State of Alabama Guide to COVID Relief Efforts: https://altogetheralabama.org/
Message from Executive Director Valerie Gray:
On behalf of the Chambers County Development Authority and our many partners and stakeholders, our team remains a resource to Industries, Retailers, Small Businesses, and our community as a whole throughout this emergency and beyond. While we are deemed as non-essential, our focus remains on our businesses, local economy and our community.
In order to provide the most meaningful resources for our community, we have created this page with important links and information related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Please check content regularly for updated local, state, and federal resources as they become available.
Our office will continue operations as usual during this time, though our staff is working remotely. Please don't hesitate to contact us if we can assist in any way.
Local Public Office Closures
- County Courthouse
County Courthouse in LaFayette & Annex in Lanett are closed to the public until May 15th. You can still reach the offices via phone at 334-864-4341 or on their website at chamberscountyal.gov
- Message from Probate Judge Paul Story
- Driver’s License
Call the number below or go to ALEA website and see what office hours are: (Nearest is Opelika) https://www.alea.gov/dps/driver-license & https://www.alea.gov/dps/driver-license/driver-license-offices/lee-county. Call (334) 517-2800. http://www.alea.gov
- Chambers County Commission Information
www.chamberscountyal.gov Commission Chairman Doug Jones said any new information will be posted on the County’s website and additional announcements will be made as new information becomes available. In the meantime, the Commission recommends that citizens utilize the following websites for the most up-to-date information:
- Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) COVID-19
- National Association of Counties (NACO) COVID-19
- International City-County Management Association (ICMA) COVID-19
- National Association of Regional Councils (NARC) COVID-19
- HHS/Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Community Mitigation Strategies Guide
Supporting Local Businesses & Information
We understand the following weeks will be difficult for many of our local businesses and employees. We encourage citizens to continue to support local businesses. Below are a few constructive ways to support local and small businesses at this time.
- Buy gift cards or certificates: A little here and there can hold small businesses over
- Shop online: check Facebook, Instagram, and other social media outlets for business websites or stores
- Order from restaurants with delivery, drive-thru, carry-out, or curbside pick-up options
- Tip generously
- If you are a business with employees working extended hours, consider bringing in meals from a local restaurant.
- Takeout, Delivery and Curbside Restaurants in Alabama: https://carryoutal.com/
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) - https://www.restaurantworkerscf.org/covid19faq
- In partnership with Southern Smoke Foundation to distribute direct assistance funds.
- Created to provide support and assistance for those in the food and beverage community and their suppliers during times of crisis.
- Funding Available
- Direct Assistance to Workers
- Nonprofits Serving Workers
- Application - https://southernsmoke.org/fund/
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
- Providing cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, personal service workers.
- To help small businesses protect their operations, RiskRecon, a Mastercard company, is providing US small businesses free cybersecurity rating assessments for 90 days from the time they sign up for the service, through July 31, 2020.
- Mastercard is extending ID Theft Protection to all small business owners in the US through July 31, 2020.
- NEH will provide grants of up to $300,000 to sustain humanities organizations and preserve jobs in the cultural sector.
NEH will award grants to museums, libraries and archives, historic sites, independent research institutions, professional organizations, colleges and universities, and other cultural organizations
- By Format, a portfolio service for photographers, this fund aims to assist self-employed photographers with up to $500 per person. Click here to learn more.
Freelancers Relief Fund
- Created to aid independent workers with food/food supplies, utilities, and cash assistance. Up to $1000 distributed directly to freelancers in need. Click here to learn more.
Professional Beauty Association (PBA) COVID-19 Relief Fund
- The PBA and PBA Charities have created the COVID-19 Relief Fund to provide $500 to licensed beauty professionals who are unable to work due to COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
Beauty Changes Lives Relief Grants
- For beauty professionals or students of Beauty programs. $1000 funded by the Horst Rechelbacher Foundation. Click here to learn more.
- For nail professionals. $1000 funded by CND Creative Nail Design. Click here to learn more.
A Common Thread - CFDA/Vogue COVID-19 Fashion Fund – Deadline May 2nd
- Spearheaded by Vogue and in collaboration with the CFDA, grants made by A Common Thread will target designers, small retailers and other fashion companies whose businesses have been impacted by COVID-19. Click here to learn more.
- Application: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdahtjT7V2xEggxJNNSffj3HMgflI7d-jsVUUspmiR5fo1y7g/viewform
Google Ad Credits for Small Businesses
- Total of $340 million in credits for Google Ads throughout 2020 across any of Google’s advertising platforms. No application process. Credits should be automatically added to active Google Ads accounts.
