Cobb Chamber of Commerce

COVID-19 Resources

The Cobb Chamber has assembled some helpful resources to assist you while navigating the new realities and uncertainty brought on by COVID-19. Check back here often, we’ll be adding content to this page as news develops and needs throughout our community are realized.


CDC Resource Page for COVID-19

U.S. Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Tool Kit

Georgia Chamber of Commerce Resource Page

Cobb County COVID-19 Resources


#TogetherWeCan Coloring Pages
Share your positivity with family, neighbors, and friends! Print out, color, and post one of these downloadable signs in your window. Then share on Facebook and Instagram using the tag #togetherwecan!

 

NEWS

Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce has extended the county’s State of Emergency declaration until April 24. Click here to read more.

Governor Kemp has extended the Shelter in Place order through the end of April
Read about this extention here. View the governor’s original executive order to ensure a healthy Georgia here, and the Critical Infrastructure Workforce information here


Governor Kemp has extended the State of Emergency to May 13

Read about what this means here.

Governor Kemp Utilizes the Georgia National Guard
Governor Kemp has extended his executive orders regarding utilizing the Georgia National Guard regarding the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts; nursing homes and long-term care facilities; and the suspension of short-term rentals.


Cobb County Declares State of Emergency

Cobb Chairman Mike Boyce has extended the county’s State of Emergency declaration until April 24. Click here to read more.


Cobb Chamber Launches COVID-19 Economic Recovery Taskforce

The Cobb Chamber has started an Economic Recovery Taskforce to develop and implement a strategic approach to proactively drive our community’s economic recovery from COVID-19. Learn more here.


Treasure Secretary Announces 90-Day Delay on Tax Payments

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that individuals and corporations can delay their tax payments for 90 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to read more.


Federal Updates
For more information on the COVID-19 Federal Stimulus plan, click here.

To stay up to date on the changing information, sign up for Congressman Loudermilk's newsletter, here.

Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department announced up to $2.3 trillion in additional loans to support the economy. Click here to read more.


Wellstar COVID-19 Community Update
Wellstar shares their response to the coronavirus outbreak. Click here to read more.


Thank a Health Care Provider

Join us in thanking our health care providers. Click here to read how you can help.


Help Wellstar Foundation’s COVID-19 relief so we can put resources to work where they are needed most.  100% of the donations received will be directed right back into our hospitals’, patient-centered programs and community health initiatives benefiting countless Georgians in need.


Cobb County Elections Calls for Masks
The Cobb County Elections Office needs a total of 1,400 masks before the June 9 election to help protect poll workers from coronavirus. Starting Monday, May 4, the elections office, located at 736 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, will have a donation bin at its entrance from noon to 1 p.m., Monday-Friday.  Please put the donated masks in a plastic bag and place them in the bin. For cloth mask-making instructions, visit this helpful resource.

CDPH to Increase COVID-19 Testing
Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) is expanding its drive-thru testing criteria at both the Jim Miller Park and Hunter Park testing sites. Click here to learn more.

 

Webinar Offerings

Webinars with the Cobb Chamber
Click here for the full calendar of upcoming webinars, related to how your business can cope with COVID-19.

Small Business Webinar with Congresswoman Lucy McBath | April 21, 4 p.m.
Panelists from the Georgia Tech Enterprise Innovation Institute and the UGA Small Business Development Center at KSU share the latest on federal funding and business opportunities. RSVP here.

Small Business Webinar with Congresswoman Lucy McBath | April 23, 1 p.m.
Panelists from Georgia Bankers Association and the UGA Small Business Development Center at KSU share the latest on federal funding and business opportunities. RSVP here.


Recorded Webinars

March 31 - How To: Business Recovery
April 1- Leader as Communicator
April 7 - How To: Financial Recovery
April 8 - Leader as a Coach
April 14 - How To: Navigating Human Resources Changes & Challenges
April 15 - Leader as Innovator
April 17 - Chamber Chats

 

Determining Critical Infrastructure

During this time we understand that you may have questions regarding the continued operation of your business in light of the Governor’s Executive Order. We encourage you to visit our website Georgia.org/covid19 to help understand whether what business is “critical infrastructure” and what business is “non-critical infrastructure.” This guidance will also help guide you to understand which category your business falls into.

