• COVID-19 Resource Center

    In support of our business community amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, the Grand Island Chamber is providing up-to-date information to combat the ever-changing circumstances businesses and individuals are facing. Last update: 4/3/20   




    On March 27th, 2020 the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act was signed into law as a way to help business owners with the current financial hardships they are facing due to COVID-19. Once implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, specific non-profits, and other employers. Visit the SBA website to stay up to date when these programs become available and for additional information. (This guidance has been adapted from the Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act developed by the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship).
    Employee Retention Tax Credit
    The CARES Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.
    Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    The Families First Coronavirus Response Act created new temporary paid sick leave and paid Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) programs that are 100% reimbursable by the federal government. The effective date of both programs is April 1 and they expire on December 31. 
    Unemployment Insurance Benefits for Employers and Individuals
    If individuals do not have access to sick leave or vacation during a time of quarantine, they may file for unemployment insurance benefits here.
    • U.S Department of Labor announces new guidance on unemployment insurance flexibilities
    • Eligibility is on a case by case basis and individuals may or may not be eligible.
    • Historically, individuals had to be able and available to draw unemployment.
    • If extreme measures are needed during a temporary shut-down of a facility, employers should call 402-458-2500 and identify themselves as an employer.
    Short-Time Compensation
    In addition, when individuals are working a limited schedule, the following may be of assistance:
    • The Department of Labor has a program where an employer can apply for Short-Time Compensation (STC) for their employees to work when needed, but also gives the employees partial unemployment. During the STC, the employer agrees to continue providing benefits to the employees. This website can be found here.
    Heartland United Way COVID-19 Compassion Relief Fund
    The Heartland United Way and the Greater Grand Island Community Foundation have partnered to launch a relief fund, the COVID-19 Community Compassion Fund, to help organizations and individuals most in need of assistance. Click here for the full press release.
    Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
    Assistance for bartenders is available through the USBG National Charity Foundation. To apply, click here.
    Facebook Small Business Grants Program
    Offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during COVID-19. To learn more, click here.
    Governor Ricketts announces extended tax deadline
    Governor Pete Ricketts announced that Nebraskans will have until July 15, 2020, to pay state income taxes. Click here to read more.

    (The following has been adapted from the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
    Who does the Directed Health Measure apply to? It applies to places such as theaters, churches, houses of worship, gyms, social clubs, salons, and social gatherings, including weddings, funerals, concerts, and athletic events. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM applies to.
    Do I need to shut down my bar or restaurant? At bars and restaurants, it applies to patrons, not to your workforce. Restaurants and bars are encouraged to ask their patrons if they can prepare their order for takeout upon arrival. Restaurants will play a key part in feeding people throughout the pandemic. 
    Do I need to shut down my daycare? No. DHHS has issued new guidance that daycares need to follow
    Do I need to shut down my office? No. the Directed Health Measure does not apply to places such as office buildings, grocery stores, pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, court houses, court rooms, banks, car dealerships, auto repair shops, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, small shops, golf courses, big box stores, gas stations, convenient stores, shopping malls, manufacturing facilities, packing facilities, construction jobs, and other traditional office settings. This is not an exhaustive list, but illustrates the types of locations the DHM does not apply to. It is not expected that these facilities will be impacted by additional limits at this time. 
    Hall County will be under Directed Health Measures until at least May 6th, 2020.  

    Can't meet face to face?
    Consider hosting your meeting virtually using the free version of:
    • Zoom
    • GoTo Meeting
    • JoinMe
    • Skype
    • Cisco 
    Governor Ricketts Encourages Business Flexibility
    Governor Pete Ricketts hosted a Facebook Live event to discuss ideas on flexibly continuing business operations during the COVID-19 outbreak. He offered these flexibility ideas:
    • Fitness centers are offering virtual classes.  YMCA has classes available on a YouTube channel.  Other gyms are offering free classes on demand. Gyms could also send an instructor to provide in-home classes to groups of 10 or less.
    • Large stores have marked off where customers should stand while waiting to checkout.  This helps to maintain the recommended social distance between customers.
    • Medical clinics are having patients check-in from the parking lot and wait in their vehicles for their appointment.  This prevents patients from being bunched together in a waiting room.
    • Restaurants are offering gift cards with more value than the purchase price while specifying that the cards must be used at a later date.  For instance, they’re selling $75 gift cards for only $50, provided that the cards are used after June 1, 2020.  This is helping their cash flow during the pandemic.
    More business flexibility ideas can be found here.
    Spectrum offers assistance to students, communities
    We will offer free access to Spectrum broadband and WiFi for new K-12 and college student households that our network currently passes for the next 60 days. We'll open our WiFi hotspots across our footprint for public use. We'll continue to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, our high-speed broadband program to eligible low-income households.
    Walmart to hire temp workers
    If anyone has been laid off from their job and needs something temporarily, Walmart South is hiring. If interested, ask for personnel at 308-381-4970.
    Resources for Hall County
  • COVID-19 Business Resource Update
    Social Media Examples/Tools 
    Feel free to download and use examples for your business needs. 
  • COVID-19 Business Resource Update from March 26th

    Click here for the PowerPoint presentation from the COVID-19 Business Resource Update.