Supporting Small Businesses During COVID-19

Dear Anderson Business Community, 
 
Due to the economic hardships of COVID-19, the City Economic Development staff has compiled a resource guide for local businesses.  See below a summary of information, resources and step-by-step processes for such items.   We know that today’s challenge may be larger and more daunting than ever, but Anderson is strong, innovative, creative and resilient.  We will do our best to help facilitate efforts that maximize our resources and reignite growth in tough times. 

Federal Disaster Loan Assistance Information 

The State of South Carolina has applied for the federal Disaster Loan Assistance and is currently waiting on approval from the Small Business Administration (SBA).  We should receive an approval within a day or two.  Once approved, you will be able to apply through the SBA to receive a low-interest disaster loan. 
 
Click here for a document that provides basic information related to the Disaster Loan Assistance.  We recommend that you continue to visit the SBA’s website frequently for the most up to date information regarding the loan process. 
 
 Additional recommendations:
  1. Start at www.sba.gov/disaster 
  2. Go to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ and look for South Carolina under “Eligible Disaster Areas”
  3. Once SC shows up you can go back to https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/ and select “Apply On-Line”
  4. Go to www.sba.gov and sign up for SBA e-mail updates at the bottom right of the page.
For more details regarding SBA’s Disaster Loan information or the process, please contact SBA Disaster Loan Assistance:

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Now Open

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan application is now open to business owners in all of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

 The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
 
 
10 Tips to Consider When Applying for EID LOAN
 
1. Do not wait to begin your application. Start soon, you are under no obligation to accept the loan if approved, but you must apply for the loan to start the process. There will likely be a 2-3 week process from the point of application to the decision.
2. Do not rush through the application. Check and recheck the filing requirements to ensure that all the needed information is completed prior to submission. The biggest reason for the delay in processing will be due to missing information.
3. Although a paper application and forms are acceptable, filing electronically is easier, faster and more accurate. The application may be printed and completed prior to filing online.
4. Save your work at every prompt.
5. Write your password down; neither the system nor any personnel are able to retrieve it if lost.
6. Be sure to use the same contact information (business name and the name of all owners) that you use on your federal tax returns. Double-check that they match.
7. If the loan request is denied, the applicant will be given up to six months in which to provide new information and submit a written request for reconsideration.
8. Applicants must meet eligibility (prove injury), have a clear credit history with US Government, prove the ability to repay, have a physical presence in the declared county and suffer losses due to COVID-19 not economy.
9. Loans up to $2 Million with terms 3.75% up to 30 years.
10. Loans over $25K require collateral (no declines for lack of collateral).

Small Business Relief 

South Carolina servers can get six weeks of unemployment pay without applying for other jobs. 

Restaurant workers and others who are temporarily out of work due to COVID-19 can receive six weeks of unemployment benefits from the state. The employer must apply for this program. Those who have temporarily shut down can apply for the benefits for their workers who have been laid off or had their hours cut back. 

According to the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW): 

  • Employers can request permission to file claims on their workers’ behalf and are eligible for up to six weeks of benefits for affected employees. During that time the workers don’t have to look for another job.
  • The employer needs to contact SCDEW’s unemployment insurance department and sign an agreement letter. Then they are required to report any earnings the employee may have received during the particular week filed.
  • They also must submit an electronic file to the department each week by logging in.
  • The claim must be submitted after the week of layoff is over but within 14 days of the claim week ending date. To access tutorials and guides for the system, visit the department’s Employers Bridge to Benefits page. 

Helpful links below:

Curbside Pickup Promotions & Signage 

 
Due to canceled events and affected hours of operation, the City’s downtown newsletter will feature updates from businesses that are offering special deliveries, curbside pickup, and online promotions. City businesses that wish to feature specials in the newsletter, send your information to  cgaddis@cityofandersonsc.com
 
We have also ordered curbside pickup signs to be delivered to downtown businesses by the end of this week.  They will be placed in anchor locations that can be accessed and utilized by the surrounding businesses.  

Creative Solutions & Additional Resources

Creative Solutions for Restaurants
  • Altering menus for family-style meals 
  • Curbside pickup 
  • Enhanced delivery services utilizing platforms such as Grubhub and Bitesquad 
  • High-end restaurants altering menus for a more budget-friendly option
  • Click here for a summary of local curbside accommodations 

Retail

  • Feature relevant items such as lounge wear or at-home products 
  • Change order runs to minimums 
  • Enhanced delivery services 
  • Brainstorm with competitors as to what may reignite your industry upon crisis
  • Focus on online marketing campaigns to support eCommerce sales
Unique Business Opportunities 
  • Seamstresses needed for sewing cloth masks to help with the nationwide shortage. 
Additional Resources
Small Business Development Center whose mission is to advance economic development by helping entrepreneurs grow successful businesses. Consulting available, free of charge.
Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce whose mission is to create an environment for healthy economic growth and provide superior value for its members.
SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.
 
 

Please see below a message from AnMed Health regarding COVID-19 guidance for employers. 

Please see update from the South Carolina Small Business Development Center (SBDC) below.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Now Open

The SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan application is now open to business owners in all of South Carolina’s 46 counties.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

10 Tips to Consider When Applying for EID LOAN

 
  1. Do not wait to begin your application. Start soon, you are under no obligation to accept the loan if approved, but you must apply for the loan to start the process. There will likely be a 2-3 week process from the point of application to the decision.
  2. Do not rush through the application. Check and recheck the filing requirements to ensure that all the needed information is completed prior to submission. The biggest reason for the delay in processing will be due to missing information.
  3. Although a paper application and forms are acceptable, filing electronically is easier, faster and more accurate. The application may be printed and completed prior to filing online.
  4. Save your work at every prompt.
  5. Write your password down; neither the system nor any personnel are able to retrieve it if lost.
  6. Be sure to use the same contact information (business name and the name of all owners) that you use on your federal tax returns. Double-check that they match.
  7. If the loan request is denied, the applicant will be given up to six months in which to provide new information and submit a written request for reconsideration.
  8. Applicants must meet eligibility (prove injury), have a clear credit history with US Government, prove the ability to repay, have a physical presence in the declared county and suffer losses due to COVID-19 not economy.
  9. Loans up to $2 Million with terms 3.75% up to 30 years.
  10.  Loans over $25K require collateral (no declines for lack of collateral).
 

Small Business Strong 

Entrepreneurs are known for our resilience and ability to turn tough situations into contributions to our communities. We know many of you are anxious about the state of the economy and your personal business challenges so rather than focus on the virus, the economy or the negative impacts, we are taking this opportunity to outline some things you can do to actually strengthen your business as we hunker down and regroup.

Curbside Pickup Promotions

Small Business COVID-19 Links and Resources

Additional Resources

 
FREE Local Printing Resources 
PIP Printing will print 500 Black and White menus for local restaurants at no charge.  Click the links below to learn about their printing, mailing and signage specials.  
 
Small Business Response Resources
Small Business Development Center:  Click here.
Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce:  Click here .
SC Dept. of Commerce and SC Emergency Management:  Click here.
South Carolina DHEC Information:  Click here.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Information:  Click here.
US Chamber of Commerce COVID-19 Response: Click here.
US Dept. of Labor COVID-19 Resources:  Click here.
South Carolina Chamber of Commerce Resources:  Click here.
Google for Small Business Resources:  Click here.
Crisis Communications Planning Checklist:  Click here.
SCORE:  Click here.  
Restaurant Information
SC DHEC Food Service Restrictions:  Click here.
Municipal Association of SC Restaurant Safety Enforcement Information:  Click here.
SC Department of Employment and Workforce  Unemployment Assistance:  Click here.
To-go/curbside operations guide:  Click here.
James Beard Foundation Resources:  Click here.
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation:  Click here.
Relief Fund Information from Eater.com:  Click here.  
Retail Information
National Retail Federation:  Click here.
Retail Industry Leaders Association:  Click here.
City of Anderson Information

City of Anderson response updates to the COVID-19 crisis. Click here.

 
Please let us know if you have any questions or need additional information on the items above.  We are here for you and hope to serve as valuable resources during this difficult time.  
 
Best,  City of Anderson Economic Development Team 
 
Kimberly Spears
Economic Development Director
Mary Haley Thompson
Project Manager 
Caroline Gaddis 
Business Education & Event Manager
Brittney Gamble
Project Manager of Grants & Research
 
For additional updates and information, visit www.cityofandersonsc.com.   
City Of Anderson To Modify Operations Amid COVID-19 PandemicCLICK HERE FOR MORE INFO
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