COVID-19 Resources & Info
The Chamber is still open for business supporting you - our members.
We are taking all precautions necessary by altering or cancelling upcoming events and programs.
Our mission at the Chamber is to enhance the retention and expansion of the Grant County business community by providing business support, networking opportunities, educational outreach, and advocacy.
Below you will see the different ways we are working to support you in these different areas. It is our mission to meet each of our members where they are in their business as well as to best serve each different type of industry in our diverse membership during these uncertain times.
One thing we would like to continue to recommend to all members is not to ignore what is happening right now, and to share what is part of your SOLUTION. You will best serve your employees and consumers of your business by sharing whatever it is you are doing. Be transparent and do not pretend this is business as usual.
Finally, we are here for you! Please reach out with any questions, concerns, or ideas on how we can best serve you. Through this crisis you WILL be able to reach a member of our staff whether it be by phone, email, or video chat.
Uncertain Times Will Come to an End Whew. Take a deep breath. We are living in a completely different world than the one we inhabited when the last issue of the Business Herald was released in January. Heck, things are drastically different than they were even a month ago. I’m not sure about you, but…
Welcome to our new blog! Here at the Marion-Grant County Chamber, we work every day to be the leading resource for all of Grant County’s business community. We hope that our new website and this blog will reflect that mission. Our plan for the Business Beat is to post content that will inform, engage, and…
Small Business Administration Loan Links:
- UPDATED U.S. Department of Treasury Information on Paycheck Protection Program (applications begin April 3): Overview; Lender information; Borrower information; Application; FAQ (April 8)
Grant County Economic Growth Council Small Business Loan Relief
Grant County businesses impacted by the Global Pandemic, the COVID-19 virus, will now have access to financial assistance through the Growth Council’s COVID-19 Loan Fund. Businesses operating in Grant County, with less than 30 employees, are eligible to apply for up to $7,500 in funding. The Growth Council is now taking applications!
The COVID-19 Loan Fund is an extension of the Revolving Loan Fund, a program the Growth Council has been operating since receiving a grant from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency in 2004. The Revolving Loan Fund application has been adapted for the COVID-19 Loan Fund to make a more accessible and efficient application process. Applicants are required to provide basic contact information, approval for a credit check, record of all business debt, and copies of their 2020 financials.
Grant County businesses experiencing or anticipating revenue loss in the upcoming weeks or months can utilize the COVID-19 Loan Fund to offset these losses, help sponsor sick pay for workers, prevent staff reductions, and mitigate other challenges presented by event cancellations, reduced foot traffic, self-quarantining, and work from home policies. Each round, 6 businesses will be selected to receive funding. First round of applications are due April 3rd and recipients will be announced April 17th.
Application can be found here.
*NEW* Salesforce Care Small Business Grants
- UPDATED U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Includes a Q&A, fact sheet for employers and fact sheet for employees. Among the highlights: The tax credit is NOT retroactive for providing leave before the effective start date of April 1. The fewer than 500 employee threshold counts 1) all employees under a single employer identification number, 2) employees working for you at least 30 days, 3) employees you share with another entity and 4) temporary employees. Please refer to the Q&A for details. | FFCRA posterand FAQ on posting requirements
Government Officials Resource Guides and Communications
- From U.S. Sen. Mike Braun: COVID-19 Affected Business and Employee Resource Guide (a three-page summary that highlights the major relief provisions in both the FFCRA and CARES Act, plus the SBA economic disaster loan process); March 30 webinar for Hoosier business community; send comments/questions to CoronavirusHelp@braun.senate.gov
- From U.S. Sen. Todd Young: Coronavirus Assistance Toolkit, a comprehensive guide for Hoosier businesses and individuals; April 9 webinar for Hoosier business community
- Rep. Susan Brooks - a letter to local financial institutions and small businesses regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.
Unemployment & Workforce Resources
- Dept of Homeland Security CISA - Guidance on definitions of 'essential businesses'
- US Dept of Labor - Additional guidance explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the families first coronavirus response act
- US Dept of Labor - Three New Wage and Hour Opinion Letters regarding the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- Indiana Governor's Office - Hotline/Email to determine if your business is considered an 'essential' business.
