COVID-19 Resources for Business Community

On this page you will find helpful resources & information for your business/organization, as we adapt and work towards recovery from the impact of COVID-19. The Chamber is actively looking for additional resources to ease the pressure that businesses are facing, and will continue to advocate on behalf of legislation that would help alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on business. We will continue to post updates as they become available. 

Important Updates

  • Eligible small businesses throughout New York may now apply for U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Businesses can take advantage of free assistance offered by SBA’s network of Resource Partners, visit www.sba.gov/local-assistance. Submit a request for assistance online at http://nyssbdc.org/appointment.html. Additional guidance from ESD can be found here. Click the following links for the appropriate information: (1) fact sheet (2) three step process (3) general handout (4) how-to slides. The SUNY Albany SBDC recorded a 19-minute webinar on what to expect during the application process. For an overview of the program by Empire State Development, click here
  • The IRS has established a special section with steps to help taxpayers, businesses, and others affected by the coronavirus: www.irs.gov/coronavirus. The U.S. tax filing deadline has been pushed back from April 15 to July 15, 2020. While sales tax payments and returns were due to NYS on 3/20/2020, penalty and interest may be waived for quarterly & annual filers who were unable to file or pay on time due to COVID-19. Click here for more info. 
  • New York State has passed legislation that will provide immediate assistance for New Yorkers impacted by COVID-19, including guaranteeing job protection for quarantined citizens and adopting comprehensive paid sick leave. There are specific exclusions to this law, but most workers at small and midsize companies can get the paid leave. The state has created a new website to answer questions about this program. Here is a helpful podcast from BCNYS on the topic. The Governor also announced a 90-day moratorium on any residential or commercial evictions.
  • The Federal Government passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. The U.S. DOL has issued a poster explaining the paid sick leave and expanded family/medical leave, as well as an FAQ. Congress and the White House plan to pass another stimulus package to help the economy. Since both the U.S. government and New York state are requiring certain employers to provide paid sick/family leave, to the extent that the requirements overlap, the federal tax credit will cover the costs imposed by the state requirements. Where state requirements go beyond the federal requirements the federal tax credit will not cover those expenses.
  • Empire State Development (ESD) has issued vital guidance for the implementation of the recent Executive Orders (restrictions on non-essential business and increasing the required staff reduction for non-essential business to 100%). Please click here to review this guidance. For an “Essential Business” FAQ please click here. For additional guidance on the Executive Orders you may connect with an advisor from the Binghamton Small Business Development Center. ESD is also providing resources here: https://esd.ny.gov/esd-covid-19-related-resources.
  • Since both the U.S. government and New York state are requiring certain employers to provide paid sick/family leave, to the extent that the requirements overlap, the federal tax credit will cover the costs imposed by the state requirements. Where state requirements go beyond the federal requirements the federal tax credit will not cover those expenses.
  • Governor Cuomo has called on businesses/manufacturers to help with needed supplies related to COVID-19. Businesses can send an e-mail to COVID19supplies@esd.ny.gov if you can help. There is a new landing page for all those who can help.
  • Facebook will be offering cash grants and ad credits through the Facebook Small Business Grants Program. Learn more and sign up for updates here.


Business Best Practices & Guidelines

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. For businesses, the CDC provides guidelines on how to best prepare.
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has created a Coronavirus Small Business Guide for complete coronavirus coverage, updated daily with new resources to assist you and your business. They are also working with the White House and government agencies to inform and equip businesses with many tips, tools, and guidance here www.uschamber.com/coronavirus
  • The Business Council of NYS (BCNYS) provides guidelines, webinars, legislative updates and more for employers: www.bcnys.org/managing-coronavirus. BCNYS is also working to connect employers; providing businesses with a forum to share stories and ideas here: www.bcnys.org/business-business-managing-coronavirus-together For urgent questions on how to manage staff or to seek clarification on any new policy or mandates regarding worker’s rights, call Frank Kerbein direct 1-800-332-2117. email Frank Kerbein or call direct 1-800-332-2117.
  • The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare: www.dol.gov/coronavirus. Under new guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. Additional guidance can be found here: www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19 Laid-off workers are allowed to receive regular unemployment benefits for as long as 26 weeks in New York. NY has not yet qualified for additional Extended Benefits (add 13 weeks), but will post the information online once available. Congress is currently discussing the option of providing benefits to the self-employed and independent contractors.
  • The National Association of Manufacturers is in contact with federal officials who are overseeing the response to COVID-19, sharing information here: www.nam.org/coronavirus
  • Association of Chamber Executives ACCE) offers resources for pandemic crisis management: www.resources.acce.org/crisismanagement
  • If you need information on local agencies in the Southern Tier of New York that can help during COVID-19, please call 2-1-1 or 1-800-346-2211 or text your Zip Code to 898211. You can also visit www.211helpline.org to get information.
  • Leading in Crisis, article by General Bill Martin

