Your Chamber is hard at work gathering resources to help you during the COVID-19 outbreak.
Below you will find opportunities to network, educate, and stay in touch with the latest business-related news alerts. We will continue to add and update this page as more information becomes available, so please check back often.
BUSINESS ALERT - March 21, 2022 Today, the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry’s Worker Safety Board voted to lift the COVID-19 workplace safety standard in place since July 2020. Prior to the vote, Gov. Youngkin’s administration had released a guidance document which is meant to help Virginia businesses continue to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the health of their employees and customers.
The Northern Virginia Chamber had opposed the first-in-the-nation workplace safety standard for being too restrictive and not taking into account the fact that Virginia businesses had already put in place safety measures and were following CDC and OSHA guidelines on health and safety.
STATE, LOCAL, AND NATIONAL RESOURCES
Rebuild VA Grant Fund (Rebuild VA) has expanded its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses and nonprofits to apply. Any small business or nonprofit with $10,000,000 or less in gross revenue OR 250 or fewer employees may now apply. Learn more here.
Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry’s (DOLI) Worker Safety Board has voted to repeal the workplace safety standard adopted in 2020 and the Administration has released guidance for businesses instead. DOLI offers free and confidential consultation and training services as well as free online materials to help businesses comply with COVID-19 standards. Virginia’s Department of Labor and Industry (DOLI) has adopted a new workplace safety standard to limit the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. DOLI offers free and confidential consultation and training services as well as free online materials to help businesses comply with COVID-19 standards.
Northern Virginia Regional Commission COVID-19 Data Dashboard
Story maps and dashboards, with Interactive mapping applications and demographics down to the census tract, have been created by the Northern Virginia Regional Commission. Visit it here.
Federal COVID-19 Response
All of the U.S. is a qualifying area for SBA economic injury disaster loans. Does your business qualify? View more information here.
EIDL Fact sheet.
Download the SBA's Disaster Loan Relief Assistance presentation.
Through April 13, 2020, the SBA has guaranteed 1,035,086 loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. For more information on loan activity, click here
View the U.S. Chamber's Legislative Analysis of COVID-19 Stimulus Package here. The following are their most recent guides to the aid and programs being made available to assist businesses during the ongoing pandemic, including their newest guide to the paid sick and FMLA programs.
Please see below for information on the U.S. Chamber’s recently released Reopening Business Digital Resources Center. This online resource provides you and your members with the latest state guidelines, sector-specific guidance, small business advice, and other tools as we look to reopen safely and keep employees and customers healthy and informed. Click here to access the resource center.
Stay connected with your fellow Chamber members
Member-created covid-19 resource pages
The team at Aronson LLC is quickly developing resources in response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak to help you manage your business through these unprecedented times. We’re actively monitoring legislative changes and sharing updates critical to you and your business. Visit the page here.
We know that by working together we can help minimize the impact of this crisis, and we must all do our part to look out for those whose health, safety, and economic welfare are most at risk. Please take care of yourselves and each other. Visit the page here.
Our guidance for businesses on the legal, regulatory and commercial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the rapidly changing environment, we will update this page frequently. Visit the page here.
We hope this page provides a useful resource for employers to learn how COVID-19 is affecting various aspects of employment law, and how different jurisdictions are addressing the outbreak. Because the COVID-19 situation is dynamic, with new governmental measures each day, employers should consult with counsel for the latest developments and updated guidance on this topic. Visit the page here.
Matthews, Carter & Boyce
At MCB, we have been working with our clients and members of the community to help many of you navigate the changing tax filing and payment deadlines, and we have been sharing information on programs that provide support and relief for businesses and employers. We are committed to offering guidance and will continue to share resources and updates that may impact you and your business during this time. Visit the page here.
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
Pillsbury’s experienced professionals are closely monitoring this global threat, combining capabilities in crisis management, insurance law, cybersecurity, employment law, supply chain, and other areas to provide critical guidance to clients in an urgent and quickly evolving situation. Visit the page here.
BUSINESS ALERT - Pre-March 2022
(2021) May 15th Governor Northam has moved up the full “repeal” of all COVID mitigation restrictions on May 28th. In addition, as of May 15th:
- Social gatherings: The maximum number of individuals permitted in a social gathering will increase to 100 people for indoor settings and 250 people for outdoor settings. Social gatherings are currently limited to 50 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.
- Entertainment venues: Indoor entertainment and public amusement venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity or 1,000 people, up from 30 percent capacity or 500 people. Outdoor venues will be able to operate at 50 percent capacity—up from 30 percent—with no specific cap on the number of attendees.
- Recreational sporting events: The number of spectators allowed at indoor recreational sporting events will increase from 100 to 250 spectators or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less. Outdoor recreational sporting events will increase from 500 to 1,000 people or 50 percent capacity, whichever is less.
- Alcohol sales: Restaurants may return to selling alcohol after midnight, and dining room closures will no longer be required between midnight and 5:00 a.m.
May 6th – Gov. Ralph Northam today announced he could lift all occupancy limitations on businesses on June 15 if current infection and vaccination rates continue on current positive trajectories. Virginia’s mask mandate, subject to an Executive Order that expires on June 30, will be “re-evaluated.” Many previously announced limitations on social gatherings particularly will be relaxed on May 15.
March 23 - Gov. Ralph Northam announced this week that as of April 1, Virginia will relax some of the COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place since last year. Those changes include:
- Social gatherings up to 50 people indoors and 100 outdoors
- Indoor entertainment venues at 30% of capacity, up to 500 people
- Outdoor entertainment venues up to 30% but no numerical limit.
- Recreational sports will be allowed to have 30 percent capacity, indoors and outdoors, with a limit of 100 spectators indoors and 500 outdoors.
The Governor did not announce any change to masks and distancing requirements. He did confirm that we are “a matter of weeks” from allowing all Virginians access to COVID-19 vaccines.
Gov. Ralph Northam on Wednesday (Feb. 24) took a small but important step to ease COVID-19 restrictionsin light on increasing vaccinations and decreasing case numbers. Beginning March 1, outdoor social gatherings can have up to 25 people and outdoor entertainment venues can have 30% capacity capped at 1000 people. He also eased restrictions on the serving of alcohol, moving the closing hour from 10:00pm to 12:00am. No other business-related changes were announced. Gov. Northam indicated that should the numbers continue to improve, he would lift the 1000 person cap on outdoor events on April 1, paving the way for large outdoor events in Virginia this summer.
February 18, 2021, Virginia Launches Centralized Vaccine Registry; Fairfax County Maintains Local System The Virginia Department of Health Tuesday (Feb. 16) launched an online COVID-19 vaccine registration portal at vaccinate.virginia.gov. If you have already registered through your local health department, you can visit the state portal to see your status but do not need to register again. VDH has warned that data migration may take time. Virginia’s largest locality chose to maintain its current registration system so if you are a Fairfax County resident, please visit the site here.
February 5, 2021, Northam Stops Short of Mandating Return To In-Person Learning Gov. Ralph Northam on Feb. 5 encouraged school districts to begin offering in-person learning options on March 15. Gov. Northam also asked that local division consider offering in-person schooling during the summer months. He did not require school districts to offer in-person learning options in either the 2020-2021 school year or the summer. Read the full announcement here.
January 11, 2021, Northern Virginia Begins Vaccinating Essential Workers, Older Adults
Northern Virginia health departments have moved into Phase 1b of the CDC/Virginia Department of Health vaccine distribution program. That means that older adults and frontline essential workers are now eligible. You and your employees can call your local health district now to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Phase 1b eligibility began today (Jan. 11) so local health districts are dealing with a high volume of inquiries.
Fairfax County: The County’s Emergency Blog has comprehensive information about eligibility and availability of Phase 1b vaccinations.
Prince William County: Prince William County does not currently have online information regarding Phase 1b. But for COVID-19 questions, you call the Health District public information line at (703) 872-7759.
