By Amy Susan, Communications Manager
Missouri Enterprise has compiled a list of resources and information to help keep yourself, employees and communities safe. There are also links for information designed to support economic retention and recovery related to Covid-19. We will continue to work with our local and federal partners on response efforts and how to best support Missouri manufacturers through this crisis. Additionally, below are resources that may help your company make decisions regarding your employees, business management, supply chain and even your customers. Please reach out to your Area Business Manager if you have questions or need further assistance.
This resource page is organized by the following sections:
To reduce the impact of Covid-19 outbreak conditions on businesses, workers, customers, and the public, it is important for all employers to plan now for Covid-19. For employers who have already planned for influenza pandemics, planning for Covid-19 may involve updating plans to address the specific exposure risks, sources of exposure, routes of transmission, and other unique characteristics of SARS-CoV-2 (i.e., compared to pandemic influenza viruses). Here are a few resources to help you get started and to stay up to date with guidance as it is released.
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Employers who have not prepared for pandemic events should prepare themselves and their workers as far in advance as possible of potentially worsening outbreak conditions. Lack of continuity planning can result in a cascade of failures as employers attempt to address challenges of Covid-19 with insufficient resources and workers who might not be adequately trained for jobs they may have to perform under pandemic conditions. The CDC has provided this interim guidance for businesses and employers to help plan and respond to Covid-19.
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- What you need to know about Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)
They have provided information on how Covid-19 spreads, its symptoms, prevention and treatment, what to do if you are sick and more. See the links below for select sections.
- Latest Updates from the CDC
- How COVID-19 Spreads
- Prevention and Treatment
- What to Do if You Are Sick
- Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
- COVID-19 Information for Travelers
- Preventing Spread in Communities
- Sign up for CDC Email Updates
The World Health Organization (WHO)
- Basic Protective Measures Against COVID-19
- Getting Your Workplace Ready for COVID-19
- Phishing Emails & Scam Alert
FREE Wellness Webinar
Often, when we think of an organization’s health, financial outlook statements and viability often come to mind. It’s less likely we consider how the organization supports employee health. As we face a global health crisis, it is more important than ever to create a culture of wellness that encourages and promotes the well-being of your employees. Click here to access our Wellness Webinar. (In partnership with AIM)
Now is a great time for manufacturers and companies alike to review their policies, especially if things are slowing down as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Your company should consider reviewing the following:
- Attendance policy to make sure don’t unintentionally encourage employees to come to work sick.
- Cleaning policy-how often do you clean and disinfect common areas like breakrooms, bathrooms, kitchen areas?
- Put up handwashing posters if you don’t already have them up- you can get there here:
- If you have to report illnesses and which ones to OSHA and/or Department of Public Health (DPH).
- Make sure your employees know what illnesses they have to report to you as their employer and the “why” behind it (i.e., that you have to report certain illnesses to OSHA and/or DPH).
- Encourage employees to practice good respiratory hygiene in regards to coughing and sneezing etiquette that minimizes germ spread.
- Create a contingency plan; What if a supplier shut down-how would that impact business operations? If half of your employee’s are out sick-how would that impact operations?
- While CoVid-19 has made this a necessity, the important thing is to sustain the cleaning practices as a proactive and preventative approach to keeping the workplace environment clean going forward. You never know when another health related illness will come about.
You may have noticed the empty shelves at the store where sanitizers and soaps were previously stocked. Can you use the current bottles you have at the office or home? Do they “go bad” after the expiration date? We asked our wellness expert April Schmidt to uncover some of the secrets behind sanitizers.
Can I Safely Use Expired Hand Sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer DOES in fact expire. Sanitizer also become less effective when exposed to heat—for example, if you leave a sanitizer bottle in your car over the warm summer months, that sanitizer may no longer be effective.
Since hand sanitizer is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s required by law to have an expiration date and lot number. Look at the packaging of your hand sanitizer. You should see the expiration date, typically printed on the top or back. This expiration date indicates the amount of time that testing has confirmed that the sanitizer’s active ingredients are stable and effective. Typically, the industry standard is 2 to 3 years before hand sanitizer expires.
So -- can you use it after the expiration date?
