Reset - Recover - Restore

Your chamber of commerce is dedicating this page to information surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, we now find ourselves in the unwelcome position of having to provide information on yet another calamity, Hurricane Ida.

 

Here you will find information you can use to help us all reset, recover and restore, once the virus is brought under control. We will accept contributions to this page at norristownchamberofcommerce@gmail.com

Major Disaster Declaration

On September 10, 2021, President Biden approved Major Disaster Declarations (MDD) for Pennsylvania. The incident period for both declarations is from August 31 – September 5, 2021, and authorizes FEMA to provide federal disaster assistance to impacted areas. Visit FEMA’s official Pennsylvania’s Hurricane Ida Disaster Page here.
The type of federal assistance available in Pennsylvania may vary depending on your county and whether your county was officially declared a major disaster. The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is working with FEMA to conduct preliminary damage assessments in counties all over Pennsylvania to determine which counties should qualify for an MDD. Once preliminary damage assessments are completed in a given county, the PEMA will submit an application to FEMA requesting the declaration. FEMA will then review the request and determine whether the request is approved. FEMA and PEMA continue to conduct these assessments and are approving qualifying counties on a rolling basis. 
 

Pennsylvania Counties with approved Major Disaster Declarations

  • Montgomery County

  • Bucks County

  • Chester County

  • Delaware County

  • Philadelphia County

  • York County

*NOTE: Additional MDD Counties will be announced on a rolling basis. Please continue to check back for updates.

**Source: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/declarations

About Disaster Assistance

Federal disaster assistance from FEMA may be available for certain expenses which are not covered by insurance policies (Homeowner, Renter, Flood, etc.) or from active Voluntary Agencies/Mass Care (emergency food, shelter, clothing, medical, etc.). For counties with major disaster declarations, this can include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the impact of Hurricane Ida. Please view the below fact sheets for information on the different types of assistance:

Apply for Federal Assistance

If/when your county receives a Major Disaster Declaration, you may apply online for individual assistance from FEMA or constituents may call the application phone number at 1-800-621-3362 (TTY: 800-462-7585). 

Please be sure to read the above Sequence of Delivery Fact Sheet.

Tips for Applying

When you apply for assistance, have the following information readily available:
 

  • A current phone number where you can be contacted

  • Your address at the time of the disaster and the address where you are now staying 

  • Your Social Security number, if available 

  • A general list of damage and losses 

  • If insured, the policy number or the agent and/or the company name 

  • Remember to document everything – take photos and document all damages and keep all receipts related to cleanup and repairs.

  • Apply for Assistance from the Small Business Administration

Apply for Assistance from the Small Business Administration

In addition to FEMA assistance programs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest disaster loans for homeowners, renters, businesses of any size, and most nonprofits. Similar to FEMA claims, SBA cannot duplicate benefits for losses covered by insurance.

For small businesses, those engaged in aquaculture and most nonprofits, loans up to $2 million is available for working capital needs even if there was no property damage, with a $2 million maximum loan for any combination of property damage and working capital needs.

For homeowners: loans up to $200,000 is available to repair or replace their primary residence.

For homeowners and renters: up to $40,000 is available to replace personal property, including vehicles.
 

How to Apply to SBA

Businesses and residents can apply online at https://disasterloanassistance.sba.gov 

For questions and assistance completing an application, call 800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. The SBA will answer specific questions about how a disaster loan may help each survivor recover from the disaster damage.

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Montgomery County set to move to the yellow phase

Montgomery County is set to move to the yellow phase of Govenor Wolf's reopening plan on Friday, June 5. For guidance for each business industry. visit https://www.montcopa.org/3524/Reopening-Guidance.

MontcoStrong Small Business Grant Program round 2 awards announced

The Montgomery County Commissioners Office has published the list of awards for round 2 of the MontcoStrong Small Business Grant Program. Visit https://www.montcopa.org/MontcoStrongSBGP to view the list and find more information.

Montco Commerce Department launches business survey

The Montgomery County Commerce Department has developed a regional business survey to assess the needs of businesses in the Greater Philadelphia region in order to assist in developing guidance and resources to help businesses safely and speedily reopen after the COVID-19 business closures.

