As we continue this unusual experience together as a planet, we will attempt to share any helpful resources that may be of use to travelers and our local business community. Visiting a community and the economic vitality of that community go hand-in-hand. Without visitors to a community there would not be enough resources to provide the wonderful experience one can have in that community (maintenance of parks, hotels, restaurants, etc.). It is our job as a traveler to help support the tourism industry as best we can in our own communities at this time. There will come a day when we are free to roam and we want those wonderful experiences to still be here for you when you visit. Your health and safety are top priority, followed by caring for the economic welfare of the local businesses we love so much. We are all in this together!
This will not be a place to find medical-related information. For the most recent health updates please visit the CDC website. The health and safety of our people worldwide, and the health of our economy are of utmost importance to us. If you have any questions about any of this information please email us at email@example.com.
For the most up-to-date information for business owners, please visit the COVID19 page on the Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Website.
Resources for small businesses:
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called for a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order that only allows essential businesses and workers to work on-site. The executive order is scheduled to run through April 13. The coronavirus threat in Michigan has negatively impacted employers and employees throughout the state. The government response has also created difficulty, but there are resources available to help.
- The governor’s executive order utilizes the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency guidelines as well as other state specific guidelines to determine who are considered critical infrastructure workers: Critical Infrastructure Workers
- In addition, the following link provides answers to Frequently Asked Questions about the governor’s “Stay Home” order: Governor’s EO 2020-21 FAQ
- For any questions for the state Department of Labor, Employment and Opportunity, please email LEO‑Coronavirus@michigan.gov or call 517-335-7858. Small-business owners also can the MEDC Business Resources number at 1-888-522-0103
- Businesses that paid less than $720,000 in sales and use tax in 2019 have been given an extra 30 days to file those taxes.
- If employers would like to continue operating but need to limit hours, the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s Work Share program is the best option. This allows employers to maintain employment levels and business operations during declines in regular business activity rather than laying off workers.
- Employers will not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of Executive Order 2020-9 requiring them to close or limit their operations.
- The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, people can call 888-522-0103 or visit: www.michiganbusiness.org
- The Michigan Strategic Fund/Michigan Economic Development Corp. has approved a small business relief program of up to $20 million related to coronavirus. The program will offer a total of up to $10 million in grants and $10 million in loans for businesses in Michigan directly impacted by the governor’s mandated closures or other virus-related repercussions. Details on how to apply are expected soon. Funding is expected to be available on or before April 1, 2020. For more information, visit: www. michiganbusiness.org/covid19/
- The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Their website: sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/
- Congress passed a bill that would provide $1 billion for low-interest SBA loans up to $2 million for small businesses. Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) will help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, non-profit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of COVID-19. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period. disasterloan. sba.gov/ela/Information/PaperForms
- The federal government has moved Tax Day from April 15 to July 15. All small-business owners and taxpayers will have this additional time to file and make federal payments without interest or penalties.
Facebook has announced they are making $100 million available in grants to small businesses at this time. Find out more here.
Free virtual presentation regarding ideas for business survival during this time (mainly tourism and downtown-focused): Find the presentation here.
Resources for Employees
- Go directly to unemployment website resource page HERE.
- Given the circumstances, employees may be exempt from strict compliance created with several provisions in the Michigan Employment Security Act until April 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. The executive order would make it easier for employees to qualify for unemployment.
- Under the executive order, the individual is considered to have left work involuntarily if they leave work for reasons related to the COVID-19, including a family care responsibility because of a government directive such as school closings. This allows these individuals to qualify for unemployment benefits.
- The executive order extends the timeframe to claim unemployment benefits from 14 days to 28 days from the time that the employee last worked.
- The executive order extends the eligibility timeline for unemployment benefits from 20 weeks to 26 weeks for claims filed before April 14, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. and after the issuance of the order.
- Under new emergency rules order by the state, first responders in Michigan who are exposed to the coronavirus are now eligible for workers compensation for the next six months.
Below you will find a list of restaurants that are still open for TAKE-OUT or DELIVERY only (scroll to the bottom, below the map). Please call ahead due to the ever-changing nature of this situation as individual businesses may change their information daily.
Grocery stores are open as usual, hours are below:
Meijer – 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Walmart Supercenter – 6 am to 11 pm
Neiman’s Family Market – 8 am to 8 pm
Perch’s IGA – 7 am to 9 pm
Walgreens – 9 am to 9 pm
Rite Aid – 8 am to 10 pm
Please remember to call first or visit business websites or Facebook pages before visiting a business, as regulations and mandates are changing as the national situation changes.
Downtown district business updates (shopping, dining, galleries, etc.), courtesy of the Downtown Development Authority:
Specific Resources for Lodging Properties:
The U.S. Tavel Association has a page of multiple resources for the travel industry businesses and also asks that you share your story. They have heard from other industry partners but are in need of feedback from Hotels and Lodging properties being impacted by this situation.
Do people still plan to travel?
Travel is prohibitive at this time for many as social distancing and self-quarantine is recommended to help slow the spread of the virus. As the United States hits its peak, and as the infection rate declines, this data will fluctuate but according to most reports, people will travel again. Here is a helpful bit of information from Longwoods International. Longwoods is planning a weekly traveler sentiment survey. We expect the survey sample size will increase as the month continues. According to this survey, people are still planning to travel when this experience subsides. Many are switching from international travel to domestic, drive-able destinations. We will likely see more in-state travel for the remainder of the year, as well.
Longwoods International (in partnership with Brand USA and Destinations International)
Weekly research surveys from Longwoods International are continuing. Here is a link to the first round of survey results. https://longwoods-intl.com/sites/default/files/2020-03/Longwoods COVID-19 study.pdf
Do you feel ill?
Please follow this link for CDC Guidelines on what to do if you feel you are coming down with the novel coronavirus.
MidMichigan Medical Center – Alpena
1501 W. Chisholm St.
Alpena, MI 49707
March 13, 2020 – Effective immediately, MidMichigan Health is implementing new visitor restrictions to protect patients, employees, health care providers and employees from the spread of illness. These changes will help minimize the number of people within MidMichigan’s Medical Centers in Alpena, Clare, Gladwin, Gratiot, Midland, Mt. Pleasant and West Branch.
As a service to the community, MidMichigan Health has published a COVID-19 informational hotline with a reminder of CDC guidelines and recommendations. The hotline can be reached toll-free at (800) 445-7356 or (989) 794-7600.
Alpena Area Visitor Welcome Center & Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Offices
To comply with best practices recommended by the CDC, the office building and Welcome Center at 420 N. Second Ave., Alpena, will be closed until further notice. Staff is working remotely. If you are in need of assistance, would like travel planning information, or have questions please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 989-340-2288.
We will update this page as new information is shared with us.
Be kind. Stay safe. Share compassion.
The Alpena Area CVB Team
Nicole Carr, Kyla Schatz, and Mary Beth Stutzman
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness.
We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope.
– Martin Luther King Jr.