April 1, 2020 Chamber Update

Members and Friends,

As the COVID-19 news continues to pour in from our local media sources, Governor DeWine & President Trump's daily briefings, and national news outlets, it is important to recognize the seriousness that seems to be consistent across Ohio and the Tri-State area. Most of us have never experienced a challenge such as this.

It is important to note that health care workers now account for 16% of the COVID-19 cases in Ohio, according to the data on www.coronavirus.ohio.gov. This places additional stress on our hospitals systems, as there are fewer personnel to care for a growing number of cases. Consequently, all of us need to do everything that we can to stop the spread of COVID-19.

In talking to several of our area senior living facilities, I'm also reminded of the isolation that those individuals are enduring more than most. Those that are isolated in hospitals or quarantined with the virus have things going through their head that others in our world are not thinking about. Our mental health is so important in all of this, and as one reporter put it, physical distancing does not necessarily equate to "social distancing." To that end, the Colerain Chamber of Commerce along with so many other organizations is implementing Zoom Conferencing that allow us to connect one another via voice & video. The Chamber and its members have three upcoming opportunities. 

As a continued reminder, please provide me with any business updates you that may benefit you, your business and our community. I'll continue to promote them through this medium and other avenues available. I've included most recent ones below...keep sending them to me

Be well and keep safe.

Dave Moravec
President, Colerain Chamber of Commerce
Upcoming Virtual Events

TOMORROW, Thursday April 2 - Noon - Artis Senior Living is offering a Free Educational Webinar entitled: At Home with a Loved One with Dementia, Maintaining a Routine While Social Distancing. This is intended to assist families and the community during this difficult time; you could win a free pizza to eat while watching the webinar. Registration for this event and other educational programs through Artis can be accessed here.  

THIS FRIDAY, April 3 - 11 am -  Networking Event - Life in Colerain During the COVID-19 Pandemic. 
We will continue this event for the next several Fridays in order to provide updates affecting the business community. This week we'll be talking specifically about the connections between and details around the SBA relief and the CARES Act recently passed through the federal government. Mike Long from the CPA firm Long, Schaefer will be available to answer questions.  When you register for the event (FREE) you will be sent the links to the ZOOM conference call. 

Tuesday April 14 - Noon - Women's VIRTUAL Networking Luncheon 
For those of you who have participated in the past AND for those new to this group, we want to keep the momentum going and continue the networking lunch in a ZOOM conference environment. There will be a brief presentation/update from the Township on our community preparedness and this will be another chance to interact with me as the new chamber of commerce president. Register and have your lunch by your side. If you have video capabilities, we'll look forward to seeing your faces and your lunch choice too.  
Member Updates

Clippard Instrument
Each of you may know of someone that is looking for work.  Clippard needs help making much needed ventilators for our national health crisis.  Up to 75 people will be needed, though potentially only in the short term. Anyone who has lost their job from a non-essential business pause or shutdown, has an opportunity to contribute to saving lives.  Work as part of a team having responsibility for assembling required components for building ventilators and respirators. Team assemblers can perform all tasks conducted by the team in the assembly process. Clippard will provide training, SOCIAL DISTANCING, and a clean, sanitized environment. We have a phenomenal team to support anyone interested in joining us. Apply here

Celebrations of Life
Drew Hester from the Willow Event Center is putting something together, an affordable package for celebration of life receptions.  Many people in the community have lost family members and have not been allowed to grieve in the normal ways. If you are interested in more information, please contact Drew at 513.931.2261. 

Arlington Memorial Gardens 
Arlington has updated its policy based on recent state of Ohio directives. The update is posted on its website. If you have questions about Arlington services, please reach out: Cemetery/Memorial Park:  (513) 521-7003 - Funeral Home: (513) 728-3460  - Email: contact@amgardens.org
Office Furniture & Space Needs
If you have a need for space evaluation, layout, product solutions, and installations be sure to reach out to Colerain Chamber member Nancy Seiler, owner of Shelf Express, Inc.  Shelf Express provides a high level of customer service and works with offices, schools, manufacturers, airports, and other businesses across Cincinnati and the Tri-State area. Contact Nancy at 513-521-3735.

Government Resources
CARES Act - Stimulus Update
There is an amazing amount of information available about the newly enacted stimulus package. This information can be overwhelming and in boiling down the resources. Below are links to two resources which come from the US Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship led by Senator Ben Cardin from Maryland. It is important to recognize that you have several opportunities to take advantage of the programs now available, however the SBA funds need to be applied for. My fear is that some people will either say "we can handle this" or "the hassles associated with applying are too great". I must reiterate that the programs have been put in place to help you, your employees and the community at large. Please take extra care in giving consideration to how these will benefit you. Again, you may have questions associated with the SBA or CARES Act. If you are in need of a resource for a specific question, let me know and I'll seek one out for you. Call me at 309-838-1947 or email to  president@colerainchamber.org

SBA - Resource Reminder
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available thanks to a concerted effort by the state of Ohio and the U.S. Small Business Administration, Ohio small businesses are now eligible for SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans. Please see below for more information:
  • Low-interest loans of up to $2 million are available for small businesses and private non-profits.
  • Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills and have repayment options of up to 30 years. 
  • Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for private non-profits.
  • Need help filling out the application? Access these step-by-step instructions
  • Click HERE to apply now.
Additional Federal and State Assistance for Small Businesses
Ohio's Bureau of Workers' Compensation (BWC) 
To help businesses facing difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ohio BWC is announcing the deferment of insurance premium installment payments for March, April and May until June 1, 2020. For more information, visit bwc.ohio.gov
Grace Period for Health Insurance Premiums
All health insurers are required to provide the option of deferring premium payments, interest free, for up to 60 calendar days from each original premium due date. This means that employers can defer their premium payments up to two months, giving them some relief on costs, while keeping their employees insured.

Colerain Township COVID-19 Update from March 31
Please take a few minutes to watch the video created by the Colerain Fire Department.

2020 Census

Today (April 1st) is the official Count Day for the Census Michael Harlow of Ready Nation has reminded us that there are many opportunities to count and be counted. It is not a deadline such as Tax Day, but the official date for which the count is to be taken. Nearly 40% of Ohioans have already participated, which leaves many more remaining. Businesses can play a role, as noted below.

It is now easier than ever to get counted. Please be advised that residents can complete the short questionnaire online, by phone or by mail in a few minutes from the comfort of their homes, without ever coming into contact with a census taker. It is important that as many households as possible complete their questionnaires using these options in light of social distancing and isolation precautions now in place.

A strong 2020 Census is critically important for our data-driven economy. Census data is a key ingredient in market and economic analyses and helps effectively distribute more than $1.5 trillion in federal resources every year that contribute to a strong economy. This includes cradle-to-career investments such as high-quality preschool, childcare, children's health insurance, nutrition, and high school workforce development, among many others.

Companies can have a tremendous impact on this year's count, and ReadyNation has developed the Business for the 2020 Census initiative to support companies to encourage their employees and customers to complete their questionnaires. For more information contact Michael or his team here.

Beware of Scams

Don't Let Thieves Snatch Your COVID-19 Stimulus Money
(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - Attorney General Dave Yost urged Ohioans to watch out for thieves as stimulus payments arrive from the federal government. "Thieves are drooling at the thought of getting their hands on your stimulus money," Yost said. "Use these tips to send them home with nothing but the bitter taste of defeat."
Yost offered these tips to help Ohioans avoid scams related to the stimulus payments:
  • Know that you don't have to sign up to get a stimulus payment. For most consumers, the IRS will use information from prior tax returns to calculate payment.
  • Don't fall for scams claiming you need to pay money to receive your stimulus payment. The government will not ask for any upfront payment.
  • Watch out for anyone telling you they can get you an instant payment or speed up the process. Do not provide personal information or pay a "processing fee" to supposedly receive a quicker payment. According to the government, payments through direct deposit could go out in three weeks, but it may be longer, especially if you are expecting a paper check.
  • Don't click on links or download attachments unless you have verified the source and know it is legitimate. Doing so could infect your devices with malicious software designed to steal your personal information or lock your computer until you pay a ransom.
  • The government will not call you asking for Social Security, credit card or bank account numbers. Also, do not disclose your PayPal information - no PayPal account is necessary to receive your stimulus payment. All payments will be through direct deposit to a bank account or paper check.
  • If you receive a stimulus check and it is for an odd amount of money (i.e. $1499.50) or if it states you need to verify the check online or over the phone, it's a scam.
  • You should get a paper notice in the mail a couple weeks after your payment is sent, letting you know where it was sent and when. If you can't locate the payment at that point, call the IRS at a legitimate phone number.
For more information, consumers should visit the  IRS website and other legitimate government agency websites and stay tuned for updates from reliable news sources. Consumers who suspect an unfair or deceptive sales practice should contact the Ohio Attorney General's Office at  www.OhioProtects.org or 800-282-0515.