What Businesses Can Do To Prepare For Coronavirus

Hello, my name is Kimberly Marrone and I am the Economic Development and Communications Director for the City of Oak Park.  I am working hard to identify available resources available to businesses during this crisis.  Feel free to reach out to me via email at kmarrone@oakparkmi.gov or call my cell at (810)706-3297.  If I am unavailable please leave a message and I will call you back.  This is a difficult time and I want to help as best I can as we all try to navigate through these changes.  Please make sure you visit this site often and read through what has been posted.

There are some resources available to assist small business owners during this ongoing Pandemic.  Oakland County One Stop Shop has a resource page with many tools and suggestions as well as links to available resources.  One suggestion is to take advantage of this downtime to work on setting up or updating your website, marketing your business, create social media accounts, or even explore other ways to deliver your products.  Make sure you are communicating to your customers. 

The State of Michigan also has prepared a webpage which lists available resources to business owners.  Please visit their page to find the latest resources for businesses of all sizes. 

While our City Complex is closed we are still open for business.  If you need assistance please reach out to Economic Development and Communications Director, Kimberly Marrone at kmarrone@oakparkmi.gov.

Business Resources

Oak Park Business Assistance Package

The Oak Park City Council passed a resolution in support of the Business Assistance Program. The program has been created to provide additional tools to help our businesses.  The package can be found in its entirety here.  It includes:

  • Additional temporary signage allowed (see guidelines in package)
  • Outdoor dining fee waiver (see guidelines in package)
  • Sidewalk sales (coming soon)
  • Business license late fees for year 2020 will be waived
  • Grants through Patronicity and the Corridor Improvement Authority
  • Reduced advertising fees in the City Magazine
  • BUY LOCAL Campaign to support our businesses
  • Farmers Market tables for retailers and restaurants free of charge (details coming soon - one of each per week to be selected by application)
Please make sure to read the guidelines for these programs and if you have questions please contact me.


Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application
If your business received funding for PPP you are required to complete and submit a forgiveness application.  This can be found on the SBA website here.  



PATRONICITY GRANT FUNDING
 
The City of Oak Park has launched a crowdfunding campaign through Patronicity in partnership with Main Street Oakland County.  The funds raised will be granted to businesses that are licensed and have a physical building in Oak Park.  Funds will be made available through a granting process, if you are within the district and would like to apply please complete the application and send it to kmarrone@oakparkmi.gov.  Applications will be due by June 18th.  
 
We also need your help promoting it to raise the funds so share the link with your customers on your websites, the more we raise the more we can grant!  Here is a link: #We love our Oak Park Businesses
 
Application

Match on Main Grant for businesses within the Corridor Improvement Authority
The Match on Main - COVID-19 Response Program temporarily expands the MEDC's Match on Main Program and will provide up to $50,000 to local downtown management organizations to administer to eligible small businesses located in traditional commercial districts, including downtowns, neighborhood and commercial districts, or areas planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development. This temporary expansion increases access for additional communities, expands eligible activities, and eliminates match requirements
for businesses.
 
Businesses must meet all of the following eligibility requirements:
* The business is located within the boundaries of the community the applicant serves
* The business is located within a traditional downtown, historic neighborhood commercial
district, or area planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development
* The business sells products and/or services face to face AND has a physical location
within a traditional downtown, historic neighborhood commercial district, or area
planned and zoned for concentrated commercial development (Ex. The business has a
storefront location in downtown)
* The business is operating as a for-profit business
* The business has 25 employees or less
* The business is headquartered in Michigan
* The business demonstrates it has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak
 
To be considered for this grant your business must be in the Corridor Improvement Authority boundaries.  To see if you are located within these boundaries please check the map here.  To be considered for funding, businesses need to fill out the application and return to kmarrone@oakparkmi.gov by May 26, 2020.  No late applications will be accepted.
Application

Governor Whitmers Executive Order 2020-91

This Executive order opens up some areas of the State and also requires businesses to prepare a preparedness and response plan. 
This plan must be submitted to the Department of LEO by June 1st.  A link to their website can be found here and additional resources are below."Develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan, consistent with recommendations in Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, developed by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and available here. By June 1, 2020, or within two weeks of resuming in-person activities, whichever is later, a business’s or operation’s plan must be made readily available to employees, labor unions, and customers, whether via website, internal network, or by hard copy."

