Chamber Corner


Don’t Wait to Apply for Economic Relief

Over the past few weeks the business community has had to scramble to adjust to implications of the Coronavirus. This past week many businesses applied for economic relief that has been made available through the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Those businesses that have not yet applied should begin the process immediately. Small businesses have some options including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. Contractors and self-employed individuals may look as well to the PPP along with EIDL program and in some cases may need to apply for unemployment insurance for the first time.

The CARES Act expanded one existing loan program for small businesses and created an additional program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan program was expanded to include a loan advance of up to $10,000, and the Paycheck Protection Program was created. EIDL applications must be submitted directly through the Small Business Administration online. PPP applications will be submitted through local participating banks and business owners should reach out first to the bank where they have their business accounts established.

The two can work in tandem with one another, or individually, depending on your business needs. They cannot cover the same expenses. We encourage you to apply as soon as possible as there is a high demand for these products.

We encourage that you contact the local Small Business Development Center to advise you on the best program(s) for your business. Call (716) 338-1024, visit them online at and/or work with your accountant.

For self-employed and independent contractors who have not traditionally been eligible for unemployment insurance benefits, the CARES Act now means you are eligible either for existing Unemployment Insurance or under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. The application process is all online through the New York State Labor Department.

We have collected some helpful links and resources on our dedicated web page for Coronavirus and Businesses. You can find a direct link to that page through our website at There are also links that can assist employees who may have questions about the new Paid Leave program available through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Please use our online resource page as a handy reference guide to walk you through the questions you may have. It is all available online and free to anyone who may need links or resources.

COVID-19 Leave & Unemployment Overview: Weekly Businesses Call

The Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce and Manufacturers Association of the Southern Tier are dedicated to providing our local business community with the resources they need to navigate during this challenging time. All businesses are invited to join us each Monday at 3:30pm for a weekly conference call via web or phone.
On Monday, April 13, our special guest will be James R. Grasso, partner with Phillips Lytle LLC, to provide an overview on COVID-19 Leave & Unemployment. Mr. Grasso represents management in the private and public sectors in all aspects of labor and employment law. He counsels clients on workplace policies and practices and legal compliance issues, and represents employers in litigation concerning employment discrimination, harassment, wage and hour matters, wrongful termination, employment contract disputes, and confidentiality and non-compete agreements.

On Monday, April 20th our special guest will be Amanda Brinkman, Chief Brand Officer, Deluxe and the Host and Creator of the Small Business Revolution series.

Any business or organization is welcome to join these meetings. For a link and access information, see our web page at