The Wealth Edit Pivot Fund for Women Entrepreneurs
- The Wealth Edit, started in 2007, provides financial counseling to women. The Pivot Fund was created to assist women currently in business or preparing to launch a business.
- The NEA Foundation is a public charity founded by educators for educators to improve public education for all students. The NEA Foundation is offering three new grant opportunities in response to COVID-19.
The Workers Fund is a rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic from The Workers Lab. This fund will assist gig and low-earning contract workers without access to employer-based benefits.
- Visit Website
- This fund will work initially through an established partnership with Steady to identify recipients.
- And then get cash to people whose livelihoods have been stripped away by COVID-19 through Canary, a project incubated by The Workers Lab that provides a vehicle for getting cash to verified applicants quickly.
- More information on this Fund
Southern Black Girls and Women's Consortium (SBGWC) - COVID-19 Grants
SBGWC is a collective of funders, activists and community leaders working to advance the movements for Black girls and women in the Deep South. The SBGWC COVID-19 fund will rapidly deploy resources to organizations that support Black girls and women in the South that may be experiencing financial crisis or uncertainty due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- Priority is given to organizations that are leading response activities in their local communities
- Priority will be given to organizations that have budgets under $250,000
- Grants awarded weekly
- More Information
Hospitality Link is providing a free job matching resource for hospitality employees looking for work. Hospitality Link aims to connect workers to an immediate job in Grocery.
- Participating Stores – Publix, ALDI, Target, Kroger, Whole Foods, and Sprouts
- Click here for more information
Stacy’s Pits Chips – Stacy’s Rise Project – Deadline June 1st
The Stacy’s Rise Project™ supports female-founded businesses through funding, mentorship, and community. Stacy’s® is offering 15 women the opportunity to make their dreams a reality with the latest iteration of the Rise Project.
If your business is selected, you could receive:
- Funding - $10,000 Grant
- Ad Space
- Expertise – Virtual mentorship with PepsiCo/Frito-Lay leaders and others
Moms As Entrepreneurs Fund
This fund is designed to help support those who have been shut out of government loans or other funding during the Covid-19 pandemic. Grants of $500-$1,000 will be given to mom-owned businesses in all industries.
Applications accepted beginning May 18th
Awards a $4,000 grant to one qualifying woman business owner each month of the year. One of the monthly qualification grant winners will be awarded an additional $25,000 by the end of the year.
Kuvio Creative is a full-service web design and development company that provides grant recipients up to 100 hours of free services, such as web design and marketing. This program is reserved for nonprofits, women-owned companies, minority-owned businesses, and veteran-owned organizations.
- Deadline - June 15, 2020.
- Win 80 hours of services and a 3 hour per month retainer for upkeep for 1 year after the project is complete.
- Click here for more information
The Fundera Zach Grant Contest
Fundera is a financial resources company for small businesses. Zach, the founder of the successful restaurant chain Fusian, and cofounder of Fundera, uses this grant contest as a way to seed fund small businesses.
- Deadline – January 1, 2021
- Grant amount - $2,500
- Click here for more information
On Thursday, May 21st, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey amended the State’s “Safer At Home” order. View the amended Public Health Order HERE.
On March 27, Governor Kay Ivey announced that specific businesses must close until April 17th. Click here for the full list and amended state Health Order.
On Friday, April 3, 2020 Governor Kay Ivey issued a Stay at Home Order. Click here to read the order.
Click here for Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Access Letter information.
Mainstreet Urgent Care:
If you come to the clinic for a test, please be sure the front desk gives you a face mask immediately. Please put on the facemask as soon as it is handed to you. You wearing a facemask is the best way to limit any transmission. We will test you for other types of infection first, then we will test for Coronavirus (COVID-19) if you are a candidate. It generally takes 2 to 3 days to get a result back. In order to process the test and provide you with results, you will also be required to set up an online patient portal account with us. We are working to obtain a larger supply of tests. If we do, we will expand the testing criteria and post an update on our Facebook page and website. https://www.mainstreetfamilycare.com/coronavirus-testing/
Thank you and stay safe!
East Alabama Medical Center:
Businesses that are still able to be open should be screening their employees prior to allowing them to enter. While every business may not be able to check their employees temperature, you can ask these key questions:
1.) Do you have a cough?
2.) Are you having difficulty breathing?
3.) Do you have muscle aches or body aches?
4.) Do you feel like you have a fever?
5.) Have you traveled anywhere in the past 14 days?
6.) Have you been around anyone who has traveled in the past 14 days?
7.) Do you feel sick in any way? If they answer yes to any of these symptoms, especially questions one-four, you should strongly consider sending them back home and telling them to self-quarantine.
For more information on EAMC’s COVID19 updates, visit https://www.eamc.org/patient-and-guests/covid-19-information/
Local Health Directives:
City and health officials are asking citizens to shelter in place, which means staying at home with immediate family members only. Citizens should not leave their home except for essential activities such as food, medical care or work.
This section is designed to help employers and workforce respond to the challenges of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Information is changing often, and updates will be made on this site daily. We will provide the most up-to-date information available, but we ask readers to rely on official sources first and foremost and we will repost much of that information on this page.
Our national, state, and local public health agencies are confident that the best strategy to protect our population from further spread of the virus is social distancing—avoid large gatherings and maintain a physical distance of approximately 6 feet from others when possible.
EMPLOYMENT / UNEMPLOYMENT NEWS AND RESOURCES
Alabama Dept. Of Labor and Partners Business Rights and COVID-19 Guide Document.
As we move toward restarting the economy many of our existing companies will have questions regarding their workforce and their rights and responsibilities bringing their furloughed or laid-off workers back to work. This document provides information critical to employers.
- Coronavirus and Unemployment Insurance Benefits - Alabama Department of Labor
- Bulk Filing of Unemployment for Employers
- What happens if you lose your job due to coronavirus
- Bankrate created a 13 step guide detailing measures you can take to remain financially stable after losing your job
- AL Unemployment Claims Tracker
- CARES Act and Unemployment Questions and Answers
- Alabama Works COVID Resource Page
UAP Program through the care act for unemployment claims:
ADOL is beginning to process the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims. This program affects:
- the self-employed
- those seeking part-time employment
- church employees
- gig economy workers
- nonprofit and governmental workers
- workers who have exhausted regular unemployment compensation benefits
- individuals lacking sufficient work history
- those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits under state or Federal law or PEUC.
For more information, click here.
- Reopen Alabama Resource Guide
- University of Alabama “SafeState” information regarding start-up protocols
- Alabama Order of The State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings (Statewide)
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health have issued a statewide health order to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Included in this link is the ruling on Healthcare and First Responder Childcare.
- Alabama Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network
The University of Alabama - The Alabama SBDC Network is a statewide, inter-institutional program to enhance economic growth in Alabama by providing management and technical assistance to small businesses. Learn more at SBA Disaster Loans for COVID-19. View webinar detailing strategies to navigate the cash flow crunch and providing information on SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan. For current information from The Alabama Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) please visit their website here. For more information on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, please click here. To view the Disaster Loan FAQ, click here.
- Alabama Department of Insurance
The Alabama Department of Insurance has issued guidance to health insurance carriers responding to the COVID-19 virus.
- Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL)
ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced that Alabama workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits. Alabama Waives Employer Charges for COVID-19 Claims, click here for more information. To file an unemployment claim related to COVID19, click here
- Alabama Small Business Development Center Disaster Assistance Business Continuity
Offers small businesses guidance on planning for and recovering from disasters, click here for more information.
- Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association (ARHA)
The ARHA represents over 1,200 members including restaurants, lodging, tourism, and hospitality service companies.
- AL Department of Revenue Sales Tax Relief
Certain small businesses given 3-months to remit sales tax:
Effective immediately, the Department of Revenue is extending relief to small retail businesses that are unable to timely pay their February, March and April sales tax liabilities. Small businesses whose monthly retail sales during the previous calendar year averaged $62,500 or less may file their monthly sales tax returns for the February, March and April 2020 reporting periods without paying the state sales tax reported as due. Late payment penalties will be waived for these taxpayers through June 1, 2020. Similar sales tax relief may be available on a case-by-case basis to other businesses significantly impacted by COVID-19 and the preventative measures being taken to limit its spread in Alabama. For more information about this small business tax relief measure, click here.
- Economic Development Association of Alabama resource list of non-medical PPE as we begin the process of reopening Alabama’s economy. This is a dynamic list and will be updated as information becomes available. Locating PPE Resources
- PPP Forgiveness Information and Application
- IRS Disaster Assistance and Emergency Relief for Individuals and Business
Click here for IRS guidance for disaster assistance
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration COVID-19 Resources
Click here for information for workers and employers about the evolving COVID-19 pandemic
- U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA provides explanations and links to their Disaster Loan Program, guidance for businesses and employers, SBA products and resources, government contracting and local assistance, click here for more information.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Guidelines
COVID-19 Business Preparedness Checklist and tips on Combating the Coronavirus
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Resilience in a Box Resources.
