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CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 UPDATES

These are unprecedented times and our Chamber is first and foremost a community connector. It is always important to rely on our greater network of organizations, departments and contacts - and times like this prove those built relationships incredibly valuable. Therefore, we will not take time to replicate efforts but instead share the amazing resources others have compiled and add to them as we go. This page will be a place of local, regional and state updates and info sharing as we all navigate these challenging days and weeks.

The Chamber will continue to make decisions on programming in weekly rotations and updates will be emailed at least weekly or more as necessary.

Read a letter from our Executive Director, dated March 20th, below.

Thank you to the following regional partners for sharing their resources: Hanover County and Economic Development, Town of Ashland, Retail Merchants, ChamberRVA, the Regional Economic Development Partnership team, Chickahominy Health District, local Elected Officials, Market Ashland Partnership, Dominion Energy Innovation Center, Downtown Ashland Association and others.

Please keep in mind that information continues to change quickly; we will do our best to keep this page current.

VA's Governor Ralph Northam - Statewide closures of certain deemed non-essential businesses (with telework allowed where feasible). Effective at 11:59 PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and will remain in place until 11:59 PM on Thursday, April 23, 2020

https://www.governor.virginia.gov/newsroom/all-releases/2020/march/headline-855292-en.html


Hanover County Economic Development - Daily updates to numerous local and regional and state resources with a focus on business news and tools. This also includes CDC information, State links related to Governor Northam's Newsroom and support for affected workers.

https://www.hanovervirginia.com/grow-your-business/covid-19-information-and-resources/


Companies Who Are Hiring - Virginia Career Works' live link page for employers in VA who are currently hiring.

https://vcwcapital.com/covid-19-related-resources/jobs-available/


Chickahominy Health District - Hotline:  804-365-3340 to answer health questions related to COVID-19. The District includes Hanover, New Kent, Goochland and Charles City http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/chickahominy/. As a note, King William is part of the Three Rivers Health District http://www.vdh.virginia.gov/three-rivers/.


Hanover County Updates - Closings, modified services and alert information for many offices including Circuit Court, Library, Parks & Rec, DMV Select, Jail and others.

https://www.hanovercounty.gov/1024/COVID-19-Coronavirus

  • Highlight for the Planning Department: New submission procedure to limit face-to-face visits effective 3/19 and until further notice; Memo Planning Apps 3.18.2020 (1).pdf
  • Hanover County Public Schools - http://hanover.ss12.sharpschool.com/cms/One.aspx?portalId=1251067&pageId=3125587
  • Hanover Board of Supervisors will meet March 25th for administrative business but not old public hearings or comment. Also note the following County meetings over the next seven days have been cancelled: the Roads Committee meeting; the Department of Social Services Advisory Board meeting; the Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee meeting; the Pamunkey Regional Library Board meeting; and the Broadband Advisory Committee.
  • If you are not receiving County updates, it is recommended that you sign up for the HAN (Hanover Access News) email blasts at https://www.hanovercounty.gov/list.aspx?ListID=255


Town of Ashland Updates - Posts and updates shared on their website often

https://www.ashlandva.gov/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=391


Sheriff's Office Updates - Our HCSO deputies, lead by Sheriff Colonel David R Hines, are working diligently to keep our county safe. Read an update from the Sheriff here, also published in the Mechanicsville Local.


U.S. Chamber of Commerce - Since the Hanover Chamber is a association member of the US Chamber, all of their resources, detailed blogs, webinars and conference calls are available to our local chamber members individually.


Tax, Fee & Other Payments - Discussions about relief and/or delays on various payments are still in process around the region and state; more updates upcoming.

  • Federal tax filings and payments have been delayed until July 15th, 2020.
  • Businesses impacted by COVID-19 can also request to defer the payment of VA State sales tax due, March 20, 2020, for 30 days. When granted, businesses will be able to file no later than April 20, 2020 with a waiver of any penalties.
  • The Virginia Department of Taxation has extended the due date of payment of Virginia individual and corporate income taxes. While filing deadlines remain the same, the due date for individual and corporate income tax will now be June 1, 2020. Please note that interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so.


Laws & Legislation Links

Retail Merchants An RVA resource keeping detailed, daily updates of legislation. Their website also hosts a useful discussion board.

https://www.retailmerchants.com/retail-help-coronavirus/ 


FamiliesFirst Coronavirus Response Act - Passed/Approved this week- to provide support for employees affected by the economic impact of the Coronavirus including paid sick and family leave and availability of unemployment insurance.


U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) Disaster Assistance Loans - Passed/Approved this week - could offer disaster relief loans of up to $2 million for merchants adversely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19); all of VA is included.



Surveys for Businesses & Business Owners

Please make your voice, and the voices of our Hanover/Ashland area, heard. The two survey requests below are from the Federal Reserve Bank and the VA Dept of Small Business.

Small Business Impacts

Virginia Small Business Owner,

The Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic that has hit the Nation is creating concern for our economy here in Virginia and across the Nation. Below you will find the link to a brief survey that will allow our agency to collect data on the impact COVID-19 is having on business revenue and employment.

Please take a moment to complete this survey so we can share the results with State and Federal partners. We would like to receive responses as soon as possible but will be leaving the survey open through 5:00pm., Friday, March 27, 2020 to capture responses.

Sincerely,

Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity


Click here to complete the Survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/7RMY8SH


Federal Reserve Bank

*This survey will take place in a a few weeks but you must request inclusion by calling or emailing as directed below.

