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Dear Chamber Members,

Today’s COVID-19 business information compiled by your SC Chamber Team includes: Call with Senator Lindsey GrahamGovernor Announces Intent to Create Economic Revitalization Task ForceSCDEW Releases Updated Unemployment Numbers

1. Join Us Monday for a Call with US Senator Lindsey Graham

As Congress continues to consider additional legislation to help employers and workers affected by COVID-19, the SC Chamber is pleased to organize a call for local Chambers of Commerce and their membership with US Senator Lindsey Graham on Monday, April 20th, at 2:00 pm.

Senator Graham was integral in the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the most significant relief package in American history, designed to help businesses and the economy during this time of crisis.

We want to allow members to ask Senator Graham questions following his briefing. Submit questions for Senator Graham no later than 3:00 pm Today. The SC Chamber will moderate the questions and ask as many of them as we can during the call.

Call Details: Register in advance for this webinar as spots are limited.

  • Date and Time: Monday, April 20th, 2020, 2:00 pm ET
  • Topic: COVID-19: SC Chamber & Senator Lindsey Graham
  • Register

2. Governor Announces Intent to Create Economic Revitalization Task Force

Accelerate SC Task Force: In a press conference this afternoon, Governor McMaster announced his intent to roll out an economic revitalization task force called “Accelerate South Carolina.” This task force will help guide the state toward reopening the economy after COVID-19 reaches its peak (expected in early May), and cases begin to decrease. Membership will include representatives from various business and industry sectors. The task force will develop a plan to move South Carolina toward a phased-in reopening of some businesses and activity as healthcare data indicates it is safe and appropriate to do so. The Governor plans to release more specific details about Accelerate SC next week.

In the press conference, the Governor stated that he expects and hopes the “state’s economy will be humming by the end of June” and that he plans to lift restrictions within weeks. However, he also emphasized that the state is not in a position to reopen at this time and that residents should continue to follow all requirements and recommendations. Only data about a decrease in disease activity will determine when it is appropriate to begin a return to some regular operation.

New Executive Order: Also, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-25, which reopens public boating ramps and landings to “facilitate authorized outdoor exercise and recreational activities.” He stressed that citizens must continue to follow the requirements laid out for social distancing and crowd-size limitations.

3. SCDEW Releases Updated Unemployment Numbers

Yesterday, the SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) released the newest unemployment claims data for the state – showing yet another week of record-high initial claims. Once again, SCDEW provided us with a breakdown of claims by industry sectors.

For the week ending April 11th, 2020: the number of initial intrastate applications (within the state) was 87,686, an increase of approximately 3.14% from the previous week’s count of 85,018 and a 4,293.09% increase from the week ending March 14th.

The five counties with the highest claim numbers are:

  • Greenville (10,378)
  • Horry (7,930)
  • Spartanburg (7,258)
  • Charleston (6,877)
  • Richland (5,950)

The top 10 industry sectors (using North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) two-digit codes) with initial claims filed from March 15th to April 11th are:

  • Accommodation and Food Service                                28.3%
  • Manufacturing                                                                14.2%
  • Health Care and Social Assistance                               12.5%
  • Retail Trade                                                                   11.5%
  • Administrative Support and Waste Management           7.7%
  • Other Services                                                               4.8%
  • Professional, Scientific, and Technical                           3.4%
  • Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation                              3.3%
  • Wholesale Trade                                                            3.0%
  • Educational Services                                                     2.6%

These top 10 sectors represent nearly 91.2% of claims submitted with a known industry sector.

It is important to note that the data includes claims related to COVID-19 as well as unrelated claims. This data set does not include applications that do not have a known industry code or where an industry code is pending. This issue can happen if someone self-employed or an independent contractor is filing the claim, their last employer was out-of-state, or their employer filed on their behalf.

To Recap:

  • For the week ending March 21st – the number of initial intrastate claims (within the state) was 31,054, an increase of approximately 1600% from the previous week’s count of 1,996.
  • For the week ending March 28th – the number of initial intrastate claims was 64,856, an increase of approximately 108.85% from the previous week’s count of 31,054.
  • For the week ending April 4th – the number of initial intrastate claims was 85,018, an increase of approximately 31.09% from the previous week’s count of 64,856.

Click here to view the complete data set.

Don’t forget about the Chamber’s Small Business Hotline for all questions relating to the CARES Act, the PPP program and recent Governor’s Executive Orders. Call 803-774-2402 today!

These and other resources for businesses are available on our website here.

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 here with questions.

Have a great day,

Chris Hardy, CCE, IOM
President & CEO

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