Resilience in a Box is based on best practices and designed to educate business leaders on disaster preparedness and business resilience
- USDA Implements Immediate Measures to Help Rural Residents, Businesses and Communities Affected by COVID-19.
USDA Rural Development has taken a number of immediate actions to help rural residents, businesses and communities affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Rural Development will keep our customers, partners, and stakeholders continuously updated as more actions are taken to better serve rural America. Click here for the update.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. Click here for the full details.
- Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Click here for more information.
- National Restaurant Association Employee Relief Funds
Starting Thursday, April 2, restaurant employees can apply for a one-time-only $500 grant from the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. https://rerf.us/
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Guidelines for Implementing a Return to Work Plan
- IEDC Resources for Reopening Your Economy
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus
- SBA provides low-interest disaster loans
- Resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty
Here are some tips and recommendations to help you navigate this for your employees and customers.
- Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS)
Six Ways to Prevent a Virus From Disrupting Your Business
- Open for Business™
Prevent Business Disruption With a Business Continuity Plan
- Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
- International Franchise Association
- National Restaurant Association
- American Hotel & Lodging Association
- U.S. Travel Association
- National Retail Federation
- International Council of Shopping Centers
- An EOS Company's Guide to Surviving Coronavirus
- American Medical Loan
- Food Truck Lender
- Military Financial
- VA Financial
- U.S. Department of Homeland Security - Acquisition Planning Forecast System
- U.S. General Services Administration
- U.S. Federal Contractor Registration
- National Association of Counties Resource Guide
- SBA's Lender Locator website: View the list of all participating lenders
- Manufacture Alabama COVID Resource Page
- International Economic Development Council – Restore Your Economy resource page
- Spire DollarHelp Program
Spire has announced that it is providing $500,000 in matching gifts for their small commercial/industrial and residential customers impacted by covid-19 through its DollarHelp program. (Click here to learn about the program.) Those Spire customers affected by the pandemic and in need of financial assistance to pay their natural gas bills can visit https://www.spireenergy.com/relief or call the Spire customer service team at 1-800-887-4173 to make an application.
- Lear Interactive Return to Work Playbook for Manufacturers
- Appraisal Institute coronavirus update
- CCIM coronavirus resources and guidance
- ICSC coronavirus information and resources
- IREM COVID-19 resources and information for property managers
- NAIOP industry resources: COVID-19
- NAR coronavirus: a guide for REALTORS
- International Council of Shopping Centers – Best Practices Guide for Reopening
Rapid, direct grants to small businesses are being offered through the HERO Foundation. Harbert Management Corporation is committing $1 million to this effort to help small businesses through the difficult economic period caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The initiative is called the HERO Small Business Relief Fund, or HSBRF.
News and Updates
On Thursday, May 21st, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey amended the State’s “Safer At Home” order. View the amended Public Health Order HERE.
- Alabama Department of Public Health -
For more information about COV1D-19 and how it is currently impacting the state of Alabama
- How Alabama Companies Can Help During the COVID19 Crisis
- Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 Information Hub
- Alabama Technology Network Return to Work Plan
New CDBG Grant Program to Address COVID-19 Impacts
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) is in the process of developing a special Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant program to address COVID-19 impacts.
- Currently, no application deadline, grant ceilings or other program details have been finalized.
- MORE DETAILS WILL BE PROVIDED AT A LATER DATE; however, please download the guide below to get started and identify potential partners as needed.
- CLICK HERE to download the Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities to Support Infectious Disease Response that will assist applicants to begin thinking about possible project needs.
- Please note that applications to the CDBG program must be in the name of a local government as the applicant/grantee.
- Partnerships and agreements with other agencies/entities, etc. can be developed as necessary. CDBG projects must also benefit primarily low and moderate-income people and this requirement will likely remain for the new funds.
- The Department has technical assistance providers that may be available to assist grantees in their implementation of CDBG Funds for activities to prevent or respond to the spread of infectious disease.
Please contact your local CPD Field Office Director to request technical assistance from HUD staff or a TA provider.
COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources: https://www.hud.gov/coronavirus
CPD Program Guidance and Training: https://www.hudexchange.info/program-support/
FEDERAL / INTERNATIONAL
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
The most up-to-date information on the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and how to protect yourself and your loved ones. Scroll to the bottom of the home page to enter your email address to receive updates about COVID-19.