Loudoun County: Loudoun County recommends sending an email to the Health Department that includes your name, organization and basis for inclusion in Phase 1a or 1b. More information can be found on the Loudoun County Health Department website.
Arlington County: Arlington is working with a private provider, Virginia Hospital Center, in its vaccine program. Read more about how to connect with their program.
City of Alexandria: Alexandria recommends residents who qualify for Phase 1a or 1b fill out this brief form to pre-register for vaccination.
December 10 - Today, Gov. Ralph Northam announced new COVID-19 restrictions in Virginia. Starting 12:01am Monday (Dec. 14) morning, the following new restrictions go into effect and remain in effect until January 31:
- Between midnight and 5:00am, stay at home
- Social gatherings now limited to 10 people (down from current 25)
- Masks required to be worn indoors; outdoors when within 6 feet of others
- Stepped up enforcement
- Indoor sports limited to 25 people per field and 2 guests per player for outdoor sports
- No new limits on restaurants (other than the new indoor mask mandate)
Gov. Northam said these restrictions are needed now because Virginia is experiencing 4,000 new cases per day and today added 54 deaths. He added that the statewide positivity rate Why now? 4k new cases and ~50 deaths per day, 11% positivity rate statewide, >5% in all health districts.
November 10 - Governor Ralph Northam today urged Virginians to remain vigilant in their activities to avoid spreading COVID-19. The Commonwealth is experiencing a surge in cases in multiple regions including Northern Virginia, which on Monday saw its highest daily number of new cases since June. Gov. Northam did not recommend any new restrictions on movement or businesses, saying he preferred the “carrot” over the “stick.”
September 21 - Governor Northam Announces Expansion of $70 Million Rebuild VA Grant Fund for Small Businesses, Nonprofits Impacted by COVID-19. Governor Northam today announced that Rebuild VA, the $70 million economic recovery fund launched in August, is expanding its eligibility criteria to allow more small businesses to apply. Businesses that received funding from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and supply chain partners of businesses whose normal operations were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic are now eligible to receive grants of up to $10,000. Businesses that have received federal funds must certify that they will only use the Rebuild VA grant for recurring expenses and that the grant will not be used to cover the same expenses as the other CARES Act funds. Read the full release.
August 26 – The Virginia Department of Labor last month adopted first in the nation workplace safety standards in response to the spread of COVID-19. Many of the training requirements in that regulation become enforceable today, August 26. DOLI has posted on its site training materials and also offers on-site consulting to assist with compliance. Training materials can be found here: https://www.doli.virginia.gov/covid-19-outreach-education-and-training/ . More about DOLI’s On-site Consultation Services can be found here: https://www.doli.virginia.gov/vosh-programs/consultation/
August 4 – Virginia first to roll out pandemic app from Apple, Google. The new contact tracing app provides another tool to help collect COVID infection information while designed to protect personal data by not collecting any. This is a big step in helping our economy recover by developing greater understand of the virus.
Here’s the press release from the Governor.
The website for the app can be found here.
July 15 – Yesterday, Gov. Northam pledged stronger state enforcement of current Phase 3 restrictions, focused on the Hampton Roads region which is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases. Gov. Northam said some businesses and individuals are “flouting” the rules, particularly the requirement to wear a face covering in person. The rise in cases is attributed to congregating in bars and house parties, according to the Governor. He said the stepped up enforcement will be regional, and asked for all businesses to continue to help in enforcing the mask requirement on customers by refusing service to customers not wearing a mask – no shoes, no shirt, no mask, no service.
June 23 – Gov. Ralph Northam announced today (June 23) that all of Virginia will enter Phase 3 of his Forward Virginia reopening plan next Wednesday, July 1. The main changes are listed below and sector-specific guidelines can be found here:
- Social distancing and facial coverings are still required
- Social gatherings of up to 250 people
- No occupancy cap on indoor restaurant seating and for non-essential retail
- Gyms and fitness centers up to 75% of capacity
- All entertainment venues open with up to 50% capacity
- Teleworking still strongly encouraged
- Personal grooming open for walk-ins
June 2 - Gov. Northam released the guidelines for Phase 2 of the Forward Virginia plan to reopen the economy and said most of Virginia will enter Phase 2 on June 5. You can see the full details in Executive Order 65, the sector-specific guidelines, and some highlights below. Unfortunately, Northern Virginia’s data (and that of Richmond) continues to lag the rest of the Commonwealth, so we will remain in Phase 1 for at least another week. Fairfax County Board Chairman Jeff McKay, in a response to the Chamber’s request, said he is open to entering Phase 2 (Chamber-McKay response.pdf) as soon as the data supports it; Northern Virginia cannot be perpetually behind our neighbors.
Highlights of Phase 2 include:
- Restaurants can have indoor dining at 50% capacity
- Gyms and fitness centers can open at 30% capacity (or 50 people)
- Personal care and grooming can open at 50% capacity
- Gatherings of less than 50 people allowed (up from 10 in Phase 1)
- Farmers Markets can open
- Continued teleworking encouraged
- Enhanced cleaning, social distancing, and other safety precautions remain in place
May 27th - On May 27, Gov. Northam formally announced that Northern Virginia will enter Phase 1 of his Forward Virginia plan on Friday, May 29. This puts us on equal footing with the rest of the state which entered Phase 1 on May 15. Northern Virginia leaders have also told the Governor they would support entering Phase 2 on an expedited basis (as request by the Chamber) as long as the health data supports it.
Yesterday, Gov. Northam signed Executive Order 63 which requires everyone over 10 years old to wear a facemask when inside most public spaces, with some exceptions. Beginning on Friday (May 29), as Northern Virginia enters Phase 1 of Forward Virginia, all patrons of brick and mortar retail, food and beverage establishments, personal care and grooming businesses, entertainment or recreation businesses, and any other indoor space where people congregate will be required to wear a facial covering. Exceptions to the new rule include children under 10, when eating and drinking, exercising, or when a person has a medical condition that would prohibit wearing a covering. All employees of essential retail business are also now required to wear facial coverings when working in customer-facing areas. See the link above for a complete list of places where masks are required and exclusions. The Chamber is seeking some clarity on enforcement of the new rule, which the Governor delegated to the Virginia Department of Health.
April 16, 2021 Virginia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility Opens for All Adults on Sunday Virginians seeking a vaccination opportunity can find and schedule appointments at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA
RICHMOND—As Governor Ralph Northam announced earlier this month, all Virginians age 16 and older will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine starting Sunday, April 18. This expansion of eligibility comes as Virginia reaches a new milestone in its vaccination program—approximately half of all adults in the Commonwealth have received at least one dose.
Governor Northam shared a new video message today encouraging Virginians seeking a vaccination opportunity to use the statewide call center or the new Vaccinate Virginia website to find vaccine providers starting Sunday. Virginia’s eligibility expansion meets a nationwide goal set by President Joe Biden that all adults be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine by April 19.
“Over the past few months, we have made tremendous progress vaccinating Virginians as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible, and we need to keep up the good work,” said Governor Northam. “With COVID-19 cases on the rise in many parts of Virginia and across the country, it is important that everyone has an opportunity to make a vaccination appointment. If you are over 16 and want to get the safe, effective, and free vaccine, please make a plan to get your shot. The more people who get vaccinated, the faster we can end this pandemic and get back to our normal lives.”
With this move into Phase 2, appointments will still be required for most vaccinations. Starting Sunday, Virginians will be able to find and schedule appointments directly through the Vaccinate Virginia vaccine system by visiting vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682, TTY users call 7-1-1). The vaccinate.virginia.gov site will link to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s VaccineFinder website, which has a searchable map-based tool to find appointments at Community Vaccination Centers, local health departments, pharmacies, and hospitals.
