COVID-19 Business Resources

  • The Tompkins Chamber is committed to providing our members, and the wider business and nonprofit community with resources to manage the Coronavirus public health and economic crisis. On this page you will find resources and tools to help you, your business/organization, and your employees.

    Get the most recent information and announcements on our Updates Page

    Sign up for email updates via our Chambergram


    Quick Links:

    Tompkins County Health Department 

    211 (Operating as COVID-19 Information Hotline)

    Tompkins County Moving Forward Page

  • Navigate through the tabs below for specific resources available to your business/organization and your employees.

    Chamber Resources

    Chamber COVID-19 Updates Page

    This page is intended to provide you with the best sources of information we’ve found, as well as suggestions to help you plan for and mitigate the impact of this virus on your business, organization, and family.


    Sign up for the Chambergram Newsletter

    The Chambergram is an email newsletter from the Tompkins Chamber. Sign up for important news, resources for your business or nonprofit, events, member updates, and more.


    Virtual Chamber Events Addressing Covid-19

    The Chamber has worked hard to offer a series of webinars offering guidance and industry expertise on multiple topics.  Our LEARN series will continued to be offered virtually. Click the link above for the schedule, or visit a library of past webinars

    Our Networking at Noon panels will bring community leaders in the respective industry together to talk through how their industry is impacted and share insights on managing the crisis.


    Tompkins Chamber Member Support Fund

    Recognizing the importance of the Chamber’s events, programming, and information sharing to our 700+ members, we are creating this fund to support those members struggling most from the impacts of the Coronavirus. In the coming weeks and months, engaging virtually with peers, receiving valuable information and resource updates, and sustaining the promotion and of local businesses or organizations will be as important as ever.

    If you represent a business or organization that can support others weathering these circumstances by funding an additional program entry fee, or helping to subsidize their membership remaining active during the next six months, our community could use your support.
    Members will be asked to report their need for scholarship assistance on the honor system. The Chamber will use discretion to apply scholarship funds on a case by case basis.


    Communications Planning Tool for Your Business, From Cornell University

    Communication is too often an afterthought during times of change. As your business makes essential changes during the COVID-19 crisis, what is the best way to communicate with employees, customers, and others? Download the Excel file to use a template for planning your communications. Read more: Communication Planning: A Template for Organizational Change.


    Tompkins County Resources

    County Moving Forward Reopening Web Page

    As New York State shares guidelines around a safe and coordinated reopening of communities, the Tompkins County Health Department will update information, FAQs, and local resources here.

    Link to updated resources, including posters for your business. 


    County Health Department Updates


    2-1-1 Call In Information Hub

    Community members looking for more information on local health resources and resources related to the coronavirus can contact 2-1-1 by calling 1-877-211-8667 or visiting 211tompkins.org. 


    Swift 9-1-1  Implemented in 2018

    Tompkins County is using Swift 9-1-1 calls to homes and cell phones for the most important COVID-19 related updates. Sign up at the link above for updates.

    Tompkins County has implemented SwiftReach’s Swift911™ alerting system.
    Swift911™ will allow us to alert our entire community or specific areas within Tompkins County with emergency messages and provide information on how to take action. Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, Towns, and Villages may use Swift911™ to notify citizens about floods, fires, water emergencies, road closures, missing persons, evacuation orders, and weather emergencies.

    Reopen Your Business

    Comprehensive List of Reopening Resources

    Ithaca/Tompkins County’s Economic Development Service Providers have come together to provide this list of trustworthy, compliant sources of information to inform reopening strategy and procedures.

    NY Forward Phased Reopening Business Guidance

    Businesses in each region will re-open in phases. Re-opening refers to non-essential businesses and business activities. Essential businesses and business activities that are open will remain open.

    The guidelines below apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

    Eligibility for reopening will be determined by health metrics for each region.

    NY Forward Business Lookup Tool

    The guidelines accessible via this tool apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open, and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

    This tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which your business must comply.

    NY Forward Book from the Governor’s Office

     

    PPE Supplies / Services

    PPE, Cleaning, and Safety Resources List with links (pdf)

    A list of area businesses offering required PPE, CDC compliant cleaning services, and health and safety consultation providers.

    Request Masks & Sanitizer
    You can still request masks and hand sanitizer from Tompkins County. Fill out the form at the link below to request these supplies for your Essential Business, or Phase I business. Available while supplies last.


    NYS Resources

    NY Forward Phased Reopening Business Guidance

    Businesses in each region will re-open in phases. Re-opening refers to non-essential businesses and business activities. Essential businesses and business activities that are open will remain open.

    The guidelines below apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

    Eligibility for reopening will be determined by health metrics for each region.

    NY Forward Business Lookup Tool

    The guidelines accessible via this tool apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to re-open, and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

    This tool will help you determine whether or not your business is eligible to reopen, and the public health and safety standards with which your business must comply.


    FAQ Page for Businesses – From Empire State Development

    Empire State Development (ESD) has created this FAQ to offer information to businesses regarding State regulations and general guidance related to the coronavirus. If your question is not answered at the link above, please contact ESD at theirwebsite at: https://esd.ny.gov/covid-19-help


    Updates from the Governor’s Office

    Official news from the Office of the Governor. The Governor’s office has been holding daily briefings and updates on the Coronavirus and the State’s response.


    New York State Department of Health COVID-19 Page

    Includes an updated count of cases in New York State, public health information, and updated  guidance for schools/childcare, press releases, and prevention information.


    Federal Resources

    Guidance & Resources from the Small Business Administration

    Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

    SBA Paycheck Protection Program

    The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.


    OSHA Guidance on Preparing the Workplace for Coronavirus


    U.S. Department of Labor Resources

    Includes guidance on workplace safety, wages, hours, and leave, and unemployment insurance. Also has recent news from the DOL.

    Financial Resources

    Local Funding Sources and Lenders

    Several local associations, non-profits, and lenders are offering sources of financial assistance. Access this chart for a list sectioned by industry and priority needs.

    NYS Economic Recovery and COVID-19 Loans for Small Businesses

    New York State is working to support small businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis, by providing up-to-date resources and information about economic recovery and COVID-19-related loans, funding and business counseling.

    The New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.


    Guidance & Resources from the Small Business Administration

    Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.


    Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

    SBDC Counselors are available to support you in your planning and response efforts, and may make referrals to funding sources to support you during an economic downturn.

    Contact the Binghamton SBDC office for an appointment at 607-777-4024 or click here for more information.


    From Tompkins Trust Company

    Times like these are difficult in many ways, and TTC wants to help. They have put a temporary program in place to offer relief to our loan customers experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus.  If you’re impacted in this way, please contact us at 1-888-273-3210 for assistance.

    Please remember, mobile banking and online banking are available any time to help with your banking needs. You can deposit checks remotely, pay bills, setup alerts and more utilizing Digital Banking on our website and our mobile app.


    From Alternatives Federal Credit Union

    In keeping with our social justice mission and steadfast commitment to economic empowerment for the communities we serve, the Board of Directors of Alternatives Federal Credit Union (AFCU) approved a historic, $1.4 million 0% interest rate, repayable, “Alternatives Federal Credit Union Community Assistance Loan Fund.” These funds will be made available to those individuals, businesses, organizations, and nonprofits who have suffered a loss of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are open to both current members and non-members of the credit union.

    Loan guidance


    From M&T Bank

    If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact us. Solutions available to customers impacted by coronavirus include:

    • A special unsecured personal loan up to $5,000 at a reduced APR of 2.99% to cover living expenses or other necessities
    • Fee relief on deposit and lending solutions
    • Payment relief by making changes to your current loan payment amount or loan length (e.g., defer a payment and add it to the end of the loan).

    Plus, starting Monday, March 23, 2020:

    ○ ATM Transaction fees charged by M&T will be waived for all customers through the end of April1
    ○ All early withdrawal fees on CDs open greater than 7 days will be waived through the end of April

    For our Business Banking customers, we will also waive the monthly maintenance fee for Remote Check Deposit service through the end of April 2.

    Ithaca Locations


    From CFCU Community Credit Union

    Thank you to all our members and most importantly, thank you for your trust, patience and continued support during this difficult and unprecedented time. You, our members, are the reason we do what we do every day.

    For our Business Members experiencing hardship, please visit www.mycfcu.com for available relief options. Or contact our dedicated Business Team directly by calling Vince Marziano at (607)342-3209, Mark Kenjerska at (607)793-0058 or Jeff Dobbin, at (607)351-7366.

    Take advantage of CFCU’s digital products and services! These services allow you to bank remotely while following the CDC’s advice to limit your exposure to others.

    Business Operations/Model Resources

    Small Business Development Center (SBDC)

    SBDC Counselors are available to support you in your planning and response efforts, and may make referrals to funding sources to support you during an economic downturn.

    Contact the Binghamton SBDC office for an appointment at 607-777-4024 or click here for more information.


    Workforce NY Local Job Board (Highlighting Current Openings)

    Tompkins County Workforce NY has recently launched their “ReDirect” strategy for highlighting open jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.


    Resources for Working Remotely

    Working from home is an important form of social distancing that can help prevent the spread of disease. Here is a list of tools, resources, and information that can equip your employees to work remotely, safely, and securely. Click the link above for remote work resources from Zufall Communications.


    Creating & Selling Gift Cards

    Many businesses use electronic point-of-sale (POS) systems, and those vendors often operate their own gift card systems/programs. Many small businesses use Square or Shopify, both of which have resources linked above.

    The same vendors offer support for selling your product or service online. These resources also can integrate into your existing website. Work with your web manager to implement. If you need recommendations for web developers, contact the Tompkins Chamber.


    Offering Delivery

    Restaurants/Food Service

    Consider using a service such as Ithaca to Go to manage delivery of food. Also consider food safety to be paramount at this time. This is a helpful resource for you and your staff to consider. This is information from the Tompkins County Health Dept.

    Grocers

    With the industry’s most agile online shopping platform, Rosie enables eCommerce strategy that drives growth. Consistent, retailer focused customer experiences focus on quality and service. Rosie is headquartered in Ithaca, NY.

    Guidance from the State Liquor Authority

    Guidance on Restrictions for Licensees and To-Go & Delivery Sales in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak.


    NYS Restaurant Association Resources

    To ensure that restaurants have the latest information about coronavirus, the National Restaurant Association has created industry-specific guidance for owners and operators, and compiled actionable resources available for download. Learn more here.


    Guidance on Event Size/Capacity of Spaces: 

    CDC Guidance Issued 3/15/2020 Regarding Gatherings 

    • Gatherings of over 50 people are no longer recommended

    NYS Regulations on Capacity 

    • No gatherings of greater than 500 people
    • All gatherings in spaces should be limited to 50% of typical capacity

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Business Resiliency Resources

    Philanthropic Resources

    Tompkins Chamber Member Support Fund

    Recognizing the importance of the Chamber’s events, programming, and information sharing to our 700+ members, we are creating this fund to support those members struggling most from the impacts of the Coronavirus. In the coming weeks and months, engaging virtually with peers, receiving valuable information and resource updates, and sustaining the promotion and of local businesses or organizations will be as important as ever.

    If you represent a business or organization that can support others weathering these circumstances by funding an additional program entry fee, or helping to subsidize their membership remaining active during the next six months, our community could use your support.
    Members will be asked to report their need for scholarship assistance on the honor system. The Chamber will use discretion to apply scholarship funds on a case by case basis.


    Community Foundation  COVID-19 Response Fund

    In a time of great stress and concern for our self and for others we are often frustrated yet we seek to take some action. One possibility is to contribute to a collaborative effort like making a financial gift to a pooled resource which will be deployed guided by Community Foundation knowledge in our local community. To that end, Community Foundation is launching the COVID-19 Response Fund.

    The COVID-19 Response Fund will provide flexible resources to basic needs nonprofit organizations in our region working with our communities to address how they and their participants are impacted by this crisis.


    United Way of Tompkins County COVID-19 Response

    United Way of Tompkins County is responding to an increase in local needs due to COVID-19 by expanding and expediting our existing funding processes. As always, 100% of donations given through United Way of Tompkins County (UWTC) will continue to go directly to agency programs and services.

    Donors can continue to contribute any of UWTC’s existing community initiatives or a nonprofit agency of their choice. In addition they can designate their gift to support UWTC’s COVID-19 relief efforts.

    Employer/Employee Resources

    NYS Emergency COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Information

    Guidance that address the immediate need of employees affected by COVID-19 who are subject to mandatory or precautionary orders of quarantine or isolation.


    NYS Dept of Labor Resources for Unemployment

    NYS is waiving the 7-Day waiting period for Unemployment Insurance benefits for people who are out of work due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) closures or quarantines.

    If you are filing a new unemployment insurance claim, the day you should file is based on the first letter of your last name. If your last name starts with A – F, file your claim on Monday. For last names starting with G – N, file your claim Tuesday. For last names starting with O – Z, file your claim on Wednesday. If you missed your filing day, file your claim on Thursday or Friday. Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim, since all claims are effective on the Monday of the week in which they are filed.

    Here is a step by step process to file a claim online


    SBA Paycheck Protection Program

    The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.


    Tompkins County Workforce Resources


    Workforce NY Local Job Board (Highlighting Current Openings)

    Tompkins County Workforce NY has recently launched their “ReDirect” strategy for highlighting open jobs during the COVID-19 crisis.


    OSHA Guidance on Preparing the Workplace for Coronavirus


    House of Representatives Introduces Families First Coronavirus Response Act

    Legislation provides paid leave, establishes free testing, protects health workers, and provides important benefits to children and families. Summary of the legislation here.


    U.S. Department of Labor Resources

    Includes guidance on workplace safety, wages, hours, and leave, and unemployment insurance. Also has recent news from the DOL.

    COVID-19 or Other Public Health Emergencies and the Fair Labor Standards Act Questions and Answers


    EEOC Guidance on “What You Should Know About the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and COVID-19”

    The EEOC enforces workplace anti-discrimination laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act, including the requirement for reasonable accommodation and rules about medical examinations and inquiries.

    The ADA and Rehabilitation Act rules continue to apply, but they do not interfere with or prevent employers from following the guidelines and suggestions made by the CDC or state/local public health authorities about steps employers should take regarding COVID-19. Employers should remember that guidance from public health authorities is likely to change as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves. Therefore, employers should continue to follow the most current information on maintaining workplace safety.


    Helpful Recruitment Marketing Resources

    You may be having to shift to virtual interviews and events. Or if you are in healthcare and gig-economy sectors, you may be having to ramp up hiring.

    The reality is that talent acquisition departments across all industries are having to adjust. Here are some resources to make your job a bit easier.

    Mental Health Resources

    Tompkins County Mental Health Resources


    Advocacy Center

    Free advocacy and support services for survivors or domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and child sexual abuse.

    607-277-3203, 24 HR Crisis Line 607-277-5000


    Alcohol & Drug Council

    Substance abuse prevention and treatment services. 

    607-274-6288


    Catholic Charities Tompkins/Tioga

    Family empowerment, immigrant services, housing counseling, etc. 

    607-272-5062


    Cayuga Addiction Recovery Services (CARS)

    Substance abuse treatment services.

    607-273-5500


    Clinical Assoc. of the Southern Tier

    Counseling Services for Businesses & Individuals

    607-936-1771


    Family & Children’s Services of Ithaca

    Mental health care and related social services.

    607-273-7494


    The Mental Health Assoc. in Tompkins County (MHATC)

    Peer support groups for adolescents, family advocacy and support, education.

    607-273-9250


    National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, Finger Lakes

    Caregiver and family support, education

    607-273-2462


    For FREE emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314

    Upstate NY Eating Disorder Service

    Nutrition clinic, outpatient and partial hospitalization programs

    607-732-5646


    Planned Parenthood Ithaca Health Center

    Reproductive healthcare and LGBTQ+ supports, education

    607-273-1513


    Suicide Prevention & Crisis Services

    Crisisline, suicide prevention education, after-trauma counseling & groups

    607-272-1505, 24 HR Crisis line 607-272-1616


    Tompkins County Mental Health Services

    Mental health outpatient clinic

    607-274-6200