The survey is available in English (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/39PMDS3), Spanish (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3DSCHW5), and Mandarin (https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3DGKRQH).

Montgomery County COVID Updates July

•    The COVID-19 PA Hazard Pay Grant Program was established to help employers provide hazard pay to employees in life-sustaining occupations during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Information about the PA Hazard Pay Grant Program can be found here.

•    The PA Shared-Work program allows an employer to temporarily reduce the work hours of a group of employees and divide the available hours equally rather than laying off any employees. Employees covered by a Shared-Work plan receive a percentage of their Unemployment Compensation (UC) Weekly Benefit Rate while they work a reduced schedule, if they are otherwise eligible for UC. More information can be found here.

•    RESTART Montco is a new MCPC initiative that focuses on how planning can help our communities adjust and recover from the effects of the shutdowns required during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more here.
 

Montgomery County moves to Green Phase, July 4th update

As a reminder, the business re-opening guidance prepared by the County in collaboration with regional partners can be found online at https://www.montcopa.org/3524/Reopening-Guidance. Links to this information can also be found on the Commerce Department’s homepage and the County’s COVID-19 data hub.

The latest information on the upcoming statewide grant program for small business being administered by the CDFI network.  The window to apply for the first round of this program is expected to begin no later than June 30th and be open for 10 business days.  Please note to anyone that is planning to apply to begin working now on the required documentation – particularly the demonstration of lost revenue between the March-May period in 2019 vs. the March-May period in 2020.  The website for the grant program is www.pabusinessgrants.com.

 

Information from Victoria Boyer, Special Events Coordinator at the Municipality of Norristown:

 

"Due to safety precautions necessary to keep our community safe, the in person Fourth of July Celebration has been cancelled. However, we still would like to show our Norristown pride, and connect with our community over this holiday. This being said, we are putting together a virtual celebration. What that will look like will be a video of pictures of all of our normal parade participants set to music, with a grand finale. To be included, please send me pictures of your organization.

Updated Covid - 19 Resource Guide materials

Montgomery County Commerce Department announced the relaunch of the  MontcoStrong Small Business Grant program. Online applications will be accepted between 10 AM and 6 PM on Wednesday, May 13. For updated guidelines, FAQ, and additional information, visit:  https://www.montcopa.org/MontcoStrongSBGP

An additional $310 billion has just been approved to extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applications can be submitted today from participating program lenders and is on a first come, first served basis. For more details, visit the SBA website here.

Don’t forget to watch the daily briefings from the County Commissioners and keep reminding folks to visit the County’s COVID-19 data hub - www.montcopa.org/COVID-19.

As the plan to move PA through phases from red to green continues  to evolve and new details are added, we encourage you to stay up-to-date by visiting https://www.governor.pa.gov/process-to-reopen-pennsylvania/.

Signage for mask requirements has been developed and approved by the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety and Office of Public Health. We encourage you to post these signs on your doors in an effort to protect your employees and customers against COVID-19. 

Click here for an English version sign.

Click here for a Spanish version sign.

An additional $310 billion has just been approved to extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the U.S. Small Business Administration. Applications can be submitted today from participating program lenders and is on a first come, first served basis. For more details, visit https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.

Your Covid-19 Resource Guide

'Essential' businesses under Covid-19

A wide array of businesses were told to close their doors this past weekend, and there has been some confusion about which businesses are considered essential and which are considered non-essential. Chamber member Huskey Digital Media has published a complete list on its A Moveable Feast landing page. Click on the link to your right and scroll down to find the list. Please share with others where necessary. 

Norristown Council Passes Amusement Tax

NORRISTOWN - Starting Jan. 1, 2020, movie theaters, theaters, fairs and carnivals, the Elmwood Park Zoo and other venues will have to begin paying a 5 percent tax to Norristown borough.

The Borough Council approved the 5 percent amusement tax at its workshop meeting on Tuesday, replacing a 10 percent amusement tax that had been on the books but was not being collected.

Get the FULL story here! https://bit.ly/31bhwpb

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