STATE

Governor Northam Announces New Measures to Contain COVID-19 in Hampton Roads Region

Governor Ralph Northam announced that, due to significantly improved health metrics in the Eastern Region, localities in Hampton Roads will join the rest of the Commonwealth in Phase Three of the “Forward Virginia” plan to ease public health restrictions while mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Read press release here and Executive Order here.

Virginia Passes OSHA Standard for COVID-19

Courtney Malveaux of Jackson Lewis delivers an in-depth webinar discussing the impact of the new regulations on your business.

Watch here
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Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry has announced that the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) program has officially published the new regulations today in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, making the Virginia Safety and Health Code Board’s Emergency Temporary Standards effective immediately.

Download the full regulations here.

Please note: Information that is provided on this page is not an endorsement from Retail Alliance. Retail Alliance does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by the programs listed on this page.

FEDERAL LOANS

STATE GRANTS

  • The state of Virginia has announced the launch of Rebuild VA, a grant for qualifying small businesses and non-profits. The program will provide grants up to three times the applicant’s average monthly eligible expenses with a maximum award amount of $10,000. The application will be available starting on August 10, 2020.
  • The Council for Community and Economic Research (C2ER) website features a state tracker of financial incentive programs across the country, updated twice a year.
  • VA 30 Day Fund Offering Forgivable Loans for Virginia Small Businesses. $100,000 in “seed money” intended to help businesses meet payroll, preserve health-care coverage for workers and avoid layoffs while awaiting the federal aid. The fund will provide up to $3,000 to each approved small business. Recipients do not have to repay the money, but if they eventually are in a position to do so, it will be directed to another qualified business. Click here for more information.

CITY AND LOCAL GRANTS

Chesapeake

The City of Chesapeake has authorized additional funds for the Chesapeake Small Business Coronavirus (COVID-19) Recovery Grant for small, for-profit businesses who have been impacted by the pandemic. The Chesapeake Economic Development Authority (EDA) will administer the GrantProgram.
Similar to round one of funding, this Grant will remain open to Chesapeake Small Businesses; however, the dollar amount tier structure has changed.
Previously, the Grant award amounts were based on the number of employees. The new round of funding eliminates this association, and a business of any size (50 or under) is eligible to receive up to $10,000 based on eligible expenses. Under this change, those who applied for round one of funding may re-apply for round two of funding. The total award amount for round one and two cannot exceed $10,000. Grants will be awarded monthly following a comprehensive review of the completed applications received.
The Chesapeake Economic Development Department remains committed to helping the business community succeed. For questions, please contact the Economic Development Department directly at (757)-382-8040.

Norfolk

Applications for this round closed September 13. Grant funds will be available to small for profit businesses and nonprofits physically located in the City of Norfolk affected by COVID-19. Priority will be given to minority and women owned businesses. Applicants will be required to demonstrate that they were operational pre-COVID-19, and that they are suffering negative impacts from COVID-19 closures. Funds are meant to reimburse businesses for the costs of business interruption caused by required closures due to COVID-19.

To better assist applicants, Economic Development is offering individualized application support.  Should you need help uploading documents or have clarifying questions, one-on-one assistance is available here

Williamsburg, York County, Poquoson

The City of Williamsburg has teamed up with York County and Poquoson to offer local businesses a new $5,000 CDBG Business Grant.The following costs are reimbursable for purchases made after the Governor’s Declaration of a State of Emergency on March 13th:

  • Purchase of PPE (protective supplies, tools, equipment or inventory) and/ord cleaning services or supplies
  • Property improvements or renovations of commercial location to accommodate social distancing and/or outdoor dining, recreation, services, etc.
  • Software/Hardware expenses to accommodate delivery, online payments, online reservations, etc.
  • Signage, advertising, marketing expenses, etc. to promote that your business is open and/or operating under modified conditions
  • Payments for rent or mortgage during times of required business closure and/or modification

To learn more about this grant program, visit www.yeswilliamsburg.com/cdbggrant. APPLY NOW!

Newport News

To ensure the resiliency of local businesses, the City of Newport News and the Economic Development Authority of Newport News, Virginia are pleased to share with local Entrepreneurs two additional programs designed to support eligible Small Businesses impacted by COVID-19.

