Declaration of a Local Emergency
Dear Loudoun Chamber community:
By now, unless you are essential personnel responsible for public health or public safety duties, you are probably working from home.
So thank you! Because that means you are doing your part to defeat this nasty Novel Coronavirus.
While our lives have changed, temporarily, life goes on, and so does business. I wanted to share with you a few thoughts on how the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, our Board and our staff, are working harder than ever to support your business or nonprofit, and your staffs.
First, we are implementing our own form social distancing and shutting down ALL public activities – events, committees, Lead Share – for the next eight weeks.
Now, knowing our great Chamber members, I am certain that you don’t enjoy being socially distant for too long.
So we are working on ways for you to stay social, while remaining distant. The Chamber will be moving several of our workshops, a Member Orientation and (hopefully) one of our PolicyMaker Series events online, using the Zoom meeting or webinar platforms.
We also are moving our committees to online meetings. Details are already coming out on our upcoming committee meetings. Let me know if you have not received those details.
Sadly, we will be forced to cancel a few events, including the wildly popular Business@Breakfast. We are also looking at ways that we can create online networking “meet ups,” just to keep you and your fellow members connected.
Finally, let me share with you some recent announcements from our government, nonprofit and business partners that you really need to know about.
On March 16th, Loudoun County declared a Local Emergency in response to the coronavirus. This follows the statewide emergency declared by Governor Ralph Northam. This allows the County to more easily acquire any goods or services needed to respond to this crisis. It also was necessary so Loudoun residents and businesses can apply for financial aid and loans from federal and state governments.
The Loudoun Department of Economic Development is working overtime to support Loudoun’s businesses during this crisis. The department just launched a COVID 19 Resource Page. DED staff also is working with the US Small Business Administration and Department of Agriculture to release disaster assistance grant details, since Virginia qualifies for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program (EIDL).
Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, following the Federal government’s lead, has banned all social gatherings of 10 or more people. This includes within restaurants, theaters, malls, etc.
The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity issued a survey to collect data on the impact COVID-19 is having on business revenue and employment. Results will be shared with State and Federal partners, to assist in the recovery response. You can access the survey here.
Loudoun Business Response to this crisis
The Leesburg Business Forum – led by Stilson Greene of Stilson Green Graphic Design and Paige Buscema of Eyetopia, are launching a new web site called “Leesburg To Go,” with a listing of all local restaurants offering meals via curbside to go pickup or delivery. That site should go live this week.
On Friday, March 20 at 11:00am EDT, Visit Loudoun will host a webinar with presenter Brian Matson from Two Six Digital about the use of social media during the COVID-19 crisis. He will address strategies for utilizing social media platforms to best communicate with your customers. To register, click: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/6952932607679360011. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Chamber member Courtney Jordan, a Senior Consultant with GiANT Worldwide who also leads the popular “Becoming a Leader Worth Following” Lunch & Learn workshops at Leesbug Junction, is offering a free online course on How to Thrive While Working Remote. (giant.tv/remote/freefor30days)
Click here to learn more about take-out and delivery options!
In recognition of the hardships caused by the Coronavirus, both Dominion and NOVEC are suspending all electric service disconnections and waiving late fees for 60 days.
Facebook is launching a $100 million program to help 30,000 small businesses around the world. They aren’t yet accepting applications, but the Loudoun Chamber will let you know when they do.
One of the ways Amazon is supporting its customers, employees, and communities through the challenges of COVID-19 is by opening 100,000 new fulfillment center and delivery roles, and investing over $350 million globally to increase hourly associates’ pay through April.
Stay tuned for more information, and feel free to contact our staff if you have other resources for us to post. Thank you.