COVID-19  News & Resources

The Tucson Metro Chamber is working hard to support small businesses. Help us help those small businesses.

Restaurants

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EMPLOYER REOPENING GUIDELINES

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EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

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POLICY/ADVOCACY

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MEMBER RESOURCES

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Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and COVID-19 Testing

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COVID-19 UPDATES

Governor Doug Ducey has released press releases and Executive Orders that address various issues related to business closures and reopenings, essential and non-essential services and shelter-in-place restrictions.

  • The Governor's order is titled "Stay Home, Stay Healthy, Stay Connected," and unique to Arizona, includes a strong focus on mental health. The order encourages Arizonans to participate in outdoor activities, as long as they are accompanied by social distancing measures. Additionally, it stresses the need for "social connectedness" -- a concern of public health officials, especially among our senior population and those struggling with depression and suicide. The order exempts essential business, outlined in a previous Executive Order last Monday from the Governor, as well as essential activities, which includes outdoor activities. The order takes effect Tuesday at 5 pm and is in effect until April 30.All of Governor Ducey's Executive Orders to date can be found HERE.
    Click HERE for list of "essential services."

Mayor Regina Romero releases a video message updating citizens on activities, programs and initiatives within the City of Tucson.

VIEW LATEST VIDEO

    The Tucson Metro Chamber has held multiple Knowledge@Noon webinars informing the business community on access to financial services, loans and grants, member services and other non-profit services.

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a resource page (https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus) that provides information on programs, policies and initiatives at the federal level.

    EMPLOYER REOPENING RECOMMENDATIONS

    The Tucson Metro Chamber Restaurant Advisory Council (RAC) addresses the diverse needs of our community’s restaurants and bars. The Council focuses on creating best industry practices, identifying regulatory barriers to doing business and overall advocating for the industry at all levels of government.

    Restaurants

    Our Retail sector has been significantly affected by COVID-19 and shelter-in-place restrictions. Working with many of our small businesses, we have assembled a list of guidelines retail operators can follow to ensure public health and safety.

    The Office sector has the most diverse experience as many employees have shifted to telecommuting while some office spaces can safely accommodate social distancing measures.

    Guide to Creating a Return to Work Action Plan CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

    This guide can be used as a tool to create a return to work action plan in preparation for reopening a business following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Please note that it follows health and safety guidance laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and OSHA, but does not account for state, local or industry-specific guidance related to COVID-19.

    Cushman & Wakefield leads the development of best practices, products and partnerships to prepare clients for post-COVID-19 recovery and the eventual return to the workplace. CLICK TO VIEW

     

    EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

    The Tucson Metro Chamber, in partnership with the Partnership for Economic Innovation (PEI), has launched a site (c19az.com) that connects job seekers with open positions throughout the region and the state. This is connected to the PipelineAZ site that also assists job seekers with Pathways to Careers and the programs and institutions that can help meet their career goals.

    The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) includes many health and safety guidelines for businesses and the workplace on their website (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html).

    The Pima County Health Department has a site (https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/One.aspx?pageId=527452&portalId=169) that outlines their recommendations for businesses and citizens to follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

    The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is a great local resource for businesses who wish to apply for or best determine how to maximize Payroll Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) or other SBA programs and grants. Please contact:

    The US Treasury has a website (https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/cares/assistance-for-small-businesses) they update regularly with information, guidance and rules related to PPP loans and other components of the CARES Act.

    The City of Tucson has created the We Are One | Somos Uno Resiliency Fund (https://cfsaz.org/weareone/) at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. The Fund was established to provide immediate and long-term support to the community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Fund allows donors to support nonprofit and for-profit organizations impacted by the crisis.

    The Center for the Future of Arizona launched www.azretailcareers.com to support workers and employers in Arizona’s important retail sector. This site serves retail employers by providing industry best practices and skills training to help retailers implement or enhance programs to develop and retain their employees long term. Retail workers can use the platform to find the latest job opportunities along with skills training and educational opportunities.

    The Pima County OneStop (https://webcms.pima.gov/government/community_services_employment_and_training/) is a resource for employers who recently had to lay off or furlough employees and for employees recently laid off or furloughed who need assistance obtaining unemployment benefits. They also established a dislocated worker hotline at 520-724-5735 to handle the increase in unemployment questions. The hotline will be staffed from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.

