Check out the latest COVID-19 business information compiled by your Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce Team.
USDOL Issues New Guidance on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Phase 2 Federal Legislation)
This week, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) released updated information and resources for businesses and employees concerning the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Phase 2 of the federal legislation passed last week (click here for the SC Chamber’s summary of that bill).
The new information includes fact sheets for employees and employers and a poster which clearly explains the rights of employees under the new legislation:
- Fact Sheet for Employees
- Fact Sheets for Employers
- FFCRA Q&A
- Employee Rights: Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave under the FFCRA
*For more information, you can visit the USDOL Wage and Hour Division’s COVID-19 webpage
The USDOL also announced that they would hold an online dialogue to allow employers and employees to offer their perspective as the Department develops further informational materials related to the FFCRA. Input is required by March 29th, 2020. Anyone interested can participate online from March 23rd through March 29th.
Federal Stimulus Bill (Phase 3) – Update
ICYMI – we summarized HR 748, Phase 3 of the federal response to COVID-19, in our email update yesterday. The US Senate passed the bill last night with no amendments, so our summary remains up-to-date at this time.
Here are some key highlights of the bill:
- $350 billion for forgivable small business loans.
- Expansion of unemployment benefit coverage and amount
- $500 billion for corporate aid
- $1,200 checks for certain single filers and $2,400 for certain joint filers
- $340 billion for healthcare-related programs
- $150 billion for state and local governments
The US House expects to pass the legislation tomorrow, with the President signing shortly after that. The Chamber will continue to provide the latest information on the Federal Stimulus Bill and the potential impact it will have for you and your business.
Local Stay-at-Home Ordinances
Wednesday, we provided an update on the first Stay-at-Home ordinances affecting South Carolina, in the City of Charleston and Mecklenburg County, a border county in NC. Yesterday, the City of Columbia passed a Stay-at-Home ordinance similar to the Charleston ordinance. Both the Charleston and Columbia ordinances allow essential businesses (defined in the ordinances) to operate using social distancing guidelines. The City of Columbia ordinance can be found here and will go into effect on Sunday, March 29th, at 12:01 am and remain effective for 14 days.
We will continue to keep you updated as other cities and counties consider and adopt these ordinances.
As of today, Governor McMaster is not considering a statewide Stay-at-Home order. We continue to communicate with the SC Chamber daily to ensure that businesses have advance notice to prepare in the event an order is issued.
Many of our members have done amazing work responding to the needs in our community caused by COVID-19. To that end, we are encouraging businesses in need, and businesses that are filling needs, to share their stories with us. We will post these in our regular email updates to help get the word out and help one another. Last week we launched a new Facebook page titled “Sumter County, SC Take Out & Delivery Options” where local restaurants could post their take out and delivery menus along with hours of operation. Since it has exploded to nearly 6,000 followers and even caught the attention of WLTX News. Yesterday we re-named the page to “Sumter County, Still Open For Business / Eat, Drink and Shop Local”. We are now allowing local businesses of any type to post their new operation procedures that allow our consumers to still get the products and services they need, while continuing to practice safe social distancing. We encourage you to follow our page as information is updated every hour and help our business community during this unprecedented time.
As always, we will keep you up-to-date on any further information as it becomes available. Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions that you may have.
Have a great day,
Chris Hardy, CCE, IOM
President & CEO