Continuing their efforts to support area businesses, the Churchill County Business Owners Alliance (CCBOA) shared information last week regarding OSHA and new programs available through Churchill Economic Development Authority and the Small Business Development Center, CEDA/SBDC.
According to the CCBOA, there have been no local OSHA sightings reported in a month or more. Additionally, county merchants and proprietors have been fortunate that no fines have been issued for mask or other COVID-related violations. “At this time, no businesses in Churchill County have received a fine from OSHA,” reported CCBOA organizers, Paul Picotte and Jesse Segura. They also stated that many businesses are doing business as usual – as far as normal can be presently defined.
Despite this, several local proprietors continue to express concerns about operating their businesses at such a limited capacity (25% for bars and restaurants). They also remain worried about Governor Sisolak's Nevada Statewide Pause, which was extended for another 30 days on January 15th.
Sara Beebe, CEDA director of operations, shared with the CCBOA that CEDA is currently working on expanding its focus beyond attracting new business and industry. They will now also be able to better assist those that are already here. Beebe stated that CEDA has a lot of resources available to assist local businesses, including tax counselors. Beebe also plans to survey local businesses to learn ways that CEDA can better help.
CEDA also has the most current literature on the recently re-funded Payroll Protection Program (PPP). Before a business can apply for the second draw of the PPP loan, says Beebe, the first draw must have already been used. For the second draw, the business must show a 25% loss in gross receipts from one quarter of 2019 to one quarter of 2020. The Small Business Association has also extended how PPP loans can be utilized. They are not just restricted to payroll. If you received the first draw of the PPP loan, be sure to keep in touch with the lender you worked with to make sure you do not miss anything important about applying for loan forgiveness.
The Business Owners Alliance is also in the early stages of developing a partnership with Churchill County High School. The goal is to create an internship program that would allow students to work with local businesses in a work-study type of program for class credit toward their high school diploma. They also hope to create a mentorship program to help new businesses get started and possibly provide some sponsorship costs.
To date, the CCBOA membership roster now includes 42 businesses. At this time, the primary goal of the CCBOA is to boost the membership base and support one another in these unprecedented times. The group also hopes to expand its reach and help businesses in the community to provide the best service possible for the town. Annual membership dues are $100, but CCBOA encourages others to join even if the fee is not possible right now, and notes that all contributions are welcome.