Virginians seeking an opportunity to get vaccinated may have to wait for an appointment, as demand for vaccination is expected to continue to outpace supply in many parts of the Commonwealth. Those who were eligible under Phase 1 who cannot find an appointment should pre-register for a priority appointment at vaccinate.virginia.gov or by calling 877-VAX-IN-VA. The Northam Administration anticipates that all Virginians who want a vaccine will be able to get at least their first dose by the end of May.
Only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for individuals aged 16 and 17. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are approved for ages 18 and up.
More than 5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Virginia. Approximately half of the adult population has received at least one dose, and one in five Virginians are fully vaccinated. The Commonwealth continues to work with a statewide network of providers and partners to distribute and administer doses as quickly as they are provided by the federal government.
Virginia has focused on equity throughout its vaccination program by providing targeted resources in multiple languages, scheduling clinics in collaboration with community partners, performing grassroots outreach to drive pre-registration and scheduling, and implementing large, state-run Community Vaccination Centers in areas with vulnerable populations. These efforts will continue with expanded eligibility in Phase 2.
All COVID-19 vaccines are free regardless of health insurance or immigration status. Assistance is available in English, Spanish, and more than 100 other languages. Videoconferencing in American Sign Language also is available by videophone at 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682) or online by clicking the “ASL Now” button at vaccinate.virginia.gov.
Business Continuity Webinars
In light of Coronavirus interruptions, we are providing Business Continuity webinars designed to help us all keep our NOVA community growing.
Each Business Continuity webinar will offer practical suggestions to protect your business from virus-related impact and loss. Join us to hear issues surrounding business and supply chain interruption, workers compensation considerations, setting up and maintaining a remote workforce, general liability, international and domestic travel, employee health considerations, and contingency plans. Our goal is to share the knowledge that employers will need to maintain business in our current environment-and beyond.
Your Chamber's advocacy efforts to date have included facilitating calls with our elected representatives at the local, state and federal level. Please look at the events below for information on upcoming opportunities to interface with your elected leaders and to view or hear recordings of past calls.
We partnered with USI, this webinar was recorded on March 13th
Listen to the seminar here.
This webinar was recorded on Mar 23rd
Listen to the webinar here.
This webinar was recorded on March 24th
Listen to the webinar here.
March 26th | 9:30AM
Listen to the call here.
Learn How the CARES Act Impacts Your Business
This event originally ran on April 1st, 3-4PM.
Listen to the recording here.
The Effect of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Washington Region’s Economy
This event originally ran on April 2nd, 10AM.
Listen to the recording here.
COVID-19 Chamber call with Attorney General Mark Herring
This event originally ran on April 2nd, 1-1:30PM.
Listen to the recording here.
VACCE Execs - CARES Act Update from US Chamber, hosted by the U.S. Chamber/
Virginia Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
This event originally ran on April 7th, 4PM.
Recording coming soon.
Fine-Tuning the ‘New Normal’ for Your Workforce, speaker: Valerie Grubb
Presented by: Employment Enterprises, this counts for a free 1-hour credit for SHRM and HRCI
This originally aired on April 14th
Listen to the recording here.
Business Resources and Contract Opportunities in the Era of COVID-10
Presented by: Fairfax Economic Development Authority
This event originally ran on April 15th, 10AM
Listen to the recording here.
Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars
Presented by: NOVA Economic Development Authority
In light of the current global pandemic, the Northern Virginia Economic Development Alliance (NOVA EDA) is taking action. We are proud to announce the launch of a three-part, 12 session webinar series: “Beyond COVID-19: NOVA Business Resiliency Webinars.” They will run from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Thursdays from April 23 to July 12.
General Assembly Review and Look Ahead with Speaker Eileen Filler-Corn, Majority Leader Dick Saslaw
This event originally ran on May 21st, 1-2PM
Listen to the recording here.
What to do Next: Key Factors in Navigating the Best Path Forward for Your Business
Working In the New Normal: Returning to Work After COVID-19
This event originally ran on June 18th.
Listen to the recording here.