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The Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing leadership, advocacy and Member services to foster economic prosperity to our region during these uncertain times. We realize that the recent events regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic have created unprecedented circumstances. In light of this, we have taken precautionary measures as well as created resources and provided helpful information to help aid our business community. We are continuing to participate in discussions with the U.S. Small Business Administration, Pulaski County Government, The City of Somerset, Kentucky Chamber, the local Somerset Health Department and other key administrations to monitor potential economic disruptions and to seek assistance for our local businesses and employers.

Resources will be updated as new information becomes available.

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Employers are required to post the United States Department of Labor:
Employee Rights Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act 

Poster from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Click here to download. 

How to Support Local Businesses

We always hear how important it is to shop local and support small businesses. Now more than ever that statement rings true.
As everyone is quarantining, and social distancing, local businesses are seeing less foot traffic than normal.
It is important to stay healthy and listen to the government and CDC officials, but it’s also important to help our neighbors when we can.
Here are a few ways we can help support our friends and neighbors during this time.
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SHOP LOCAL FIRST  – SHOP LOCAL, ONLINE  – ORDER TO GO – STAY SUBSCRIBED – BUSINESS-2-BUSINESS COLLABORATION – TIP A LITTLE EXTRA  – BUY A GIFT CARD – GET SOCIAL, ONLINE – DONATE

 

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Somerset-Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce surveyed 158 businesses across our community in attempts to illustrate the virus’s impact on our business community. The Chamber invited our membership to provide their feedback over a 7 day period from April 13-April 27, 2020. The majority of responses came from small businesses with more than 50% of surveys submitted from companies with less than 26 employees.
 
A few highlights from our survey:
  • A total of 158 individuals took the survey.
  • 93% of respondents believe that their business has been impacted by COVID-19.
  • We received well balanced survey participation. The largest participating group were businesses with 1-10 employees with 37.3% of the responses.
  • 53.7% of participants were male and 43% female (3.1% did not respond).
  • 56.2% of people who participated were between the age of 35 – 54.
  • Types of businesses vary drastically, but the largest sector of participation was medical & health services with 15.1%
  • 71.5% of the people participating in the survey classified themselves as essential personnel.
  • Many businesses have implemented budget reductions and layoffs, but over 33% of respondents are working remotely from home.
  • When asked how much has their revenue changed over February / March, 24% of people surveyed said they have seen more than a 50% decrease in revenue. 
  • Interestingly, 5.6% of respondents said that they have seen a revenue increase in this same time-span.
  • A whopping 90.4% of people surveyed said that they strongly support, support or somewhat support the 2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package that Congress recently passed.
  • When we asked people when they would feel comfortable safely reopening business in Somerset-Pulaski County, 14.5% of people said immediately ….. and another 49.3% said businesses should reopen at some point on May.
Survey takeaways:
 
First, COVID-19 has impacted almost everyone’s business.
 
Second, its obvious that businesses want to get back to work. With many options on our survey, we still saw over 63% of participants wanting to get back to work immediately or in the month of May.
 
Third, people overwhelmingly support the 2.2 trillion dollar coronavirus relief package that was passed by congress.
 
Fourth, almost 25% of people surveyed said that their budgets have seen more than a 50% decrease in revenue. 
 
Finally, businesses are staying afloat by adapting and becoming more flexible with the traditional work model. People are working from home, participating in volunteer layoffs and reducing budgets to keep their doors open. 
 
In conclusion:
We can now verify that many of the concerns being echoed from our local business community are justified. While people greatly appreciate the short term assistance that the coronavirus relief package has brought, there is still a great deal of unrest inside our business community about getting back to work.
With over 63% of participants wanting to get back to work within the next 35 days, we must give cautious consideration to implementing a phased-in approach to reopening business.
We can also see the world has changed and running a small business won’t be the same in May as it was in February. Overall, COVID-19 has forced businesses to reevaluate their current model and work to find creative and innovative solutions to keep their doors open and profitable.
The Chamber of Commerce believes that a strategic plan today for reopening our local business community will pay dividends for many years to come.
We must continue to have unwavering faith that we, as a region, will survive after the COVID-19 Crisis is over. We must be patient; one step at a time, one day at a time. The Chamber is here to work with our business community, along with our other economic partners, to get out of this crisis and forge a path forward. 

No family and no business should go bankrupt because of the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus. 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. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Click the Link Below to access the Small Business Guide and Checklist intended to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.

CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION

Restart Somerset Membership Report
In the coming weeks, business owners will flip their open signs and many employees will slowly begin returning to work. We encourage all business owners in Somerset-Pulaski County to review the guidelines implemented by the State and CDC prior to resuming day-to-day activities.

RESOURCES FOR HEALTHY PUBLIC SPACES:

Kentucky – Healthy at Work: How we Reopen our Economy
CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes

LOCAL PERSONNEL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT:

Team Modern Business Services and Cintas have launched an online site for businesses needing a solution for COVID-related items.

Items currently available:

Disposable Masks
Washable Masks
Poly Gloves
Hand Sanitizer
Cleaning/Sanitizing Supplies
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Can Liner/Garbage Bags

CINTAS PRODUCTS
TEAM MODERN PRODUCTS   

10 RULES ALL BUSINESS MUST FOLLOW:

Closed Businesses Reopening. Each business must meet the following minimum requirements before they can reopen. If any business in a sector being reopened cannot comply with the minimum requirements set out below, they must wait to reopen until they are able to do so or until some or all of these restrictions are lifted.

Click here to view the list

RESTAURANT GUIDELINES:

National Restaurant Association Reopening Guidelines

REOPENING PLANS:

The Governor unveiled a tentative reopening schedule for a variety of businesses allowed to resume operations. He said that as long as Kentucky keeps up the fight against the coronavirus with promising results, the following business sectors are in line to restart:

May 11 – Manufacturing, construction, vehicle and vessel dealerships, professional services (at 50% of pre-outbreak capacity), horse racing (without spectators), pet grooming and boarding
May 20 – Retail, houses of worship
May 25 – Social gatherings of no more than 10 people, barbers, salons, cosmetology businesses, and similar services

1.   ASSESS THE FINANCIAL DAMAGE
The first step in developing a rebuilding plan for COVID-19 is determining just how deeply your small business has been affected. Aside from the hard numbers relating to sales, profits and cash flow, consider other ways in which your business has been affected.
2.   WILL YOU NEED FUNDING TO RECOVER
Unless you had a large amount of cash on hand going into the pandemic, it’s likely that you may need some working capital to jump-start your business operations coming out of it.
3.   CREATE A CONTINGENCY PLAN
While the coronavirus pandemic may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime event, the reality is that an emergency can come along to disrupt your small business at any time. Using what you’ve learned during the current pandemic to prepare for the next crisis can help you insulate your business from future shocks.
 

As the Commonwealth prepares to reopen during the COVID-19 pandemic, the State of Kentucky has partnered with the
Kentucky Chamber by offering face masks to all Kentucky businesses in need to ensure you can reopen as safely and quickly as possible.
We wanted to pass this information along to any local businesses that might be interested or in need.
 
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Mask type: Three-ply, surgical mask

Quantities: Sold in multiples of 50 masks per box

Price: $49.50 per box of 50 masks (plus shipping and sales tax)

Shipment: Once your order is received, you can expect the shipment to be mailed within three to five business days.

Please note: These are single-use masks that should not be reused.

CLICK HERE TO ORDER NOW

The Somerset Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce Chamber of Commerce is committed to
providing our members with information that will help your business succeed in this ever changing landscape. To help our small business owners, we we have launced a series of videos help you prepare for your comeback once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. For more helpful tips, videos and to stay up to date with what the Chamber is doing to help our community in real time, visit our Facebook Page @somersetpulaskichamber
Training #1
HOW TO INCREASE ONLINE SALES 
  Training #2
HOW TO START A YOUTUBE CHANNEL FOR YOUR BUSINESS FROM SCRATCH
Training #3
WHAT IS THE BEST FREE WEBSITE BUILDER FOR BUSINESS OWNERS
Training #4
WHAT ARE THE HOTTEST DIGITAL MARKETING TRENDS OF 2020
 
Training #5
6 FACEBOOK AD TOOLS AND STRATEGIES FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS