Knoxville, TN Coronavirus Covid 19 Business Resources

Knoxville, TN Coronavirus Covid 19 Business Resources

Knox County small businesses are officially eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may apply for up to $2 million in federal assistance to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue.

If there is any way the Payteva team can serve your business during these uncertain times or if you need access to additional resources, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Below are helpful links regarding loan parameters and the application process.

SBA Disaster Assistance Application
SBA Disaster Assistance Application Guide
Knoxville Chamber COVID-19 Employer Resource Guide
Knoxville ChamberCovid-19 Regional Response Form

City of Knoxville Information

Mayor Indya Kincannon issued an Executive Order Friday, March 20, 2020 to close restaurants, bars, gyms and commercial event venues amid growing concerns over COVID-19. The order will allow restaurants and bars to offer delivery and take-out service. This executive order will go into effect tonight at 8 p.m. and will remain in effect for 2 weeks. The executive order can be found HERE.

Large gatherings across the country are being put on hold as the number of cases continues to rise and the virus spreads to other states. WBIR Channel 10 has compiled a list of cancellations and closings in Knoxville and the East Tennessee region. Please refer to THIS list regularly for updates on regional cancellations and business closures.

Knox County Information

COVID-19 – Knox County Health Department

In addition to responding to thousands of infectious disease cases annually, Knox County Health Department’s (KCHD) epidemiology and emergency response teams also routinely prepare for public health threats and will continue to protect the health and safety of people in Knox County. KCHD has launched a COVID-19 Public Information Line. The hotline number is 865-215-5555 or individuals may call toll-free at 888-288-6022. The information line will be available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.

Call volume is expected to be high. Callers are urged to be patient if they receive a busy signal and try their call at a later time. People with concerns about their health should contact their healthcare providers.

Preparing Your Organization

Businesses, no matter their size, can significantly influence our community’s readiness, awareness, resources and engagement against the spread of the COVID-19. This begins with organizational preparedness, including risk management teams and contingency plans.

Employers should prepare and socialize an Outbreak Response Plan and:

  • Ensure the plan is flexible and involves employees in development and review.
  • Conduct a focused discussion or exercise using the plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need to be corrected.
  • Share the plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibility, pay and benefits are available.

Assistance for Businesses

Knoxville Chamber’s Business Support Page

Fill out our Regional Response Form

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. Learn More.

The Export-Import Bank of the United States (EXIM) is announcing relief provisions for exporters and financial institutions located throughout the United States that may have been affected by COVID-19. If you have encountered any shipment problems, payment difficulties, liquidity problems or other business interruptions that require other flexible arrangements from EXIM in addition to the ones outlined here, EXIM stands ready to work with you in partnership to overcome these issues. Learn More.

Resilience in a Box is based on best practices and designed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with UPS, to educate newcomers on business resilience. Small businesses are both highly vulnerable and can be without adequate resources to focus on preparedness actions. These resources will guide companies toward addressing preparedness issues while building in flexibility to handle potential business interruptions. Learn More.

Individuals Seeking Employment

If you are seeking an immediate opportunity, please visit THIS link for a list of area employers who are currently hiring. You may also want to view resources offered by the  Tennessee Labor & Workforce Department.

We also want to prepare for when normal operations resume. And they will. If you have experienced a layoff and will be looking for work, please fill out our Employee Hiring Form. The Chamber will supply the list to businesses on request when they begin to rehire.

TN Department of Labor

When a Tennessee business closes to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and temporarily has to lay off employees, those workers can collect unemployment benefits if they meet other eligibility requirements. now has separate sections for employers, employees, frequently asked questions about unemployment, and for the latest changes at American Job Centers.

Guide to Partial & Mass Layoffs Claims for Employers

Filing Guide for Unemployment Due to COVID-19

Weekly Certification Instructions for Partial Claims

Corporate Policy Recommendations

The United States Department of Health and Human Services, along with the CDC, recommends that companies:

  • Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
  • Speak with vendors that provide contract or temporary employees about the importance of sick employees staying home and encourage them to develop non-punitive leave policies.
  • Do not require a health care provider’s note for employees who are sick with acute respiratory illness to validate their illness or to return to work, as health care provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely way.
  • Employers should maintain flexible policies that permit employees to stay home to care for a sick family member. Employers should be aware that more employees may need to stay at home to care for sick children or other sick family members than is usual.

According to OSHA, the Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to influenza, pandemics, or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. Learn more here. 

For more information, view the U.S. Chamber’s “Guidance for Employers to Plan and Respond to the Coronavirus (Covid-19)” PDF.

Emergency Remote-Work Plans

Harvard Business Review outlines 5 recommendations in the article, “What’s Your Company’s Emergency Remote-Work Plan?”:

  1. Acknowledge the possibility that all or part of your workforce may need to work remotely.
  2. Map out jobs and tasks that could be affected.
  3. Audit available IT hardware and software, and close any gaps in access and adoption.
  4. Set up a communications protocol in advance.
  5. Identify ways to measure performance that could inform broader change.

Read more here.

Printable Materials & Additional Resources

National Association of Manufacturers: Coronavirus Resources

CDC – What You Need to Know

CDC – What to Do If You are Sick

CDC – Stop the Spread of Germs

U.S. Chamber – Guidance for Employers

Destinations International: Coronavirus Travel Industry Resource Page

OSHA – Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19

UT CIS COVID-19 Resource Dashboard

United Way of Greater Knoxville – Support and Assistance