The Chamber of St. Matthews wants to support you in preparing your business or organization for potential impacts from novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), and seeks your help in preventing transmission in our community.
Several members have reached out to us asking for support in planning for potential workplace and economic disruptions from the spread of Coronavirus. This page is intended to provide you all with the best sources of information that we’ve found, as well as suggestions to help you plan for and mitigate the impact of this virus on your business, organization, and family. While this information will be geared towards business and workplace readiness you can find more information on preparing your home here.
To ensure the least impact possible to our community, it is logical to proceed on the assumption that this virus is likely to arrive at some point in 2020 – and prepare for it. Since it has a long incubation period, it could be over two weeks from initial exposure until symptoms appear, and even longer before people are tested and cases are confirmed. Everything that we are reading and examining about this illness indicates that we should take this threat seriously, and it is highly likely that widespread health and economic impacts from this virus will be felt nationwide.
It is our shared responsibility to stem the spread of this virus and to prepare as best we can. To that end, we’ve complied some of the most reliable sources of information for your business at the bottom of this email. A few key priorities for your business or organization to consider are as follows:
- Workplace Cleanliness: Encourage frequent hand washing; make hand sanitizer and cleaning wipes available; and encourage your team to find non-contact ways of greeting others and working together.
- Sick Policies: To help prevent the spread of this or any virus, please support your employees in staying home if they are sick. You may need to review your paid time off/sick time policies if they do not allow the flexibility or financial support your employees need to comply. Also, learn who on your team may have responsibility to care for others, should circumstances require it.
- Remote Work Policies: If you are able to consider remote work as an option, and don’t already have a remote work policy, it may be time to develop such a policy with input from your IT provider. Since many workplaces cannot allow remote work, consider instead how you may shift or rotate schedules.
- Consider Your Employer Obligations: You are legally obligated to provide a safe workplace and to make accommodations for those with disabilities. Protecting your workplace and team from the spread of Coronavirus is no different.
- Here is the guidance from OSHA: Getting the Workplace Ready for COVID-19
- Here is the guidance from EEOC: Pandemic Preparedness and the ADA
- Don’t Tolerate Racist or Ignorant Statements: Address and quell any rumors or statements related to Coronavirus that are based on race, ethnicity, country of origin, or misinformation. Do address valid concerns or questions about recent travel to impacted areas.
- Make a Plan for Reduced or Interrupted Operations: Prepare your business and customers for disruptions in operations, whether it be for changes in consumer behavior, supply chain issues, or a large portion of your workforce being ill. Ensure that you have access to emergency funding or a line of credit should you have a significant disruption in operations.
- Examine Your Supply Chain: Large manufacturers are already examining their supply chains in impacted areas to minimize disruptions. Consider whether any of your suppliers are located in regions with significant impacts, and whether your shipping times may be lengthened – with the goal of maintaining necessary levels to support your business operations.
- Communications Plan: Have a point person on your staff who will take the lead in keeping your information current, and communicating updates to your team.
- Use Your Professional Associations for Support: Many professional networks and organizations are offering webinars and other resources for employers. Make use of these opportunities!
- Get Updates Regularly: Ensure you are checking back with numerous sources regularly for the most up to date guidance and information regarding the spread of this virus.
What this means for Chamber events and programs.
The Chamber staff participated in a conference call recently with Chamber and Tourism professionals from across the state as well as Governor Beshear concerning the Coronavirus.
During this call, the governor has advised that group activities be halted on a temporary basis. By doing so, it will limit the spread of the virus. In an effort to practice social distancing, the staff will begin offering you opportunities to network virtually in an effort to contain the virus. These meetings will enable you to stay engaged in Chamber activities will also protecting yourself and those around you.
We will be using Zoom, a digital platform that has a web cam feature (although you can participate in the events without having a webcam.
The following events/activities will be included in this format:
- Non-Profit Roundtable
- All Leads Groups
- Franchise Roundtable
- Synergy Groups held through April 3 (at this time)
- New Member Orientation on April 14th
- Networking at Noon in April
- Additional Virtual Networking with dates to be announced.
The following events have either been canceled or will be rescheduled:
- March and April Business Luncheons
- Wedding and Hospitality Group Evening Meeting
- Ribbon Cuttings
- 5:05 After Hours in March and April
In addition, staff will be available to meet with you via the phone or Zoom but we will not be meeting in person in order to protect ourselves as well as you. Staff will evaluate April events and programs as we go through March. But as of right now, we are following the suggestions of Mayor Fischer and Governor Beshear.
In addition, the staff will continue to work in the office (as the situation enables us to) but we are asking all members to avoid walking into the office and calling staff instead of popping in.
Thank you in advance for your support!
If you have any questions feel free to call the Chamber at 502-899-2523, or email us at email@example.com.
*A brief reminder that we are not doctors or legal experts – just your friendly Chamber doing our best to keep you safe and informed.*
More resources are included below for your convenience!
The Kentucky Department for Public Health
State officials are preparing for the possibility of the virus spreading to the Commonwealth. In order to keep all information in one place they have designed a web page that not only reports the active tests and results, but also gives information about travel etc. to other areas and countries.
The CDC has the most resources for all groups, but specifically speaks to how businesses should prepare for this outbreak. “All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workplace from COVID-19 while ensuring continuity of operations. During a COVID-19 outbreak, all sick employees should stay home and away from the workplace, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene should be encouraged, and routine cleaning of commonly touched surfaces should be performed regularly.”
“All employers should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from the Coronavirus while ensuring continunity of operations. Download these guides created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, which are based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to learn more about how employers and employees can prepare for and address the impacts of the Coronavirus.”
There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 as the outbreak investigation continues. Infected people can spread COVID-19 through their respiratory secretions, especially when they cough or sneeze. According to the CDC, spread from person-to-person is most likely among close contacts (about 6 feet). Person-to-person spread is thought to occur mainly via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, similar to how influenza and other respiratory pathogens spread. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. It’s currently unknown if a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes.
The SBA as well as health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy. The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
Kentucky’s COVID-19 Hotline
Call Kentucky’s COVID-19 Hotline at 1-800-722-5725
Charter Communications is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have service through Spectrum. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. Installations fees are waived. Please share with family and friends. Thank you for supporting the Louisville Urban League and the community as a whole!
USBG National Charity Foundation
If you are a bartender, bar back, or cocktail server who needs financial support you can apply to the USBG National Charitable Foundation’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program. USBG membership is not required to receive funds.
To address concerns surrounding the coronavirus, the Kentucky Chamber has created an open line of communication where you can get your business’s most pressing questions answered.
We are setting up a $10,000 emergency fund. We will be giving grants of $400 to eligible applicants.
To be eligible for a grant a person must:
1) Be diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus (we will require a doctor’s letter).
2) Be employed in an independent restaurant at least six months.
3) Be able to produce bills to be paid (we do not give money directly to grantees).
- Tips for Creating a Crisis Management Plan
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce Webinar on Coronavirus Response Recommendations
- Current Travel Warnings & Alerts and Destinations at Risk of Community Spread
- Explaining the Coronavirus Pandemic
- Steps to Take if You are Sick
- Louisville Metro Government Coronavirus Guidelines
- Flattening the Coronavirus Curve
- How to Support Local Business
- Indiana State Department of Health
- JCPS Coronavirus Preparedness Plan
- How to Talk to Your Children About Coronavirus
- Social Distancing Information
How does Coronavirus spread?
Coronavirus generally spreads between people within 6 feet of each other through respiratory secretions, especially coughing and sneezing. It is not currently known whether the virus can be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it.
When to Seek Care
List up to date as of March 16th.