Week of April 13, 2020
Keeping You Informed

Robert Hiett,
Executive Director
Apply for an Americorps team to support your work in disaster response and rebuilding, infrastructure improvement, energy conservation, urban and rural development, or environmental stewardship.
Questions? jbarsky@cns.gov
What to Do When an Employee Is Infected with or Reports Exposure to COVID-19
The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act

The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Launches Fund with Vistaprint to Support Small Business Recovery in Economically Vulnerable Communities

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, with founding partner Vistaprint, has launched the Save Small Business Fund , a grant program to provide assistance to small businesses owners impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Funded by contributions from corporate and philanthropic partners, the Foundation will distribute $5,000 grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities in the United States and its territories. 

“Small business owners are facing unprecedented challenges. The needs are urgent and every dollar counts,” said Carolyn Cawley, president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation. “While the demand is great, we’re proud to be able to contribute to the many efforts underway to help small employers get through the next days and weeks and on the road to recovery for their communities.”  

The Save Small Business Fund is part of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Save Small Business Initiative — a nationwide program to address small businesses’ immediate needs, mitigate closures and job losses, and mobilize support for long-term recovery. The Foundation is launching the fund with support from founding partner, Vistaprint, and additional donations from supporting partners, Merck, S&P Global Foundation, and Travelers.

“Small businesses are the soul of every community, and right now our communities are facing hardship,” says Vistaprint CEO Robert Keane. “I started Vistaprint out of my apartment 25 years ago and I know firsthand how hard it is for small business owners. I have been – and continue to be – amazed by their passion, resilience and ability to persevere through change. As a champion and marketing partner for small businesses, Vistaprint is there when the challenges hit, and we are doing all we can to help them stay in business. We are proud to be partnering with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation to provide a lifeline during this time.”

Grant applications open on April 20, 2020. To qualify, applicants must employ between three and 20 people, be located in an economically vulnerable community, and have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic. Grants will be awarded weekly on a rapid and rolling basis until all funds have been disbursed.

To learn more about the Save Small Business Fund or apply for a grant, visit www.savesmallbusiness.com .
Childcare Assistance

The NC Department of Health and Human services is providing financial assistance to help essential workers afford childcare and bonuses to childcare professionals who provide care during the COVID-19 crisis.  
 Click here  for more information.
Weekly Hands-On Activities for All Ages  

Are you looking to learn something new?

Every week there are new activities and educational videos on this website.
You will also find games about renewable energy and a weekly video quiz! 

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance

This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.

COVID-19 Agricultural Resources

Loans, grants and resources for agriculture.

COVID-19 Funding Opportunities

RURAL LISC (Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation) created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to-permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing. Click  here  for more information.

U.S. CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOUNDATION has announced emergency loans through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act which allocated $350 billion to help small businesses and nonprofits keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to eligible organizations. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Click here for a guide, Questions & Answers to some frequently asked questions, and more information on this relief measure.

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR is offering National Dislocated Worker Grant funding to address the emergency response to COVID-19. U.S. Department of Labor Employment Recovery Dislocated Worker Grants (DWGs) provide resources to states and other eligible applicants to respond to major economic dislocations, such as large, unexpected layoff events that cause significant job losses. Deadline: applications are accepted at any time, provided appropriated funding for the program is available. Click here for application guidelines.

THE DOMINION ENERGY CHARITABLE FOUNDATION  is providing grant support in the company's service territory in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Through the Coronavirus Relief Grants program, the Foundation is currently offering $750,000 in grants to nonprofit organizations addressing direct needs related to the pandemic. Grants will be provided to organizations serving local communities to help address immediate human needs and may vary based on unique local needs in a dynamic environment. Priority will be given to eligible nonprofit organizations whose efforts provide direct services to clients impacted by the Coronavirus. Deadline: 4/15/2020. Application guidelines are available on the Dominion Energy website here .

THE HOME DEPOT FOUNDATION'S COMMUNITY IMPACT GRANTS PROGRAM provides support to nonprofit organizations and public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve their communities. The program focuses on support for organizations that serve veterans in local communities, as well as organizations that serve diverse and underserved communities. Grants of up to $5,000 are made in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis through 12/31/2020. Visit the Foundation's website here to submit an online application.
To help ensure people can access high-speed internet, NC Broadband Infrastructure Office has compiled a list (and interactive map) of new and existing free or affordable service offerings from vendors across the state.
North Carolina Launches a Statewide
COVID-19 Website

The state has launched a new website to serve as a portal for all COVID-19 across state government.

Tighter Social Distancing Restrictions in Place for Retail Stores

Governor Cooper issued stronger social distancing requirements. Executive Order No. 131 requires retail stores that are still operating to implement new social distancing policies to make shopping safer for customers and employees.

