Scott Tate
President & CEO

Phone: 636.946.0633
To Our Chamber Members:

Below is updated information on PPP & EIDL government programs (both which have run out of money) and a new initative through the US Chamber.

I have also included a link to St. Charles All Together (STAT) - an initiative to collaborate with local civic and community leaders and organizations to raise money from individuals and businesses with the purpose of supporting locally owned restaurants to feed local hospital workers.

The goal is to raise a minimum of $112, 500 in order to keep our local restaurants supported while feeding 250 hospital workers for 45 days. 

Finally,I want thank State Representative Chrissy Sommer for following through on our suggestion to see what needed to be done to allow restaurants to sell mixed drinks curbside following a Fox 2 story by reporter Chris Hayes . Representative Sommer worked with the Department of Public Safety in getting them to approve a temporary waiver from Governor Parson. Without this waiver, restaurants would have continued to lose thousands of dollars each week.
With Gratitude & Certainty For Better Days Ahead,
Funding Runs Out for Paycheck Protection Program & Economic Injury Disaster Loan Programs

As of April 16th, 2020, the SBA is currently unable to accept new applications for the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan based on available appropriations funding. A legislative order by Congress is the only way for additional funds to be allocated. We have provided contact information for Missouri representatives below in order for you to reach out to them and express the need and importance of appropriating more funds. The SBA also notes the following: Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
During this time, we recommend preparing all relevant payroll documents in case additional funding is released. Counselors are available to answer any questions you may have.
Here is a link to the SBA COVID-19 programs. This link should be kept up to date with new information.

Congressmen and Senators from Missouri along with their contact links

US Chamber Launches Save Small Business Initiative

**NOTE - To qualify for this program, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Be located in an economically vulnerable community (We entered the all St. Charles County zip codes on their website - only businesses in 63301 (St. Charles), 63373 (Portage Des Sioux) & 63386 (West Alton) will qualify to apply.)
  • Have been harmed financially by the  COVID-19 pandemic

It is hard enough to be a small business owner – only about half of all small businesses with employees make it to their five-year anniversary.

Add in the coronavirus and measures we have adopted to halt its spread, and you are looking at an existential threat that could wipe out millions of small businesses.

A recent poll  conducted by the Chamber and MetLife found that more than half of small businesses (54%) have closed at least temporarily or will close in the next two weeks. One in four (24%) are two months or less away from permanently closing. To put that into perspective, 24% of employer firms with fewer than 500 employees is 1.4 million small businesses.

All of which makes the  Save Small Business Initiative  announced today by the U.S. Chamber even more critical. The initiative features a four-part campaign including financial aid, resources and guidance, advocacy, polling, and a call to action for the larger business community and government to help small businesses. 

As part of the initiative, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has launched the   Save Small Business Grant Fund   to provide $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers.

This is not just about what the Chamber can do, but what all of us can do together.

It is also about what we can do over time. Implementing the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and the new Main Street Loan Facility will help stabilize many small businesses today, but then we must help them reopen, recover, and grow. The Chamber is committed for the long-term.

As our President Suzanne Clark said, “We cannot and will not allow our country’s critical small business sector to collapse.”

–Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Retails Sales Fall Sharply in March

As anticipated, retail sales fell off a cliff in March. According to the Census Bureau,  retail sales fell by almost 9% . That is the biggest drop ever for one month.

With people unable to work or go to stores, it was inevitable. Sales at food and grocery stores rose for the month as people stocked up. But those figures will decline as people revert to normal buying habits.

Sales at non-retail stores, mostly online sellers, ticked up 3.1%. That’s a big jump, but perhaps smaller than some would anticipate. It takes time for online sellers to ramp up. And despite its rapid growth in recent years, online buying still only accounts for 14% of all retail sales. People still buy most things in brick-and-mortar stores.

Unfortunately, other data points today were similarly bleak.  Industrial production fell by 5.4% , the most since WWII, and  home builder confidence fell a record amount .

Tomorrow brings weekly unemployment claims. Hopefully that will provide some optimism if claims recede from recent record highs.

–Curtis Dubay, Senior Economist, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force is an unprecedented collaboration that includes BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s. The St. Louis metropolitan area’s largest health systems are working together to coordinate capacity, staffing, supplies and other issues to prepare for a coming surge of patients. The Task Force is also coordinating with public health departments, elected leaders and state and federal agencies to provide the best possible care for patients. Dr. Alex Garza, Chief Medical Officer at SSM Health and Incident Commander for the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Taskforce will hold daily briefings on Facebook Live at 3pm.

Facebook Live updates daily at 3pm.

Latest Update from the Task Force - 04-15-2020
  • The number of COVID/PUI hospitalizations in task force hospitals has gone up 50% since April 5. We are on the steep and rising part of the curve.
  • Social distancing has clearly helped bend the curve and moved us off current “worst case” trajectory. That could change. It’s essential that we continue to “bring down the hammer” on the virus over the weeks ahead. 
  • Current modeling shows hospitalization peak date on or around April 23. Range of peak hospitalizations at peak could be somewhere between where we are today (around 700) up to 1,550 in worst case scenario. Only the community can keep us on the “flatter curve” through continued adherence to social distancing, stay at home, handwashing and other behaviors.
  • Important to remember the lessons of the 1918 influenza pandemic. St. Louis initially lowered its curve through early and strict social distancing. But a temporary relaxation caused a “second wave” that brought more deaths to the region. In total, the 1918 pandemic had three waves that killed more than 50 million people globally. We can’t afford a second – or third – wave in this pandemic.
  • We must keep social distancing and “stay at home” in place for the foreseeable future to stop the spread and save lives.

Missouri changes alcohol rule exposed in the Fox Files

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Restaurants say today's decision to cut red tape will save jobs. Friday we showed you the Missouri rule that allows the sale of liquor in separate containers but banned them mixed in one container. Restaurant owners were...

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Resources for Individuals
PrepareSTL - Preparing the St Louis Region for COVID19

COVID-19 is affecting all of us, particularly black Americans who are dying of coronavirus at much higher rates compared to other Americans. St. Louisans need to be prepared. Stay informed. Stay home. If needed, seek help. Keep you, your family...

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.  Visit their live blog for the latest updates.  

The U.S. Chamber continues to create, update, and evolve its various guides and resources to continue bringing you the information you need during this difficult time. We encourage you to utilize and share the following items as you see fit:

Missouri Chamber of Commerce & Industry
With COVID-19 continuing to spread in the United States, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry urges the business community to take proactive steps to protect their workplaces and communities from Coronavirus.

State of Missouri
Small Business Administration (SBA)
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

Local Information & Resources