- IN Department of Workforce Development - New page on Hoosiers by the Numbers for links and information to keep up to date and help you make informed, data-driven decisions.
- US Chamber - COVID-19 Toolkit which has sharable graphics based on the CDC's latest guidance for businesses and employees for members to share on social media, websites, and other channels.
- WorkOne - SPECIAL NOTICE FOR FOOD & BEVERAGE INDUSTRY WORKERS WHO HAVE BEEN LAID OFF DUE TO THE IMPACT OF THE CURRENT COVID-19 SITUATION.
- WorkOne - Application site to file for unemployment benefits online.
- WorkOne - FAQ on how to apply for unemployment
- Indiana Department of Workforce Development - Resource and Communications Page
Treasury & Tax Resources
- IRS - Press Release: Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave
- Indiana Department of Revenue - Filing and Payment Extensions Announced here.
- US Treasury - Filing and Payment Extensions Announced here
- IRS COVID-19 Tax Credits FAQ: Details reimbursement process for the emergency paid leave provided by small and midsize businesses
Employee/Employer Online Training Options
Google - Primer App
Google - Skillshop Online Training
Google - 'Grow Your Business' Suite
Small Business Administration - Manage Your Business Online Courses
Small Business Administration - Grow Your Business Online Courses
Small Business Administration - Full Suite of Online Courses
*NEW* Guidance on Re-Opening Grant County Safely
Best practices for safely re-opening businesses and restoring employee and consumer confidence
As the voice of business in Grant County, we advocate for a return to economic activity in accordance with public health and safety and in conjunction with the state's economic recovery plan. Any business that can have employees work remotely is still encouraged to do so.
The following best practices are drawn from conversations with business owners and local public health officials. Business practices should be implemented in parallel with CDC and local and state guidelines.
These guidelines are not exhaustive, nor do they encompass every industry, but rather represent a robust starting point for how general businesses can operate again safely, while protecting employees and customers.
Businesses should aggressively communicate their safe to work practices to their customers. Demonstrating that it is safe to work, safe to shop, and otherwise safe to do business once again will be key in the coming weeks and months.
Again, any phased reopening must be in accordance with sound public health decisions, and with proper safety protocols outlined here and by local and state health departments. More information from the experts and elected leaders may add to or alter these guidelines.
In support of Indiana's economic recovery plan, the business community of Grant County stands ready to move our community and state towards economic prowess once again, while protecting against the renewed spread of COVID-19.
For general businesses, including offices and production or manufacturing facilities
1) All on-site workers have their temperatures taken each day prior to entering the building. Anyone with a fever will be required to self-isolate at home for 14 days.
2) Employees wear masks, gloves, and safety glasses if needed.
3) Breaks and lunches staggered in groups of 10 or less; and break rooms or common areas arranged so individuals are all at least six feet apart. Also consider breaks outdoors.
4) Alter lobbies and public areas in such a way to deter customers and employees from lingering.
5) Create staggered or rolling employee work groups that work on different days, with no "cross-pollination" between groups.
6) Every two hours, employees stop working and wipe down their work areas with sanitizing/disinfecting cleaning supplies, and wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
7) Regularly disinfect or sanitize all handles and flat surfaces in common areas, preferably with a substance approved by the EPA for fighting SARS-CoV-2. Click here for that list.
8) Weekly on a non-working day or non-working time, disinfect buildings through fogging, electrostatically spraying, or something similar, and emphasize high-traffic areas. We recommend using an experienced contractor that uses both EPA approved disinfectants and methods, as well as using an established commercial janitorial company or disaster response company for these services.
Does your business require retrofitting to meet these best practices? Consider Chamber members for your project!
Welch Packaging is available to provide corrugated dividers to aid in Social Distancing at Essential Businesses. CDC guidelines state that COVID-19 can only live on corrugated paper surfaces for 24 hours.
You can contact Andy Bishop, Plant Manager, with your needs.
Health Entity Information
Marion General Hospital - Link to COVID-19 communication site.