Government (Local, State & Federal) Requirements & News

Support for Employees & Human Resources

  • Our local representative from the NYS Department of Labor, Lisa Doland, can answer questions regarding Unemployment Insurance, Shared Work, or Rapid Response. Please contact Lisa at (607) 733-7131 x2137 or lisa.doland@labor.ny.gov
  • Chemung-Schuyler-Steuben Workforce Rapid Response assists dislocated workers’ transition to new employment opportunities, when a company closes or cuts its workforce: www.csswfny.com
  • Chemung County Child Care Council has a referral service, to help employees identify child care options: www.chemchildcare.com/child-care-referral-service
  • New York State is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines: www.labor.ny.gov/unemploymentassistance.shtm
  • Chemung-Schuyler-Steuben (CSS) Workforce Rapid Response assists dislocated workers’ transition to new employment opportunities, when a company closes or cuts its workforce: www.csswfny.com. CSS Workforce is continuing to provide individuals and businesses with employment services via telephone, email, and virtual communication during this time. A list of COVID-19 resources is available here.
  • Chemung County Child Care Council has a referral service, to help employees identify child care options: www.chemchildcare.com/child-care-referral-service
  • Databranch is available to do a free consultation with any Chamber Member who might be looking for advice as they transition to a temporary remote workforce. For more information please contact Amanda Lasky: alasky@databranch.com or call 716-373-4467 ext. 15. Click here for a brief video about current cyber security challenges and top tips to keep employees working productively and securely from home.
  • A Facebook Page, Chemung/Steuben/Schuyler Jobs during Covid-19, has been created by community members to assist job seekers during this Pandemic. 
  • New York State has directed the Attorney General to investigate claims of potential violations of existing labor laws or recently issued Executive Orders, and has established a hotline and an email for those concerned about employer actions. Please call (212) 416-8700 or e-mail Labor.Bureau@ag.ny.gov

Specific Industries

  • Restaurants: The New York State Restaurant Association has a resource page here. New York StateLiquor Authority Guidance on Restrictions for Licensees and To-Go & Delivery Sales in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak can be found here: https://sla.ny.gov/Restrictions-in-Response-to-COVID-19. Please click here for the federal CARES Act Executive Summary for Restaurants. ServSafe has training videos, free to the industry, to reinforce safe food handling to keep food and employees safe during the coronavirus outbreak. Please find the National Restaurant Association resource page here
  • Tourism Industry: NYS Tourism Association has created a COVID-19 Toolkit.
  • Non-profits: For resources from the NY Council of Nonprofits click here. The Community Foundation is hosting a weekly non-profit video check-in. Support and resources are available to community-based organizations in Chemung, Schuyler, Steuben, and Yates Counties, and mini-grants of up to $1000 are available to assist nonprofit organizations. For more information please visit:  http://www.communityfund.org/newsroom/2020/3/16/covid-19
  • Agriculture: Follow this link for more info https://agriculture.ny.gov/coronavirus. Please click here for COVID-19 Resources for Farmers from Cornell & CCE. Click here for Food Production, Processing & Safety Questions. Click here for Employment & Agricultural Workforce Questions. For Cornell Small Farms Resiliency Resources, click here. For Financial & Mental Health Resources for Farmers, click here.
  • Exporters: The Export-Import Bank of the U.S. (EXIM) is committed to supporting the exporting community during this crisis. This page will be regularly updated. 

Initiatives to Support Local Businesses & Organizations

  • Wineries on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail are doing their best to keep the wine flowing: www.senecalakewine.com/wineries-respond-to-covid19
  • Explore MarkTwainCountry.com to find out which events are still happening, and to connect with/support our local business/tourism community: www.marktwaincountry.com
  • Chemung County has created a webpage for local restaurants to list their to-go menus. To add your menu to this page, please email your information to menus@chemungcountyny.gov.
  • “FLX To-Go” helps businesses & organizations in the Finger Lakes Region spread the word About Takeout, Delivery, and other New Options in Light of COVID-19. More information here.
  • Get the latest updates from the Food Bank of the Southern Tier here.
  • Donations made to United Way of the Southern Tier at www.uwst.org/donate will stay local to support programs in Chemung and Steuben counties on the frontlines of COVID-19. Volunteer opportunities are listed here.
  • Bobby K and Teall’s Tavern are proud to present Small Business Trivia Night to support local businesses in the Southern Tier. 
  • To help businesses stay connected, for a limited time, AT&T is offering a free 90-day offer of Webex Meetings with AT&T for new Webex customers. Click here for offer details.
  • Staples is helping remote workers by temporarily shipping to residential addresses with no order minimums or delivery fees. For more information, contact Rachael Carney at rachael.carney@staples.com.
  • The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes is pleased to announce the 2020 Emergency Arts Relief Grant Program.
  • #MyFLXFamily, organized by Finger Lakes Wine Country, is an initiative to support one another and stay connected. Learn more here.
  • Learn about Corning’s Gaffer District “Buy Now, Shop Later” Program www.gafferdistrict.com/buy-now-shop-later 
  • Check out this great Community Project, Sewing Masks for Healthcare, by Fund for Women 

Resources from other Chambers & Organizations

Health & Recreation 

  • Arnot Health provides updates here: www.arnothealth.org/cornonavirus-resources. Arnot Health has established a special toll-free Helpline for members of its community who are exhibiting symptoms of the COVID-19 virus. Open 7 days a week, from 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. at 1-800-952-2662. Please Note:  ONLY call this line if you are experiencing COVID -19 type symptoms: Fever of more than 100, New onset of cough, Shortness of breath or other respiratory symptoms, or Body aches
  • Guthrie provides updates & FAQ here: www.guthrie.org/covid-19-updates-and-frequently-asked-questions.
  • The Elmira Country Club golf course is now open, and members are permitted to play. The CDC guidelines and state mandates are in effect and should be followed. The PGA and the R&A have released this guidance document for players.
  • In response to COVID-19 and in support of social distancing, the FLXcalendar will feature only streaming events for the time being. Check it out here

Certificates of Origin

  • The Chemung County Chamber of Commerce is continuing to provide Certificates of Origin for manufacturers throughout the COVID-19 situation. Please call (607) 734-5137 and leave a message; we will return your call to schedule an appointment