Volume 02 | December 16, 2020
Office of Economic & Industrial Development
Wise Advice
Monthly newsletter designed for business leaders and entrepreneurs operating in Wise County, Virginia. Content includes resources, opportunities, and updates relevant to the county's business community.
New Virginia Statewide Measures to Contain COVID-19 Announced

Governor Northam announced new COVID-19 mitigation measures to take effect in Virginia on December 14, 2020.

  • Modified Stay at Home Order: All individuals in Virginia must remain at their place of residence between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Exceptions include obtaining food and goods, traveling to and from work, and seeking medical attention.

  • Universal mask requirement: All Virginians aged five and over are required to wear face coverings in indoor settings shared with others and when outdoors within six feet of another person. This order expands the current statewide mask mandate, which has been in place since May 29, and requires all individuals aged five and over to wear face coverings in indoor and outdoor public settings outside of their own household. These changes are consistent with new CDC guidelines, released December 4, which recommend universal wearing of face coverings.

  • Reduction in social gatherings: All social gatherings must be limited to 10 individuals, down from the current cap of 25 people. Social gatherings include, but are not limited to, parties, celebrations, or other social events, regardless of whether they occur indoors or outdoors. This does not apply to religious services, employment settings, or educational settings. Restaurants and retail stores are already governed by strict social distancing requirements, and are not included in this limit.

  • Continued limits on dining establishments: Virginia restaurants are currently governed by strict social distancing and sanitization requirements, which remain in place. The on-site sale, consumption, and possession of alcohol remains prohibited after 10:00 p.m. in any restaurant, dining establishment, food court, brewery, microbrewery, distillery, winery, or tasting room. All restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, and tasting rooms must close by midnight.

  • Teleworking: Employees that can telework are strongly encouraged to do so.

Read the Full Release Here.

Don't let your business be a source of the spread! Have questions about how to safely operate your business during COVID-19? Visit the Virginia Department of Health's Business & Workplace Resource Guide.
COVID-19 Testing Before the Holidays
Spread cheer, not COVID. Add a
COVID-19 test to your holiday to-do list and keep your employees, customers, and loved ones safe.

  • The Army National Guard will be providing free, drive-up COVID-19 tests at Central High School in Wise, VA on Friday, December 18th from 8 AM - 4 PM. No registration required. Open to all Virginia residents aged 16+.
  • Wise County/Norton Health Department is offering free, drive-up COVID-19 tests on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in December. You must have an appointment to be tested. Call 276-328-800 to make an appointment. Open to all Virginia residents.
Federal COVID-19 Business Relief Opportunities

State and local COVID-19 funding sources such as RebuildVA and Round 3 of the LENOWISCO Regional Small Business Recovery Assistance Grant Program have closed, but certain federal resources are still available to businesses experiencing economic hardship due to COVID-19.

Weathering the Winter During the COVID-19 Pandemic:
A Small Business Strategy & Resource Guide
Winter brings cold weather and unique challenges for the small businesses community:

  • COVID-19 safety restrictions will likely remain in place throughout the winter season and will continue to limit normal business practices.

  • Low temperatures and precipitation may mean less foot traffic and tourism, and ultimately, fewer in-person customers and sales.

  • Increased competition from big box stores and large online retailers as consumers search for deals on holiday gifts and show preference for one-stop shopping.
Wise County Commercial Property Database
Ready to sell or lease your commercial property? Add it to Wise County's available commercial properties database. Retail spaces, office spaces, and industrial-scale properties are all eligible for inclusion.

Email Brian Falin to submit your property's information. Contact Brian at [email protected].

Database will be go live in early 2021. Stay tuned for details!

´╗┐Virtual Career Fair - Register Now!

Is your business looking to recruit new talent in 2021? Reach college students and recent graduates in the Southwest Virginia, Northeast Tennessee, and West Virginia region through the Virtual Interstate Career Fair!

Intuit TurboTax is Hiring in Wise County!

Looking for some extra income and the ability to work remotely? Intuit is hiring TurboTax Live tax experts for the 2020 tax season. Credentials welcomed, but not required.

Apply here!
December is National Write a Business Plan Month!

The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting small businesses across the country. National Write a Business Plan Month is a great time to review your existing business plan and make necessary adjustments or plan for your future business in a post-COVID world.

Get to know...
Becki O'Quinn and MECC's Small Business Development Center!
The Virginia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) located at Mountain Empire Community College offers free business consulting, affordable training courses, personal referrals to local resources, guidance, insights, and connections to help businesses succeed.

Does your business need assistance?
Services are confidential and there is no charge for counseling services. Let MECC'S SBDC help you save time with your business projects!
Becki O'Quinn is a proud alumna of UVA Wise and has over 30 years of experience working in both public and private sectors and in economic development roles.

As a former business owner, Becki understands what it takes to start and manage a successful business. Becki recently joined the SBDC as Business Advisor with a special mission to assist entrepreneurs and business owners as they navigate through the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. She is excited to speak with anyone who has a business idea, is ready to start their own business, or who needs assistance with their existing business! Contact Becki at [email protected].