- World Health Organization (WHO)
WHO works worldwide to promote health, keep the world safe, and serve the vulnerable.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
This page contains links to resources on business resilience and disaster recovery.
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Corporate Aid Tracker - When disasters strike, businesses mobilize their expertise, capabilities, and community resources to assist with the relief and recovery efforts. Use this site to see what companies are doing to assist with the needs of businesses and communities in responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- COVID-19 First Glance at the Stimulus Bill.
Click here for information on paybacks and other important facts related to the stimulus bill.
- Federal Reserve Action (April 9, 2020)
- On April 8, the U.S. Treasury published updated FAQs on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- PPP Applications Resume
On Monday, April 27th, SBA began accepting PPP applications from lenders once again. If you have not already submitted any application to your lender, you are encouraged to do so immediately. While there is talk of a “Round 3” of funding, nothing is certain.
- Updated Guidance
- SBA/Treasury publishes 4 new FAQs
Housing stipends; principal residence in US; Ag producer, farmer, rancher eligibility
- Underserved & Disadvantaged Businesses
The new law provides $60 billion for smaller lenders, including community banks and CDFIs, which serve lower income and disadvantaged communities. The $60 billion will be split evenly between institutions with less than $10 billion in assets and those with between $10 billion and $50 billion. To be clear, it does not set aside any funds for underserved or disadvantaged businesses; it only sets aside funds for the lending institutions that serve these markets. These businesses must still apply and get in line.
- SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- SBA has issued 14,433 "forgivable advances" in Alabama, valued at $63,107,000. The average advance was $4,095. (As of Friday 4/24)
- SBA has approved 336 Disaster Loans in Alabama, valued at $63,376,000. The average disaster loan is currently $188,619. (As of Friday 4/24)
The additional $60 billion for the EIDL program provides $10 billion for grants and $50 billion for loans. With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first come, first-served basis. There is a chance that they may wait to reopen the application portal until they have finished processing and funding the existing application queue, to ensure that adequate funds are available.
- They are not currently accepting new applications.
- Official word from SBA is "the opening date/time for EIDL resumption will be announced 'later.'”
Other Frequently Requested Information
What about the elections?
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has postponed the March 31 primary runoff elections until July 14, 2020. Click here for more information.
What if my CDL driver's license expire before the offices reopen?
What if I don't get my STAR ID for air travel before October 2020 because of COVID19?
What about school closures?
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and State Superintendent Eric Mackey announced on March 26th that Alabama’s public K-12 schools will finish the school year at home. Ivey said school systems should adopt a plan to finish the academic year through “alternative methods of instruction,” such as online courses, beginning April 6. For more information, click here.
Does your child need a meal?
What about food services at schools?
Both Chambers County School and Lanett City Schools are offering food services for any child ages 3-18 at no cost.
Information on Chambers County Schools
Food Service Schedule - This includes a lunch, breakfast, milk, and juice. Pick up sites are listed below with pick up times
- Eastside 9:00-10:00 am Central
- West Chambers Fire Dept 9:50-10:50 central
- Five Points 9:50-10:50 am Central
- LaFayette Lanier 8:30-9:30 am Eastern
- Fairfax 8:45 -9:45 am Eastern
- Huguley 9:20-10:20 am Eastern
It does not matter the school in which you are enrolled you may pick up at any location. Also, any child ages 3-18 who lives in Chambers County is eligible to receive meals. Children do not have to be in the car in order for you to pick up meals.
Information for Lanett City Schools
The Lanett City Schools Child Nutrition Program will provide an opportunity for families to pick up breakfast and lunch for children in their family at Lanett High School/Lanett Junior High and W.O. Lance Elementary during the school closure period. Children must be present in order for meals to be provided or you must have ID for your children. Meals will be free to ALL children. On Mondays and Wednesday pickup days you will receive 2 days worth of meals per child.
Meals will be served between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays beginning April 8th through May 20th.
Drive through at Lanett High/Jr. High will be located at the front entrance of the school beside the cafeteria. W.O. Lance drive through location will be at the Pre-K entrance. Please stay in your car and meals will be passed through based on the number of children in the car. This program will be solely for the pick-up of meals and meals will not be consumed on site. We encourage families to be proactive in reducing the risk of COVID-19 by not congregating at the school site once meals have been distributed. Continue to wash your hands often, sneeze or cough into a tissue and stay home if you are sick. For any questions, please contact the CNP Department at 334-644-5900.