Preparation, Not Panic
This page will be updated with new and relevant resources as they become available. If you have information that you would like to share with North Carolina’s business community regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please email us.
Calls to Connect You with the Latest
Wednesday, April 3 at 2 p.m. > Overview of CARES Act Tax Relief for Businesses
Join experts from Smith Anderson and Martin Marietta for details regarding tax relief for businesses through the CARES Act. Register here.
Answers at 8 > M-W-F Call-In for NC Employers
CAI is hosting live call-in sessions for employers every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 8 a.m. On the call, issue experts will discuss the most relevant topics around COVID-19, as well as the evolving regulations and best practices. There will be time for attendees to ask questions. Learn more and register here.
Wednesdays at 11:30 a.m. > Weekly Call with NCDHHS and AHEC
The NC Department of Health and Human Services’ Division of Public Health (DPH) and NC AHEC are holding weekly forums for the NC business community every Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to noon. The forums enable you to obtain timely information on COVID-19 and to pose questions directly to public health subject matter experts. Learn more.
Guidance Regarding Shelter in Place
To comply with North Carolina’s stay-at-home order, businesses are NOT required to have any credential to continue operations. Learn more.
North Carolina Issues Stay-at-Home Order (3/27/20)
The NC Chamber issued this position regarding Governor Cooper’s Stay-at-Home order.
Tracking Local Stay-at-Home and Shelter-in-Place Orders in North Carolina
Track local Stay at Home/State of Emergency orders issued by North Carolina communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as details related to compliance with and enforcement of these orders. For guidance on how the CISA defines “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers”, click here.
NC Chamber Recommendations if Shelter in Place is Ordered (3/24/20)
Should a shelter in place be ordered in North Carolina, the NC Chamber advocates for these considerations.
Shelter in Place Should be a Last-Ditch Resort: North Carolina Must Instead Draw on Decades of Experience (3/21/20)
The NC Chamber issued this message regarding shelter in place.
Seeing the Good
In the days and weeks ahead, it is imperative that North Carolina’s business community pull together and use its influence to bend the curve on COVID-19 cases. Many of our state’s businesses are already providing strong leadership, and through outreach, policy and compassion, have helped workers and families navigate this crisis a bit more easily. If you would like to recognize a local or state business for going above and beyond in its efforts to support the community during this difficult time, please do so here. We will be showcasing your stories across our communications channels.
Click below to see the stories we have collected so far. Follow along on Twitter using #SeeTheGoodNC
North Carolina Updates
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response in North Carolina (NCDHHS)
This NC DHHS website has the state’s most current information and guidance, including a section for business and employers.
On April 1, Governor Cooper issued Executive Order 125, authorizing and encouraging remote shareholder meetings during the COVID-19 State of Emergency.
On March 31, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 124, prohibiting utilities – including electric, gas, water and wastewater services – from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during this pandemic and prohibits them from collecting fees, penalties or interest for late payment. The order applies for the next 60 days and gives residential customers at least six months to pay outstanding bills.
On March 27, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121, a statewide Stay-at-Home Order beginning Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m., continuing until Wednesday, April 29. The executive order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.
On March 23, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order closing all K-12 public schools statewide through May 15, banning mass gatherings of more than 50 people, and closing some businesses, specifically those in which social distancing is nearly impossible, such as personal care and grooming businesses.
On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration granted Governor Roy Cooper’s request for a disaster declaration for small businesses suffering economic losses due to COVID-19. Learn more. N.C. District of the U.S. Small Business Administration Director Thomas Stith III discussed some of the specifics here.
On March 17, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits. To learn more about what the unemployment insurance changes mean to your business, including detail on the provision that employers will not be responsible for benefits paid as a result of the coronavirus, click here for recommendations from CAI.
On March 16, NC DHHS officially recommended against mass gatherings of more than 50 people. Learn more.
On March 14, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order closing all K-12 public schools in North Carolina, starting on March 16, for a minimum of two weeks. The order also prohibits mass gatherings of more than 100 people. Learn more.
On March 10, Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency. The declaration activates the Emergency Operations Center to help agencies coordinate from one location and makes it easier to purchase needed medical supplies, protect consumers from price gouging, and increase county health departments’ access to state funds. In addition to Governor Cooper’s emergency declaration, the NC DHHS is making several recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the number of people infected. Learn more.
