Navigating What Resources Are Available To You
First and foremost, I hope you are doing well. As we continue to work through this crisis, it has become increasingly clear to me that taking care of yourself is the best thing any of us could be doing right now.
Take time for yourself; eat well; exercise; sleep; and ask for help when needed. That is the simple recipe for ensuring that you and all of Lancaster County emerges from this successfully. It will also ensure you can tend to the business matters at hand.
And, as for those business matters, that’s where the Chamber Team wants to help by connecting you to the information and resources you need to navigate challenges and leverage the opportunities. Pressing challenges/opportunities of the moment include:
CARES ACT/PAYROLL PROTECTION PROGRAM
Today is the day when applications will be accepted for the Payroll Protection Program (check out our webinar we coordinated on 4/2 that helps explain more about this), a program that offers forgivable loans to all companies with fewer than 500 people. To apply, please contact your banker. But please note that the banks are swamped today so patience is required.
For an overview of the program, click HERE . For a checklist of items to have prepared, click HERE. And to review the application, click HERE. Please know this program continues to evolve and we will do our best to keep these links as current as we can during this time.
And, to be clear, there are other opportunities in the $2 trillion package that businesses should evaluate as a potential source of help. Click HERE for a summary of the entire Act.
LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESSES/WAIVER PROCESS
Per an announcement from Governor Wolf on Wednesday evening, the process to request a Waiver in order to continue operating your business as a “life-sustaining business” will close TODAY, Friday, April 3 at 5pm. Both the list of applicable businesses and the process for receiving waivers (check section 2 of our website here for all information) has proved challenging to many businesses and Wednesday’s announcement brought about even more concern, especially for those 15,000-plus companies that are still waiting to hear their status. In response to this confusion, the Lancaster Chamber has joined with more than 40 chambers across the state to request some revisions in the current process, while recognizing the preeminent role that health and safety plays in all decisions. You can read the letter HERE. And, in the meantime, if you have any questions on the process and/or your status, please don’t hesitate to contact our Community Impact Director Heather Valudes at email@example.com.
CONSUMER SENTIMENT SURVEY
In a partnership between LNP Media Group, the Economic Development Company of Lancaster County, the Center for Regional Analysis and the Chamber, a consumer sentiment survey has been launched to track local consumer sentiment over the coming months. The survey will be “open” for the first five days of every month from now until August, 2021, in an effort to track the “mood” of the Lancaster County consumer. Please consider taking it for April (and sharing it with your workforce) HERE.
Today, we have an opportunity to hear from our three County Commissioners and our District Attorney for a County update, enforcement actions, preparedness, and more (register here).
More than 1500 of you have taken advantage of our webinars to date, ranging from “Ask-an-Attorney” to “How to Work Remotely” and from “Managing Cybersecurity” to “Ask-an-Accountant.” And all of them have been recorded and are available at lancasterchamber.com/coronavirus (under section 3).
For the coming week, we are featuring the following:
- Value Add & Cost Savings Programs from the Lancaster Chamber Webinar
April 6 from 1:30-2:30pm
- Boost Your Income With Online Sales & Amazon
April 7 from 2-3pm
- Leading Through Uncertainty
April 9 from 1:30-2:15pm
AND THERE’S MORE….
-We continue to encourage you to check back to our website often as we are continually updating it with the latest COVID-related information for business. We are also happy to announce that with the click of a button the information can be translated to Spanish, as well;
-Earlier this week we announced that our 148th Annual Dinner, featuring former UK Prime Minister Theresa May, has been postpone until Wednesday, September 9. By then, we believe we will all be long overdue for a celebration, so please plan on joining us for a night to “Celebrate Perseverance.” You can learn more about tickets and sponsorships HERE;
-We also have a new Chamber logo animation, thanks to MAKE films, that captures the idea of distancing while still being connected. Check it out on our Facebook here and feel free to share!
FINALLY: THINK LOCAL!
It’s a true testament to the authentic nature of our local business community that the most often asked question I’ve been getting over the past few weeks has been, “What can I/our company do to help?” And, it has been our pleasure to try to plug your interest into opportunities to help others.
YET, I can’t emphasize enough that the best, simplest thing any of us can do (other than taking care of ourselves!), is to THINK LOCAL! Please do all you can to find a way –through both your personal and professional lives—to continue to support those companies that are based in Lancaster County. Those companies who have been your neighbors for years. Those companies who have demonstrated their own resolve to our County through their efforts over the past few weeks. And, those companies that we need by our side as we emerge from this crisis together, as one Lancaster County business community.
This is what we can all do right now. And this is what will help ensure our future success.
In the meantime, be safe and stay distant. Yet, stay connected.
With Resolve –
Tom Baldrige, President & CEO of the Lancaster Chamber