Coronavirus Updates for the Seneca Chamber Community
Greetings Chamber Community,

In our commitment to serving the local business community, we have gathered some useful information and resources to help your business or family plan for and deal with this ongoing situation. As more information becomes available, we will continue to update our website ( and social media ( facebook/DiscoverSeneca).
CARES Act - What it Means to Business:
On Friday, March 27 President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The legislation is the third round of stimulus funding to individuals and businesses impacted by the Novel Coronavirus.

Here is a summary of the legislation, courtesy of: Senator Schumer.

Highlights of the package (courtesy Rochester Chamber) for local businesses are as follows:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (Section 1102) - $349 Billion allocated to small businesses to pay employees (keep them on payroll).The program would support low-interest, no-fee loans of up to $10 million with repayment deferred for up to 6-months. If the borrower has retained the same number of employees at the end of the year as when they received the disbursement, then the loan could be forgiven up to 100%. Eligible businesses are those up to 500 employees (including non-profits, independent contractors and self-employed). SBA "affiliate rules" are being temporarily waived for this program -- opening eligibility to hotel and restaurant chains. It is intended for immediate payroll relief to ensure that businesses do not employ mass layoffs during the crises. The program is open until June, 23 and will allow a business to get a loan to cover up to 2.5 months of payroll.

  • Emergency Economic Injury Grants (Section 1110) - The bill creates a new $10 billion grant program, leveraging SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance infrastructure, to provide small businesses with quick, much needed capital. Small businesses, cooperative, ESOPS, private non-profits, independent contractors and the self-employed would be eligible to receive up to $10,000 to cover immediate payroll, mortgage, rent, and other operating expenses while they wait for additional relief to be processed.The legislation requires SBA to disperse within 3 days of verifying eligibility. Grant recipients would remain eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, disaster loans and regular SBA-backed loans.

  • 6-months of Principle and Interest Relief (Section 1112) - Small businesses in industries heavily impacted by coronavirus—such as travel, tourism, and hospitality—are experiencing dramatic cash flow problems. The government is ultimately responsible for guarantees on these loans and has a vested interest in averting mass defaults.To provide immediate relief to small businesses with SBA-backed loans, the bill would provide small businesses with relief from SBA loan payments, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months; encourage banks to provide further relief to small business borrowers by enabling them to extend the duration of current loans beyond existing limits; and will provide $17 billion in relief to SBA borrowers. Eligible businesses include: current and new 7(a) and 504 program borrowers (small businesses, sole proprietors, cooperatives).
Local Lenders Leading the Way
We recognize that many of our local small business owners are facing unprecedented challenges. We have heard from many of you that this is an anxious time. Given the stresses that you and your families are dealing with, we have reached out to a number of local banks and lending institutions for advice and updates on steps they are actively taking.

First and foremost, all of the lenders that responded to our survey made it known that they are willing to help. Their best advice was for borrowers with an established relationship to contact their lending institutions and initiate a conversation that can help put your mind at ease. In addition to that advice, we found many examples of lenders leading the recovery effort:

  • Generations Bank has a deferment plan for business and personal retail products of up to 4 months. This deferment includes both Principle and Interest -- effectively extending the loan terms (up to 4 months).
  • Generations Bank also has established a loan program to help with specific expenses (rent, groceries, necessities of daily living) that provides up to $2,500 unsecured. Note - must have a history with Generations Bank to qualify for certain conditions.
  • Bank of the Finger Lakes is offering interest-only with no fees on many products for up to six months.

Most local lenders can also help guide small businesses through the SBA loan process in order to access the federal programs like those explained above.
Chamber Community Giving Back
On the heels of Leap of Kindness Day, several local businesses have risen to the challenge of helping others in the community.

  • Littlejohn & Barbi Orthodontics - contributed 18 boxes of surgical masks to Geneva General Hospital to help keep everyone safe
  • Waterloo Laundry Depot - distributed 100 free lunches to both customers and the community (including donating to local shelter).
  • Finger Lakes Distilling - now dedicating a large portion of their business to making hand sanitizer. The sanitizer is made using the formula recommended by the FDA. They are providing hand sanitizer in bulk quantities to local healthcare providers and other services such as law enforcement.
Upcoming Webinars
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Webinar - Thursday, April 2 11:00am to 12:00pm. Hosted by the SBA, this information session will help you navigate the myriad loan programs available for Coronavirus Disaster relief. To register, email: [email protected]
This email made possible by the investment support of our Chamber members and partners, including the Chamber Platinum members:
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315.568.2906      [email protected]
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