On March 3, North Carolina reported its first case of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. COVID-19 is currently not widespread and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is providing timely updates on our state’s status. Learn more.
Paycheck Protection Program
As financial institutions begin implementing the Paycheck Protection Program, part of the CARES Act, we are working closely with the North Carolina Bankers Association to provide the latest resources for your business on this page. Check back often for updates.
Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Phase 3)
Congress’s latest coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. history and will allocate $2.2 trillion in support to individuals and businesses affected by the pandemic and economic downturn. The U.S. Chamber provides this summary and also created this Guide to Employee Retention Tax Credit. For information on how the U.S. Treasury Department is taking action on the CARES Act, click here.
EPA Enforcement Discretion Policy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently released new guidance to assist the regulated community in responding to COVID-19. The guidance confirms that EPA will exercise fact-specific enforcement discretion regarding compliance issues that arise due to the outbreak and addresses a number of specific scenarios that may arise. An overview of this policy, from Robinson Bradshaw, can be found here.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“Families First”, Phase 2)
On March 18, 2020, the U.S. Senate passed the U.S. House of Representative’s “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” by a vote of 90-8, and President Trump signed the act into law the same day. The law does not contain any changes to the House versions of the legislation that were passed on March 14 and March 16 – read a summary from the U.S. Chamber here. Ogletree Deakins provided this summary of the legislation’s impact on employers and the U.S. Chamber shared What Businesses Need to Know.
Small Business Resource Portal
We have created a page specifically for small businesses that includes the most relevant management, assistance and recovery information available. Access it below.
Supply-Chain Support: Businesses Interested in Producing or Donating Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NCMEP) is building a database of companies with certain capabilities during this critical time. There are more than 20 critical supplies needed to respond to COVID-19. If your company currently does or can quickly begin production, please complete this form.
The Carolina Textile District (CTD) is helping manufacturers and suppliers in transitioning their production to prototype and producing medical supplies. They are taking provider requests for PPE as well. and are fielding these requests and offers here.
For general information regarding the production of PPE, the newly created GetUsPPE organization is fielding both donation and production offers and materials and has information about PPE creation.
Monitoring the Situation
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Risk Assessment and Public Health Management Decision Making (CDC)
Assess an individual’s risk with this flow chart from the CDC.
Situation Summary (CDC)
This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and CDC will provide updated information as it becomes available, in addition to updated guidance.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU)
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University is tracking the COVID-19 spread in real-time on this interactive dashboard with data available for download. They are also modeling the spread of the virus and discuss preliminary study results on their blog.
Resources to Plan, Prepare and Respond
Assistance for Small Business (SBA)
North Carolina has received disaster declaration from SBA Administrator Carranza for COVID-19. Businesses can now apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The SBA also offers this additional information on disaster assistance resources for business.
Coronavirus Command Center: Empowering NC Employers to Respond to Change (CAI)
The team at CAI offers resources on managing a remote workforce, as well as navigating issues around unemployment, pay and more.
COVID-19: FAQs on Federal Labor and Employment Laws (Ogletree Deakins)
Ogletree Deakins provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the latest developments on the virus and guidance from federal agencies.
Annual Meetings in a World Without Meetings: The Impact of COVID-19 on Public Companies (Smith Anderson)
This alert highlights some of the key issues that public companies should be considering during these challenging times.
Contracts and COVID-19 (Smith Anderson)
Smith Anderson provides an analysis to help you consider how the coronavirus (COVID-19) may affect your business relationships.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources (SBA)
Resources from the U.S. Small Business Administration, including loan assistance, employer guidance, and SBA products and resources.
Best Practice: Establish a Cross-Functional Team to Manage Preparation and Response (NC Chamber)
NC Chamber members have shared that establishing a team to manage your assessment, preparation and response is an important best practice. Learn more about why and who that team should include.
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)
The CDC provides this interim guidance to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19. Let your employees know you are monitoring the situation and share best practices for prevention and treatment.
Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for an Influenza Pandemic (OSHA)
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) developed this pandemic influenza planning guidance based upon traditional infection control and industrial hygiene practices. It is important to note that there is currently no pandemic; thus, this guidance is intended for planning purposes and is not specific to a particular viral strain.
