President's Update: Rules for Restaurants + PPP Still Available + EIDL Reopened + We're Here For You
Now in our 16th week of the COVID economy, infections continue to rise. While the infection rate remains relatively low, the number of cases in Orange County has tripled since May 31. There are currently 982 cases in Orange, 1009 in Chatham, and 4260 in Durham Counties.
Masks are required for all individuals in North Carolina while indoors (not in your home) and while outdoors if you cannot be physically distant. Masks are also required for all restaurant, retail, and hospitality employees while on duty. There are some exceptions, including while dining, but wearing a mask is our number one way to fight infection. Please consider joining the many local businesses who require customers/guests (dining exception) to wear masks – it’s the law. (For discounted access to masks and other PPE supplies visit www.ChamberPPE.com - coupon code: Chapel Hill Chamber).
NEW FOOD SERVICE RULES
In an effort to stop the spread of the virus, Orange County has amended its emergency declaration and issued new rules for food-serving establishments that go into effect Friday, July 10, at 5:00pm.
Summary of New Rules Food and Beverage Service: no food, beverage, or alcohol may be sold for onsite consumption, and no patrons may remain at the establishment (indoor or outdoor), after 10:00pm. Sitting or standing at bars is prohibited and establishments shall not allow patrons to touch shared surfaces. Drive-through, pickup, and delivery services are not effected and may continue past 10:00pm.
For the specific language and details of the revised Order, which applies to all food or beverage service businesses in Orange County, click here or read to the end of the email.
Some other reminders and updates…
PPP Application Deadline Extended to August 8
Billions of dollars of Payroll Protection Program funds remain available for small businesses and non-profits and the deadline has been extended until August 8. If you have not applied, please apply. If you need help applying, email me.
PPP Spending/Forgiveness Rules Modified
Several improvements have been made to the PPP rules:
- To earn loan forgiveness, funds must be spent in the 24 weeks after receipt (increased from 8 weeks);
- To earn forgiveness, 60% of the loan must be spent on payroll (reduced from 75%);
- Any portion of the loan that is not forgiven must be repaid in five years at 1% interest (increased from two years**); and
- Payroll tax deferral for PPP recipients is now allowed.
SBA EIDL Loans Available Again
With loans capped at $150,000, the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan is again available. The application is online and takes less than 20 minutes. Do it. Terms are great with 3.75% interest (2.75 for non-profits) paid over 30 years, with no payments for 12 months, and no prepayment penalty.
SBA EIDL Grants Available Again
Grants (called advance) of $1,000 per employee (including yourself), capped at $10,000, are again available. Use the same application as the EIDL Loan and you do not need to accept the loan to receive the grant.
The Specific Language from the Orange County Food Service Order:
- Restaurants and private clubs shall be closed to the onsite consumption of food and beverages and no customers shall be present for the onsite consumption of food and beverages between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.; and
- Restaurants may continue drive through, delivery, and pick-up services after 10 p.m. so long as there is no onsite consumption of food and beverages; and
- Restaurants, breweries, wine shops, private clubs, bars, and any other businesses or organizations that sell alcohol for onsite consumption may not sell alcohol between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and no customers shall be present for onsite consumption of alcohol between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.; and
- Restaurants, private clubs, and other food and beverage service businesses may not provide offsite table service for the consumption of food and beverages in Orange County between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.; and
- Restaurants, private clubs, bars, and other food and beverage service businesses shall not allow sitting or standing at bars for food and beverage consumption and shall not allow patrons to touch shared surfaces such as bar counters or game equipment such as pool tables, darts, and pinball machines, etc. (restrooms excluded); and
- All outdoor activities, gatherings, or events of more than 25 people are prohibited. Worship, religious and spiritual gatherings, funeral ceremonies, wedding ceremonies, and gatherings for health and safety, for work, to obtain goods, and to obtain government services are exempt from this Sec. 4(vi).
- The restrictions and prohibitions found in Section 4 of the June 26, 2020 Amendment to the Declaration of a State of Emergency in Orange County remain in effect in Orange County until they are amended or modified or the Orange County Declaration of Emergency is terminated except that Section 4(ii) is modified as follows: The mandatory mitigation measures set out in E0 138, Section 7B.2., as originally adopted, apply to all long-term care facilities described in EO 138, Section 7A.3., as originally adopted, which are situated in Orange County and shall continue to apply until such time as the Orange County Declaration of a State of Emergency in Orange County is amended, modified, or terminated.
I know you are working every day to pivot, adapt, adjust, persevere, endure, and excel. Thank you for working so hard of your business and your community. Please remember that your Chamber staff and volunteers are here for you.
Finally, make sure you take some time for yourself. I know it is hard to do, but this is going to continue for awhile and your business/organization depends on you and is counting on you to take care of yourself.
Thank you for your membership and investment in our strong member support services and our successful economic and community development work.