Please see below for the most up to date information from the governor’s office and various state agencies regarding COVID-19 orders that impact small businesses.
Governor Ralph Northam (D) has issued executive actions that do the following:
Declares a state of emergency in response to COVID-19.
Bans all public events of more than 100 people.
Directs the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
Delegates to the Commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission the authority and responsibility for executing agreements with the United States Department of Labor related to implement the CARES Act.
Allows the sale and service of cocktails off-premises by distilleries and establishments licensed to sell mixed beverages.
Postpones the upcoming primary elections to June 23.
Presents the “Forward Virginia” blueprint for reopening the state economy. The blueprint will follow three priorities: testing and tracing, which aims to test at least 10,000 people per day; personal protective equipment, which requires that all health facilities have ample supply to provide elective and medically necessary care; and sufficient hospital capacity and staff. Phase one of easing restrictions will begin after a 14-day downward trend in confirmed COVID-19 cases and hospitalization. Phase one will continue social distancing, teleworking, and limits on travel and public gatherings, but will allow certain businesses to reopen within safety restrictions.
Offers relief for privately-held student loans. Relief options include: (i) providing at least 90 days of forbearance, (ii) waiving late fees, (iii) ensuring that no borrower is subject to negative credit reporting, (iv) suspending debt collection lawsuits, and (v) working with the borrower to enroll them in assistance programs.
Allows restaurants, bars, and the like to resume outdoor on-premise dining under strict protocols including but not limited to requiring employees to wear face coverings and limited capacity. Farmers markets may resume on-site shopping and brick and mortar retailers may resume on-premise shopping under strict protocols including but not limited to requiring employees to wear face coverings. Gyms, fitness centers, sports facilities, and the like may reopen for outdoor activities only and under strict protocols including requiring employees to wear face coverings and more. Personal care and personal grooming services may resume operations under strict protocols including but not limited to capping occupancy and requiring employees to wear face coverings. Theaters, entertainment venues, bowling alleys, skating rinks, and more must remain closed. Gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. Higher education institutions shall continue to cease all in-person classes. Those essential businesses that have remained open during this time must comply with the Guidelines for All Business Sectors.
Allows specific localities in Northern Virginia to delay entering Phase One of the “Forward Virginia” plan until May 28. Restrictions that are being lifted in most of state on May 15 shall remain in place for Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, Manassas Park, as well as the Towns of Dumfries, Herndon, Leesburg, and Vienna until May 28.
Regulatory actions are being compiled. Please check back shortly.