Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources
In an effort to provide assistance to our members and the community during our current health crisis, we have brought together a list of resources helpful for businesses and their employees. Rather than providing content, we have provided a list of resources and related links, so you can go directly to the source of information, which in most cases is being updated on a regular basis.
- Better Middlebury Partnership is providing a list of local businesses and their status.
- Bristol Core is providing a similar list, including what local businesses are doing to continue serving the public.
- Vergennes Partnership has a joint list of information with the City of Vergennes and a list of all local businesses with their phone numbers.
- The Addison Independent is providing COVID-19 updates to their email list and has taken down their paywall for all COVID-19 related articles. You can sign up for their COVID-19 related email list here.
- UVM Porter Medical Center is posting daily updates relating to COVID-19 cases, patient access and other services to the community.
- The Vermont Department of Health has the most up-to-date information on the status of health issues throughout the state.
- Age Well Helpline is available if you need help with getting on Meals on Wheels, Grocery Shopping, accessing 3SquaresVT Benefits, Options Counseling, Accessing Care Services and Medicare Counseling.
- For childcare issues you can find important information on the Let’s Grow Kids website, along with a form provided by the state to match essential workers with childcare options.
- Addison County Worship Directory - while many websites are providing health and business support, during a crisis like this one we can also use support for our soul. The Chamber is providing a worship directory as a resource for those seeking spiritual support, encouragement and community.
- For questions regarding unemployment, visit the Vermont Department of Labor’s website or check out their FAQ for Employees. To establish an initial claim, Call 1-877-214-3330 or 1-888-807-7072, or apply online.
- Vermont Department of Taxes has a new webpage for Coronavirus updates to help relay timely tax information to taxpayers. The page is updated frequently
- Counseling Services of Addison County continues to provide essential services in mental health, substance use treatment and developmental services to clients and the residents of Addison County. All therapists, psychiatric providers, case managers, community support staff and others are equipped to offer telemedicine or telephone appointments and support. Their emergency crisis support is 24/7 and can be reached at 802-388-7641.
- Middlebury College provides regular, ongoing communication with the community, staff, employees and students.
- Questions and requests for general information about COVID-19 can be directed to Vermont 2-1-1’s online database or by dialing 211 on your phone.
- Turning Point Center of Addison County is offering several programs during the COVID-19 crisis including; Recovery Coaching meeting via telephone or Zoom conferencing, MAPS peer group support for those in Medical Assisted Treatment, and Friends and Family in Support of Recovery, a peer-led support group for any adult with a loved one who has experienced or is experiencing substance use disorder.
- Legal Services Vermont and Vermont Legal Aide host a webpage providing resources and webinars on court status, stimulus checks, benefits, child care, food insecurity and housing issues relating to the COVID-19 crisis.
- The Pregnancy Resource Center of Addison County is able to support anyone who is in need of diapers, wipes, clothing (maternity and Infant-5T), or other baby essentials. They are able to provide items for pick up and some deliveries. Call or text: 802-858-5094.
- The Vermont Department of Health WIC Program, and other public programs, remain open to serve Vermonters. If you are pregnant, postpartum, or are the caregiver for an infant or child under 5, apply today. Medical providers, with patient permission, can refer patients to WIC here.
- ACORN launches Virtual Farmer’s Market - As a result of the temporary closure of area farmers’ markets, restaurants and schools, ACORN has created an interactive online map that lists nearly 250 farmers and food producers in Vermont’s Champlain Valley who sell food locally. The map will help match folks looking to buy local food with growers who have an abundance to sell.
- Addison County Transit Resources can deliver groceries, prescriptions and other essential items to client’s homes. All Addison County residents who are aged 60+, living with a disability or unable to self-transport are eligible for this free service. Items must be prepaid and available for curbside pickup from area retailers. Call ACTR at 802-388-2287.
- Get in touch with any lenders (banks, VEDA, ACEDC, etc.) to seek temporary debt relief if needed. Businesses can also file for a US SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) if desired. To help Vermont receive a Federal disaster declaration, complete an SBA assessment form, available on the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) website and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
- You may seek to contact your insurance agent to file a disruption of business loss claim and suspend worker's comp and liability insurance and obtain rebates. If you rent your building, you may also want to have a conversation with your landlord about your plans.
Other Steps To Take
- Be sure to cancel any unnecessary vendor deliveries; you may attempt to seek relief from trade accounts if applicable. Businesses may also want to pursue all accounts receivable at this time. Keep your social media accounts and Google My Business pages updated with changes if possible.
- For food service businesses, you might look to return all alcohol that can be returned. Freeze whatever can be frozen and be sure to cancel all food and beverage delivery, trash removal, recycling, propane delivery, linen delivery, soda/Co2 delivery, cleaners, etc. if you are not doing take-out. You might also find it helpful to connect with other business owners in your industry to make sure you've remembered to do everything needed. Vermont businesses are great at supporting one another!
- The Vermont Occupational Safety & Health Agency has created a mandatory training for all businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies to learn about how they can protect the safety and health of their employees during the pandemic. The training must be completed by May 4, 2020.
- Guidance for Farmers Markets - farmers markets may open after May 1st using limited in-person operations under detailed guidance from the Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.
- Addison County Economic Development Corporation is maintaining and updating a COVID-19 related resource list for businesses; check it regularly!
- The Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce has brought together a great set of resources and information especially for businesses.
- The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) continues to assess and respond to the community impacts of COVID-19 on Vermont businesses.
- The Richards Group recently published a guide titled What You Should Know Before Reopening Your Business Following the COVID-19 Shutdown. It includes many helpful tips.
- Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is offering individual mentoring to help businesses move through the steps to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.
- LoveVermont.org - Buy a gift card, shop their online store, pick-up take out or donate to them. Stay home while supporting your favorite local businesses throughout the COVID-19 crisis. You can also Sign Up to offer your business services on this site.
- United@Work - United Way of Addison County temporarily opened United@Work to any resident in Addison County regardless of where they work. When employees experience a life event that may prevent them from coming to work (loss of childcare, housing, transportation, food security, acute financial crisis, substance use disorder - anything!), Trish LaFayette comes alongside them to find the resources and support systems they need.
Stay Home, Stay Safe
- If you have questions about whether your business or place of employment is allowed to stay open for normal, in-person operations, the Agency of Commerce and Community Development has created a Stay Safe Stay Home FAQs for Businesses resource page with a link to a "yes or no critical" list of most types of businesses.
- Updated Work Safe Guidance for Businesses - ACCD has updated the Phased Restart Work Safe Guidance for businesses, including additional details for workplace communal spaces and construction in multi-unit properties. The most recent guidance regarding Work Safe practices can always be found on the sector guidance and FAQs for businesses pages.
- For support and resources to help you and your employees with the challenges of working remotely, join the Addison County Chamber of Commerce’s remote workers support group.
- Vermont's number of Wifi Hot Spots is increasing through a partnership with Microsoft, RTO Wireless and Up and Running I.T. Hot Spots are being set up at community buildings in rural areas that don't have broadband. You can see what's available on the Wifi Hot Spot Map.
- Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing will be scheduling industry calls next week to make sure that we understand not only the short-term impacts of this crisis on the tourism industry in Vermont, but also to start gathering ideas on longer term recovery strategies. Please pre-register to be notified when call in details are available.
- VtSBDC Financial Resiliency Resources - Business Lending 601 highlights the SBA funding opportunities available now as well as Vermont-specific resources. The Self-Guided Assessment: Business Cash Flow tool helps businesses assess current cash flow, profit and loss, debt service, and expenses.
- The Vermont Department of Tourism & Marketing released a list of sources for emergency relief for cultural organizations that includes:
- COVID-19 Cultural Relief Grant Program - Grants do not require a match and range between $5,000 and $10,000, based on organization size.
- The Rapid Response Artist Relief fund offers grants of up to $500 to Vermont artists in need. The deadline for this round of applications is May 13, 2020.
- In May, the Vermont Community Foundation will open the Arts Recovery Fund. Direct grants will support both individual artists and cultural organizations.
- Facebook Small Business Grants are available directly from Facebook.
Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center Establishes Vermont Manufacturing Exchange
- The Vermont Manufacturing Extension Center (VMEC) has started the Manufacturing Exchange-Vermont, with a primary mission of “connecting people and supply chains to deliver solutions.” It also allows manufacturers and suppliers to post their needs and find business opportunities.
- Addison County Regional Planning Commission has a list of resources for municipal officials and first responders.
- Local Financing Opportunities for Municipalities - ACCD recently hosted a webinar with the Vermont League of Cities and Towns to share financing opportunities municipalities can use to recover from COVID-19 impacts. View the webinar here.
- United Way of Addison County provides a volunteer matching service on their site. Organizations can set up a profile to seek volunteers, and individuals can sign up to volunteer.
- The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) is organizing volunteers with farming skills to help any farms that lose workers during the COVID-19 crisis. Please respond to Bill Cavanaugh on the Farmer Services team.
- The American Red Cross strongly urges healthy, eligible individuals who are feeling well to give blood to help maintain a sufficient blood supply and prevent shortages as concerns about the outbreak COVID-19, rise in the U.S. As the number of coronavirus cases grow in the U.S., the number of people eligible to give blood for patients in need could decrease further. It is SAFE to Donate. They have implemented all types of safety precautions! Search for a local blood drive.