Vermont’s Response to the Coronavirus Update
Vermont has submitted a request for statewide disaster designation in order to allow businesses to apply for U.S. SBA relief, however some counties already have disaster designation. The SBA will provide working capital loans of up to $2 million to the District’s small businesses and private nonprofit organizations to overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result of COVID-19 outbreak. Loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses; the interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides free testing for coronavirus, expands funding for food security programs, and provides paid sick, family, and medical leave for employees at companies with 500 or fewer employees. The Act also provides tax credits to employers to offset the costs of proving emergency paid leave.
Vermont businesses are encouraged to sign up for the ACCD newsletter and complete the Agency Business Impact Form so the agency can continue to assess the impact and dedicate their resources where they are needed most. If a business is forced to temporarily shut down business operations, or experiencing a slow-down in business causing a reduction in available work hours for employees, employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits. Unemployment claims have spiked, and individuals are asked to fill out the initial intake form online in order to speed up the process.
Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility is offering various webinars regarding support for employers, employees, and families.