Even if its concentration has dropped below its original percentage, the product —isn’t dangerous to use-but it may not work effectively. Over time the alcohol (the active ingredient) will begin to evaporate once a sanitizer has been opened, which is what results it the sanitizer not being as effective. Your best bet is to replace it once it’s reached its expiration date, since it may be less effective, where using it creates a false sense of protection.
What active ingredients are found in hand sanitizer?
The active sterilizing ingredients in most hand sanitizers — gel and foam — is ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using hand sanitizers that contain a minimum of 60 percent alcohol.
Make Your Own Sanitizer:
If you want hand sanitizer but can’t find it on the shelves or a bottle at the office/home that is NOT expired, you can make your own. Combine 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol 70% or higher, 1/3 cup aloe vera gel, and an optional 3-5 drops of an essential oil for fragrance (NOT required). Be sure to also grab a squeeze bottle for dispensing!
When business is disrupted, it can cost money. Lost revenues plus extra expenses means reduced profits. Insurance does not cover all costs and cannot replace customers. A business continuity plan to continue business is essential. Here are a list of solutions and resources to help you through this time:
First Steps to Reopening Webinar & Checklist
Recovery from this current crisis can be problematic. Our Covid-19 Response Team is here to help your company take steps to prepare for the reopening of Missouri’s economy. We have developed a webinar to take you through a high-level checklist that can be applicable to most if not all business models. We explore topics such as: Should we control gatherings in the workplace? What should I communicate to employees? Which job functions are essential and which are not? What training do we need? View the checklist here to get started. WATCH the webinar recording.
To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri, Governor Parson issued a "Stay Home Missouri" Order effective April 6, 2020, through May 3, 2020. This Order directs all Missourians to avoid leaving their residences unless necessary and to practice social distancing when they need to travel outside their homes to work, access foods, prescriptions, health care, and other necessities, or to engage in an outdoor activity. This Order does not require all businesses statewide to close or cease operation.
Missouri’s initial recovery phase begins May 4, 2020, and during this phase we can gradually start to reopen economic and social activity. This will be a deliberate process, and is flexible to adapt to the situation. Some communities may be able to reopen at a faster rate, while others may need to continue restrictions to keep the virus from spreading. During this time, we should limit our activity and interactions and continue to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene to protect our neighbors and ourselves.
Up until the reopening phases mentioned above, any business that meets any of the following criteria may continue to operate under the guidelines. They do not need a certification or waiver. Again, if they meet any of these criteria, they are compliant with the order and may operate accordingly.
- Can continue to operate with fewer than 10 individuals in a single space each at a minimum of 6 feet apart; or
- Are defined as an essential business according to the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency; or
- Are otherwise identified in the Department of Health and Senior Services Stay at Home Order.
Businesses not meeting these criteria may request a waiver from the state's social distancing requirements by providing additional justification explaining why they are essential to public health and safety. The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) approves or denies the waiver requests. You can find more on DED's website, including how to submit a request for a waiver, the DHSS order, and other details. Visit www.ded.mo.gov/businesswaiver to learn more. Read the full order here.
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain nonprofits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA.
Provides cash-flow assistance to small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) through federally-guaranteed loans, with certain expenses eligible for forgiveness if employers maintain their payrolls (for employees making up to $100,000 per year) through this emergency. Loans may be forgiven if a firm uses the loan for payroll, interest payments on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Creates a temporary pandemic unemployment assistance program to give assistance to workers, including a $600 per week increase in benefits for up to four months to those who aren’t normally eligible for unemployment benefits, such as the self-employed or independent contractors.
Click here to access the Paycheck Protection Program application. The program began accepting applications as of April 3, 2020.
- Assemble copies of the most recent pre-crisis and existing headcount records, including wages. Typically, your previously filed state quarterly wage reporting and unemployment insurance returns will suffice.
- Keep track of all lost business income and revenue.
- Compile corporate audited financial statements and documentation of any emergency expenditures.
MORE about the Paycheck Protection Program
A program for small businesses needing to ensure pay for their employees and other essential debts. Lenders may begin processing loan applications as soon as April 3, 2020.
- Paycheck Protection Program top-line overview
A quick look at the program as a whole and how it works
- Information for lenders
FAQ for institutions interested in providing lending support
- Information for borrowers
FAQ for small businesses in need of funding to continue paying their employees
- The SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (Press Release)
More in-depth information regarding the details of the PPP
How else can we help? In addition to helping you institute wellness plans, Missouri Enterprise can also partner with your company on Business Continuity Planning and Disaster Recovery and Sustainability. Learn more here. If you are interested in taking advantage of our free Business Continuity Management Gap Analysis Checklist, click here. We have used this checklist to help such august organizations as the World Bank and NGIA. You can also view our recent webinar on this topic created by our resiliency expert Tom Gordon.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration. Missouri Governor Mike Parson declared a State of Emergency for the state because of cases of COVID-19 on Friday, March 13.
- Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
- SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.
- The information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
- These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
- SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
- SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.
SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace the following items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster: real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. Borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. Loans may also be used for structural improvements such as adding a retaining wall or sump pump, clearing out overgrown landscaping, building a safe room or elevating the property to lessen the effect of future disasters.
US Department of Homeland Security’s Business Continuity Plan Template
This free resource can help you get started with your plan which includes impact analysis, recovery strategies, plan development, and testing and exercises. More information on business continuity planning is available here.
The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
$100 million in cash grants and ad credits for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses.
The St. Louis Economic Development Partnership, and the St. Louis Development Corporation are offering a zero-interest loan program* for small businesses in the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County hat have sustained economic damage due to the COVID-19 crisis. Click here to also learn about their hotline number and dedicated page.
National Association of Manufacturing:
- NAM:How Coronavirus is Affecting Manufacturers
- NAM: COVID-19 Manufacturing Resources
- NAM: Manufacturers Release Policy Action Plan in Response to COVID-19
- NAM: Manufacturers’ Survey Reveals Current Industry Impact of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 health crisis impacts global supply chains, Missouri Enterprise is stressing the importance of having a plan in place prior to disruptions to your supply chain. The following resources can help your company react to and prepare for disruptions. Also, as part of the MEP National Network, we can help you identify and connect with domestic sources for your supply chain. Simply connect with your Area Business Manager for more details.
The medical community is seeking help from Missouri manufacturers to fill the gap in the PPE supply chain as we, together, combat Covid-19. Click on the image below if you would like to join our network and connect with other manufacturers who are working together to answer the call.
Arming your employees with information at this time is just as important and shows you care about your team. From work-sharing information, unemployment benefits, and tips for staying safe, here is information manufacturers should read and provide to their employees.
The Shared Work Unemployment Compensation Program is an alternative to layoffs for employers faced with a reduction in available work. It allows an employer to divide the available work among a specified group of affected employees instead of a layoff. These employees receive a portion of their unemployment benefits while working reduced hours. To participate, an employer must complete an application for the affected unit within the company, and submit it to the Division of Employment Security (DES) for approval.
Here, employers and employees can learn about how to file claims, eligibility and payment information.
If your business is experiencing an employee layoff or worksite closure, know your legal requirements under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN Act). The WARN Act provides protection to workers, their families, and communities by requiring employers to provide a 60-calendar day notice in advance of covered plant closings and mass layoffs. Employers are encouraged to give workers notice even when WARN does not require it and to work with state and local agencies to help their workers get the transition services they need.
The state has activated the Employment Transition Team (ETT), a service provided at no cost to businesses and affected workers. As part of the ETT, a Regional Workforce Coordinator and local workforce system staff are available to provide guidance to you and reemployment services for your affected employees. To meet the food and medical community supply challenge, many manufacturers in Missouri continue to operate and may need additional workers to sustain high levels of output. The ETT can plug your affected workers into temporary positions to meet this demand.
Diseases can make anyone sick regardless of their race or ethnicity. Fear and anxiety about COVID-19 can cause people to avoid or reject others even though they are not at risk for spreading the virus. Remember that the Missouri Human Rights Act makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race and national origin in employment, housing, and public accommodation.
