Reopening Playbook:  Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Safe.

Reopening Playbook: Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Safe.

These unprecedented times have been challenging to say the least. However, we’re proud of you for helping our community succeed, from donating meals to essential employees, to sewing masks, to simply sharing resources on social media. We are truly #StrongerTogether.

As we move forward, we know you are anxious to open your doors. To ensure the safety of our community and to help you navigate the new normal, we have created the Work Hard. Work Smart. Work Safe. Playbook. This resource will act as a living document, which we will update as this fluid situation changes.

Though we know we wish to return to our regular lives, we must take necessaryprecautions during this time. The last thing we want is for the virus to grow during this phase. This playbook is a guideline to help you safely serve your customers and accommodate your employees. If you have any questions, please contact the Chamber/West Alabama Works. We are here to help you.

Thank you for your support and courage as we’ve chartered through this pandemic together. We’ll continue to persevere the only way we know how: together.

Reopen Alabama PPE and Material Resource Guide

Reopen Alabama PPE and Material Resource Guide

This is a supplemental resource to help businesses find vendors for PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and materials listed in Work Hard Work Smart Work Safe Playbook.  It is an interactive PDF with clickable links to vendor information.  This resourse will be updated continual, so please check back for regular updates.  

This resource guide was a partnership with the office of Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, Business Council of Alabama, Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama, Alabama Works, Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama, Dothan Area Chamber of Commerce, Southeast Alabama Works and West Alabama Works. Please use the Playbook above and this clickable resources guide as you prepare to reopen and resume operations.

Employee Restate / Rehiring:  Business Rights + COVID-19

Employee Restate / Rehiring: Business Rights + COVID-19

What does a business do if employees refuse to return to work because they are making more money with their unemployment benefits?  

This handbook will give you steps you can take if employees refuse to come back to work.  It also included helpful letters which can be used to reengage furloughed or layed-off employees.

State

The Alabama Small Business Commission Emergency Task Force and the Subcommittee to Reopen the Economy submits Phase One of their Reopen Alabama report summarizing their findings and specific recommendations to put Alabamians back to work.  VIEW THE REPORT

Governor Kay Ivey on Monday announced the launch of altogetheralabama.org, an online resource that will serve as a hub of information for the state’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

View the Stay at Home Frequently Asked Questions document for individuals here and for businesses here.

Current Stay At Home Order here - Governor Kay Ivey on Friday issued a Stay at Home order to be applied statewide. The order will be effective beginning Saturday, April 4, at 5:00 p.m. and will expire Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 5:00 p.m.  List of essential employers being used by the State. 

UPDATED ORDER OF THE STATE HEALTH OFFICER - Effective March 28, 2020 at 5:00 P.M -  A list of "non-essential" businesses, venues, and activities are to closed to non-employees.

State of Alabama Small Business Resource Website (Atlas Alabama) - Many resources are now available to assist small business owners during the coronavirus pandemic. From tax relief to SBA loans to unemployment benefits, there are various avenues of assistance available at the federal, state, and local levels.

UPDATE TO DAYCARE REGULATIONS!!! - March 20, 2020 - An amendment to the closure of daycare centers for children was passed today.  As long as daycare centers can ensure that no more than 12 children are together in one room, they are allowed to reopen.

Alabama Department of Labor Extends Relief to Small Businesses - Effective immediately, the Department of Revenue is extending relief to small retail businesses that are unable to timely pay their February, March, and April sales tax liabilities.

Get additional information on the Alabama Department of Revenue’s COVID-19 web page.

Alabama Order of The State Heath Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings (Statewide) - Alabama Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health have issued a statewide health order to help contain the spread of COVID-19.  Included is the ruling on Healthcare and First Responder Childcare.

Alabama Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network - The University of Alabama - The Alabama SBDC Network is a statewide, inter-institutional program to enhance economic growth in Alabama by providing management and technical assistance to small businesses. Learn more at SBA Disaster Loans for COVID-19.

Alabama Department of Insurance - The Alabama Department of Insurance has issued guidance to health insurance carriers responding to the COVID-19 virus.

Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL) - ADOL Secretary Fitzgerald Washington announced that Alabama workers who are not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file for unemployment benefits.

Alabama Restaurant and Hospitality Association (ARHA) - The ARHA represents over 1,200 members including restaurants, lodging, tourism, and hospitality service companies.

Federal

COVID-19 The Cares Act - Stimulus Package Explained (Rosen Harwood Attorneys at Law) The CARES Act, to provide $2 trillion in emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses affected by the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic.

Payroll Protection Program - If you think the Paycheck Protection Program could apply to your business, we encourage you to consult further with your legal and financial advisors for guidance on the nuances of the CARES Act, and reference;www.SBA.gov for program updates and the most current application information.



U.S Department of Labor Published Guidance Explaining Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act -  March 24, the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Family First Coronavirus Response ACT when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.  
Posters:



U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) - The SBA has a number of resources available to assist small businesses during this time of uncertainty.



U.S. Chamber of Commerce - The U.S. Chamber website provides guidance on a number of topics regarding the virus and how businesses are responding.

Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.

Each day we are sending out helpful information for the well being of our members and community. We thank our partners at Family Counseling Service for providing these helpful quick downloadable handouts for all of us to mentally STAY WELL during the COVID-19 crisis. These pdfs are designed for you to email to your employees during this time.




Additional Resources

Facebook for Business - Managing through and building resilience during the COVID-19 outbreak.

YELP is helping businesses. Restaurants and nightlife businesses that remain open will receive free access to Yelp page upgrades, including Business Highlights and Call To Action, as well as Connect, which will help them communicate timely information to their customers.

Resources to help your small business manage through uncertainty - Here are some tips and recommendations to help you navigate this for your employees and customers.

Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) - Six Ways to Prevent a Virus From Disrupting Your Business

Open for Business™ - Prevent Business Disruption With a Business Continuity Plan

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives

International Franchise Association

National Restaurant Association

American Hotel & Lodging Association

U.S. Travel Association

National Retail Federation

International Council of Shopping Centers

An EOS Company's Guide to Surviving Coronavirus

Free Commercials through Charter/Spectrum   Spectrum Reach is dedicated to helping our local business community grow and be successful by putting their message in front of customers that use their services, buy their products and shop in their stores. Spectrum Reach is offering the ability for local business to easily build their own 30-second video for FREE, through our partnership with a service called Waymark. The process is simple and one of our staff can help them with completing the video. 

Contact Information

Effective Thursday, March 19, 2020, due to Coronavirus (COVID-19), The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama offices are closed until further notice and the staff is working remotely.  If you need to communicate with a Chamber staff member or West Alabama Works staff member, please refer to the staff directory to find their contact information.   

If you have additional questions, please reach out to Jim, Donny, or Barkley.  Their contact information is listed below.

Contact:
Jim Page
President and Chief Executive Officer
O: (205) 391-0562 (Voicemail will be emailed to Jim) | M: (205) 657-6300
jim@tuscaloosachamber.com

Contact:
Donny Jones
Chief Operating Officer & Executive Director, Region 3 Workforce Development Council/West Alabama Works
O: (205) 391-0552 (Voicemail will be emailed to Donny) | M: (205)242-5931
donny@tuscaloosachamber.com

Contact:
Barkley Garrett
Vice President of Economic Development
O: (205) 391-0329 (Voicemail will be emailed to Barkley) | M: (205) 632-8999
barkley@tuscaloosachamber.com