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Preparing for Business NOT as Usual

The Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce is working closely with public health officials, local and state government officials, educational institutions, service organizations, the faith-based community, and others to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus – to “flatten the curve” – and to ensure our entire community remains healthy.

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Watch Out for Scams! – We’ve learned that a map vendor has been contacting Chamber members this week seeking sponsorships and advertising for a community map project. This project is not associated with the Twin Falls Chamber. We partner with Spring Hill Press to produce community maps every other year that we then use for visitors. We are not slated to reprint this map until next year – so we are not currently soliciting advertising for a project. If you are contacted by someone claiming to be partnering with the Twin Falls Chamber, know that this is not true. If you can provide us any phone numbers from caller ID or emails from those contacting you, it would be great for us to contact them to request them to stop.

Resources Update 4/9/2020

First and foremost, we hope this communication finds you safe and healthy. Our community, our state, and our nation are facing unprecedented times, and it is now when we need the support of everyone to be successful in this temporary disruption to our way of life.

The Twin Falls Area Chamber of Commerce is here to help you during this time. For 115 years, businesses have banded together in Twin Falls to work to promote economic vitality and to protect our quality of life here. We are the original social network, connecting you in the business community to each other and to your customers. The Chamber staff and board are here to serve and to provide essential services and benefits to our members. Please read through the information below to connect with resources to help you. And please reach out to us directly for help. Email or call any of us!

Shawn Barigar, President & CEO – shawn@twinfallschamber.com phone: 208-316-2956

Kathleen Hite, Operations & Communications – kathleen@twinfallschamber.com phone: 208-293-4934

Megan Fleshman, Member Services – megan@twinfallschamber.com phone: 208-749-0307

Chamber phone: 208-733-3974. We are each working from home in accordance with the Governor’s stay-home order. However, the main chamber line will ring through to our cell phones. The Chamber office as well as the Twin Falls Visitor Center are closed through the time of the Governor’s stay-home order.

EMPLOYMENT RESOURCES:

We know that some of you are unfortunately having to lay off or furlough employees. At the same time, many of our community businesses are in need of employees to continue to provide goods and services.

Our goal is to try to connect the available workforce to the needs of our member businesses, to connect them with quality employment so they can continue to provide for themselves and their families. You can access the latest Career Connection Newsletter here. Please share this information with those who you know are looking for work and help us to weather the impacts of COVID-19 in our community.

ECONOMIC IMPACT RESOURCES:

The Chamber understands the rippling effects to the economy that response to the COVID-19 pandemic is causing. Resources continue to be developed to assist individuals and business – small and large – to weather these impacts. We will update these resources regularly on the Chamber’s website under our COVID-19 Response and Resources page: https://twinfallschamber.com/corona-virus/

LATEST GUIDANCE ON CARES ACT

Please click the links below for new and updated resources that the U.S. Chamber has developed to assist businesses in accessing resources created under the CARES Act (Phase III bill).

The U.S. Department of Treasury issued additional guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program.  Links to the resources provided by Treasury can be found below, or on their webpage.

  • A top-line overview of the program can be found here.
  • If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.
  • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.
  • The application for borrowers can be found here.

COVID-19 Response Fund for Idaho
The Idaho Community Foundation, United Ways of Idaho and Idaho Nonprofit Center have partnered to create the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund for Idaho, a charitable fund that will provide philanthropic support to trusted organizations that provide support and services to low-income, vulnerable people and families. Access details here.

Idaho Small Business Support
Idaho small businesses impacted by coronavirus can now access federal disaster loans. Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the coronavirus since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met if the disaster had not occurred. The deadline to apply is Dec. 21, 2020. For more information, visit commerce.idaho.gov/covid-19.

Idaho Department of Labor Resources (https://www.labor.idaho.gov/dnn/COVID-19)

During the state of emergency, employer unemployment tax accounts will not be charged when employees are laid off due to COVID-19.

We will continue to provide email communication updates to our members, updating information on the Chamber website, and we continue to be available by phone or email to work to meet your needs in this ever-changing environment.

We are compiling information about health and wellness, business planning, financial resources, programs and additional information from key partners such as South Central Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Idaho Commerce, the Small Business Administration, and others on our website, as well. You can reach this information under the tabs below.

Region IV Development - Small Business Loan Availability

  • SBA Loan Deferments
    • If you have had a negative impact, please contact a team member to put in motion an option to defer your payments.  Depending on your loan status, this can be as simple as an email/phone conversation with myself or one of our team members. Please do not hesitate to reach out sooner than later.
  • SBA Disaster Fund assistance
    • www.sba.gov/disaster
    • SBA is providing direct loans to those small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the Corona Virus.  All of Idaho is now eligible for these funds.  The application is direct at the website above.  If you have questions during the process or would like to discuss, please call me.
    • Loan Terms are: 3.75% interest, no loan fee, up to 30 year amortization.  Can be used for Payroll, debt service, working capital, etc.
    • Application is fairly simple with the exception of the website as it is not handling the volume very well.  We recommend using it during off peak hours (7pm – 7am).
  • Region IV Development Funds
    • We do have funds available for working capital, real estate, inventory, etc.  Please call if you would like to explore options for these loans.
  • Other community resources
    • We are working with many organizations and opportunities to assist Small Businesses.

As these are the options today, many things are being presented and talked about at the Federal Level.  As we learn what those things are and as they become available, we will keep you posted on your options.  You can also visit www.rivda.org to see other resources/contacts.

Below is some information that we hope you find helpful in the coming weeks as you hear from businesses needing assistance.

Learn More   Region IV Development

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
Plan, Prepare and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019

Learn More

South Central Health District

South Central Public Health District is monitoring the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) situation very closely.
Our staff is working closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare and healthcare providers throughout the region. We are prepared to respond if someone is sick or exposed to the virus. The risk in Idaho is low at this time.

Learn More

 

Resources for Large Community Events & Mass Gatherings

Guidance Highlights for Events and Mass Gatherings
NEW: Updated guidance now includes considerations about when to cancel an event
When there is no spread of COVID-19 in the community:
  • Encourage staff and attendees to stay home if sick.
  • Develop flexible refund policies for attendees.
  • Provide supplies that can be used to help prevent the spread of germs.
  • Consult local public health officials about your event.
  • Review considerations on when to cancel an event.

Learn More

St. Luke's Covid-19 Information

St. Luke’s COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) recommendations and resources for patients

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U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Resources & Guidelines for Business
The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact.
All employers should be implementing strategies to protect their workforce from the coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. Download these guides created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which are based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to learn more about how employers and employees can prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus.

Learn More