On May 6th, Mayor Jenn Daniels hosted Congressman Andy Biggs and Ben Blink of Governor Ducey’s Office to provide national and state updates as Arizona begins to reopen. Additionally, staff from the Town of Gilbert and the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce provided updates on recent activities.
A link to the recorded call (coming soon), as well as archived links to previous calls, can be found on both the Town and Chamber’s resource pages. Please see a summary of the conversation below:
- Three recent vacancies on the Gilbert Town Council have been filled by appointment of Yung Koprowski, Scott September, and Bill Spence. To find a listing of all council members, click HERE.
- As a reminder to citizens, municipalities in Arizona are unable to maneuver around the Governor’s Executive Orders. Asking town leaders to open early or to delay opening is not within their authority.
- Some employers are finding employees who receive Unemployment Insurance Benefits are resistant to return to work. For those receiving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits, DES temporarily suspended the “actively seeking work” requirement due to COVID-19, but the “refusal of work” provision is not included in this temporary suspension. According to DES, if someone “refuse(s) an offer of or referral to suitable work,” they will be disqualified from receiving UI benefits (READ). Those receiving UI benefits must answer a question regarding this on their weekly claim form. Misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts, or making false statements in order to obtain or increase UI benefits is a felony (READ). If someone suspects that fraud has been committed, they can alert DES HERE. Specific questions about this provision should be directed to DES.
- Be sure to visit the Town of Gilbert’s resource page at glbrt.is/C19BizHelp for more information.
- The EVCCA conducted a third survey of its collective membership, and the Gilbert Chamber sent out a funding survey just last week. We plan to publish these results by Friday.
- The Arizona Commerce Authority is hosting a 6-week Business Boot Camp series. Last week’s focus was Funding and this week is Cashflow. You can find the archived recordings on our website. Additionally, the ACA is holding office hours every Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. for small business owners to ask questions and receive assistance from local subject matter experts.
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce will host a call tomorrow to discuss what we can learn from companies in other countries. They have been exploring the Return To Work topic for the past few weeks, and we have an archive of those recordings as well.
- The Chamber will be launching a social media campaign to feature local businesses as they re-open and will be asking for photos featuring you, your team, and some ‘Open For Business’ or ‘Thank-you’ messaging. More information to come.
- Please continue to visit our website at www.gilbertaz.com. Click on COVID-19 for access to webinars and resources. And check our calendar of events to find ways to connect with others.
CONGRESSMAN ANDY BIGGS:
- President Trump is moving to reopen the economy as quickly as possible but continues to leave discretion in the hands of the Governors with just some guidelines.
- There are still hundreds of thousands of PPP applications in pipeline, and funding is almost out. Last week, funds were shifted to smaller banks in an attempt to reach smaller, community businesses.
- President Trump has contracted with 3M for additional PPE. These items will be distributed privately rather than by the government. Additionally, Trump has ordered future stockpiling of PPE, including masks, ventilators, and other equipment, to build up a healthy supply in an effort to prepare for the possibility of future outbreaks.
- Arizona has not done as much testing as compared to other states with similar populations. Testing should be a priority for care facilities and caretakers. This could cost up to $4M, of which half could be billed to the Federal government. Congressman Biggs is advocating to get this done, with the help of state administration.
- A priority should be placed on moving the supply chain back to the United States. Congress is looking at ways to incentivize this effort.
BEN BLINK – OFFICE OF GOVERNOR DUCEY:
- As businesses reopen, the Governor’s office is providing specific guidance not only in the interest of public health but also to build consumer confidence so the public feels safe and encouraged to reengage with businesses. While the focus continues to be about doing the right thing for public health, the Governor understands and feels the frustration of the business community.
- Retail, Barbers, and Cosmetologists can open on Friday, May 8th, with specific guidance. Dine-in can begin on Monday, May 11th, with industry guidelines. Unlike other states, Arizona is not determining occupancy percentages and is leaving it to businesses to assess and make safe decisions.
- The Governor’s Office is staying in lock-step with the Arizona Department of Health Services to reopen the economy and is looking at data to determine the pace. Governor Ducey wants the state to the reopen and, when the data shows it is prudent to do so, the state will open.
- The next phase of opening will likely include gym and fitness facilities.
- Guidance for the reopening of pools is in the works.
- The Arizona Department of Liquor will issue guidance to bars.
- With regard to massage therapy, the Executive Order states it is up to the medical care provider to determine medical necessity.
- Boutique gyms/personal training facilities are being taken into consideration for the next phase of reopening. Business owners are encouraged to compare their practices to the intent of the Executive Order and make a reasonable decision to ensure the safety of customers.
- The Executive Order is not prohibiting the right to assemble. Many churches have closed voluntarily to follow CDC guidelines. Governor Ducey is leaving it to church leaders to make the best decisions for their congregations.
- Testing remains a priority, and the state is working with university partners and private labs to ramp up testing as fast as possible. Arizona Department of Health Services updated its dashboard to include additional information about laboratory testing for COVID-19 in Arizona. This new enhancement provides a look at antibody testing for the first time. To view the data dashboard, click HERE.
- The Governor’s Office is working with the Arizona Department of Health Services and Arizona Department of Education to develop guidance on school graduations.
- To review all Executive Orders, click HERE.
Office of Governor Doug Ducey
Governor Ducey’s website provides news releases, resources for business guidance on reopening, and Arizona Together. Arizona Together provides access to resources residents and businesses need as the state works to get through the COVID-19 outbreak. Resources include employment and financial assistance, homeowner support, business support, volunteer opportunities, and the AZ Coronavirus Relief Fun.
Arizona Commerce Authority
The Arizona Commerce Authority has gathered resources to support businesses and employees as they help combat the spread of COVID-19. Find information on workforce, business support, ways to help your community, utilities and services, and more.
Greater Phoenix Economic Council
The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) has compiled financial and local resources, in addition to their #GreaterPHXtogether campaign.
- Greater Phoenix Economic Council
- COVID-19: Finacial Resources
- COVID-19: #GreaterPHXtogether
- COVID-19: Local Resources
Town of Gilbert The Town of Gilbert has compiled programs and resources for both residents and the business community. Business owners can access resources like the interactive business map, text message alerts, and weekly calls geared towards the business community. Additionally, users may find updates for the state and town for both residents and businesses.
Gilbert Chamber of Commerce
The Gilbert Chamber continues to serve as the advocate for local businesses. Find helpful resources such as Live Q&A with the Small Business Administration, upcoming programs, and social media campaigns.