By Executive Director, Amy Bliss
As if worrying about catching COVID-19 is not enough to frighten us, everyone is worried about how this is affecting their business. I know we have inundated everyone with multiple emails per day, but I’d rather overcommunicate than not give you enough information. Below is a summary of critical information for each industry segment that may have already been communicated but is important to reiterate.
For All Members
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
The linked guide from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce may help you determine if your business may be eligible for some of this economic stimulus. We also have a COVID-19 Resources page available on our website to help you navigate this pandemic.
Manufacturers, Retailers, Transporters and Installers
These segments are all considered essential infrastructure under item 10 in the Governor’s order and should be allowed to continue operations. Keep in mind that social distancing and sanitation should be done as much as possible to keep employees and consumers safe.
While these industry segments are allowed to continue working, it is not mandatory and would be a business decision if you chose to either close temporarily or alter your services. Many retailers are showing homes remotely or only by appointment and maintaining their social distance routine.
Manufactured Home Communities
Running a manufactured home community is also considered an essential service. That being said, there are some limitations. All common areas, such as pools, playgrounds and community rooms must remain closed. Community managers are also not allowed to enter an occupied residence in order to show the home or any non-emergency repair.
The biggest impact is that the Governor has ordered no evictions for 60 days unless you are willing to sign an affidavit that the action is because of an imminent threat if the tenant stays in the property.
The staff at the Wisconsin Housing Alliance office are not essential employees and therefore, we are all individually working from our homes. We are fortunate to be able to do that. Since we can only forward our phone lines to one number, please be patient if a call is not answered. Rest assured we will do everything in our power to get back to you as soon as possible. Email is the best method to communicate with each of us individually. Our emails are as follows:
Amy Bliss, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Julie Patten, Membership Director email@example.com
Laurie Mercurio, Communications Director firstname.lastname@example.org
Angie Diedrich, Finance Director email@example.com
Please stay healthy and keep in touch if you need any assistance.