04/13/20: WBE Tools, Resources, Information and Connections Bulletin April 13 – 17, 2020

We all know all this information is still unfolding daily so we urge you to review other resources so you can make the most informed decisions for your situation.

SBA Programs Scams and Fraud Alerts

The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times. Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

Scams and Fraud Schemes

Grants SBA does not initiate contact on either 7a or Disaster loans or grants. If you are proactively contacted by someone claiming to be from the SBA, suspect fraud.

Loans – If you are contacted by someone promising to get approval of an SBA loan, but requires any payment up front or offers a high interest bridge loan in the interim, suspect fraud.

SBA limits the fees a broker can charge a borrower to 3% for loans $50,000 or less and 2% for loans $50,000 to $1,000,000 with an additional ¼% on amounts over $1,000,000. Any attempt to charge more than these fees is inappropriate.

If you have a question about getting a SBA disaster loan, call 800-659-2955 or send an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov

If you have questions about other SBA lending products, call SBA’s Answer Desk at 800-827-5722 or send an email to answerdesk@sba.gov.

Phishing – If you are in the process of applying for an SBA loan and receive email correspondence asking for PII, ensure that the referenced application number is consistent with the actual application number.

Look out for phishing attacks/scams utilizing the SBA logo. These may be attempts to obtain your personally identifiable information (PII), to obtain personal banking access, or to install ransomware/malware on your computer.

Any email communication from SBA will come from accounts ending with sba.gov.

The presence of an SBA logo on a webpage does not guaranty the information is accurate or endorsed by SBA. Please cross-reference any information you receive with information available at www.sba.gov.

Report Fraud – Report any suspected fraud to OIG’s Hotline at 800-767-0385 or online at, https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/oversight-advocacy/office-inspector-general/office-inspector-general-hotline

General

  • WBENC has launched a COVID-19 Resource Center of resources and opportunities for WBEs as well as a new weekly update.
  • The CDC has provided updated guidelines on wearing and creating homemade face coverings to help prevent getting sick.
  • Economic Impact Payments: What You Need to Know. Outlines the details on eligibility, how payments are made and other guidelines on the new economic impact payments announced by the Treasury Department on March 30th.
  • WIPP has been working with individual members as well as multiple small business community organizations in this constantly changing environment. Now is the time to reflect on where we stand and better understand what else the government needs to do for you and your business. Please take their first WIPP Impact Survey: COVID-19 so they can inform Congress what you need, right now.
  • Women of Influence, In partnership with Cisco and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) we’re launching ‘What Now?’— a new initiative designed to help entrepreneurs navigate this unprecedented time. Through virtual eventsand articles written by entrepreneurs, you’ll get candid advice on finances, connectivity, brand messaging, pivoting, and so much more.
  • COVID-19 Resources for Businesses and Nonprofits. A Comprehensive summary of City, State, Federal and private business relief programs.
  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has extended the deadlinefor reporting on the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System (MIPS) to Thursday, April 30th. Deadlines for the Medicaid Promoting Interoperability Program (PI) and the Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment Program (DSRIP) have also been extended.
  • biz has a wealth of resources posted on our website and social media accounts in response to the coronavirus, and we are seeking input from WBEs about how the coronavirus has impacted their businesses and what mitigation efforts they have implemented.
  • IR-2020-69, Treasury, IRS launch new tool to help non-filers register for Economic Impact Payments.
  • IR-2020-69SP, Tesoro, IRS lanzan nueva herramienta para ayudar a los que no presentan impuestos a inscribirse para lagos de impacto económico
  • Small Business Support During the Coronavirus from UPS

Webinars and Townhalls

  • Click here to view the recording of this week’s Lunch with the Experts webinar on Alternative Funding for Business Owners.
    • A conversation with:Virginia Almendarez, Startup Coach, IFundWomenCarolyn Rodz, Tech Founder and Small Business Advocate, AliceModerated by:Geri Stengel, President, Ventureneer, LLC
    • You can also download the PowerPoint presentations here.
  • Monday April 13 at 2:00pm E.T. – WIPP The Intersectionality of COVID-19 and the Small Business Community webinar discusses business opportunities available and contracts being awarded in both the public and private sectors from organization Partners. Plus hear up-to-the-minute business policy and funding information from Capitol Hill.
  • Tuesday April 14 @ 11:30am E.T. – Virtual Strategic Meetings Management Town Hall. Join the BTN Group for this 60-minute Virtual Town Hall, sponsored by Groupize, focusing on what strategic meetings managers have been going through in responding to the COVID-19 crisis, including efforts to reschedule meetings and hold virtual events, and their outlook on how they can be successful coming out of it.
  • Wednesday, April 15, 2020 at 12:30 – 1:30 p.m. E.T. – The Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC), the Montgomery County Chamber Community Foundation (MCCCF), and the Veteran Institute for Procurement (VIP) are proud to present the following webinar: The Government Contractor’s COVID-19 Survival Guide. Register.
  • Wednesday April 15 at 2:00pm E.T. – Grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the WIPP Member Community Connection webinar, their monthly opportunity to strengthen their community engagement and encourage connection with each other.
    Celebrate the WIPP community by:
  • Welcoming new WIPP Member Erika Flora of Beyond20;
  • Learning more about what drives our WIPP Member Spotlight Michelle Kantor of McDonald Hopkins; and
    • Speaking with WIPP Corporate Partner Michael Herrera of Southern California Edison about how his company is helping small business during this challenging time
  • Thursday April 16 at 3:00pm E.T. – Resetting America. Join entrepreneur, thought leader, and host of TV’s Bar Rescue Jon Taffer as he prepares organizations for the day when we’re ultimately able to go back to work. Taffer will guide your organization through the types of change necessary to recover from this unprecedented challenge. His battle-tested approaches and groundbreaking new strategies have already helped to reprogram and remodel major organizations like Ritz-Carlton, Anheuser-Busch, and NFL Network. RSVP.
  • Wednesday April 22 at 12:00pm E.T. – Good Ideas are Not Enough. A virtual lunch & learn with Jim Kucher. Good ideas are a dime a dozen – good ideas that actually work are much harder to find. But making sure your good idea creates real value in the eyes of your customer is vital to the success of your venture. Dr. Jim Kucher, Director of the M.S. in Health and Social Innovation at the University of Maryland, Baltimore will help you learn how to take a cold hard look at the true market potential for your idea and make a rational decision about how, when (and even if) you should pursue the opportunity. Register.
  • Tuesday April 28 at 1:00pm E.T Marketing Advice to Combat an Economic Downturn, co-hosted with SCORE, will show you how clear, consistent communication with customers is the key while providing you with actionable marketing strategies to help you weather the storm. Register.
  • The CEO perspective: How COVID-19 is defining business purpose. Join this EY webcast on Friday, April 17 at 9:00 AM CDT where leaders of major companies will discuss the shifting expectations of people and society on the role of business, its leaders and how people work.

Connecticut

  • COVID-19 Business Response Program for Minority and Women Owned Business
    Line of Credit
    The Hartford Economic Development Corporation (HEDCO) has partnered with the State of Connecticut, the CT Department of Economic & Community Development (DECD) and the CT Minority Business Initiative to provide financial relief to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.Under the COVID-19 Business Response Program, a qualifying small business with 20 or fewer employees may apply for a zero-interest Line of Credit for up to $20,000.This $2 million program will be allocated to minority-owned and women-owned small businesses. The program will be administered and underwritten by HEDCO. To be considered for this program, your small business must:

    • Be a for-profit business with no more than 20 full-time and/or part-time employees
    • Must be a minority-owned and/or woman-owned small business (minimum 51% of minority/woman ownership required)
    • Be in good standing with the Department of Revenue Services (DRS)
    • Have been conducting business for a minimum of 6 months
    • Learn more about the program and the application process by visiting: https://www.hedcoinc.com/state-of-ct-hedco-decd-covid-19
  • Connecticut Manufacturing – Innovation Fund Voucher Program (MVP)
    Gov. Ned Lamont on Tuesday announced that Connecticut manufacturers may now apply for grants of up to $75,000 to assist in the production of critical equipment and supplies needed to respond to the COVID-19 emergency.
    The grants, offered through the state’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund Voucher Program, can be used for working capital, new equipment and other purposes that help companies build capacity or repurpose their operations.
    Applications for the funding will be reviewed and approved by the state’s Department of Economic & Community Development in partnership with the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, based on the state’s current needs for medical equipment and supplies related to the pandemic.
    Funding for this short-term program is for now limited to $1.3 million and requires a one-to-one match from participating businesses. Learn more about the program and the application process by visiting https://ctmvp.ccat.us/

New Jersey

On April 8, 2020, Governor Philip D. Murphy signed Executive Order 122, ceasing all non-essential construction projects and imposing additional mitigation requirements on essential retail businesses and essential industries to limit the spread of COVID-19 in New Jersey. The order also outlines specific protections and policies for all essential retail, manufacturing, and warehousing businesses, as well as businesses engaged in essential construction projects. The order will take effect on Friday, April 10, at 8:00 p.m. A copy of the entire Executive Order 122 is available here: HERE.

