NEWS RELEASE: COVID-19 Response from Chamber
Dear members and friends,
These are challenging times for our community and the entire world. Every day, seemingly every hour, there is new information. Every business in every sector of our economy has been impacted by this pandemic. We are all in this together.
As a Chamber, we are here to help our members and our community get through this financially and emotionally difficult time. We are going to continue our core mission to Advocate, Educate and Connect during this time of need:
As governments respond to this pandemic and start their relief efforts, we will make sure our LGBT business community is equally represented in those efforts and our unique business needs are addressed.
We will keep our members up to date on the tools and resources available to help us rebuild our businesses and our community. We will also share best practices for you to implement at your businesses. Look for podcasts and online videos on a number of topics in the days and weeks ahead.
Connection is more important than ever. While we are social distancing, we will be sharing virtual networking opportunities to remain connected and support our community. Please share information and connections that you know about. Members can post Hot Deals to the broader community and Member to Member deals with each other. We will also be creating LinkedIn and Facebook groups where we will add members and you can connect, network, and offer deals and information there.
We are launching this special page on our website where we will compile information for you. Check there and follow us on social media platforms where we will continue to post everything.
We are here for you. We will get through this together.
The Tennessee Legislative Session is set to end Friday, March 20th and will reconvene in June. We are monitoring all anti-LGBT bills leading up to Friday. None of the discriminatory legislation looks to move forward in any way at this time. We will be ready in June when they return.
Government Closes Businesses
We pushed hard for the government to lead and close businesses to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Our members and business owners are socially responsible and want to do the right thing, but they need clear direction from elected officials on doing so. It was not fair for some to close and have their competition remain open, allowing customers to simply move across the street, impacting them and their employees livelihood.
We continue to urge the state to impose these types of closures as news reports have shown citizens crossing county lines to frequent bars and restaurants.
Small Business & Hospitality Industry Included in Relief
We have pushed hard to make sure that the Governor declared the state of emergency needed to allow SBA to start emergency funds for business owners.
Nationally the NGLCC sent a letter to congress about relief for small businesses and nonprofits that we are supportive of. We are also coordinating with the Small Business Administration on tornado recovery loans and whatever programs or loans that might come from the coronavirus response.
Resources for Employers-
- Nashville coronavirus response
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention webpage for businesses: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), February 2020
- Sign up for CDC.gov email updates
- CDC: Stop the Spread of Germs (COVID-19)
- CDC: Travel Health Notices
- Webinar with Dr. Nancy Messonier, leader of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Disease
- Tennessee Department of Health - COVID-19
- U.S. Chamber: Combating the Coronavirus - Resources | Response | Impact
- Corporate Aid Tracker
- Workplace Tips for Employers
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Press Statement by U.S. Chamber CEO Thomas Donohue
- Coronavirus Resources for State Chambers - Council of State Chambers (COSC)
- Frost Brown Todd’s page: Coronavirus Guidance for Employers
- ACCE Crisis Management: Pandemic; Tactical and practical resources for internal chamber crisis management and resources to share with your members.
Keeping the LGBTQ Community Financially Strong During COVID-19
Many in our business community are using the time of slower day-to-day operations to focus on building their businesses for the comeback ahead. Do you need a new business plan or a capability statement to get new business? Now is the perfect time. Have you been putting off getting the company logo of your dreams or the killer website your business needs? Now is the perfect time. Have you thought about putting your life experience and skills to work to start the small business you never had time to build before? Now is the perfect time.
And best of all: everything you need, from business coaches to work-from-home technology solutions, from meal prep services to global manufacturers, can be sourced directly from within our own community. And helping LGBT Americans through this time is key to helping all Americans succeed. We can never forget that our community includes women, communities of color, people with disabilities, immigrants, veterans, and so many others who need us to stand in solidarity for a stronger, more inclusive economy on the other side of this outbreak.
Read and share NGLCC’s initial op-ed in The Advocate.
Governor Bill Lee’s Latest Update on the Coronavirus
Governor Lee’s office gives updated information on COVID-19 Testing Sites, school closures, child care facilities, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Expanded Unemployment Relief, and more. View the entire post: CLICK HERE
Lee Looks to Tap TANF Reserves to Mitigate Economic Impact of Coronavirus
Gov. Bill Lee wants to tap the state's more than $700 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families reserves to fund relief programs. The Republican governor also announced Tuesday he will double the $100 million grant program for local governments he had outlined earlier in the year. View the entire post: CLICK HERE
Facebook Small Business Grants Program
"We at Facebook know that your business may be experiencing disruptions resulting from the global outbreak of COVID-19. We’ve heard that a little financial support can go a long way, so we are offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits to help during this challenging time."
Who is eligible?
Facebook is offering $100M in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses in over 30 countries where we operate. We’ll share more details as they become available.
How can the program help?
- Keep your workforce going strong
- Help with your rent costs
- Connect with more customers
- Cover operational costs
We’ll begin taking applications in the coming weeks. In the meantime, you can sign up to receive more information when it becomes available: CLICK HERE.
For additional resources about how you can help your business prepare for and manage through disruptions like COVID-19, visit our recently-launched Business Resource Hub: CLICK HERE.
What’s in the House Coronavirus Relief Bill for Small Business
Via Inc.com: Recently, the House passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which is designed to give relief to people and businesses affected by Covid-19. It passed, CNN reports, after "intense negotiations between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration." It passed by a vote of 363-40, which means it had bipartisan support. We can expect that the Senate will pass the bill (although undoubtedly with modifications).
It specifically amends the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), giving some key changes. The most important is that this affects all companies with fewer than 500 employees--it doesn't have the 50-employee floor that FMLA has. However, the Department of Labor has the ability to exempt small businesses if they can show this would cause financial hardship. These changes do not affect larger businesses with over 500 employees.
From the US Chamber of Commerce and Small Business Administration
The SBA announced it would offer disaster assistance loans for up to $2 million for small businesses affected by the coronavirus. These low-interest loans are available to businesses that have sustained “substantial economic injury” due to the spread of the coronavirus.
These loans can be used to pay off outstanding debts, payroll and any other bills they are unable to pay. However, small businesses that have access to credit are not eligible. Small businesses with no available credit qualify for an interest rate of 3.75%, and nonprofits will have an interest rate of 2.75%.
The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with state governors that submit relief requests. Once a state or territory is approved, these affected businesses will receive more information. Learn more from the SBA: CLICK HERE
Bartender Emergency Assistance Program
Emergency relief for bartenders, barbacks, servers, etc from the USBG National Charity Foundation.
LGBT bars and clubs have been a safe space for our community for decades and are often the backbone of many local affiliate events.
Application and info: CLICK HERE
Hot Deals to Support Our Small Businesses
In these uncertain times, we hope to connect our members and our community to the ways you can give and receive support. Members of the Nashville LGBT Chamber can utilize “Hot Deals” to promote deals and services you are still offering. We will add to this list as they come in. We encourage everyone to support these businesses.
Current Hot Deals-
Batch Nashville: A dozen gifts from our catalog ordered by 3-31-2020 = 25% off and Free Shipping + Free Gift Wrap
TN Event Designs: 10% off event lighting, draping, or custom builds for your upcoming event
Check out our Hot Deals page for the most up-to-date list.
How to Add a Hot Deal as a Member
- Log into your account
- Click Hot Deal on the left of the page
- Click Add Hot Deal
- Fill out all the information in the fields provided.
- Be sure to select Active Dates
- Click Submit for Approval
Work from Home Tips & Best Practices
Are you new to remote work life? Check out these work from home tips & best practices from The Verge: CLICK HERE
US Telecom’s Coronavirus Action Center
USTelecom members are working to ensure network preparedness, security, and reliability. Learn more: CLICK HERE.
Download and share the infographic: 5 Tips For Staying Connected
Here are selected resources we trust will be relevant to our members, their employees, and the communities, families, and enterprises they serve: