Wolf Administration Announces Targeted Mitigation Efforts in Response to Recent COVID Case Increases

Governor Tom Wolf and Sec. of Health Dr. Rachel Levine today signed new orders for targeted mitigation efforts in response to the recent rise in COVID cases, primarily in southwest Pennsylvania, but also in other counties in the state, influencing the decision for statewide mitigation efforts for bars and restaurants, gatherings and telework. The new orders take effect at 12:01 a.m., Thursday, July 16, 2020.

The mitigation efforts included in the new orders from Gov. Wolf and Dr. Levine include:

Bars and Restaurants

All businesses in the retail food services industry, including restaurants, wineries, breweries, private clubs, and bars, are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales of food, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of the guidance, as required by the order, including:

  • Prohibition from conducting operations unless the facility offers sit-down, dine-in meals or is serving take-out sales of alcoholic beverages. All service must be at a table or booth; bar service is prohibited.
  • Alcohol only can be served for on-premises consumption when in the same transaction as a meal.
  • Take-out sales of alcohol for the purposes of off-site consumption are permitted subject to any limitations or restrictions imposed by Pennsylvania law.
  • Non-bar seating in outdoor areas (i.e. tables or counter seats that do not line up to a bar or food service area) may be used for customer seating.
  • Social distancing, masking, and other mitigation measures must be employed to protect workers and patrons.
  • Occupancy is limited to 25 percent of stated fire-code maximum occupancy for indoor dining, or 25 persons for a discrete indoor event or gathering in a restaurant. The maximum occupancy limit includes staff.

Other restrictions include:

  • Indoor events and gatherings of more than 25 persons are prohibited.
  • Outdoor events and gatherings of more than 250 persons are prohibited.
  • Teleworking is required where possible.
  • Where teleworking is not possible, masks are mandatory.

Enforcement

Businesses and individuals in violation of these orders, issued pursuant to the authority granted to the Governor and the Secretary of Health under the law, including the Pennsylvania Disease Control and Prevention Law, could be subject to fines, business closure or other applicable enforcement measures.

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PPP Loans Still Available to Help Small Businesses,
Non-Profits & Ag Businesses

The U.S. Small Business Administration is encouraging small businesses, self-employed persons, independent contractors, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, farmers, ranchers, and agricultural businesses economically impacted by COVID-19 to apply for a PPP loan to cover up to 24 weeks of payroll costs and certain overhead expenses.
The deadline for SBA to approve PPP applications is Saturday, August 8.

Participating PPP Lenders can be found using the  SBA Lender Locator .
Loan forgiveness is based on the borrower maintaining or quickly rehiring employees while maintaining salaries and hours. New PPP loans have a maturity of 5 years and an interest rate of 1%. Additional information on the PPP program and other SBA emergency capital programs is available at  www.sba.gov/coronavirus


Free Re-opening Signage

As Pennsylvania businesses begin to reopen,  each business owner will need to examine their operations and make changes to meet public safety guidelines. PASBDC has created signage to address common health concerns. All images are completely free to use, so please share,  download , print and distribute as you wish!
Guide to Building A Resilient Workforce

As COVID-19 accelerates disruptions impacting the American workforce, the National Governors Association issued the findings of a comprehensive two-year project examining ways that governors and other state policymakers can nurture a technologically resilient workforce ready to thrive in an evolving economy.  The guide  is available online, along with a new  interactive website  where users can explore 150 policy and program examples from more than 40 states.
Quick Connect Coaching Sessions
Weekly, Tuesdays at 8:30 am

Looking for a quick answer to a question related to disaster recovery, reopening, stabilizing, or projecting for growth? Then attend a "Quick Connect" session to get your questions answered. Each week a consultant will address answers related to a specific topic.


The Pennsylvania 30 Day Fund is a non-profit recently launched to provide forgivable loans of $3,000 to Pennsylvania small businesses struggling as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Eligibility criteria is simple:
 
  • Employs between 3 and 30 people
  • Based in Pennsylvania and operating for at least a year
  • Owned and operated by a Pennsylvania resident
  • Operate as a for profit business.
 
Eligible employers must complete a  short application  and submit a video detailing how they could benefit from the funding. The funds do not need to be repaid. However, business owners who are able may choose to "pay it forward" by paying the proceeds back to the Fund to be used by other small businesses.
 
Additional questions about the PA 30 Day Fund can be directed by Maia Comeau at  maia@comeaucompany.com .

The Chamber has been informed that the application process is simple and that preference is being given to those that are involved in their community.
Office Hours by Appointment

Staff is returning to the office to work on a part-time basis. Please contact us if you need to make an appointment to meet and we will adjust our office hours accordingly. Masks are required for anyone entering the Chamber office.

News from Bedford!
Silver Screen Becomes Silver Lining Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

Bedford County Chamber of Commerce to Partner with Bedford County Fair for
Saturday Night Drive-In Movie Series Beginning July 4th

    The events (Saturdays thru Sept. 5th) will take place in accordance with CDC guidelines for safety during the Coronavirus pandemic, including two Thursday evening movie nights with a live music lead-in! ($20pp - tickets sales starting soon.) Please wear masks to visit concession stand and rest rooms.
July 30 - Celtic Night - 6PM
featuring Live Music by Full Kilt
& Film: Making of Byrne & Kelly's Echoes

August 6 - Summer Sounds
with the Jackson Monsour Band   
& Film: Six Days, Seven Nights
Flowchart Helps Employers Understand New Tax Credits

The IRS recently issued  Publication 5419, New Employer Tax Credits (PDF)  to help employers understand the tax credits available to them due to the coronavirus pandemic. The one-page document breaks down the details of the Employer Retention Credit and the credits for paid sick and family leave in easy-to-follow charts. Using the document, employers can quickly determine whether they are eligible for the credits, the amount of the credits and which wages apply to the credits.

Click here for access to timely resources.
Food Service Guidance

All retail food service businesses, including restaurants, private event spaces and wedding venues with food service, licensed clubs, and bars located in counties designated as being in the Green phase are permitted to provide take-out and delivery sales, as well as dine-in service in both indoor and outdoor seating areas, so long as they strictly adhere to the requirements of this guidance including maximum occupancy limits.

  • Bar seating may be utilized provided that customers are seated and comply with physical distancing guideline of at least 6 feet or physical barriers between customers. Standing in a bar area will not be permitted.
  • A maximum of four customers that have a common relationship may sit together at the bar, while adhering to the physical distancing guidelines or barriers between other customers.

This guidance applies to all restaurants, private event spaces and wedding venues with food service, licensed clubs, and bars, regardless of whether the business operates within a larger facility such as a hotel, casino, convention center, conference center or similar large venue.

Private event spaces and wedding venues which do not offer food service are not subject to this guidance, but must follow all applicable provisions of the commonwealth’s  Guidance for Businesses Permitted to Operate During the COVID-19 Disaster Emergency to Ensure the Safety and Health of Employees and the Public .

No business is required to conduct in-person operations, and should not do so if the business is unable to do so in accordance with all applicable guidance .

Download this questionnaire for sample screening questions to ask employees upon return to work and on a regular basis moving forward. This template is based on questions required or recommended by various states as well as input from U.S. Chamber member companies of all sizes and sectors.
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Yvonne Martin
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MacKenzie Huntsman
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Fax: 814-643-1115
    
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