BACK TO BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAMS: This grant is one-time financial assistance given to eligible for-profit small businesses, excluding franchises and national chains, in amounts not to exceed $5,000. There is a limited amount of funds for this program. The grants will be committed and funded on a first-come, first-served basis based upon availability of funds, program guidelines and submission of a complete application and supporting documentation. Click HERE for more information.

GROW YOUR E-BUSINESS GRANT PROGRAM: This grant is one-time financial assistance given to eligible for-profit small businesses, excluding franchises and national chains, in amounts not to exceed $2,500 with website and e-commerce initiatives. There is a limited amount of funds for this program. The grants will be committed and funded on a first-come, first-served basis based upon availability of funds, program guidelines and submission of a complete application and supporting documentation. Click HERE for more information.

Suffolk

From September 10-30, the second round of Suffolk COVID-19 Small Business Relief Fund is taking applications.  Thanks to the generous support of the Obici Healthcare Foundation, the Suffolk Economic Development Authority (EDA) has announced that approximately $200,000 has been approved to support Suffolk’s entrepreneurial community.  This second round has opened up to include candidates who are home-based small businesses as well.  Small businesses must meet qualifying criteria in order to submit an application.  If you were awarded an EDA Grant in Round 1, you are encouraged to apply again, but priority will be given to those who did not receive relief yet.  To see a list of all requirements, refer to the Application, which can be found here.  Applications will be accepted until September 30th, 2020 and decisions will be announced shortly after.  If you have questions about the Grant program, reach out to Gregory Byrd, Suffolk Economic Development, at 757-514-4042 or SuffolkEDA@suffolkva.us

Isle of Wight, Smithfield, and Windsor

Established the COVID-19 Business Interruption Small Business Grant Program to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 recover and reopen. This grant program is fully funded by Federal CARES Act proceeds. This grant is one-time financial assistance for eligible, for-profit small businesses (fewer than 50 employees) to reimburse the costs of business interruption related to certain sections of Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53. Grants are available for an amount up to $2,000 per business. There is a limited amount of funds for this program, and the application period will close when funds are depleted. Grant applications will be processed and funded on a first-come, first-served basis upon submission of a complete application and all supporting documentation.

For more information contact Nicole Talton, Economic Development Coordinator, 757-365-6251 or iowgrant@iwus.netClick here for more details.

TEMPLATES

  • Store signage to remind customers to follow safety guidelines including social distancing and wearing face coverings, signs are available for download here (English only)
  • Tip Sheet for Talking with Landlords About the COVID-19 Crisis click here (provided by Jenny Crittenden, Retail Alliance Board, and Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust)
  • Rent Relief Request for Landlord click here (provided by Lori Janke, Clothes Mentor Newport News/Once Upon A Child Newport News)
  • Notice of Temporary Layoff or Furlough Due to Coronavirus click here (provided by Lori Janke, Clothes Mentor Newport News/Once Upon A Child Newport News)

LOCAL NOW MORE THAN EVER CAMPAIGN

Please use the logos below to show your support for buying local during this difficult time.

  • Local Now, More Than Ever Logo (PNG) Download
  • Local Now, More Than Ever Logo – No Background (PNG) Download
  • Local Now, More Than Ever Logo – Profile Image (PNG) Download

BUSINESS CONTINUITY TOOLKITS

If you have not created a business continuity plan before Coronavirus, you may want to do one now. SCORE and IBHS have both created toolkits for businesses with practical forms and advice designed to help small businesses plan for any type of business interruption, so they can quickly re-open and resume operations following a disaster.

ADVICE

Mary Landgrebe with Retail Inventory Solutions:

Are you doing everything you can now to sell the product you have in store?

  • Are you posting and going live on social media featuring what you have to sell now. The posts can be simple with a photograph, sizes, price, and any special discounts you are offering.  Going “Live” creates a connection with people that they truly crave, especially right now.
  • Look at the inventory that you have in your store now.  Will it still be relevant in May and June?  If you have items that you can answer “no”- these items should be posted at deep discounts 40-50% off or more.  This includes winter items, early spring, and certainly anything older.  There is a point that you have to look at merchandise as cash instead of margin.
  • Do you have enough new product for when your store is back up and running?  If not, you may need to buy some fresh merchandise.
  • It is such an unusual time, but it will not last.  All indications are that this is creating a pent up demand.  Be positive and be ready!

Cheryl Tan with Cheryl Tan Media:

  • Make sure your lighting is good in the space that you will be videoing and that you are in clear view. Make sure you are looking in the right place.
  • Be animated and excited in your video so the consumer will be excited about what you have to sell. Increase your energy level.
  • Wear a solid color that you love. No patterns or flamboyant jewelry. Lockdown your hair!
  • Make sure it is quiet where you are videoing so you can be heard.
  • You can edit video before you post if you are not going “live” to make sure your message is clear.
  • If you go “live”, make sure you have all your product close at hand so you don’t turn your back to the camera/phone. Or, take the camera/phone with you to show the product as displayed and you don’t have to be in the video. “Live” is one of the best ways to make a connection and create a community.

VIRGINIA RETAIL FEDERATION

Virginia – OSHA Standard for COVID-19

Courtney Malveaux of Jackson Lewis delivers an in-depth webinar discussing the impact of the new regulations on your business.

Watch here
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RETAIL CORONAVIRUS BRIEFINGS

Throughout March, April, May and June, we held weekly Reopen 757 Briefings discussing legislative and financial changes and impacts on small business. These are stored on our Retail Alliance YouTube Channel. Click here to access.

STRIVE WEBINARS

Recordings of all Retail Alliance live-streamed events are available to members. Please contact your Member Advisor for access details.

Tuesday, August 18. Masterclass Panel on Marketing. Three expert marketers joined us for a special STRIVE Masterclass Panel on Marketing. Together they answered all the questions you’ve always wanted to ask about marketing! Panel members: Mason Murawski of Murawski Photography will be on to answer questions related to photography and video marketing. Learn how to get great photos of your products, the importance of using video to reach your customers, and more! He was be joined by Michele Harrison, Moxie Design, who talked about graphic design and print marketing. She’ll answered such questions like, “I found an image online, can I use it?” and “raster, vector…what does all that mean?” Last but certainly not least, Erica Rice of Erica Rice Digital Consulting rounded out our trio by bringing her expertise in website and digital marketing to the table. She will help you figure out what web platform to go with, how to get more people to visit your website, and so much more!

Tuesday, July 7. Online Metrics and Analytics. Nicole Newsome, Digital Strategist with TechArk Solutions, presented a workshop focusing on website tracking. She demonstrated how to navigate basic Google Analytics for the small business owner. From Bounce Rate to Goals/Conversions, giving tips on how to get the data you need to find digital opportunities online. Three Takeaways: Basic Google Analytics navigation; Top data points to start tracking now by industry; How to set up Goals/Conversions in your Google Analytics dashboard.

Tuesday, June 23. Using Technology to Assist Against COVID-19. Matthew Netardus, of Security 101, presented on the various technologies business and retail owners can use to better protect themselves, customers, and staff from COVID-19. Topics included but were not limited to: Fever Detection, Mobile Credentials, Anti-Microbial Handles, Occupancy Sensors/Analytics, Social Distancing Analytics

Tuesday, June 2. Becoming a Fan Favorite Business. Kaycee McCoy, CEO & Creative Director of Create/Captivate Digital Marketing, is hosting a unique STRIVE Workshop with the goal of showing you how to turn your business into a fan favorite business. Kaycee conducted a social media and communications audit of several Retail Alliance members who are seen as fan-favorite fixtures of Hampton Roads. These members have a large and dedicated following who love to interact with and support them. During COVID-19 they have shown immense leadership and crystal clear communication with their audience. Kaycee shows you exactly what they are doing and why it is working to help them grow and retain their potential customer base.

Thursday, May 7, 11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. 5 Ways to Pivot Your Marketing During A Crisis. The team from Germono Advertising Company will guide you through five ways you can pivot your marketing during a crisis during this free, educational webinar provided by Retail Alliance.

Tuesday, May 12, 2020. 9:30-10.45 a.m. Simple Self-Care Practices to Reduce Workday Stress. Life and Business Coach, Rebecca Reimers Cristol, ACC, will present a variety of simple, self-care habits to incorporate into your daily schedule. Reducing stress increases your energy, patience, focus, and therefore productivity. At the end of this webinar, you will have new ideas to manage your stress and a plan of action to hold you accountable for daily self-care.

Tuesday, May 5, 9:30-10.45 a.m. Gloucester Panel: Main Street Survival. Featured a panel of retail and business leaders from Gloucester, discussing the effect COVID-19 has had on their businesses, main street, and the Gloucester community. Panelists were: Jenny Crittenden, Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust; Jennifer Haggerty, Gloucester Main Street Association; Paige Drewry, Kelsick Specialty Market, Terri Crowder, Northern Neck Popcorn.

Thursday, April 30, 9:30-10.30 a.m.  Managing Cash Flow Through A Crisis. Between managing debt, acquiring capital, and just paying the daily expenses of operating, making good decisions on what takes priority is hard enough as it is, but during a crisis, it becomes very blurred and difficult to figure out. President of Pixel Financial Group, Misty Leinberger, CPA, MBA shared what you can do to manage cash flow during a crisis.

Tuesday, April 28, 9:30-10:45 a.m. How to Crush Retail Sales by Selling Online Even When Your Doors are Closed (E-Commerce). Presented by AdImpact Marketing. Your new reality: Doors may not open May 1st. Now what? It’s no longer a guarantee that business will be open…maybe anytime soon. Customers will want assurance that it’s safe to come back. There won’t be a snapback. Many retail strategies for upselling, such as in-store classes and events, may not return. You may be forced to pivot or die.

Thursday, April 23, 9:30- 10:45 a.m. Inventory Management During A Crisis. What do retailers do with inventory they currently have when a crisis hits? How do you move inventory when there is an active stay at home order in effect?Mary Landgrebe, Retail Inventory Solutions, answered those questions and more during her webinar presentation.

Tuesday, April 21, 10:30-11:45 a.m. Retailer’s Response: Retail Alliance Board Member Panel. We invited members of Retail Alliance’s Board of Directors to join us for a live-streamed panel discussion. These retail business owners talked about their response to this pandemic. How it has impacted their business, how they have had to adapt their operations, their experiences of getting financial help if needed, and how they see the future months unfolding in retail. But it won’t be all doom and gloom. They also shared their good stories too, in their business and in their community. Panelists: Denise Clarke, Care-A-Lot Pet Supply; Jenny Crittenden, Gloucester Main Street Preservation Trust; Philip Scotti, Philip Michael Fashion for Men.

Thursday, April 16, 9:30-10:45 a.m. Retailer’s Response: Retail Alliance Board Member Panel. We invited members of Retail Alliance’s Board of Directors to join us for a live-streamed panel discussion. These retail business owners talked about their response to this pandemic. How it has impacted their business, how they have had to adapt their operations, their experiences of getting financial help if needed, and how they see the future months unfolding in retail. But it won’t be all doom and gloom. They also shared their good stories too, in their business and in their community. Panelists: Pamela Katrancha, Garden Gazebo; Lori Janke, Clothes Mentor/Once Upon a Child, Newport News; Jack Plomgren, Cartridge Man.

Tuesday, April 14, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Video Marketing. Cheryl Tan, owner of Cheryl Tan Media, presented on the ins and outs of video marketing. With COVID-19 forcing many retailers and small business owners to rethink their marketing strategies, Cheryl is here to help guide you through the world of video marketing. She went over ways to record, edit, upload, and promote compelling videos to help you reach your customers in this period of social distancing.

Thursday, April 9, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Employment Issues Related to COVID-19. Presented by Willcox & Savage, P.C. This webinar discussed issues relating to layoffs, furloughs, unemployment claims and other topics resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Extended Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) bills recently introduced.

Tuesday, April 7, 8:30-9:45 a.m. Email Marketing. Sonya Schweitzer, The Intentional Marketer, shows you how to use email marketing to reach your customers, improve sales, and increase customer interaction. Attendees will walk away with at least three to-dos they can implement immediately in their business on various trending topics. 1. How to construct your email, 2. A list of ways to collect email addresses, 3.  How to set up an account for mass emailing.

Thursday, April 2, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Emergency Business Planning. Presented by Bernd Haase, The Alternative Board. With the very fast onslaught of the Coronavirus threatening to disrupt business operations through the region, there are three ways you can face the future: panic, do nothing, or plan. As a TAB Business Coach, Bernd’s goal is to guide business owners through these tough times and help navigate the uncertain waters…and the best way to do this is to plan, making the situation under your control as much as possible. What should you, as a business owner or responsible manager – do to prepare YOUR business?

Tuesday, March 31, 9:30-10:30 a.m. Resiliency and Decision-Making in Uncertain Times. Local, award-winning Mind Hack Coach, Lisa Smith gives perspective, guidance, mental shifts, and resources based on her 24 years of working with the neuroscience of optimal performance and the teachings from her own high-level business and mindset coaches. We are all looking for a sense of hope right now, and a way to feel in control of our circumstances—or at least our actions and outcomes. We can’t wait for something or someone to save us. We must become our own heroes. With the teachings, understandings, and inner resources Lisa will share in this session, her intention and commitment are that you will leave with a new sense of optimism and hope for your business, your self, your family and your future, and additional resources to support you along the way.

Please note: Information that is provided on this page is not an endorsement from Retail Alliance. Retail Alliance does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, completeness, or usefulness of any information provided by the programs listed on this page.

MARKETING & PROMOTION ASSISTANCE

Update your LOVEVA listing on Retail Alliance’s Buy Local app by emailing Lisa Renée Jennings. Visit www.bealocalLOVEVA.com to check out local LOVEVA businesses!

Retail Alliance member, Studio Center, a production company with five East Coast locations, including two in Virginia Beach and one in Richmond, is providing free radio production to help broadcast about closings, postponements and other operational changes. The offer — for a radio spot of up to 30 seconds — is for any organization, municipality, educational institution or company in the U.S. Call 866-515-2111 for more information.

CoVa Magazine (VistaGraphics, a Retail Alliance member) is offering free online listings for restaurants, bakeries and coffee shops to inform the public of hours and services provided. Click here to list your business.

Sky4TV is offering a Buy 1 package at $300, get 2 free – That’s 60 spots for $300! (All Spots Guaranteed to Run) + Social Media Post at no additional cost. Click here for details.

Cox Media is offering an affordable social media advertising package to help you get your message out. Interested? Email Liz.Rollins@coxmedia.com. Click here to read full details.

LET CUSTOMERS KNOW YOU ARE OPEN FOR BUSINESS
Getting your message out to those users while keeping your doors open
With “Social Distancing” as our new norm, each of us must adapt to keep a business going.
Whether it’s curbside pickup, delivery and/or drive through, let us help you get your message out.

13NowsNow #LOVELocal have put together a database with an interactive map that lets everyone find small businesses that are open. That includes restaurants. If you own a small business or work at one in Hampton Roads or northeastern North Carolina, visit this page to submit your information.

WTKR News 3 has put together a list of restaurants that are still open so people can consider utilizing takeout or curbside pickup to support local businesses. Add your restaurant, coffee house, cafe, brewery, etc to the list by visiting this page: !https://www.showmetheeats.com/?utm_source=scripps_wtkr&utm_medium=station_banners&utm_campaign=we_re_open

iHeart Radio is offering a free listing on their four radio stations calendar events page for restaurants, bakeries, cafes, coffee shops. Send the following information to nekeiawilliams@iheartmedia.com:

Business Name:
Location:
Hours:
Pick-up:
Delivery:

Virginia Media has created, through Airtable, two listings to help our local retailers and restaurants! Please enter your information on this form, bit.ly/HRshops for retail and bit.ly/3aQ1q9r for restaurants to let consumers know your hours, online ordering, pickup, delivery or how to support you in other ways.

To view retail list, click here
To view restaurant list, click here

Virginia Eats + Drinks has also created a restaurant listing (click here) across Coastal Virginia and across the Commonwealth and their current offerings. Click here to add or update your listing.