Public Policy Update - March 2020
COVID-19 Public Policy Update
The situation around COVID-19 is ever-evolving, especially when it comes to the response toward the crisis from elected officials and legislative bodies. You have received numerous emails from us on how to access resources for your business and employees and we will continue to provide you with this important information as changes are made. In the interim, your public policy team wanted to provide you with a brief update on the most current actions taken by elected officials that may affect you and your business.
Governor Northam recently signed two Executive Orders that restrict business activities and gatherings of more than 10 people.

Executive Order 53 provides information on what businesses are considered "essential" versus "non-essential", with both types being placed under varying restrictions. Some non-essential businesses, such as those in the entertainment industry, have been forced to close temporarily.

Executive Order 55 extends restrictions placed upon businesses and individuals through June 10th, creates a temporary "stay at home" order and adds closures of Virginia's beaches and institutions of higher education.

Frequently asked questions about both Executive orders can be found here , and please reach out to Terry Durkin at should you have any additional questions relating to Executive Orders 53 and 55.
Historic legislation (CARES Act) was recently enacted that would appropriate over $2.2 trillion towards combatting COVID-19 and lessening the negative economic impact it is having on our economy. Small businesses as defined by the Small Business Administration (SBA) will soon be able to apply for loans that convert to forgivable grants if used for employee payroll, utilities, and other related business expenses. You will be able to apply for these loans at traditional SBA 7a lenders, and additional lenders will be identified by the Treasury Secretary. A detailed summary of the CARES Act compiled by the US Chamber of Commerce can be found here .

As mentioned above, Congress has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help them keep workers employed. Here’s  a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce  to help your small business through the process.

Additionally, another piece of federal legislation--the Families First Coronavirus Response Act--expands the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) on a temporary basis. Please click here for more information on how this FMLA expansion may affect your business.
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Terry Durkin
Vice President of Public Policy
 Roanoke Regional Chamber