Marion General Hospital - Link to Established Call Center Information & Screening Resources
CDC - Link to COVID-19 communication site.
Grant County Emergency Management Agency - Daily Press Release and Info Site
Grant County Emergency Management Agency - Executive Order of the Grant County Commissioners Addressing Local Disaster and Public Health Emergency and Travel Advisory
CDC - National COVID-19 numbers page, updated daily.
*New* Facebook Page Invites Grant County Businesses to Share Information with the Community During COVID-19 Crisis
A new Facebook page launched to provide a platform for Grant County businesses to communicate with the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Grant County Economic Growth Council, Gas City Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Marion-Grant County Chamber of Commerce have partnered to launch and monitor the page: Grant County Local Business Support During COVID-19.
Grant County businesses are encouraged to use this page to communicate with the public about hours of operation, take-out delivery options, online ordering, open positions etc. Grant County residents are encouraged to use this page as a one-stop-shop to find information on local shopping options and unique ways to support their favorite local businesses whilst following Governor Holcomb’s Stay at Home executive order.
Co-owner of Mama Pearson’s Soaporium, Pat Pearson, commented: “It is important to have a platform for Grant County's local businesses to share information with the public. We all need each other to sustain the business community during this uncertain time, so I encourage residents and businesses to observe the page and support their community businesses."
During this time of uncertainty and economic distress, it is crucial to support our local business community. This page will remain largely unfiltered, as this emergency necessitates the immediate spread of information; however, posts that do not pertain to Grant County businesses or are inflammatory in nature will be removed by page moderators.
Additionally, this page will feature the “COVID-19 Business Spotlight,” a post that features one Grant County business: how the business has adapted their operations during the pandemic and ways in which the community can immediately support the business. The inventory of all “COVID-19 Business Spotlights” will be hosted at: www.grantcounty.com/covid-19.
The Grant County Local Business Support During COVID-19 Facebook page can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2604493179806993/
Media Contact: Mikayla Marazzi || firstname.lastname@example.org || (765) 618-2786
Marion Community Schools
Marion Community Schools is putting plans in place to provide meals for students during the extended closure. Here is our current plan:
>> We will be doing a weekly grab-and-go food pick-up at 4 p.m. on Wednesdays (3/18, 3/25, 4/1) at the Justice Intermediate School parking lot. This will be a school week's worth of food distributed once a week. Entrance will be on Miller Avenue.
Food is available for all who have school-age children and teens at home in Marion, as supplies last. We appreciate your patience as we put this new plan in place and work to find the best way forward in this unprecedented situation.
Want reminders? RSVP to our Facebook event page.
Mississinewa Community Schools
Please sign up below to receive 5 breakfasts and 5 lunches per package per child. Free to all children 18 years old or younger.
Pickup will be available at Mississinewa High School Door 9 OR Westview Elementary School Door 3 from 10:00 Am to !2:00 PM or 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM every Monday until April 13th.
Grant County Rescue Mission
To-go meal pick-up being served:
Suspended until further notice
Monday-Saturday 12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
Sunday 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Monday-Sunday 5:00 PM to 5:30 PM
Interested in donating during an increase in services provided? Please visit mygcrm.org/donate
Family & Medical Services
Bowen Center, a mental and behavioral health center in Grant County, plans to continue services with individuals they are involved with and considering many individuals will be struggling with the gravity of this issue, will be accepting new individuals as well. If you are a current patient they will be reaching out to you. If you are not a patient or have questions please call Alisha Jackson, Grant County Assistant Director at (574) 367-7169 | EXT. 2256 or Katie Shomo, Grant County Director at (574) 367-7169 | EXT. 2286. Thank you.
Family Service Society
Tips for Easing Anxiety for Children During Social Distancing
Indiana Michigan Power
"Indiana Michigan Power is temporarily suspending all disconnections for non-payment as the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread in our communities. We know our customers are concerned about their families and ensuring they have reliable electric service allows them to focus on staying healthy and well. Indiana Michigan Power is committed to doing what we can to help our customers, our employees, and the communities we serve as we navigate this uncertain time."
Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19 and in line with federal, state and local guidance and recommendations, Marion Utilities will be closing its Customer Service lobby and the lobby at the Transfer Station effective Monday, March 23, until further notice. However, the Utility will remain open for business. Customers are encouraged to use our drive-thru, our kiosk and also our online payment system at ww.marionutilities.com during this time.
Customers visiting the Transfer Station will be asked to pay using a credit or debit card over the phone. Those who want to pay by cash or check will need to make their payment at our drive-thru. The health and safety of the residents of Marion and the employees at Marion Utilities is of utmost importance, and we appreciate your patience as we navigate this situation. Along with the City of Marion Administration and other community leaders, Marion Utilities continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic daily and will do their best to protect citizens while keeping essential services available. The Utility has suspended termination of service due to non-payment, and solid waste pick-up services will continue to operate as usual.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact our Customer Service office during
regular business hours at 765-664-2391, option 3.
Banking, Credit Union, and Other Financial Institution Relief
Regions maintains a customer assistance program to help meet various emergency needs. Regions encourages any customers experiencing financial hardship due to coronavirus to contact the bank to discuss their unique circumstances.
The Regions Mortgage Payment Assistance team can be reached at 1-800-748-9498. Also, a mortgage assistance application is available at this link on Regions.com. Customers can call 1-866-298-1113 to discuss assistance related to other Regions services including credit cards, personal loans, home equity loans and business loans.
*NEW* Community Loan Center of Northeast Indiana
The Community Loan Center of Northeast Indiana (http://www.clcnein.org/) offers workplace loans through payroll deduction throughout Northeast Indiana, and Grant County is covered under their service area—which is a huge blessing.
This is at ZERO cost to the Employer, but they do have to sign up for it AS AN EMPLOYER in order for their employees to be able to take advantage of the $550-$1,000 loan program. If the employer fills out this super simple form on this page, then their employees will be eligible to apply. Then the employee will pay off the loan through payroll deduction.
This $550 - $1,000 loan could help them pay for rent, a mortgage, food, prescriptions, etc. AND, if the EMPLOYER signs up for this, the employee won’t have to go to a Payday Loan business. This is HUGE since just last year Grant County citizens paid nearly $700,000 in payday loan fees because they thought they had no other options. Plus, Payday Loan Lenders [sharks] are allowed to charge up to 391% for small loans—we don’t want our employees to get these kinds of loans—it’s a vicious cycle. (Watch Dirty Money’s episode this! And, times now are more uncertain for many more people.
This is how it works:
- The employee/borrower applies here.
- The employer will be contacted for the employment verification (this can take 24-48 hours).
- Employee/Borrower signs for the loan.
- Loan is deposited into employee/borrower’s checking account within 2 business days.
- Loans are paid back automatically through payroll deduction over a 12 month period of time, 18% interest, $20 administrative fee.
Note: There is no credit history or collateral needed and no prepayment penalties. They can also get free financial counseling if they need it—although at this time, it might not be top priority.
REQUIREMENTS: 18 y/o, working at a participating employer (this is why they have to sign up) for at least 3 months, checking account, driver’s license or passport number, social security number.
Community Foundation of Grant County
GIVE TO GRANT DEADLINE *EXTENDED*
Due to our local nonprofits being either closed, working from home, or serving those in need due to COVID-19, we are extending the deadline for our current grant cycle to April 30, 2020. We’re hopeful that things will resume to a new normal by that time. We hope this gives you a small bit of relief at this unusual time in the world.
*NEW* COVID-19 Rapid Response Grant Announced
The Community Foundation of Grant County has believed in our mission to connect people, resources, and causes to promote sustainable impact towards the betterment of Grant County for 35 years. This uneasy time facing a global pandemic is no different. As we undergo a Governor-ordered stay-at-home quarantine mandate to flatten the curve, our social service organizations are working tirelessly to assist communities that are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
COVID-19 Rapid Response Grants will provide immediate relief to nonprofit organizations in Grant County who are facing increased demand for services from clients as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak.