New Essential Business Guidance Issued
Empire State Development Has Issued New Guidance for Small Retail Operations and Construction Businesses

Based on our understanding of the previous essential business guidelines, the Chamber has been advising our small business retail members that a single person could visit their business to pack orders to facilitate shipment/delivery to either local or online customers. The new guidance affirms that this is the position of NYS.

It is especially important that our smallest businesses be able to conduct as much business as possible, particularly those who sell the same product lines that big box stores and online vendors are able to sell/distribute to consumers during the pandemic -- with proper health and safety precautions in place, of course!

Additional clarification regarding the construction industry is included, so members within that industry should take special note of the new guidance.
Please take our newest survey about the impacts of COVID-19, what actions you've taken and what resources you've used, and how we can best support your business or organization.

The Chamber, TCAD, DIA, and the City of Ithaca all thank you for your input! The survey was emailed to Key Decision Makers only at member firms on Thursday. If you did not receive a copy but should have, please email Jennifer Tavares at
Tompkins County Area Development (TCAD) is introducing a short-term emergency relief fund for businesses in Tompkins County that have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Emergency Relief Loan Program (The Fund) will provide 3-year term loans to traded sector businesses whose customers are regional or national in scope ( businesses who primarily sell products or services outside Tompkins County ).
The loan will be for working capital to: Prevent staff reductions; Allow business operations to continue; Offset losses related to the Coronavirus COVID-19.
Loan terms: Maximum amount offered for this 36-month loan is $50,000; Interest rate is 2.5%; Principal and interest payments are deferred for one year;   There is no equity requirement
 Eligible Borrowers: Legally recognized forms of business, including sole proprietorships, partnerships, corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, professional service corporations, not-for-profit corporations, and cooperatives. Business must be located in Tompkins County, must provide evidence of loss in revenue or cash flow within the last 60 days, and must be currently operating, even if only remotely.
Eligible Loan Uses Include: Working capital (including payroll coverage); Inventory; Equipment; New marketing efforts; Other reasonable business expenses. The loan may not be used to pay off existing loans or debt.
There is no cost to apply . There are no closing costs and no filing fees . Loans will be available until funds are committed or until October 1, 2020. For further information and to request an application  please contact Kathy May at the link below.
Do you need masks or hand sanitizer to support your essential business and protect your employees?

Please click the button to submit an email to Jennifer Tavares. Indicate how many essential employees you're seeking homemade fabric masks for (and for what purpose/responsibilities), and how many gallons of hand sanitizer you would be interested in receiving in the next week or two. We cannot promise supplies will be available, and note that you'll need to be patient especially for masks. Thank you!
Do You Have Critical Supplies or Manufacturing Capacity to Support our Health Care System Needs During COVID-19?
Tompkins Chamber Announces Member Support Fund t hrough Chamber Foundation

The Chamber is providing critical support to our network and the community during this unprecedented crisis. In the coming weeks and months, engaging virtually with peers, receiving valuable information and resource updates, and sustaining the promotion and support of local businesses or organizations will be as important as ever. We are striving to make this information and services free of charge for those within our membership, and the broader community.

If you represent a business or organization that can support others weathering these circumstances by funding an additional program entry fee, or helping to subsidize their membership remaining active during the next six months, our community and organization could use your support.
Still have questions?

Here's an adorable, inquisitive kitten to make you feel better.

Seriously, though...we'll do our best to help you or make referrals to those who have the answers you need.

Just call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at .

* A brief reminder that we are not doctors or legal experts - just your friendly local Chamber doing our best to keep you informed.*