investment and passion for this region’s hometown university has been instrumental to our success.”
INNOVATION PARTNERS
Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce | www.dpchamber.org
(T) 434.836.6990 | (F) 434.836.6955
8653 US Hwy 29 | PO Box 99 | Blairs, VA 24527