Read these guidelines:Should My Business Remain Open?

Please read the above guidelines in their entirety to understand how your business is impacted by this order, as well as to help you make a self-determination as to whether your business is “critical infrastructure.” Additional information is available in “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding the executive order HERE.

If after carefully reading the guidelines, you are unclear as to whether your business meets the guidelines in Governor Kemp's executive order as defined by "critical infrastructure," please complete this form. GDEcD is currently working to evaluate business requests only and will respond as quickly as possible. Wherever possible, GDEcD will endeavor to issue additional guidance concerning whether categories of businesses are considered “critical infrastructure,” rather than responding to individual businesses.

Regarding employees, a letter is not needed from an employer or the government to prove that the employee falls into one of the exceptions for Essential Services, Necessary Travel, Critical Infrastructure, or Minimum Basic Operations.

 

Small Business Support

COVID-19: What Small Businesses Need to Know

Summary of CARES - Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
View this summary of the CARES Act, simplifying the latest federal benefits in response to the COVID-19 crisis.

The IRS has released two new FAQs on the Economic Impact Payments provided by the CARES Act. The first answers questions generally about the payments, including who qualifies and for how much. The second answers questions on the ‘Get My Payment’ portal the IRS application that helps Americans track their payment.

Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit
The US Chamber created a guide for the new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19.

SBA Loan Application Information
SBA disaster assistance is now available to the entire state of Georgia. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Georgia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). These loans can provide vital economic support to help small businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.
Please note the following:

  • Applicants may apply online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.
  • Applicants are applying for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, so they MUST select the Economic Injury (EIDL) Loan Option. 
  • If applicants select a different option, they do not have to re-register but they will need to start the application again.
  • Click here for a PDF that explains the Three Step Loan Process.
  • Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
  • For more information, visit https://www.sba.gov/disaster

For more on this program, view this document. Here are more details including a step-by-step walk through of the SBA Economic Injury Disaster loans: https://www.georgiasbdc.org/sba-economic-injury-disaster-loan/

The U.S. Chamber has prepared a Small Business Guide and Checklist regarding the SBA’s disaster relief loans. Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

This document offers a comparison guide for the different SBA loans.

Paycheck Protection Program
At this time, the Small Business Administration is no longer accepting new aid applications or enrolling new lenders for the Paycheck Protection Program. The Cobb Chamber has contacted each of our Congressional Delegation members to advocate for restoring funding to this program immediately.

The Internal Revenue Service has a new tracking system for SBA loan applications that are supposed to be fulfilled. You can check the status here.

Main Street Business Lending Program
The banking community is recommending that businesses apply for the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Business Lending Program. This program supports small and mid-sized businesses that were in good financial standing before the public health crisis. The Treasury will invest $75 billion into a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to purchase eligible loans. Click here to learn more.

SBA $10K Emergency Economic Injury Grant
A small business (under 500 employees) who has had a loss of revenue due to COVID-19, can follow this link to apply for the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Updated for the federal stimulus package, the CARES Act. Near the end of the form, businesses can check a box to receive a $10,000 advance (followed by fields to fill in the name of his/her bank, the routing number and the account number).  
The $10K advance is the Emergency Economic Injury Grant. The grant does not have to be repaid, and is immediate cash for a small business. 

It’s available by legal entity too, so if a business owner owns five different businesses—as long as they are set up as different entities (LLCs, S-Corps, Sole proprietorships, etc.)—the owner can apply for this for each small business entity. 

Please note: This is not the 7(a) loan that has to go through an approved SBA bank lender.  

Georgia SBDC Resources
Georgia’s Small Business Development Center has published a guide for “Conquering a Business Crisis” which can be downloaded here.

Department of Labor Assistance for Employees
Governor Brian Kemp and Labor Commissioner Mark Butler issued a statement regarding the Georgia Department of Labor Assisting Workers during this difficult time. Commissioner Butler is mandating that all employers electrically file a partial claim on behalf of their employees if the current situation has deemed it necessary for you to significantly reduce hours or temporarily lay off workers.

The benefits of partial claim filing:

  • Employers retain their workforce – this is not considered a full lay-off
  • There is no additional cost to the employer and the UI ratio will not increase due to these lay-offs during the current situation
  • Your employees will be able to begin receiving monetary benefits within days of the electronic filing which will assist them with meeting the needs of their families
  • Partial claims are temporary – they have a 6 week period (which can be extended under certain circumstances)
  • Partial Claims do not count against any full claims you may need to make in the future. Should you end up having to lay off employees, those employees would still be entitled to the full 14 week benefit (the current length of time unemployment benefits are allowed).

Please go to https://dol.georgia.gov/ to begin the process.

Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact Elizabeth Scott, Region 3N Coordinator for the Georgia Department of Labor at 404.859.8907 or elizabeth.scott@gdol.ga.gov.

Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): Service Directory
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): How to File an Unemployment Claim
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): Employer Filed Claims Instructions
Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL): File an Unemployment Claim

The Georgia Chamber has a summary of expanded rules and resources recently announced by the GA Department of Labor as part of the state’s COVID-19 response. Click here to view their resource.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act expands access to emergency paid sick leave to as many as 87 million U.S. workers. Many of these workers currently have no paid leave and are being forced to choose between their paycheck, their health, and the health of the people around them. This is a critical step toward protecting families’ financial security and mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. Click here to learn more.

The IRS also released a FAQ on the tax credits small and medium sized businesses can use to cover required paid leave. You can learn more here.

 

Helping Cobb’s Non-Profits

Cobb Community Foundation: The Cobb Community Foundation is a great resource for reaching out to help out our non-profit community. This article is a start to learning more.

CCF has also established the Cobb COVID-19 Community Response Fund as a vehicle to support non-profit organizations serving Cobb as they respond to the spread of the novel coronavirus.  Contributions to this fund will be distributed swiftly as needs arise.  CCF has intentionally established this fund with flexibility in mind to ensure that these resources may support communities as conditions, circumstances, and needs change throughout this crisis.  The fund is available now to receive contributions.  Instructions to non-profits for grant requests will be posted shortly.

There are numerous churches and organizations making sure that food is available to those who need it.  Cobb Community Connection will house information about each site, including who is served, what is provided, and hours of operation as well as a map view of locations.  Food site information is currently being collected and confirmed will be updated continuously throughout this crisis.  Any organizations delivering meals or otherwise providing food should contact Cobb Community Foundation at 770-859-2366 or email CCFTeam@cobbfoundation.org.

Tommy Nobis Center: The Tommy Nobis Center is asking for vehicle donations. Anyone wishing to donate a vehicle to help further the mission of empowering individuals with disabilities through employment can complete their donation application at:  https://tommynobiscenter.org/ways-to-help/vehicle-donation/

Center for Family Resources: In honor of the 60th year serving our community, the Center for Family Resources will be raising $60,000 in 60 days to provide much-needed emergency assistance to families who can no longer pay rent, mortgage or utility bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please help ensure CFR can continue to be a resource to Cobb County residents and donate to our ‘60 in 60’ campaign here: http://bit.ly/cfrgive

 

Operation Meal Plan

Operation Meal Plan was created by the Cobb Chamber of Commerce in partnership with Cobb Community Foundation, the Center for Family Resources, and our local non-profits to provide food to those in need, help our restaurants keep their workers employed, and provide a vehicle for citizens to help. If you are a restaurant interested in participating, please contact Nate Futrell at NFutrell@cobbchamber.org. Individuals can make donations to pay for the meals through a tax deductible fund through the Cobb Community Foundation: Click here to donate. For non-profits that need food, please contact Melanie Kagan with Center for Family Resources at MelanieKagan@thecfr.org.

 

Taking Care of Our Students

Governor Kemp has issued an Executive Order to close schools throughout the remainder of the school year. Click here to read the full Executive Order.

With the impact on families in need that have students on free and reduced lunch, Cobb Schools, Marietta City Schools & several non-profits are stepping up in major ways to meet these needs including deliveries to families, access to internet thanks to Comcast and AT&T, and much more.

Cobb County Schools Family Stabilization Program
To support Cobb County students in need with Cobb School's Foundation, click here.

MUST Ministries Food Pantry Sites & Donation Help
In an effort to help the many at-risk students and their families who do not have enough food during the closing of schools, MUST Ministries is coordinating a MUST FOOD Rapid Response program. Click here to learn more.

Marietta City Schools Meal Delivery
Each weekday, MCS bus drivers will load up their bus with meals and stop at 81 sites along 18 routes. Click here to learn more.

Sponsor a Marietta City School Student
Marietta City Schools is prepared to continue instruction for students through our digital learning platform. With your help, we are launching a new program called “Connect-a-Kid.” This program will allow us to outfit school buses with mobile wi-fi “hot-spots” that will be placed in safe locations throughout our community. Additionally, you can temporarily support a Marietta family who may need access to a computing device and internet access in their home.

For just $35, you can provide one month of internet access for a Marietta student. If you would like to Connect-a-Kid and support such technology needs, please donate online.

Homeschooling Resources
The Georgia Aquarium has an expansive list of tools for parents to use as a companion to their child’s digital learning plans. Parents and students can access grade-appropriate lesson plans, activities, videos and daily livestreams into the aquarium’s exhibits. Click here to view this resource.

 

Supporting Cobb’s Seniors

In an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak, Cobb County senior centers are closed effective today until further notice. They could use our assistance in providing non-perishable, shelf stable food for 75 of their at-risk clients for 14 days. If you and/or your organization are able to assist with this need, please contact Jobcy Alexander at 770-528-5379 or Jobcy.alexander@cobbcounty.org for more information and to make arrangements for delivery.

The Center For Family Resources and MUST Ministries staff are working with the Atlanta Community Food Bank to get food into the hands of our in-need residents. Six Flags Over Georgia is donating their extra food to seniors and families in need.

 

Organizations Stepping Up

Several organizations are doing what they can to help in this time of need, by not terminating services due to inability to pay or by offering creative ways to deliver services.

AT&T: AT&T is planning on being here to help you stay connected throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. They recognize that staying in touch with your family, friends, school and work has never been more important. Consistent with FCC Chairman Pai's "Keep Americans Connected Pledge," AT&T is proud to support customers by pledging that, for the next 60 days, AT&T will: not terminate service because of inability to pay, waive late payment fees, and keep public wi-fi hotspots open. Click here to see the ways AT&T is helping.

Atlanta Gas Light: Atlanta Gas Light is extending the decision to suspend service disconnections until April 13 to ensure that those who can’t pay their bills or whose jobs are affected by COVID-19 do not face the added hardship of interruption of services. Read more here.

Cobb EMC: Cobb EMC will be suspending residential disconnections for 30 days, then will evaluate that timeframe and policy based on the COVID-19 situation. Read the full story here.

Comcast: Comcast has been coordinating with emergency management, health officials and other government leaders to support the collective effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. They announced the implementation of the following new policies for the next 60 days to Keep America Connected, including free internet for low-income families and no disconnect or late fees. Click to read the full release.

Georgia Power: Georgia Power will temporarily suspend residential disconnections for the next 30 days and reevaluate the policy and timeframe as the situation develops. Read the full story here.

YMCA: Effective Tuesday, March 17, all YMCA facilities and branches are closed. Because of the evolving rules governing the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of school closures, and the growing demand on medical professionals, YMCA isi transitioning many Y facilities to provide childcare services to support doctors, nurses, technicians, and medical staff during this crisis.

 

Developing a Telework Plan

With many organizations working remotely, Georgia Commute Options has resources that can help you maintain business continuity. Georgia Commute Options is offering a free quick start telework guide.  Whether you have a solid, formal telework policy in place or are starting from scratch, this can be a great resource. Click here to access.

Georgia Commute Options held three webinars, which can still be watched online.

View this online training resource with best practices for telework, self care, and other helpful topics during COVID-19. 

 

If you’d like to add to this list, share your ideas with us! Email your tips to Anna Goolsby at agoolsby@cobbchamber.org.