Coronavirus – FAQ for Employers (CAI)
CAI addresses some of the most common questions received during this period of rapidly changing information.
Business Continuity Planning
Business Pandemic Influenza Planning Checklist (HHS & CDC)
Planning for pandemic influenza is critical. To assist you in your efforts, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have developed the following checklist for large businesses. It identifies important, specific activities large businesses can do now to prepare, many of which will also help you in other emergencies.
Pandemic Preparedness Planning For U.S. Businesses With Overseas Operations (CDC)
The United States Government has created the following guide to help U.S. businesses with overseas operations prepare and implement pandemic business continuity. This is a list of suggestions and can serve as a starting point for developing a comprehensive plan. The checklist highlights actions applicable to businesses of all sizes, although each item does not necessarily apply to every overseas business.
Legal Guidance on Workplace Pandemic Planning (EEOC)
This technical assistance document provides information about Titles I and V of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and pandemic planning in the workplace. It identifies established ADA principles that are relevant to questions frequently asked about workplace pandemic planning such as:
-How much information may an employer request from an employee who calls in sick, in order to protect the rest of its workforce when an influenza pandemic appears imminent?
-When may an ADA-covered employer take the body temperature of employees during a pandemic?
-Does the ADA allow employers to require employees to stay home if they have symptoms of the pandemic influenza virus?
-When employees return to work, does the ADA allow employers to require doctors’ notes certifying their fitness for duty?
Getting Ahead of the Coronavirus Outbreak: A Checklist for Multinational Employers
Courtesy of a member company, a suggested macro-checklist for multinational employers designed to help plan for and respond to a potential pandemic.
Sample Pandemic Threat Condition Levels
Courtesy of a member company, this is a sample of pandemic threat condition levels that could be implemented at your business.
Sample Pandemic Preparation Questions
Courtesy of a member company, questions to ask during an outbreak, questions to ask once an outbreak becomes a pandemic, and which actions your crisis management team should perform regularly afterward to stay prepared.
North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline > 866.462.3821
The North Carolina Division of Public Health has established a call line to address general questions about the coronavirus from the public. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
About Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
The CDC offers information on how Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment, and what to do if you are sick, and frequently asked questions, including printable fliers.
Travel > Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel (CDC)
This page offers current travel warning, alert and watches, as well as destinations with risk of community spread. RDU also has this page offering current information.
North Carolina AHEC Digital Library: COVID-19 Resources
A short, high quality list with selections from NC agencies and AHEC regions. Of note is this link to a list from the Eastern AHEC librarian containing a news feed for the latest information.
World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of the coronavirus virus, including daily updates.
World Health Organization: Video Explainer
Video from WHO explaining what’s currently known about the virus.
National Association of Manufacturers: Coronavirus Resources
The NAM is in contact with federal officials who are overseeing the response to the coronavirus and they are working to share additional available information.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation Corporate Aid Tracker
The business community is mobilizing its expertise, capabilities, and community resources to assist with the relief and containment efforts. Learn more.
Federal Trade Commission: Coronavirus: Scammers follow the headlines (3/10/20)
Scammers are taking advantage of fears surrounding the coronavirus.
LabCorp Launches Test for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (3/5/20)
The test detects the presence of the underlying virus that causes COVID-19 and is for use with patients who meet current guidance for evaluation of infection with COVID-19.
Overseas Security Advisory Council Benchmarking Report: Novel Coronavirus (3/4/20)
Following an outbreak of 2019-nCoV in Wuhan China, subsequent government lock-downs, and international travel bans posed security concerns for those in the private sector who either traveled or operated in China. From January 27 to January 31, OSAC conducted a survey regarding the situation’s effects on organization to include the impact of the outbreak, security measures, and future decision points.
Governor’s Task Force Encourages North Carolinians to Increase Preparedness Measures for COVID-19 (2/26/20)
Governor Roy Cooper’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Task Force continues to prepare for the possibility of COVID-19 infections occurring in North Carolina and is encouraging businesses, schools, health care providers, communities and individuals to prepare as well.
American Chamber of Commerce in China: Flash Survey Results on COVID-19 Impact Revealed (2/27/20)
On Feb. 27, the American Chamber of Commerce in China (“AmCham China”) released the results of a flash survey that measures the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on its member companies.