Important Information for Businesses amid the  COVID-19 virus- From Las Cruces Greater Chamber of Commerce

Every day, there is new information regarding the Corona Virus and COVID-19. As we continue to respond to the need for social distancing and protecting our customers and clients, we feel it’s important to continue to provide you with vital information that will help you and your business.
Given that there is new information every day, please take a moment to look through the information below. We are doing our best to provide you with links and information that can be helpful.
Steps businesses can take for disaster assistance
1. Check with your insurance agent to see if you have Business Interruption Insurance.
2. If you will need to lay off employees or reduce their hours, instruct employees to go to jobs.state.nm.usto apply for unemployment benefits. See attached COVID-19: Information and Resources for Business Assistance.
3. If you have an existing loan, ask your lender if you can make interest only payments for the next six months. If you need operating capital due to COVID-19, ask them for additional loan monies or a line of credit.
4. If you don’t have an existing loan or line of credit talk to your business banker and see if you qualify.
5. If you are denied a line of credit or loan with your bank, your next step would be to apply for the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance.
You will need to gather your information before applying for a loan or line of credit to provide a ore accurate amount to request from the lender. Access that list HERE.
The SBDC is still assisting clients albeit remotely. You can contact the SBDC at sbdcinfo@nmsu.edu.
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Governor and state officials tell Residents To Stay At Home; Non-Essential Businesses Must Close
Sante Fe, N.M. (AP) – New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has announced new restrictions aimed at fighting the spread of the novel coronavirus. The governor said Monday the state will order all “non-essential businesses” to close and require “100 percent” of the state’s non-essential workforce to work from home. The announcement came as the state officials said New Mexico now had 18 new positive novel coronavirus cases bringing the state’s total to 83. The new restrictions also ask state residents to now limit gatherings to fewer than five people.  The action follows a series of emergency public health orders that have closed down the state”s indoor shopping malls, gyms, and movie theaters.    For a list of all the businesses deemed essential, click here
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ON ILLNESSES AND TESTING
New Mexicans who develop symptoms of COVID-19 infection – fever, cough or shortness of breath – should call their health care provider or the NMDOH COVID-19 hotline immediately (1-855-600-3453).Testing is presently prioritized for those with symptoms. New Mexicans are asked to widely distribute this information about testing and travel guidelines.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
 New Mexicans who have non-health-related questions or concerns can also call 833-551-0518 or visit newmexico.gov, which is being updated as a one-stop source for information.
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If you have been laid off from your job because of COVID-19, please apply for Unemployment as quickly as possible. Do do so go to: https://jobs.state.nm.us
A great way to share with the community what take our and delivery services your business is providing!
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 We know our local businesses are hurting because of the need for customers to stay at home and self isolate. But, many of our businesses have come up with creative ways to continue to provide you with good food and service.
There is a facebook group that is open to the public where businesses can post what they are doing. From placing call in orders to having food and goods delivered to your car, check out the link below to Las Cruces Curbside Food & Restaurants!
Let’s support our local businesses!
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The SBA has qualified Dona Ana County and New Mexico
Direct applications for assistance are available using the link below
BACKGROUND
To date, the State of New Mexico, has been working to qualify all 33 counties of New Mexico for SBA Disaster Loan assistance. This is a normal process required by the US Small Business Administration. Companies from 7 targeted counties, Dona Ana County included, were required to establish territories that would enable the entire state to qualify. Starting today, the entire state has been certified as eligible, due to these efforts and the applications received by businesses expressing needs for immediate assistance.
WHAT TO DO NOW?
Applications for loan assistance can be made online through sba.gov/disaster. Additional assistance is available at 1-800-655-2955.
MORE INFORMATION
The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills than can’t be paid because of the impacts of the disaster. Loans may take 2-3 weeks for an approval, with another 5 or more days for disbursement, depending on the backlog.  The rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits.
_____________________________________________________________________   Helpful links for Information on COVID-19
Below, you will find some valuable links that can help you understand this virus and how to prevent the spread to your customers,clients and community. It is very worthwhile to go through each link to arm yourselves with some important information.
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Precautions you can take to re-assure your customers, clients and employees
For your Customers
  • Frequently disinfect often-touched surfaces such as door handles, countertops, keypads, restroom surfaces, shopping carts and baskets.
  • Provide hand sanitizer at your business entrances for customers to use.
  • Post in a visible location your policies in dealing with COVID-19.
  • Provide delivery services to customers who are at-risk or vulnerable.
  • Post in visible locations flyers that inform ways to prevent the spread of the virus.
Click here for a good list of what disinfectants will kill the virus
For your Employees
We know your employees’ health and safety are of the utmost concern. Please keep your employees up to date on the latest information from public health officials and the CDC. We also encourage you to support your staff to stay at home if they are sick or showing signs or symptoms of possible illness and asking them to limit travel. We know that it may be difficult to offer compensation while they are in quarantine and away from work, but we do hope you will keep them employed until they are able to return. If you have the systems in place for employees to work from home, please encourage that.
Ways to share your efforts with your customers
  • Ramp up your social media presence. Post frequently. Also, it is ok to repost information so your followers will see it throughout the day.
  • Print out flyers that share what efforts you are taking to protect them. Here is an easy publishing program that will help you create flyers.
  • Inform your staff about the efforts you are taking to provide a safe experience in your business. Post that information on your social media. ie: “Our head server, John, is making sure you have a safe experience here at _____. We are taking steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and want to reassure you we are following the CDC guidelines to provide you a safe and enjoyable experience here.”
  • Tag the Greater Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce, the Las Cruces Green Chamber and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in your posts so you can receive exposure to other followers on social media.
Please don’t hesitate to share with us what you are doing so we can share that with our community. You can email your efforts to us at Chamber@lascruces.org
#lascrucesstrong
#lascruceskindness
#AllTogetherNM

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