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As local businesses grapple with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, AnsonEDP has created this page as a one-stop resource for guidance regarding best practices for dealing with the virus and accessing federal, state and local assistance programs.

Business Guidance

North Carolina issues statewide Stay-At-Home order, effective March 30th at 5:00 P.M.


A statewide stay-at-home order goes into effect Monday, March 30th at 5:00 PM. The order will last for thirty days, until April 29, 2020.  The order prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people and continues general guidance on maintaining a personal distance of at least six feet. 


The Order provides for essential businesses to continue to operate while prioritizing social distancing measures. The Order has the force of law and will be enforced in all 100 counties statewide.


If you do not think your business is included in the essential services list, and you think it should be, you may apply online at the NC Department of Revenue to be designated essential. Until your exemption is reviewed, you may operate as long as your business can accommodate social distancing in your workplace. 


North Carolina DHHS recommends that employers and employees:


  • Use teleworking technologies to the greatest extent possible. 
  • Stagger work schedules. 
  • Consider canceling non-essential travel.


Businesses should also: 


  • Hold larger meetings virtually, to the extent possible. Any gathering of more than 100 people is currently prohibited in North Carolina, per Executive Order 117Open PDF (issued March 14, 2020). NCDHHS has Guidance for Organizations that Gather Less Than 50 People Together. The ban on gatherings does not include airports, bus and train stations, medical facilities, libraries, shopping malls and spaces where people may be in transit. Office environments, restaurants, factories, or retail or grocery stores are also excluded. Read the FAQOpen PDF.
  • Arrange the workspace to optimize distance between employees, ideally at least six feet apart.
  • Urge high risk employees to stay home.
  • Urge employees to stay home when they are sick and maximize flexibility in sick leave benefits.


Other tips for businesses:


  • Reinforce good hand hygiene tips and other common-sense precautions with employees and patrons.
  • Review policies and procedures for remote or teleworking where possible.
  • Cross-train employees for key functions so that daily schedules can continue relatively uninterrupted by potential employee absences.
  • Review absenteeism policies to make sure employees are not being encouraged to come to work if they are sick.
  • Establish a relationship with your local health department and communicate with them if you have any questions or concerns about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • Review recommendations for cleaning practices.
  • Work to make sure fear and anxiety don't lead to social stigma toward any employees.
  • Make sure you are getting reliable information from sources like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and NCDHHS.


Restaurants


Governor Roy Cooper announced that North Carolina restaurants and bars will be closed to sit-down service and limited to take-out or delivery orders starting at 5 p.m. March 17, 2020. Grocery stores, gas stations, and convenience stores, are exempt from this order and will remain open, though they may not serve sit-down food. 

Additionally, the order lifts some restrictions on unemployment benefits to help workers unemployed due to COVID-19 and those who are employed but will not receive a paycheck. It also adds benefit eligibility for those out of work because they have the virus or must care for someone who is sick. 


Rstaurants and bars that remain open for take-out and delivery should keep in mind that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements are still in effect, and all businesses need to continue to ensure reasonable access and accommodations to their employees and customers.


  • ADA-related guidance specific to employers during a pandemic can be found on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website.
  • Additional guidance and resources on the ADA can be found on the ADA’s website and on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s website.

Assistance

Is your business experiencing supply chain disruptions due to the impact of COVID-19?

Find the Manufacturer or Supplier your business needs at ManufacturedNC:


  • This database of suppliers contains every kind of thing produced in NC. Whether you’re a manufacturer who wants to localize your supply chain or a business searching for packaging suppliers, you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for here.
  • If you are an N.C. manufacturer, please register your business with ManufacturedNC here. Other businesses may be looking for you!

Looking for a low-interest lender?

U.S. Small Business Administration
The SBA has approved N.C. Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in modified and additional Small Business Administration resources to help N.C. small businesses, small aquacultural businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and/or most private nonprofit organizations. Applicants are encouraged to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loans online.


N.C. Rural Center COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program

The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program is managed by the NC Rural Center, a statewide nonprofit that has been supporting small business owners for more than 30 years. The NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program enables loans to be made to eligible businesses for up to $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months. If not repaid in six months, the loan will automatically convert to a term loan.

Interested in upcoming small business grant opportunities?

Facebook Small Business Grants Program

Facebook is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries due to the effects of COVID-19. Sign up for more info!


COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund

United Way Worldwide has announced that it has established the COVID-19 Community Response and Recovery Fund to support affected communities and help the most vulnerable populations receive critical financial and social service support during the global crisis.

Do you need business counseling services, including layoff aversion strategies?

Business Edge Services

919.814.0400 or Toll-Free: 800.562.6333 (Choose Option 2 – Business Services)

DWS_BusinessServices@nccommerce.com

Business Edge is a series of layoff aversion strategies and activities designed to help North Carolina employers prevent or minimize job losses. Through Business Edge, workforce partners collaborate with business leaders to assess the needs of, and options for, “at-risk” firms, and to deliver services that address those needs.

Are state and federal agencies offering any payment relief or extended payment deadlines?

Federal Coronavirus Tax Relief

The U.S. Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.


Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.


Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief. Individual taxpayers who need additional time to file beyond the July 15 deadline, can request a filing extension by filing Form 4868 through their tax professional, tax software or using the Free File link on IRS.gov. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. 


N.C. Department of Revenue Special Penalty Relief

In response to the federal payment relief, the N.C. Department of Revenue has also extended the filing deaadline to July 15, 2020.