COVID-19 Business Information & Resources
T his email is meant to share updates with our downtown and partnered businesses.
We are here to help - If you have questions or need help getting word to your customers/community let us know. We will use social media and other means to help you share news and updates.

Please send details or links to the items you want shared by email or Facebook Message and
or call 402-223-3244
Directed Health Measures to Change on May 18th
more relaxed restrictions for our area set to begin
The Governor announced yesterday that restrictions for the Public Health Solutions District, including Beatrice and Gage County, will be updated with more relaxed regulations starting May 18th.

We will still have rules in place after May 18th and not every business can resume operations but this will be one of the first steps in the re-opening process. This does not mean that you must re-open right away but that option will be available for most businesses with new rules in place.

These rules are for our area on and after May 18th. Please feel free to read the order in the link above: The main area of information can be found at the bottom of page 2 through the top of page 6.
Additional information can be found in the Governor's Press Release which also includes updates on sports activities.

These rules show what we are currently under to what is now May 18th. Please feel free to read the order in the link above: The main area of information can be found at the bottom of page 2 through the middle of page 5.

The above document is for use after Gage County starts the reopening process (now set for May 18). Please note that the re-opening guidelines only cover establishments that have food that is served to their patrons. Bars without food offered to their patrons will need to wait to re-open, all may still offer carry-out/to-go service. All establishments reopening must follow these guidelines and have them printed and available on site.

The above documents are for use after Gage County starts the reopening process (now set for May 18). All clients and staff MUST wear face-masks at all times on-site. These sites must adhere to the 10-person rule for customers or other invitees, excluding staff.

Many medical offices have resumed elective surgeries and operations, they do have new standards and limitations.

New statewide rules for worship services, weddings, and funerals have taken effect. Please read the link above for more information on these new rules.

Retail and many service sector businesses while not subject to the current guidelines are still encouraged to maintain high levels of sensitization and social distancing if open.

The 10 person limit is still in effect for all gatherings through May 31st.
Some places are allowed to have more than 10 people (employees not counted) such as restaurants (with the new restrictions, May 18th) and grocery stores. Starting in June the 10 person limit MIGHT begin to increase but expect limits of some sort to be in place going forward.
Small Businesses Tips to Re-Open Safely & Effectively

Nebraska - Press Conferences
Weekday press conference are held on weekdays at 2:00pm (typically), the Governor provides an update on the state's  #COVID19  response. The live steam can be found on social media via sources like News Channel Nebraska, NET, and 10/11 News.

Thursday, May 14 at 8:30pm CT - Speaking of Nebraska live one-hour Nebraska town hall session, on NET Television and  NET Radio 91.1 FM  and live on Facebook via NET Nebraska.

Questions will be answered by Gov. Ricketts and other Nebraska officials.

Nebraska Launches #TestNebraskaChallenge, Rolls Out Plan to Expand COVID-19 Testing
Governor Pete Ricketts announced a new plan to scale up Nebraska’s capability to test for COVID-19. The State is launching a public-private partnership to significantly expand testing in Nebraska over the next several weeks. The program will enlist Nebraskans to take an assessment, get tested, and track their health.

All are asked to sign up for Test Nebraska as it will help provide valuable data for where to set testing priorities and for efforts in knowing how best to lift restrictions.

Free testing through the Test Nebraska site are now available in Lincoln.

Weekly Virtual Coffee Calls - Wednesday
The Beatrice Chamber, Main Street Beatrice, and NGage are here to serve you -  always -  but certainly during this time. We want to connect with you virtually in a new weekly series we're calling "Gage County Watercooler Talk". Join us on Facebook live every Wednesday, at 10:00am, where we'll give you an update and provide tips for our business community. We will also answer your questions. Check the NGage , Beatrice Chamber , or Main Street Facebook pages for details.

Don't want to join us via Facebook? You can join us online or by phone through Zoom by clicking this link:
    Password: 774565
Join by phone:
    Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        +1 669 900 6833 or +1 346 248 7799
    Webinar ID: 974 107 983
    Password: 774565
*** Federal Stimulus Relief
for Small Businesses ***
The Federal Paycheck Protection Programs are still processing applications.

Nebraska currently leads the nation for percentage of payroll from Small Businesses covered by this program. A special thanks to our local banks for making our businesses your top priority.

If you are in need of assistance reach out to a local SBA approved lender.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) offers guidance for businesses and employers to plan for and respond to Coronavirus disruptions, for general information please visit: The SBA is now offering two primary assistance tools The Paycheck Protection Program known as PPP (through local banks) and through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program that provides small businesses with working capital loans and a $10,000 forgivable advance (now limited to $1,000 per employee). These tools are designed to provide vital economic support to small businesses to help avoid closure by keeping employees on the payroll or allowing a business to rehire employees. The programs are open to non-profit organizations, sole-proprietors, contract workers, and all traditional small businesses.

Guide to all available SBA Covid-19 Small Business Funding Resources can be found here - This includes the PPP, EIDL, Express Bridge Loans, and Debt Relief Programs

> Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
SBA will forgive PPP loans if employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for mostly payroll but also rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
You can apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Other regulated lenders will be available to make these loans once they are approved and enrolled in the program. You should consult with your local lender as to whether it is participating in the program.

Points of Clarity:
* Sole Proprietors and Contract Employees may apply
* These programs are taking weeks not days to get you funds, if you need emergency funding now apply today but also talk to your bank about short term emergency financial assistance.

Non-Profits Specific Information:

  • If you have not already done so - be sure to communicate with your lender about any difficulties you are having or expect to have - Many banks are extending lines of credit and providing other assistance in this difficult time. Do not be afraid to seek help!
Unemployment Resources
Gov. Ricketts has issued an Executive Order to Loosen Unemployment Insurance Eligibility Requirements.

More information can be accessed on the Department of Labor’s website at: 

If you are needing to temporary lay-off your employees these resources are for you.
Don't Be Afraid to Call and Ask Questions to ensure you get the paperwork done right.

New Federal guidelines have added additional unemployment assistance that included the self employed, contract workers, gig workers, and others. The State of Nebraska should now be processing self employed applications. This new program is called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Unemployment insurance does not cover those who quit their jobs.

It has been recommended that employees that are at high-risk that do not wish to return to work yet not be "recalled" at this time to improve workplace safety.

There are new emergency rules regarding Sick Leave and Family Leave and Medical Act
Additional Business Resources
Production Creek - A downtown Beatrice shop that specializes in screen-printing, embroidery, and promotional materials has a t-shirt fundraiser campaign taking place now. Businesses can have a t-shirt made for their business and that business keeps the proceeds from the t-shirt sales. Win-Win Learn More by visiting their Support Local Website

Small Business Relief Initiative - GoFundMe : GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to create a Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these three companies has contributed $500,000 to the Fund, and it's receiving additional donations from the public. The fund will provide $500 grants to any small business that raises $500 on GoFundMe.

Local, State and Federal disaster relief resources and information.

Center for Rural Affairs / REAP - emergency credit available — They have implemented an Express Loan based largely on credit history and pre-COVID-19 income that offers expedited funding of up to $7,500 for new borrowers and up to $10,000 for return borrowers with strong payment histories. Center for Rural Affairs Emergency Loan Assistance Information
Southeast Nebraska point of contact is Craig Eberle - 402-736-4417 -

USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help
U SDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Read the full announcement to learn more about the opportunities USDA Rural Development is implementing to provide immediate relief.

Local Banks and the City of Beatrice have loan tools and deferment plans that may be able to help you if the need arises, do not hesitate to reach out.

The U.S. Chamber is working 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.

The U.S. Department of Labor provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides extensive information and updates on  how to prevent community spread.  Below is specific guidance for community organizations, businesses, and event planners. 

City of Beatrice offers utility relief measures
The City of Beatrice suspended late fees and disconnections for non payment through May 31 2020.

Please contact the Board of Public Works to inform them if you plan to delay your payment, they may be able to help you make additional arrangements, so that you do not get further behind once May 31st arrives.

Other News Links
Covid 19 FREE Business Webinars & Links

Mornings on Main - Link to past and recorded webinars on topics such as online sales and re-opening. Mornings on Main webinars.

Connect with Customers and Manage Your Business Remotely
May 12 11:00am-12:00 - Discover Google tools that can help you work and manage your business during this time of uncertainty. Learn how to update critical business information online, keep your customers informed, conduct virtual meetings, and access important files from anywhere. Plus, get insights on more online and timely resources for small businesses. Registration Link

BCOM in Auburn is offering a weekly webinar series for Small Businesses
The coronavirus has forced companies, causes and campaigns to reevaluate their plans for the foreseeable future. BCom is assisting rural companies and small businesses around the country to help understand the best strategies for preparing for what could be months of this type of "working setup." Specifically, we'll dig into:
- Ways to "stay open" even if your physical doors are closed
- Proper communication strategies to your customers and stakeholders
- Best practices for e-commerce and online retail (even if you don't have something setup now!)
Click below to access the invitation and registration. Please share with friends:
Every Tuesday at 12 noon CT.   Register here.

LOCABLE Webinar for businesses on how to sell online . Sell products, services and gift cards online in minutes. You don't even need to have a website. Watch this 38 minute long recorded webinar that walks through the key steps of quickly launching your online storefront and reducing the exchange of in-person cash given the current climate. We also show marketing tips to get your business in front of more people. The need for local businesses to sell products and gift cards online, handle curbside pickup, and future-proof their business has come to a head. Webinar Link

There are many good resources out there to help answer your questions and help you navigate this challenging time, don't give up. Take Action for your business.
We continue to promote Shop Local Safely
If you have a social media post or message you would like us to help share please contact us.

Take this time to improve your online and social media presence.

Have you claimed your free Google Business Listing? No better time than now.
Community Events
The community has been launching several events that aim to safely get residents out of their homes. Some of these events encourage them to support local in ways they deem safe.

Nebraska has declared every Tuesday to be Takeout Tuesday in an effort to support local food and drink establishments.

Downtown Restaurants - We have sent you an invitation to co-host this event on Facebook

Next Social Distancing Cruise Night expected to be on Saturday May 16th
The City of Beatrice & Beatrice Community Hospital are posting regular updates.

Community Partners
We have been working closely with our community partners, if you have a request of us please ask.

Main Street Beatrice | Website | 402-223-3244 |
205 N 4th Street / P.O. Box 125 Beatrice, NE 68310