     

    The Better Business Bureau has assembled a number of sites that help businesses and individuals avoid COVID-19 scams:

     This document provides businesses with an easy to understand explanation of what they need to do to apply for forgiveness of their PPP loans. CLICK TO VIEW

    IFR on loan forgiveness, https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP-IFR-Loan-Forgiveness.pdf

    IFR on SBA loan review procedures and related borrower and lender responsibilities, CLICK HERE

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    COX-Your Back to Business Tool Kit

    PPP Loan Forgiveness Calculator CLICK HERE

            POLICY/ADVOCACY

            The Restaurant Advisory Council submitted a letter to the Pima County Board of Supervisors outlining the changes in language that should be made to their Proclamation Establishing Measures for the Reopening of Certain Businesses and Activities. You can view that letter here.

            The Tucson Metro Chamber is the Chair of the Pima County Back to Business Employee Health and Wellness Subcommittee and has submitted recommendations based on conversations and surveys we can completed with Chamber members.

            The Tucson Metro Chamber effectively lobbied for the suspention of sig regulations throughout the region. All of the jurisdictions in the region have placed, by either proclamation or by administrative decision, a suspension on the enforcement, regulation or fee collection for temporary signs. Jurisdictions have different definitions of what constitutes a temporary sign but most refer to A-Frames, Banners, Stakes and Upright Signs.

            FEDERAL RESOURCES:

            • Import/ExportThe U.S. Commercial Service’s Tucson office southern Arizona exporters a wide range of expertise and services in international trade. This includes exporter basics, foreign market research, buyer and partner identification services, and much more. To learn more, please contact Sr. International Trade Specialist Christina Parisi (tel 520-235-9114 or christina.parisi@trade.gov) or visit www.trade.gov.

            STATE RESOURCES:

            • Learn more about the employee-focused Acts that extend paid sick leave and paid family leave: The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. 
              MANDATORY SICK LEAVE

            LOCAL RESOURCES

            • Oro Valley and Marana have declared emergencies on Mar. 19 at 8:00 p.m., which orders all bars, gyms, theaters, cinemas, gyms and similar places of public gathering to close, and will prohibit all restaurants from being open for on-site consumption. press release
            • Tucson International Airport frequently updates their resource page. CLICK HERE

                    MEMBER RESOURCES

                    Maybe this is where we can place documents but together by Members who have guidance on how to navigate programs and other aspects of reopening, financial resources, etc. Here are some links we currently have on the site:

                    • TEP stands ready to help customers affected by this pandemic with payment extensions or enrollment in short-term assistance and bill discount programs. They know some customers could face financial challenges because of this public health threat, so we are suspending service disconnections and late fees until further notice. Learn more at https://www.tep.com/covid-19/
                    • Tucson Water will not disconnect potable water service for non-payment. Those currently disconnected will be re-connected. Customers will be responsible to pay for all water service received during this time and should continue to make payments of their Utility Services Bill to avoid higher bill at a later date. This policy will be in effect through the end of March, at which point we will reexamine their policies. Learn more at https://www.tucsonaz.gov/water/tucson-water-covid-19-preparedness
                    • Over the next 60 days, Cox commits to:
                      • Not terminate service to any residential or small business customer because of an inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
                      •  Waive any late fees that residential or small business customers incur because of their economic circumstances related to the coronavirus pandemic.
                      • Open Cox WiFi hotspots to non-Cox customers to help keep the general public connected during this time of need.Keeping businesses operating and their employees with the ability to work remotely is a priority. Cox Business is providing the following additional resources:
                      • Your VoiceManager service has features that enable companies to conduct business wherever they are with a data connection to help make sure they don’t miss important calls. Call Forwarding ensures they can receive calls while out of the office and Simultaneous Ring allows incoming calls to ring up to 10 other phone numbers at the same time.
                      • For main business lines, Cox Business Unified Communication Apps give in-office connectivity while working remotely. Businesses can receive calls and make click-to-dial calls and more from the UC App for Mobile, Tablet, and Desktop. Enable the UC App FREE for 90 days. 
                    • Work together wherever businesses and their employees have an Internet connection and maintain business productivity with Cisco WebEx, which helps employees work remotely with file and screen sharing, video meetings, collaboration rooms and more.
                    • Southwest Gas is offering Utility Assistance to customers facing financial difficulties. The Energy Share program, is designed for Southwest customers experiencing unexpected financial difficulties, such as the loss of a job or medical emergency. The program allows customers facing financial hardship who qualify, to receive assistance towards paying their Southwest Gas bill. Customers do not need to meet Federal Poverty Income Guidelines to qualify.

