COVID-19 Information and Resources from ACCD

Thank you card to front line workers dealing with COVID-19
Credit: Pomerleau Real Estate

COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses

UPDATED – 6/30/20

UPDATES: New Executive Orders and Addenda to Order 01-20

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If you have questions about whether your business meet the definition of “critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security” as per Governor Scott’s Executive Order, please review our Stay Home, Stay Safe FAQs and Sector Specific Guidance.

Stay Home Stay Safe FAQs      Sector Guidance      Request Additional Guidance

For public health information, visit: healthvermont.gov/covid19

Employees with COVID-19 related concerns in the workplace can contact the Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA). Employees can submit a safety complaint form on VOSHA’s website, or call toll free at 1-800-287-2765.

To stay informed when new information becomes available, please sign-up for our COVID-19 Economic and Community Response Newsletter.

Department of Labor Launches New Unemployment Program

The new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular state unemployment insurance claim. Individuals will also receive Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), an additional $600 to their weekly benefits through the week ending July 25, 2020.

Restart Plan Templates Available

A reminder that restart plan templates are now available for construction; golf courses; gyms and fitness centers; manufacturing, distribution and warehousing; real estate sales and leasing; restaurants; and retail establishments. These plans can help businesses establish best practices as they reopen and train employees on safety precautions and protocols.

Water Quality Checks at Reopening Businesses

The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is reminding businesses that are reopening to check, and if needed, flush their water systems to ensure the best water quality for employees or patrons.  DEC has issued guidance to help businesses ensure their systems are functioning properly upon restart of operations.

New COVID-19 FAQs for Municipal Operations

The Vermont League of Cities and Towns offers updated FAQs for municipalities on recent guidance and its legal and practical effects on general municipal operations, as well as information related to municipal services such as dog licensing, access to public records, town office closures and re-openings, and processing zoning applications.

Non-Essential Retail Guidance Announced

ACCD has released updated guidance for non-essential retail and drive-in operations. This guidance, developed with the Department of Health and Department of Public Safety, goes into effect May 18, 2020 and includes reopening retail operations in a limited capacity with mandatory health and safety requirements. The Agency has provided new signage for retailers to post.

Paycheck Protection Program Reopened

Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are once again being accepted from participating lenders as of today. PPP provides cash-flow assistance to employers who maintain their payroll during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses and other eligible entities can apply if they were harmed between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. Loans are available through June 30, 2020. Businesses can access PPP by contacting the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), their local bank or credit union, or the SBA Vermont District Office.

PPP and EIDL Daily Webinar

The SBA Vermont District Office is hosting a free daily webinar from 9:00am – 10:00am (Monday – Friday) to discuss the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Advance. Join online or call (202) 765-1264 and enter the code 470177937# when prompted.

Mandatory Safety Training Now Available

Addendum 11 to the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order included a directive that by May 4th, all employees returning to work according to Phased Work Safe Guidelines, including those already working, must complete a mandatory training on health and safety requirements as provided by VOSHA, or another training program that meets or exceeds the VOSHA-provided standard. The Department of Labor has posted training materials in both online and printable formats.

Technical Assistance

ACCD encourages businesses to seek professional business counseling and technical assistance before taking on additional debt and to help navigate the various programs and resources available. Vermont has a robust business technical assistance provider network, including the Vermont Small Business Development Center (VtSBDC). Click here to learn more and to request assistance from VtSBDC’s team of advisors.

In the wake of Tropical Storm Irene, the VtSBDC created a Disaster Recovery Guide for Businesses, available on their website. This document may also help you begin your recovery. More resources and technical assistance providers can be found in the Business and Economic Resources section.

CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers

For the full list of employer and business guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html

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Business Impact

We are still interested in hearing from all Vermont businesses impacted by the response to the COVID-19 virus. Please continue to share these impacts via the Agency Business Impact Form, which will help us assess the full impact as we work toward solutions.

If you have other inquiries, please contact us through our dedicated email address: [email protected].

The Agency has also established a hotline so that businesses may call to report impacts and be directed to resources: (802) 461-5143. The hotline will be staffed Monday through Friday, 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map Now Available

The Vermont Department of Public Service has released an interactive Public Wi-Fi Hot Spot Map to help Vermonters connect to publicly available internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. The map includes the location of the Wi-Fi hot spots and pertinent information about how to access them, including places where users can access Wi-Fi from outside the building or in a parked vehicle to encourage social distancing. Vermonters are encouraged to send information about Wi-Fi hot spots to [email protected] and review additional connectivity resources from the Department of Public Service online.

Translated Guidance for Vermonters

New fact sheet, translated into nine languages, has been added to Department of Health website under “Translated Materials.” The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants in Vermont has also posted a new series of COVID-19 videos in several languages.