Oak Park Restart Toolkit

Recovery Readiness - How to reopen your workplace
- Toolkit provided by Cushman and Wakefield

COVID-19 Tax Relief for Business - IRS Website

For videos of how to manager your PPP Loan or EIDL loan and their tax implications see guidelines on the SBA website here.
     
Oakland County/MEDC Grant and Loan Programs - Round one has been announced and round two is under consideration.  No new applications are being taken for round two.  The Loan announcements should be coming soon.

Oakland County One Stop

Pure Michigan Business Connect

Small Business Association of Michigan

Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce

Ferndale Area Chamber of Commerce

Oakland County Michigan Works Please visit their website to get information on giving temporary leave as opposed to layoffs, the work share program (if you are reducing hours of an employee they can get reduced unemployment benefits), some businesses are experiencing rapid growth based on the new demand in certain sectors.  If you are in need of posting jobs visit mitalent.org or call 1-800-285-WORKS to post your jobs.

    
 
 
 Unemployment Benefits Increased and Expanded for Workers Impacted by COVID-19

Under the federal CARES Act, Governor Whitmer signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Department of Labor to expand unemployment benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment insurance. This includes workers who are self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig economy workers, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 per week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks.

If someone has already applied for unemployment benefits, they do not need to re-apply at this time. Additional guidance from UIA regarding eligibility and application details will be released in the coming days.
For more information click here

Shoployal - Businesses that want to stay in contact with their customers have the opportunity to use the Shoployal app for Free for 90 days visit their website for details www. merchant.shoployal.com fact sheet


PMBC - Some businesses that have the capacity to make new products have been reaching out as well.  We encourage these businesses to visit the PMBC website to see the demand that is needed by product.

 

Work Share
If employers are financially distressed but hope to continue operations by cutting back hours, they are encouraged to use the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s Work Share program that allows employers to maintain employment levels and business operations during declines in regular business activity rather than laying off workers. More information about the program can be found at www.michigan.gov/workshare.

Temporary Leave vs. Termination Due to the uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether and how furloughed workers will be able to access federal paid sick, family and medical leave resources, employers are strongly urged to place employees on  temporary leave and advise the worker that they expect to have work available within 120-days as opposed to termination. There is no additional cost to employers, employees remain eligible for UI benefits through the state, and employees may remain eligible for potential federal assistance.  

Steps for employers placing employers on temporary unpaid leave:

  • Do not terminate the employee – specify a temporary/indefinite leave with return to work expected that is within 120 days.
  • Do not create a contractual obligation to bring the employee back to work – Let the employee know that the situation is fluid and subject to change.
  • Provide the employee with a formal Unemployment Compensation Notice. Employers will need to provide their Employer Account Number and Federal Identification Number.  
  • Communicate to the employee about their rights. Under Governor Whitmer’s recent Executive Order, workers are placed on leave, or are unable to work because they are sick, quarantined, immunocompromised, or have an unanticipated family care responsibility, are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Ensure employers are provided information on how to obtain unemployment insurance benefits. A factsheet can be found here.
  • Get each employee’s up-to-date contact information.
  • Let employees know if you will be putting updated information on the entity’s website or intranet, if applicable.
  • Appoint a single, or limited number of individuals who will field questions, and communicate that information to employees.
  • Keep a tally of all questions and answers.  Periodically share with employees.

The state is monitoring issues related to continued medical insurance coverage and will update accordingly.

Elimination of Certain Unemployment Costs to Employers

Under the governor’s order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations. 

Other Resources

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit the MEDC’s website: www.michiganbusiness.org or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/ for additional information. 

 

 

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.