Dear Hanover County business leaders,

Right now it is more important than ever for the Federal Reserve to understand how business leaders are experiencing the economy. Therefore, I’d like to make a special appeal for you to join our monthly survey of business conditions.

By way of background: Each month the Richmond Fed asks business executives in our region to answer a short questionnaire on current business conditions. We have one survey for manufacturing firms, and another for non-manufacturing firms. The information we collect helps us understand the current economy in a way that is often more up-to-date and with deeper context than formal data can reveal – so it is a critical contribution to monetary policy, and really is a public service. Individual responses are kept confidential, but the aggregated results are published on our website and are followed widely by the media. The survey includes the ability to add comments – which, again, are kept confidential – and therefore gives you a voice directly to the Federal Reserve.

It is a short (5 minutes) online survey, and we are now including special questions about the effects of the COVID-19 virus. We would be grateful for your participation in this critical time and going forward. If you’re willing to participate, please contact Rich.RegionalSurveyTeam@rich.frb.org or call us at 804-697-8152. A short FAQ about the survey is below.

I will add that my role at the Richmond Fed is to meet with business leaders to understand the economy. So I am eager to hear from businesses directly – both in normal times (on issues stemming from growth prospects to labor to prices), but especially now to understand how the virus is affecting you. If you have insights to share, please feel free to contact me at any time at renee.haltom@rich.frb.org.


Many thanks, and I hope to see you all virtually or in person soon.

Best regards,

Renee


Renee Haltom

Vice President and Regional Executive

The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

(804) 697-8401

https://www.richmondfed.org/research/people/haltom

renee.haltom@rich.frb.org



Working from Home

As many of us transition and continue to work remotely or work from home, we may encounter a few new challenges. Here are a few resources on safe teleworking, electronically speaking:

IBM cloud struggles

https://www.datacenterdynamics.com/en/news/ibm-cloud-struggles-suffers-small-outage-dallas/ 

Microsoft and other clouds remote work struggles

https://www.theregister.co.uk/2020/03/12/remote_work_struggles/ 

Dangers of & Fixes for RDP without VPN (Remote Desktop Protocol without a Virtual Private Network); we suggest you connect with you IT provider for more on this topic. (Don't have an IT provider? Check our member directory.)

https://www.itprotoday.com/compute-engines/dangers-using-rdp-without-vpn 

https://www.liveconsulting.com/news/remotely-working-why-vpn-is-more-secure-than-remote-desktop-protocol/

https://www.ericom.com/whatis/rdp/ 

https://www.mcafee.com/blogs/other-blogs/mcafee-labs/rdp-security-explained/ 

https://openvpn.net/for/remote-desktop/


Supporting our local Restaurants and Personal Services

Many of our eateries are offering take-away service, retailers are still accepting online orders (often with special discounts) and many services (nonprofits too) are continuing to operate as best as possible. We, along with area partners, are working on a listing of various food, retail and services in the Hanover/Ashland area. Stay tuned and please consider supporting local vendors whenever possible. Check our Member Directory and contact places directly!


A Letter from Hanover Chamber VA's Director | Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Chamber Members and Friends,

The past days have challenged us all in new ways. Navigating a pandemic has changed our businesses, homes and community on a daily, and often hourly, basis.

As we navigate, know that your Chamber is still here for you.

I have spent this week participating in Regional and Local partner conversations, gathering facts and resources and speaking with businesses across our area. These are unprecedented times and our Chamber is first and foremost a community connector. It is always important to rely on our greater network of organizations, departments and contacts - and times like this prove those built relationships incredibly valuable.

Take a moment to look through our Coronavirus/COVID-19 webpage – which does not aim to replicate efforts but instead share the amazing resources others have compiled and add to them as needed. You will find info about business tools, Hanover County closures and procedure changes, Town of Ashland updates, government supported financial resources, legislation, CDC links, affected worker tools, a health hotline and much more. Know we will keep sending and sharing pertinent information.

I also want to encourage you to share your voice and experience. The webpage includes 2 surveys you can participate in – one from a VA level for small businesses (especially those under 100 employees) and the other from the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank to gather data for our area in the next few weeks (all size businesses). Further, I would welcome your feedback individually; my contact info below reaches me as I work from home or at the office.

Though we may be “social distancing” we are still connected. It is essential for our public health that we continue to follow guidelines for virus containment, but this does not mean we are truly alone. Nor should we lose hope in the incredible strength, creativity and resiliency of our community! Many businesses continue to function and even thrive – and I truly believe our comeback will be incredible when the time is right. Which does not make light of the challenges in front of us - For now, we walk each day, we stick together and we do our best to support the industries and individuals most affected. My heart breaks with too many who are losing jobs and those affected by illness or caring for a loved one who is ill.

My ask of you, if I may, is twofold. First, to think about someone you’ve met through your Chamber connections and give them a call or send them an email. This is the time to check-in on one another and let compassion lead us. Whether it’s a retail shop owner who could use your support, a parent suddenly in the weeds of homeschooling, or a colleague experiencing one of many other life challenges outside of this virus. Second, don’t forget about the plethora of carry-out, e-certificate or shipping options provided by our many restaurants, retailers, personal services and nonprofits. Use our online Member Directory and their Facebook pages to contact places specifically.

Sending you all my best,

Melissa

- - -

Melissa Miller Haley

Hanover Chamber of Commerce

Executive Director

melissa@hanoverchamberva.com

804-442-2094


9097 Atlee Station Road, Suite 117, Mechanicsville VA 23116

804-442-2093 | info@hanoverchamberva.com

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