Public Policy Update - May 2020
Executive Order 63
Governor Northam has declared that all Virginians over the age of 10 must wear a mask when congregating in public places (with certain exceptions). Although business owners and law enforcement are not tasked with enforcing this measure, the administration is asking for compliance in order to ensure that COVID-19 flare ups do not occur as our economy begins to reopen. Click here to find out more about EO-63, including frequently asked questions.

Additionally, we have compiled some local resources and information relating to the mask mandate and sent them to you this past Friday. If you missed that email, you can find it here.
Salem City Council Elections
On May 19th, the City of Salem held elections for three open City Council seats. The winning candidates from that election are Bill Jones, Renee Turk, and Jim Wallace. We thank all of the candidates who took the time and energy to run for City Council, and we look forward to working with council members on policies that promote regional cooperation and economic growth.
Paycheck Protection Plan
The US Chamber of Commerce has released a helpful video on navigating the forgiveness process for PPP loans. Our local Small Business Development Center is also hosting a free zoom workshop on the same topic on Tuesday, June 2nd. You can register for that here .

The Roanoke Regional Chamber has sent two rounds of letters to our Congressional delegation asking for specific adjustments to the PPP. The first letter asked for 501(c)(6) non-profits to be included into the program so that they may access funding for payroll as well. We have numerous non-profits in our region that assist our tourism industry, attract business conferences, and add to the overall vitality of our economy, and they continue to be heavily affected by the economic slowdown. The second letter asked our representatives to ensure that business payroll and other expenses normally tax-deductible should continue to be so for business owners that have taken advantage of the PPP. 

If you wish to contact your Congressional representatives in favor of the issues above, you may find their contact information by entering your address here .
Op-ed: Chairman Eddie Hunter
In case you missed it, Chamber Board Chairman Eddie Hunter penned an op-ed in the Roanoke Times this past Sunday called "Moving to rebuild our economy" . We would encourage you to give it a read when you get the chance.
State & Local
News from the Executive Branch - Reopening Virginia
In addition to the announcement of Executive Order 63, Governor Northam has indicated that a tentative date for "Phase-2" re-opening could begin as soon as this Friday, June 5 should all health indicators remain in a favorable trend. At that point, we would begin to see further easing of some gathering/capacity restrictions. While nothing concrete has been released yet, we will send you up-to-date information when we receive it.

Governor Northam has been participating in weekly press conferences to give updates on the status of COVID-19 in Virginia and new actions being taken by his administration. These are now taking place at 2:00pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays and you can watch them live on his Facebook page .
In the News


Terry Durkin
Vice President of Public Policy
 Roanoke Regional Chamber