New Requirements for Nursing Homes

The Executive Order also makes COVID-19 guidelines mandatory for nursing facilities and recommends other long-term care facilities to do the same. The Order sets public health and safety requirements for nursing homes during the public health emergency. The Order encourages other long-term care facilities
to follow the same guidance. Some of the directives include:

• Canceling communal activities, including group meals
• Taking the temperature of employees and essential personnel when they enter the facility
• Requiring specific personal protective equipment in the facility
• Requiring close monitoring of residents for COVID-19 health indicators like body temperature

2-1-1 Has New Online Tool

NC 211 has launched a new online search tool allowing for easier search of resources. NC 211 has handled over 19,718 calls since activation on March 18 and more than 67,000 people have registered to receive COVID-19 text updates.

New Mental Health Supports Available

•The Hope4NC Helpline is a mental health resource to support North Carolinians during #COVID19NC. Call 1-855-587-3463 for support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

•The Hope4Healers Helpline (919-226-2002) is also for health care workers experiencing stress.
Paycheck Protection Program

This loan program provides loan forgiveness for retaining employees by temporarily expanding the traditional SBA 7(a) loan program

As of April 12, less than half of NC households have completed the 2020 Census
On Friday, March 20 the U.S. Census Bureau began publishing self-response rates for the 2020 Census. The rates represent the number of households that have filled out their census forms on their own (online, by mail, or by phone) as a percentage of all housing units, since the Bureau started sending out invitations to households in early March to participate in the Census.
What You Need to Know About the Census and Why it Matters
Food Banks Have an Urgent Need for Donations

Get or give food through a food bank near you
North Carolina Needs You – Please Volunteer as a Health Care Worker!

As you know we are facing an unprecedented crisis from COVID-19 that has already had devastating consequences internationally. With the virus now spreading in North Carolina, we need to bolster our health care system to ensure we can care for those impacted by the virus. A crucial component is recruiting volunteers to supplement our health care workforce.

Please see the attached letter with additional information as well as a guide for the NC TERMS system .
CARES Act Flexibilities for CDBG Funds Used to Support Coronavirus Response

On April 9, 2020, CPD’s Acting Assistant Secretary John Gibbs released a memorandum transmitting the guide "CARES Act Flexibilities for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Funds Used to Support Coronavirus Response." In addition to urging all States and localities not to wait to apply for their allocations, the memorandum grants a waiver for plan amendments with instructions on how a grantee may submit an amendment for allocated CDBG coronavirus response (CDBG-CV) funds. The expedited process allows a grantee to incorporate CDBG-CV funds within the most recent annual action plan, including a 2019 annual action plan.

The guide outlines the CARES Act flexibilities for CDBG grantees. The flexibilities expand the usefulness of CDBG-CV grants and fiscal years 2019 and 2020 CDBG grants for coronavirus response. The CARES Act also authorizes HUD to grant waivers and alternative requirements to be released in the forthcoming implementation notice.

Small Business Loan Resources

For the latest information updates on Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources from SBA 

HUD’s Distressed Cities Technical Assistance Program

If you work for a local government (tribe, city, town, village, county, etc.) that serves a small community, keep reading! This program may be able to directly benefit your local government operations and community.
The Distressed Cities Technical Assistance (DCTA) program supports small units of general local government (UGLGs) that are distressed and have recently been impacted by a natural disaster. Specifically, the DCTA program is designed to improve the fiscal health and administrative capacity of small UGLGs.

  • Learn More & Request TA: Visit the DCTA program page to learn more about how the DCTA program defines “small,” “distressed,” and “impacted by a natural disaster.” This page provides additional information about the program, including specific eligibility criteria, instructions for requesting assistance, and FAQs.

  • Access Resources: Visit the *new* DCTA Resources page to access a variety of resources relevant to small UGLGs, including webinars, tools, and funding opportunities. This page includes resources for responding to COVID-19. Note: You do not have to be a participant in the DCTA program to access these resources.
Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where they operate. The program can help in the following ways: keep your workforce going strong, help with your rent costs, connect with more customers, cover operational costs. They will begin taking applications in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive more information when it becomes available on the link below:
Understand, Recognize, and Report
COVID-19 Scams

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, scammers may try to take advantage of you through misinformation and scare tactics. They might get in touch by phone, email, postal mail, text, or social media. Protect your money and your identity by not sharing personal information like your bank account number, Social Security number, or date of birth. Learn more about these scams and how to report them. 
USDA Resources for Rural Communities

USDA and its Federal partners have programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. These programs can support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through:

• technical, training, and management assistance;
• financial assistance; and
• state and local assistance.

This resource matrix organizes funding opportunities identified in the CARES Act and other federal resources that can help support rural America. Opportunities are categorized by customer and assistance type.