Below you will find a variety of information regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) breakout as well as additional resources. The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce is here for you during this challenging time. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to call our office at (920) – 3030 – 2265 and we will help you in any way we can. 

Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: 

The SBA has just launched their new Wisconsin portal in regards to the injury Disaster Loan Program. Click here to view the portal. The Small Business Administration has also released information on their Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Click here to view an overview and talking points regarding the program. Click here to view a Q&A section regarding the program.

Forms and Resources:

Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Operational Update:

The coronavirus situation has certainly been amplified over the past few days. While it appears to be potentially a real threat, it seems that uncertainty and fear is causing people stress and is rattling the markets in a way none of us has ever experienced. This situation is causing us, as an organization, to adjust our programming in response to feedback we are getting from the business community. Consequently, some of our immediate events that are scheduled in the near term are being postponed and rescheduled. We will continue to monitor the ever evolving coronavirus situation and will make appropriate decisions on upcoming scheduled Chamber events, like Business After Hours, seminars, etc. As you know, this is a fluid situation that we will continue to monitor. Looking ahead, should the trajectory of the situation continue over the next weeks, we will probably need to make additional operational and program changes.

We understand that public concern about COVID-19 will continue to cause people to be cautious. We encourage everyone to understand the facts about COVID-19 to make informed decisions. All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations.

Our Oshkosh Chamber staff is here to serve you. While some of our staff is working remotely during this time, please don’t hesitate to reach out to them at any time for support and assistance. Listed below is a list of all contact information for each staff member. The Oshkosh Chamber’s direct dial number is (920) 303 – 2265.

Additionally, the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce and the UW Oshkosh Center for Customized Research & Services are conducting a coronavirus disruption survey to collect data from businesses and organizations like yours to better understand its effect and how we may learn valuable information to support you in the future. Please help us collect this important data by taking a moment to complete this quick survey. Click here to take the survey.

Treasury, IRS and Labor announce plan to implement Coronavirus-related
paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses to
swiftly recover the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave

US Department of Labor Has Made Available A Required Posting Regarding The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The US Department of Labor has made available a required posting in regard to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. You can click here to view a printable PDF version of the flyer. Below is some additional guidance released by the Department of Labor about where you can post the flyer:

  • Post notice in conspicuous place on premises, preferably where other legal notices are posted.
  • Sending copy of notice to each employer is not necessary, but permissible.
  • Notice in language other than English is not required.
  • Notice must be posted for current employees only; no requirement to share notice with laid-office employees
  • Employers are not required to give notice to new job applicants.
  • Notice must be posted in each building of the employer if employees report directly to each building as opposed to a main location.

The Department of Labor (DOL) issued further guidance for employers on the Families First Coronavirus Recovery Act (FFCRA). We have fielded many questions from employers on various parts of the FFCRA and will continue to try and answer those questions individually as they come up. We thought you would be interested in getting the DOL guidance as well to help you determine your compliance measures. You can find that guidance here.

U.S. Chamber Releases Guide and Checklist For New CARES Act

As many of you are aware, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the “Paycheck Protection Program,” the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward..In an effort to help the business community navigate this process, the US Chamber has develop a guide. Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Passed By Senate 

The Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act last night – the third and most expansive package designed to address the public health and economic crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The legislation would expand and extend unemployment benefits, send most Americans a $1,200 per person check, incentivize and compensate businesses to keep workers employed, facilitate new loans and grants to large and small businesses, increase aid to states, spend more on hospitals, offer targeted tax relief, and enact other tax and spending changes. Though the deficit impact of the legislation is still unclear, it has been described as a $2 trillion package. In the table below, we identify $2.3 trillion of costs, which is a summary of the bill as we understand it at the time. Dollars presented here don’t necessarily equate to the ultimate deficit impact; some costs may be recovered later, such as loans that are eventually repaid. For more information regarding the new act, click here.

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Bar and Restaurant Micro Loan Program: 

The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce has established a Bar and Restaurant Emergency Micro Loan program to assist Oshkosh Chamber member businesses that have been impacted by the State of Wisconsin’s ban on bar and restaurant operations due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Click here to apply! If you have any questions or concerns, contact Rob Kleman at [email protected] or (920) 303 – 2265 Ext. 14. and he will be happy to assist you.

WEDC Develops Relief For Businesses Impacted by COVID-19:

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation is taking steps to create a funding assistance program through the Small Business 20/20 Program. This program was created to help mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses and micro-enterprises in Wisconsin. The program is designed to ease these businesses’ short-term cash flow challenges and, in conjunction with other state response programs, protect jobs and public health in Wisconsin. Click here to learn more.

Winnebago County Public Health Department Situational Updates: 

The Oshkosh Chamber has been taking the lead from the Winnebago County Health Department for guidance and best practices. The Department has begun producing weekly situation reports that we are sharing with the membership. These local Situation Updates will provide information for the community to help limit the spread of COVID-19 to Winnebago County. Click here to view the most recent update. We will publish these weekly Situation Updates on coronavirus as long as necessary in order to keep you up to date.

Labor and Employment Law Update: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Early Saturday, March 14, 2020 the House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”). The Senate is set to take this matter up on Monday, March 16, 2020 and President Trump stated that he will immediately sign the legislation. The Act has many facets to it including new temporary employer obligations relative to paid leaves of absence related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and expands employer obligations under the Federal Family and Medical Leave Law. Employers have time to prepare as the law will be effective 15 days after enactment (potentially as soon as March 31, 2020, if signed Monday). While there is much remaining to be analyzed under this new law, the following provides an initial overview so employers can begin preparations for compliance and education of the workforce. Read the entire legal brief by von Briesen & Roper, s.c. here! 

Keeping the Work Area Safe:

The Oshkosh Chamber is monitoring public health developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its impact on the business community. We want to educate our members and the public on proper health hygiene and best practices.

In order to keep the workplace safe, encourage your employees to…

  • Practice good hygiene:
    • Stop handshaking and use other non contact methods of greeting
    • Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders by email
    • Create habits and reminders to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
  • Be careful with meetings and travel:
    • Use videoconferencing for meetings when possible
    • When not possible, hold meetings in open, well-ventilated spaces
    • Consider adjusting or postponing large meetings or gatherings
    • Assess the risks of business travel
  • Handle food carefully:
    • Limit food sharing
    • Strengthen health screening for cafeteria staff and their close contacts
    • Ensure cafeteria staff and their close contacts practice strict hygiene
  • Stay home if…
    • They are feeling sick
    • They have a sick family member in their home

In order to keep commercial establishments safe, encourage your employees and customers to…

  • Practice good hygiene:
    • Stop handshaking and use other non-contact methods of greeting
    • Clean hands at the door and schedule regular hand washing reminders by email
    • Create habits and reminders to avoid touching their faces and cover coughs and sneezes
    • Disinfect surfaces like doorknobs, tables, desks, and handrails regularly
    • Increase ventilation by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning
  • Avoid crowding:
    • Use booking and scheduling to stagger customer flow
    • Use online transactions where possible
    • Consider limiting attendance at larger gatherings
  • For transportation businesses, taxis, and ride shares:
    • Keep windows open when possible
    • Increase ventilation
    • Regularly disinfect surfaces

Additional Links and Resources: