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Recover Resources: Going yellow, Chambers and counties provide advocacy and resources

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Posted by: Main Line Chamber on Saturday, May 30, 2020 at 10:00:00 am

 

With yellow phase to begin locally next Friday, Governor outlines details of green
Gov. Wolf provided additional guidance on the opening process as he expects Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties and Philadelphia to move by June 5 to the yellow phase of the state’s three-phase system for classifying counties in the wake of a stay-at-home order that will end on that date. The governor on Friday moved 18 counties from the yellow phase to the green phase and eight counties from the red phase to the yellow phase. Chester County Commissioners were among those arguing that their county was ready to move to the next phase, issuing a May 20 statement calling the move to yellow a “cautious step forward.” Working from home will continue to be encouraged where feasible.


Main Line, other chambers write state legislators about reopening pace
The Main Line Chamber of Commerce and 24 other chambers in southeastern Pennsylvania have signed onto an open letter to the region’s state legislators to express their concern with the pace of reopening the area. The chambers said Governor Wolf has not said when he might move the region to green and that, as a result, “the region of the state that typically grows fastest and is the engine for the state will be moving the slowest, if at all. This will ultimately devastate the Commonwealth’s ability to fund schools, health departments, and roads.” The chambers said many businesses should be allowed to open now and too many will needlessly stay closed once the region is moved to yellow. They also offered to provide help in communicating safety guidelines to businesses so the region can be reopened swiftly and safely.


Business leaders seek limited liability protections against lawsuits during recovery phase
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry, The Main Line Chamber of Commerce and other business groups are pushing for temporary state protections from lawsuits for businesses that follow safety guidelines as they reopen. WHYY provides this update on a developing story.


Delco lists what moving to yellow entails, forms task force to smooth reopening
Delaware County has put online a list of what moving to the yellow phase means for businesses and residents. Among other things, gyms, salons, malls, movie theatres and casinos must remain closed; restaurants and bars remain closed to in-person business but can continue to offer takeout and delivery; retail stores can reopen but are encouraged to offer delivery and curbside pickup; childcare centers can open with guidance; working from home is still encouraged; and businesses that will be allowed to open must follow state guidance to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak. The county also has formed the ReOpen Delco Task Force and plans to announce more about it soon.


Restore Chester County offers guidance for moving to yellow
Chester County has launched Restore Chester County to help businesses and individuals know what will be required of them when the county into the yellow phase. The website was created by the COVID-19 Business Task Force, whose members include Main Line Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Bernard Dagenais. Visitors to the website can access reopening toolkits for businesses and organizations and residents. The website also provides links to further guidance for 20 different types of organizations, mostly businesses, including those in the agriculture, manufacturing and retail sectors, but also nonprofits, schools and religious organizations.


Montco awards nearly $5 million in small business grants
Montgomery County said Friday it has awarded 437 grants totaling $4,999,500 in the second round of its MontcoStrong Small Business Grant Program. The county received roughly 2,900 applications for $29.3 million in grants and that it got 1,500 grant applications within the first 80 minutes of the application window being open on May 13. Twenty five percent of the organizations that received grants were in the accommodations and food services sector and 23 percent were in the retail trade sectors. The county also put out guidance for businesses and residents about its expected move from red to yellow by June 5. Businesses receiving grants are listed.


Chamber offers COVID-19 Recovery Resources webpage
The Main Line Chamber of Commerce has created a COVID-19 Recovery Resources webpage that contains links to resources available from the local, state and federal governments; the chamber and chamber members. The webpage also has links to health resources and organizations seeking volunteers and/or donations.


House passes act relaxing PPP loan restrictions
The House of Representatives on Thursday passed by a 417-to-one margin an act to modify the Paycheck Protection Program to make it better fit the needs of small businesses. Among other things, the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act would extend the period for using loans received under the PPP to 24 weeks. The act also would allow borrowers to use just 60 percent, rather than 75 percent, of their loan proceeds on paying workers and still be eligible for loan forgiveness. MarketWatch reported that Senate Republicans and President Trump have backed extending the period for using PPP loans but haven’t appeared to support decreasing the percentage of PPP loans that must be used on payroll.


Best regards-Be safe,

Bernie

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Bernard Dagenais 
President & CEO 
The Main Line Chamber of Commerce 

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