The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many manufacturing businesses to see disruptions in their revenue. While the pandemic is also presenting tremendous opportunities for businesses to repurpose to meet critical medical supply needs, this is also accompanied by the need for funding either to replace lost revenue, or to support repurposing efforts. Below is a list of the funding programs applicable to manufacturing businesses.
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA works directly with states to provide low-interest Economic Injury Disaster loans up to $2 million for small business and non-profits hurt by COVID-19. In addition, the SBA offers several programs specifically to help small businesses address the economic disruption from COVID-19. These include:
- The Paycheck Protection Program, a forgivable loan to help keep employees on the payroll.
- The EIDL Loan Advance, up to a $10,000 advance on an emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
- SBA Express Bridge Loans: Businesses already working with an SBA Express Lender can access up to $25,000 while waiting for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
- SBA Debt Relief: The SBA will pay the principal, interest, and fees for current 7(a), 504, and microloans as well as for new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued before Sept. 27 of this year.
Learn More (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options)
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Fund
Set up through donations, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce offers $5,000 grants to help small businesses in economically vulnerable communities.
Learn More (https://www.savesmallbusiness.com/)
Support from the Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia has taken steps to support employers, including:
- Not penalizing employers who slow or cease operations for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits, and
- Authorized funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to support the cleaning and emergency needs that can help employers remain open during the crisis.
Learn More (https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/)
Support from Financial Institutions
Many financial institutions are offering help for customers experiencing financial hardship from the coronavirus. Customers can request a late-fee waiver or assistance with minimum payments. Some of the financial institutions known to be providing help are listed below. However, if yours is not listed, contact customer service for information.
In addition, NerdWallet offers excellent information on credit card hardship programs. Learn More (https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/credit-cards/what-is-a-credit-card-hardship-program/)
The following resources include Commonwealth of Virginia and Federal regulations and their impact on manufacturing businesses.
Commonwealth of Virginia COVID-19 PPE Retooling Playbook Now Available
This playbook was developed for Virginia manufacturers to use as a guide for what they need to know to produce PPE in response to COVID-19 including the steps leading up to production. We appreciate the collaboration of the following partners in producing this playbook.
Governor Northam Issues Statewide Stay-at-Home Order
In March, the governor ordered all Virginia residents to stay home, with exceptions to:
- seek medical attention;
- work in essential businesses;
- care for family or household members;
- obtain goods and services like groceries and prescriptions; and
- engage in outdoor activity with strict social distancing requirements.
Learn more about essential businesses and what is and is not permitted under the governor’s order. (https://www.virginia.gov/coronavirus/business-operations/#855821)
Infection Prevention and Social Distancing Guidelines
The Virginia Department of Health and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have provided guidance on how to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. These include guidance to:
- Practice Social Distancing by keeping at least six feet between people;
- Clean your hands frequently by washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol;
- Wear a face mask when around other people in public – the masks help limit how far the virus can travel;
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or the inside of your elbow;
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily; and
- Stay home if you are sick.
Learn more from the Virginia Department of Health (https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/prevention-tips/)
Learn more from the CDC (https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html)
Congress Expanded Emergency/Family Medical Leave
The temporarily expanded FMLA allows leave for coronavirus related reasons, such as caring for children whose school is closed for coronavirus, sick leave when ordered to self-isolate, or having to care for a family member with COVID-19. In addition, the leave is required to be paid leave. Although employers must pay for the leave, the federal government will reimburse the full costs of leave under these expanded provisions.
Learn More (https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave)
Protecting your business from negative impact as a result of COVID-19 involves an integrated approach among all segments of your business.
Pandemic Preparedness and Response Planning
This example is a look at one company's approach to addressing the Pandemic. This link will take you to an interactive guide developed by the Lear Corporation to help guide their organization, which they have decided to share as a reference for others.
Doing your part to minimize the risk of exposure of your workforce to COVID-19 is an important part of your operations plan, as well as good stewardship in your role as an employer. Following are links to current guidance on how to support your workforce staying healthy.
Proper Handwashing Technique
A handwashing guide page, on the CNA Test Practice website, to better educate the public on the proper steps for handwashing to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. (How to properly wash your hands)
Preparing for Reopening
OSHA has developed guidance for human resources and plant operations professionals to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 from OSHA.gov)
Industrial Cleaning Guidance
EPA’s List N includes a list of products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19. (List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2)
Helping Your Workforce Stay Healthy
This CDC-developed guidance is helpful to human resources and plant operations professionals as they plan for operations during and after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.
Responding to a COVID-19 Exposure in the Workplace
This checklist is for human resources and plant operations professionals to use if you suspect a COVID-19 exposure has occurred at your facility.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how dependent our state and our country are on foreign suppliers. At GENEDGE, we know that strong manufacturing with a resilient supply chain is good for Virginia, and the United States. Below are curated resources to help you be part of building a stronger supply chain in Virginia and beyond.
Issue Brief: Inequality & Mobility / Policy options for building resilient U.S. medical supply networks / May 2020
A Washington Center for Equitable Growth brief on presenting a range of policy ideas that could work to make our medical supplies network more resilient, with emblematic examples when appropriate. Also included are examples of other global manufacturing supply chains that exhibit similar strains in relation to the needs of U.S. manufacturing, as well as examples of where these fragile supply chains have become more resilient due to concerted government action by David Adler, Dan Breznitz, and Susan Helper. https://equitablegrowth.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/052920-med-supplies-ib.pdf
Understanding Medical Devices During the Pandemic
GENEDGE and DP Distribution & Consulting, LLC provide an overview on regulatory requirements for production of medical products. This March 27th webinar recording includes information to help manufacturers interested in producing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical products to fill critical shortages in the healthcare supply chain caused by the current pandemic.