The Chamber wants to support your business or organization through the impacts of novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and seeks your help in preventing spread in our community.
The pandemic has had a vast impact on our local economy. We’ve been in touch with many members for support in planning for continued workplace and economic disruptions from the spread of Coronavirus. This message is intended to provide you with the best sources of information we’ve found, as well as suggestions to help continue to mitigate the impact of this virus on your business, organization, and family. While this message is geared towards business and workplace responses, if you’d like recommendations for home resources, please click here.
To see the number of tests and confirmed cases in Tompkins County visit the Health Department website. Since it has a long incubation period, it could be over two weeks from initial exposure until symptoms appear, and even longer before people are tested and cases are confirmed.
It is our shared responsibility to stem the spread of this virus. To that end, we’ve compiled some of the most reliable sources of information for your business at the bottom of this email, but priorities for your business or organization to consider are as follows:
- For the most up-to-date business resources in our community visit https://www.tompkinschamber.org/covid-19-business-resources/
- Understand Your Employer Obligations: You are legally obligated to provide a safe workplace and to make accommodations for those with disabilities. Protecting your workplace and team from the spread of Coronavirus is no different.
- Make a Plan for Reopening Operations: Prepare your business, employees, and customers for resumed operations, considering changes in consumer behavior, supply chain issues, and above all the health and safety of your workplace. Assess your capabilities, barriers, and take action. Find Reopening resources here.
- Use Your Professional Associations for Support: Many professional networks and organizations are offering webinars and other resources for employers. Make use of these opportunities!
- Get Updates Regularly: Ensure you are checking back with numerous sources regularly for the most up to date guidance and information regarding the spread of this virus.
Tompkins County Health Department
Tompkins County Public Health officials are staying in close contact with New York State Department of Health, the CDC, and other area institutions to manage our community’s response to this threat.
“Tompkins County Health Department (TCHD) continues to monitor and respond to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) with guidance from NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) and the CDC. Public health response is focused on containment of the virus and preparation for any emergent situations that may arise in the future.”
Centers for Disease Control
The CDC has the most resources for all groups, but specifically speaks to how businesses should prepare for this outbreak. “All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.”
US Chamber of Commerce
“All employers should be ready to implement 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.”
Colleges Offer Guidance and ResourcesWhile Cornell University has joined many peers by moving to online courses only after spring break (from April 4rd on), Ithaca College and Tompkins Cortland Community College have not yet taken such actions.
With questions call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
* A brief reminder that we are not doctors or legal experts – just your friendly local Chamber doing our best to keep you informed.*
Updates from the Chamber
3/20/2020 (2)All Non-Essential Businesses Now Required to Reduce their In-Person Workforce by 100%; Remote Work EncouragedGovernor Cuomo will sign an Executive Order mandating that 100% of the workforce must stay home beginning Sunday, March 22 at 8PM, excluding essential services. Exemptions from the order will include shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions.
- As of 3/20/2020 NYS has required a 75% workforce reduction for businesses and nonprofits. There are exemptions for essential businesses/entities, please see this guidance from ESD.
- To request designation as an essential business, please use this form.
- Interim Guidance on executive orders issued for gatherings, public and private.
EO 202.6 From NYS will be updated to reflect that staffing reduction requirements are now at 75% remote work.
3/18/2020All Non-Essential Businesses Now Required to Reduce their In-Person Workforce by 50%; Remote Work EncouragedNew York State Waiving 7 Day Wait Period for Unemployment Insurance; Requiring Alphabetical Staggering to Manage Caseload“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.”New York State Mandated Closure of All Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, Theaters, and Casinos. Food and beverage delivery and pick up only will be allowed.BREAKING NEWS FROM GOV CUOMO: NY, PA, CT, and NJ will temporarily close all indoor portions of retail shopping malls, amusement parks and bowling alleys effective tomorrow (Thurs March 19) at 8PM.
3/17/2020The Chamber Team is working to provide updates as quickly as we have them. It’s also critical to us that you have accurate, complete guidance from all sources – which doesn’t always come immediately.
New York State Today Mandated Closure of All Restaurants, Bars, Gyms, Theaters, and Casinos. Food and beverage delivery and pick up only will be allowed.
The Workforce Development Board has provided the following guidance – click here.
The Chamber & TCAD are collaborating to ensure that low-interest SBA Funding will be available to local businesses and nonprofit organizations, which requires action from Governor Cuomo.
The Chamber is participating in the local Economic Recovery Cabinet to ensure we leverage as many resources as possible for our community both during and after this economic disruption. Your survey inputs will be valuable to supporting this work.
We first want to acknowledge that recent developments throughout New York and the nation around the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, as well as the proactive measures taken by Cornell University yesterday, have put us into new territory together as an organization and a community. The Chamber Team plans to do our best to support our members during the next few weeks or months with the resources you need, as well as adjustments as necessary to our work program and event schedule with the goal of keeping you, your employees, and your loved ones safe. Your business, your employees, and this community are our top priority.
We know that for many of you, especially for small business owners, things may seem very uncertain and even downright scary right now. We share your concerns, and will do our best to listen, support you, and connect you to meaningful and helpful resources. We’ve reached out to some key community partners gather resources to support you financially, and are happy to have your creative ideas about how we can work together to mitigate the economic impact of this public health concern and the changes in work flow that are resulting community wide.