West Shore Chamber of Commerce

A Letter From Our President: Chamber Updates & COVID-19 Resources

The West Shore Chamber of Commerce is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in our area. As a business resource center, we want to help you navigate this situation and what that means for our community. We understand that there is uncertainty in a time like this, therefore we believe the best way to proceed is with facts and communication of those facts. We need to steer clear of fear and focus on what we can do to keep our members and community safe. Remember we need to prepare, not panic.

Let’s make sure we are minimizing the impact on our community by looking to our public health experts for guidance related to COVID-19. We hope to maintain business as usual, but also want to ensure we’re aligning with best practices to do all we can to keep our community healthy. Please make sure that you are also thinking about your fellow businesses, anyway that you can support local business while staying safe please do so!

We are creating this page as a gathering place for information from reliable resources and updates on how we are adjusting during this time.

CHAMBER EVENTS
Updated 3.20.2020
Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8 p.m. on March 19, to slow the spread of COVID-19. Enforcement actions against businesses that do not close physical locations will begin at 12:01 a.m. Saturday, March 21. View Order Here. View List of Life-Sustaining Businesses Here. If you are unsure if you need to close or have questions please email ra-dcedcs@pa.gov. If you would like to apply for a waiver or have questions on the process please email RA-dcexemption@pa.gov. The Chamber office staff will be working from home and are accessible by email. Please visit the staff page for our information.

Updated 3.16.2020
The Chamber has decided to close the office to the public in response to the recommendations of health professionals and government officials. Starting today, Monday, March 16th all staff will be available by email and limited staff will be in the office to answer phone calls directly until further notice. We are here for you during this time so please reach out and let us know what we can do for you so that we can help you navigate this ever-changing situation.

As we all know, many local businesses are going to be affected by this situation and we want to continue supporting them while staying safe. We posted some ideas on our Facebook page on how to do this. However, if your business is doing your part to support the local community during this time let us know so that we can share it out as we can. We are here for you, so please reach out and let us know what we can do for you so that we can help you navigate this ever-changing situation.

In addition to this, in partnership with the Mechanicsburg Chamber, to keep our members and the community safe we are postponing our Taste of the Chamber event until June 24th, 2020.

Any further updates will be provided via our social media channels, on our website, and through our weekly email to our members.

3.12.2020
Due to public health concerns, the Chamber and our member Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Mechanicsburg believe it is a responsible decision to postpone the morning networking mixer scheduled for Wednesday, March 18th. It will be rescheduled at a later date.

Since we are unsure of the length of time that we should be concerned, we are discussing events that are scheduled in April and May to see how they should be handled. At this time no other events are postponed or canceled. Decisions for committee meetings will be made on a case by case basis and that information will be communicated to committee members and on our website. Supporting local businesses is critical but so is keeping our members and the local community safe.

Any updates to this will be communicated to our members via direct email, our WeeklyWire, on social media and on this page. To sign up for our emails please contact krystin@wschamber.org to be added to our list. If you have any direct questions please call the Chamber office at (717) 761-0702 or email wschamber@wschamber.org.

RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS & THEIR EMPLOYEES
Updated 3.18.2020
To help educate employers and employees on how to prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) have created resources so we can try to stay ahead of the spread of COVID-19. Please continue to go to these resources for updates as we see what impact this may have on Central PA. We will update these resources as they become available.

Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
Coronavirus Updates
Keeping Workplaces, Homes, Schools or Commercial Establishments Safe Printouts

World Health Organization (WHO)
Coronavirus Disease Outbreak – Current Updates

US Chamber of Commerce
Combating the Coronavirus
Customizable Coronavirus Flyer, Download Here
Guidance for Employers to Plan
Workplace Tips for Employees

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)
ACCE Resource Guide: Coronavirus
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond
Key Planning Recommendations for Mass Gatherings
Pandemic Guidance – Ready.Gov

Funding
PA Dept of Community & Economic Development  –
The COVID-19 Working Capital Access (CWCA) program will provide working capital financing for eligible small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 and have 100 or fewer full-time employees. Max loan amount is $100,000 with no job retention/ creation requirements. Learn more through CAEDC: Click here for more information and how to apply.
Small Business Administration, Details on Disaster Assistance Loans

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, & Economic Securty (CARES) Act which was passed by the Senate is being voted on by the House today. This is a large bill and if implemented impacted agencies will start to provide guidance. Until that happens, U.S. Senator Toomey has made a statement on the act that can be found here. A handout summary of the CARES Act can be found here. Listen to a phone call by Sen. Toomey with a National Reporter here and a local reporter here.

Local Links
Amtrak Travel Updates
Cumberland County PA
Fisher Phillips Law Firm, Comprehensive FAQ’s for Employers on COVID-19
Harrisburg International Airport Updates
PA 2-1-1, Free, accessible, 3-digit telephone number available to everyone. All residents have easy access to customized health, housing, and human services information in one place.
PA.Cast – COVID-19 Printables
PA Daily COVID-19 Report (updated every evening)
PA Department of Education
PA.GOV Health Department Coronavirus Updates
PA Restaurant & Lodging Association Updates
PA State Registrar Notices
PA Unemployment Compensation Filing Materials Checklist

Articles
The Emergency Coronavirus Bill: What Employers Need to Know Regarding the Legislative Response to COVID-19
Facebook announces $100 million program for small businesses impacted by coronavirus
Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium in connection with the Presidentially- Declared COVID-19 National Emergency

RECOMMENDATIONS FROM THE CDC

Ask yourself the following questions:

If you answered “yes’ to any of those questions, we ask you not to attend meetings, committees or events hosted here at Chamber building or at other locations.

If you answered “no,” we ask you to take the advice of the CDC, including:

  • Frequently and thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash, or use your inner elbow or sleeve.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Stay home if you’re sick and keep your children home if they are sick.
  • Clean surfaces in your home and personal items, such as cell phones, using regular household products.

– George M. Book, Jr, West Shore Chamber President & CEO