Business-related COVID-19 guidance, resources and FAQs
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA and Gov. Andy Beshear have worked to qualify the entire state for SBA disaster certification.
With that certification now in place, small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans applications can be completed and filed online at www.sba.gov/disaster.
The SBA is also mobilizing call centers to assist in the loan-application process. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com.
FDIC and financial institutions
Businesses should also work with their banks, credit unions and other lenders. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has encouraged financial institutions to assist customers in a “prudent manner.”
From the FDIC link below:
- The FDIC encourages financial institutions to work with all borrowers, especially borrowers from industry sectors particularly vulnerable to the volatility in the current economic environment and small businesses and independent contractors that are reliant on affected industries.
- A financial institution’s prudent efforts to modify the terms on existing loans for affected customers will not be subject to examiner criticism.
- The FDIC will work with affected financial institutions to reduce burden when scheduling examinations, including making greater use of off-site reviews, consistent with applicable legal and regulatory requirements.
U.S. Centers for Disease Control
The CDC provides guidance for employers on maintaining business activity, working from home, cleaning and other topics at its COVID-19 page linked here:
Kentucky distilleries are producing hand sanitizer. The Kentucky Distillers Association is coordinating orders with priority for healthcare facilities and first responders. www.kyhandsanitizer.com
Kentucky Small Business Development Center (SBDC)
The Kentucky SBDC is hoping for the best, but proactively preparing for the worst with regard to the developing Coronavirus situation.
The Kentucky SBDC stands ready to engage in contingency planning with our small business clients. Regardless of the causes, small businesses need to take action when the going gets tough.
While there is no single cure-all, there are many steps a business owner can take to manage through the difficult times and position the business for future growth.
If you don't want to meet in person, SBDC’s business coaches are available to meet via Zoom web conference or phone to develop a plan of action for your business.
Download a copy of our checklist for Managing in Times of Financial Difficulty.
The Kentucky SBDC is here to support small business, especially during times of crisis. The Kentucky SBDC is open for business and ready to assist business owners with contingency planning and financial management tools. The Kentucky SBDC is here to help businesses navigate this public health crisis.
Contact the Kentucky SBDC at:
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201)
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires paid sick leave to hourly employees, expands unemployment insurance and creates a small business interruption loan program.
Under the new law, employers must offer up to two weeks of paid sick leave for COVID-19-related reasons. For employees who are sick, seeking a diagnosis or required to self-quarantine, the benefit must replace all of the employee's wages up to a maximum benefit of $511 per day. If an employee is caring for another individual who is sick, the benefit must replace at least two-thirds of the employee's wages up to a maximum benefit of $200 per day.
Payroll tax credits will be provided to private employers with less than 500 employees to cover 100% of the cost of the paid sick leave for COVID-19-related absences. Tax credits will also be offered to offset the employer contribution for health insurance premiums for the employee for the period of leave. Self-employed individuals will also be eligible for tax credits.
Employers with less than 500 employees will also generally be required to provide up to 10 weeks of additional paid family leave to employees unable to work while caring for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for COVID-19-related reasons. Under these circumstances, employers must pay employees two-thirds of their wages, not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate. Special eligibility rules apply for health care providers and emergency responders.
Employers would receive a 100% refundable payroll tax credit for the wages required to be paid.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from all the aforementioned paid leave requirements if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
More information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act is available through the U.S. Department of Labor.
*Additional details about federal legislation will be shared when available.
Commonwealth of Kentucky
Gov. Andy Beshear on Sunday, March 21 ordered all non-essential retail businesses in Kentucky to close as of 8 p.m. Monday, March 23. More on that here.
On Tuesday, March 17, Gov. Beshear issued initial guidance on public-facing business closures.
The Governor’s daily briefings are livestreamed at 5 p.m. on the administration’s Facebook page and YouTube channel. As well, they are saved and available for replay at both those locations.
Each briefing is followed a couple hours later by a news release, available in the News Section toward the bottom of www.kentucky.gov.
Employers and residents can stay up to date on the latest Kentucky COVID-19 information at:
Kentucky Education and Workforce Development Cabinet
Gov. Beshear is waiving the waiting period for unemployment for those who are losing their jobs because of COVID-19 and will waive any work-search requirements while Kentucky’s state of emergency is in effect.
“We know the steps we are taking are going to cause people to lose their jobs,” Gov. Beshear said. “We want you to be able to qualify for unemployment and we don’t want to create impediments that keep you from being able to get through this. We are going to make sure we get through this together.”
The Kentucky Career Center provides unemployment services when employees become unemployed at no fault of their own. Those workers can receive a small amount of money to help them make ends meet during unemployment. That money comes from unemployment insurance. Unemployment insurance is funded by payroll taxes. To file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits, the job seeker must be separated from your employer or experience a reduction in your work hours.
Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development
Cabinet for Economic Development business development project managers are calling Kentucky manufacturers, service and tech companies, offering them insight, assistance and guidance.
As well, Kristina Slattery, executive director of the Office of Business and Community Services, is taking point on handling and directing the Cabinet’s COVID-19-related business inquiries to project managers, KY Innovation staff, the communications team and others within the Cabinet.
Contact the Cabinet for Economic Development at:
As we go forward, the Cabinet for Economic Development will continue to make information for businesses available throughout the state.
The Kentucky Chamber is dedicated to helping ensure a positive business climate. As the coronavirus continues to spread, it is important Kentucky be prepared to handle the issue. Below are resources the Chamber compiled to help educate employers on the coronavirus: