COVID-19 Information for Businesses
Department of Labor and Industry Workplace Safety Standards for COVID-19
Governor Ralph Northam announced the adoption of statewide emergency workplace safety standards in response to COVID-19. These first-in-the-nation safety rules will protect Virginia workers by mandating appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth. Please click here to access the Department of Labor and Industry standards.
The Department of Labor & Industry has published some training materials and templates to use when implementing these standards in the workplace. Please click here to access their website.
In addition, the Department of Labor & Industry are proposing permanent standards for infectious disease control. You may provide input on these proposed standards by clicking here.
Agricultural Resources for Agri-Businesses
- AFT’s Farmer Relief Fund will award farmers with cash grants of up to $1,000 each to help them weather the current storm of market disruptions caused by the coronavirus crisis.
- Initially, eligible applicants include any small and mid-size direct-market producers. These are defined as producers with annual gross revenue of between $10,000 and $1 million from sales at farmers markets and/or direct sales to restaurants, caterers, schools, stores, or makers who use farm products as inputs.
- The application is simple and easy to complete but includes sufficient detail to ensure AFT is awarding producers that have the greatest needs. Applicants will be asked to estimate their financial loss.
- AFT envisions an initial application round extending until April 23, with grants beginning to be made by May 1.
MarketMaker is the largest and most in-depth database of its kind featuring a diverse community of food-related businesses: buyers, farmers/ranchers, fisheries, farmers markets, processors/packers, wineries, restaurants and more. MarketMaker provides simple yet powerful search tools to connect with others across the production and distribution chain.
If you are not currently selling your product online, MarketMaker offers a free platform to begin online sales.
Online resources for farmers & agri-businesses
Market Ready: Farm to eCommerce Webinar Learn the basics of eCommerce marketing including pricing, promotion, and managing risk. Hear from several Virginia businesses that are currently practicing with different eCommerce models. (Provided by Virginia Cooperative Extension and VDACS) Recording Link: https://youtu.be/urJ-4t2LhXQ
Virginia Market Maker – Your FREE Online Marketspace How to Register your Agribusiness (Publication provided by VCE) The purpose of this series of publications is to inform Virginia producers about the Virginia MarketMaker portal and supporting resources, and, to introduce the use of databases and other information technologies to increase direct sales of agricultural products and tourism venues that may increase grower profitability.
Ramp Up Your Online Ordering for Expanded Delivery or Curbside Pick-Up (Webinar recording provided by Penn State Extension) Learn about online ordering and delivery or curb-side pick-up from a panel of farms successfully using these options.
E-Commerce for Direct Farm Marketers (Publication provided by University of Tennessee Extension) E-commerce, in particular, is an emerging tool for direct farm marketers. The e-commerce educational program aimed to give direct farm marketers a better understanding of the basic concepts of e-commerce, software options for online sales, potential software uses and the benefits and challenges associated with each e-commerce platform.
Online Sales Platforms for Farmers (Webinar recording provided by Oregon Tilth) With restaurants and some farmers markets shutting down, we know many of you need to find alternative sales channels for your products. Customers are also looking for new solutions to buy quality, organic food safely. Watch this webinar to learn more about direct-to-consumer online sales platforms. Hear from representatives from four online food sales platforms: Barn2Door, Harvie, Local Food Marketplace, Food4All, Open Food Network
Farm to Freezer: The Logistics of Online Sales and Shipping (Webinar recording provided by Niche Meat Processors Assistance Network) Hear from three experienced panelists who sell their meats online & ship direct to consumers. Let’s turn the COVID-19 pandemic into an opportunity to connect our niche meats to hungry consumers. Topics will include: setting up an online store, different web platforms, accepting payments, updating inventory, meat selection, subscriptions versus ala-carte orders, boxes, insulation, dry ice, maintaining cold chain, shipping carriers, costs, regulations.
Sell Real Farm Products in a Virtual Marketplace (Blog Post provided by Cornell Small Farms Program)
Tips for Selling on the Internet (Publication Provided by ATTRA) The Internet is a communication and marketing tool that can provide exposure to a large number of potential customers. This tip sheet highlights the advantages, considerations, useful tips, and key questions you should ask yourself when considering selling your products via the Internet.
Other sba loans
- Express Bridge Loan - The Express Bridge loan program allows SBA Express lenders to provide expedited financing to small businesses located in declared disaster areas. Express Bridge loans are intended to be interim loans. Businesses use these funds for disaster-related purposes while they apply for and await long-term financing.
- SBA 7(a) loans
If you are a business who is currently hiring or if you have been laid off due to to COVID19 impacts, see Virginia Career Works new website connecting businesses to employees during this difficult time.
Businesses - If you are hiring, please contact the Economic Development Department to get your openings posted.
- CDC Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- CDC - Situation Summary
- CDC - What to do if you are sick with COVID-19
- U.S. Chamber: Coronavirus Response Toolkit
- Virginia Career Works - Capital Region Resources
- Virginia Department of Health
- Virginia Government
- Virginia Chamber COVID-19 Resource Center
- Consumer delivery permits are available for certain alcoholic beverage licensees and producers from the Virginia ABC at no additional cost. Apply here.
- The Virginia Wineries Association and the Virginia Craft Brewers Guild are both offering online resources and updates for their industry partners.
- The Virginia Employment Commission is providing a Q&A on Unemployment Insurance Procedures In Response To Covid-19
- The Virginia State Corporation Commission (SCC) has directed regulated electric, natural gas and water companies in Virginia to suspend service disconnections until the coronavirus outbreak subsides. Learn more here.
- Several internet and cellular service providers are providing resources and relief for those affected by COVID-19: AT&T, Comcast and Verizon.
- Goochland County
- Chickahominy Health District - General Community Hotline: 804-365-3340
- Chickahominy Health District - Health Care providers Hotline: 804-365-3341