Information for health carriers writing health insurance or health benefit plan coverage in Missouri
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Workplace Tips for Employees
As many observe social distancing, here is an excellent opportunity for your manufacturing company to still be productive -- check out some of our upcoming webinars, many of which include live question and answer sessions following the presentation. We also have a few recorded webinars that are ready for viewing NOW at NO COST (see below).
These mini-sessions will feature some of our experts who have a combined 80+ years of experience working in manufacturing and healthcare. Following the brief presentations, we encourage questions at the end and want each to serve as an open forum. Ask away! Nothing is off the table. If you have suggestions on other topics, please send them our way and we will do our best to provide information or investigate it and develop a presentation.
How to Use ZOOM to Connect with Clients, Prospects, and Team Members - a Crash Course
(**If you register for a webinar and cannot attend, we will send you a recording of the session to view at your convenience!)
FREE Webinars Available Anytime
- Workplace Wellness: Instituting a culture that values employees - Available NOW
- Strategic Planning: How to NOT become Obsolete – Available NOW
- Risk and Opportunity: How to Safeguard Your Business – Available NOW
- CE Mark: How to Sell Your Product in Europe - Available NOW
- Working with Millennials - Available NOW
During this uncertain time, we know that some of our manufacturers are asking people to work remotely. To help, we’re sharing a link to a complimentary micro course on Leading Virtual Meetings by DDI, a leadership training organization that we belong to. This brand new micro course was produced in partnership with Dr. Steven Rogelberg, who is a leading expert on meetings and wrote the book The Surprising Science of Meetings. Anyone in your organization is welcome to access the course for free by following this link . If you like what you see in the DDI video, please contact us. We also have the ability to offer numerous DDI courses to you once CoVid-19 concerns have subsided.
This one-stop shop for all businesses provides a daily list of events and training (many offered ONLINE at the moment) to help your business stay informed.
Many organizations and outlets continue to follow information on Covid-19, specifically how it affects businesses. Here are a few links to news outlets, business organizations, and government officials as well as links to the latest news.
Mo Governor Releases Reopening Plans (April 27, 2020)
AIM to hold conference call with Senator Roy Blunt to discuss the two recent federal Covid-19 relief bills on April 9 (April 7, 2020)
Gov. Parson issues Statewide Stay at Home Order (April 4, 2020)
Steps to Take to Manufacture Medical Supplies (April 2, 2020)
Recording: Teleconference with State Officials and the NIST MEP network on medical supply updates for manufacturers wanting to help (April 2, 2020)
Staffing Resources for Essential Businesses (March 30, 2020)
NEW Free Covid-19 Webinars Series (March 27, 2020)
State Community Development Block Grant funds used to purchase essential ventilators for the State’s COVID-19 response (March 26, 2020)
Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Lawmakers Reach $2 Trillion Aid Deal (March 25, 2020)
The State of Missouri is seeking help from Missouri manufacturers to fill the gap in the PPE supply chain as we, together, combat Covid-19. (March 23, 2020)
SBA approves disaster declaration for Missouri (March 21, 2020)
Taxes 2020: April 15 federal tax filing deadline extended to July 15 (March 20, 2020)
Governor Parson Supports Missouri Businesses, Workers, and Families Impacted by COVID-19 (March 19, 2020)
Governor Parson Signs Executive Order 20-04 Easing Regulatory Burdens During State of Emergency (March 19, 2020)
MISSOURI EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED IN RESPONSE TO CORONAVIRUS (March 19, 2020)
FMCSA Emergency Declaration on Trucking Hours of Service (March 18, 2020)
Missouri Enterprise - Covid-19 Wellness Newsletter (March 15, 2020)
White House Briefings & Statements - https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/
Missouri Health & Senior Services Daily Covid Case Count - https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/
Missouri Governor Mike Parson's Daily Covid-19 Briefings - https://www.facebook.com/pg/GovMikeParson/videos/?ref=page_internal.
Reuters Health News - https://www.reuters.com/news/archive/healthNews
National Associaiton of Manufacturers News - https://www.nam.org/series/news/
Interested in connecting with other manufacturers who are stepping up to help our state and country meet the medical supply needs? Join our Covid-19 Manufacturing Network.
Share this information with others within your company or within your network. Be safe. We are here when you need us. Connect with your Area Business Manager at any time.