New York

  • The Office of the New York City Comptroller has launched a dedicated COVID-19 Resource Center, which includes a comprehensive set of resources to support New Yorkers through this public health crisis and beyond. It contains critical information about the many government programs available to assist New Yorkers in need, recent policy changes regarding health and safety, options for financial support for residents and businesses alike, and organizations to reach out to for additional assistance.
  • New York State Calls on Private Companies to Bring Rapid Testing to Scale
    Businesses interested in working with the state to manufacture these rapid tests on a large scale should contact ESD at 212.803.3100 or COVID19Supplies@esd.ny.gov.
  • New York Region Governors Plan Coordinated Economic Restart
    The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut will take a regional approach to reopening the economy when it is safe to do so.
  • The Manhattan Chamber of Commerce has launched a new series of webinars on resources and financial help during the COVID-19 crisis:
  • Rent relief for small businesses and financial help available for solo-entrepreneurs and freelancers -Our Chamber is hosting weekly webinars to provide the latest Covid-related updates for small business owners. Experts will answer your questions on key topics These weekly webinars take place every Tuesday at 2:00 pm. The webinar next week will focus on rent relief for small businesses, as well as financial help available for solo-entrepreneurs and independent contractors.
  • How to Look for Emergency Grants and Resources for Artists and Freelancers -This webinar will take place on April 13 but is already full. However, you can still sign-up to be able to view the webinar after it happens.
  • Planning for the Recovery: Restarting NYC’s Economy in the Wake of the Coronavirus Pandemic – This forward-looking discussion will delve into the strategies, policies, and investments needed to reignite the city’s economy after the Covid-19 crisis, restore critical industries that have been seriously damaged during this crisis, put New Yorkers back to work, ensure that the recovery is inclusive, and strengthen parts of the economy that may prove resilient to future challenges.
  • Montgomery County has launched an informational website on the recently enacted $20 million Public Health Emergency Grant (PHEG) Program. The new website includes eligibility requirements, required documentation, and a way to be notified when the application is available. PHEG is designed to provide economic relief for small businesses and nonprofits of 100 employees or fewer, as well as sole proprietorships and independent contractors in the county. Read more in the release here.
  • Small Business Relief during Covid-19:Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is hosting a virtual town-hall meeting on April 13 to help small businesses get the latest information about resources available. Our Chamber is a co-sponsor

Maryland

  • MCCC has compiled a list of resourcesfor businesses seeking to lessen the impact of this pandemic. The list is regularly updated with information and resources.
  • Curious about how MCCC Member Companies are supporting COVID-19 relief efforts? Visit our MCCC Gives Back
  • CohnReznick has offered to assist MCCC Members in answering questions you may have related to COVID-19. With a team of over 3,000, they have an extensive footprint in 25 cities and can effectively mobilize to serve you on a local, regional, national, and international basis. Please email Gregory Foscato or call (703) 581-4223 for assistance.
  • Not an MCCC Member? Please email MCCC VP of Membership & Events Linda Ekizian for more information on how to join.
  • Watch past Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce webinars and sign up for Chamber Chat Alerts.\
  • Montgomery County has launched an informational website on the recently enacted $20 million Public Health Emergency Grant (PHEG) Program. The new website includes eligibility requirements, required documentation, and a way to be notified when the application is available. PHEG is designed to provide economic relief for small businesses and nonprofits of 100 employees or fewer, as well as sole proprietorships and independent contractors in the county. Read more in the release here.
  • Leadership Montgomery is launching a 4-part webinar series moderated by President & CEO, C. Marie Taylor, will feature leaders from government, nonprofit, and business discussing the challenges presented and how they are continuing to lead through this difficult time. Each part will feature a different sector, with part-four bringing together the sectors to discuss how coordinated efforts are vital.
    • Series 1: Business Sector; April 16
      • Confirmed Panelists:
        Marilyn Balcombe (CORE 2000)- President & CEO, Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce
        Georgette “Gigi” Godwin (CORE 2004)- President & CEO, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce
        Marji Graf – President & CEO, Rockville Chamber of Commerce
        Ginanne Italiano (CORE 2003)- President & CEO, Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce
      • Register here
    • Series 2: Nonprofit Collaboration; April 23
      • Confirmed Panelists (additional panelists to be announced):
        Jennifer Hester (CORE 2017)- Vice President, Human Resources, The Emmes Company
        Marilyn Lynk (CORE 2017)- Executive Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in Human Resources, Adventist Health Care
        Lynn Rose – Community Engagement Specialist, Montgomery County Coalition for the Homeless
      • Register here
    • Series 3: Government Sector; April 30
      • Confirmed Panelists (additional panelists to be announced):
        Marcus Jones- Chief of Police, Montgomery County Police Department
        Scott Goldstein (CORE 2018)- Fire Chief, Montgomery County Fire & Rescue
        Robert Dorfman- Director, Montgomery County Alcohol and Beverage Services.
      • Register here
    • Series 4: Cross Sector Collaboration; May 7
      • Confirmed Panelists (additional panelists to be announced):
        Jennifer Hester (CORE 2017)- Vice President, Human Resources, The Emmes Company
      • Register here

Washington, DC

Virginia

  • Governor Northam announces plans to postpone upcoming Virginia elections in response to COVID-19. Read More.
  • The Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) has released a short survey that asks business owners or executives to describe the impact of the public health emergency on their staffing and revenue and their outlook for future staffing and revenue.
  • The Virginia Department of Small Business & Supplier Diversity is now accepting applications for its NewVirginia: Scaling 4 Growth Training Program (MBE Academy Curriculum) in partnership with Interise (Boston, MA). Learn more here.

Tools You Can Use

  • After the Treasury issued a new FAQ on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) earlier this week, our Emergency Loan Consultants have received many requests to clarify the inclusion of Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs). The FAQ asserts that “payroll documentation provided by the payroll provider that indicates the amount of wages and payroll taxes reported to the IRS by the payroll provider for the borrower’s employees will be considered acceptable PPP loan payroll documentation” and, accordingly, those costs should be included in the employer’s payroll cost computation to determine loan size. These payroll costs include gross salary and other PPP includable payroll costs like employer-paid healthcare and retirement costs that are paid to employees utilizing a PEO structure. Administrative and other fees paid to a PEO should not be included in the payroll cost computation to determine loan size. 
  • Recording: Obtaining COVID-19 Financial Relief. Options for seeking financial relief, enhancing liquidity, and preserving company value amid the disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tune in to learn about the various relief packages and which apply to your company. Access.
  • Thriving in a Post-Pandemic World: This white paper reviews distinguishing factor of four phases of progression as businesses evolve post pandemic.
  • Cyber Security Best Practices for Working Remotely provides insights on protecting your business data with people working from outside the central office.
  • Working Mother is offering Ultimate Resources to Surviving COVID-19 Quarantine with Kids – Straight to Your Inbox. Sign Up.
  • Lincoln Center at Home has been redesigned to easier access to performing arts offerings, enabling families and communities to keep the performing arts front and center with classes, special concerts and archival footage. You can add events to your calendar in on easy click. New videos each week.
  • 5 Tips to Create a Successful Work from Home Routine. While many aspects of work can be neatly transitioned to home, telecommuting uses muscles that aren’t often flexed at the office. These tips help you to create an effective work from home routine.
  • The “Scary Times” Success Manual from Strategic Coach
  • FIT2order is honored to offer connect2FIT to WBENC-certified companies at no cost for the month of April. connect2FIT is a platform of work breaks and workouts designed to get employees to move more and stress less DURING their work day. No time to get a workout in? String together our micro-workouts and get a total body workout with 4 short breaks. Wrists or backs hurt from slouching over your computer? Repair and relieve your pain with our corrective stretch breaks. Can’t get to sleep? Our guided sleep meditation or Yoga Nidra meditation can help. Access the portal here. (No coupon code is needed.)
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