                      Additionally, Southwest Gas has suspended service disconnections indefinitely, until the COVID-19 crisis improves. Customers having difficulty paying their bill can contact Southwest Gas at 1-877-860-6020 to discuss flexible payment options.For additional information on Southwest Gas Special Programs & Assistance please visit their website at: https://www.swgas.com/en/az-special-programs

                    • Trico Electric Cooperative is committed to assisting its Members during this difficult time. We want to assure you that we are prepared to deal with circumstances as they arise and to continue providing safe and reliable service.

                      We recognize that some Members may have difficulty making payments at this time and we are prepared to work with them to keep their power connected. To help Members who find themselves in difficult circumstances, we will not be disconnecting service to Members or charging late fees during this time. Please contact Trico at (520) 744-2944 if you cannot pay your bill and we will work with you to provide options to help.
                    • Rio Nuevo is providing help to alleviate pressures of the SBA loan completion process with free assistance in navigating the Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program. These loans help cover payroll costs, paid sick leave, employee salaries, health insurance premiums, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest payments.
                    • BeachFleischman has compiled a helpful COVID-19 resource page that addresses a wide array of helpful topics. CLICK HERE
                    • https://www.wafdbank.com/business-banking/small-business
                      WaFd Bank is fast-tracking small business lines “Life Lines” for up to $30k. The first 90 days are at 0% interest.  We are also offering the same program for up to $200k, but approval will take a little longer than the emergency $30k “life lines.”  Businesses can apply online.
                      • Southern AZ Commercial Banking - 520-792-5423
                      • https://www.wellsfargo.com/locator/ An open letter to customers can be found HERE. For those customers having an impact with the virus, commercial customers should reach out to their relationship managers noted on their bank statements.
                      • https://www.nbarizona.com/business/ Thomas Thaller 520.603.3372 Patty Thompson 520.584.4122 - National Bank of Arizona can offer BUSINESS ACCESS LINE OF CREDIT. This is an unsecured revolving line of credit from National Bank of Arizona®, which provides flexible options for working capital to meet short-term cash flow needs caused by seasonality of business, timing differences between payments and receivables or large business expenses. (520) 918-0418
                      • https://www.topcu.org Offering commercial/business loans up to $50,000 with a short application, competitive rates/terms, and a quick turnaround time.
                      • The Community Foundation of Southern Arizona has a resource page filled with useful information including how you can help nonprofits, resources for nonprofits, small businesses, individuals and families. http://cfsaz.org/covid19/
                      • Citibank and Bank of America have programs in place to help individuals or small businesses. READ MORE
                      • A MESSAGE FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR, TIM MEDCOFF, PARTNER AT FARHANG & MEDCOFF MESSAGE VIDEO
                      • Tips for employees and employers, including PTO, teleworking options and staggering work shifts. MESSAGE VIDEO
                      • Employee aren’t feeling well TMC Healthcare has recommendations on steps to take if you or your employee aren’t feeling well. “AZ Chamber Sick Employee”
                      • StartUp Tucson has a list of great resources for time and project management tools, communication platforms, money management and self-care. LEARN MORE
                      • Crisis management tips to navigate your business during uncertain times READ MOREby Tucson Metro Chamber Board Member and Caliber Group CEO, Linda Welter
                      • Tucson Metro Chamber Board Member and Caliber Group CEO, Linda Welter, shared crisis management tips to navigate your business during uncertain times READ MORE
                      • Cox Media helping local Southern Arizona restaurants with free advertising visibility during COVID-19 crisis READ MORE