COVID-19 Local Business Resources

This is an evolving web page of resources for local, independent businesses. It's in no way comprehensive, but is intended specifically for local, independent businesses. Thanks to our area partners as we all get updates from each other (Louisville Foward, GLI, St. Matthews Chamber, etc.) If you have further ideas on what should be included, please email Jennifer

LIBA is working with Louisville Forward, GLI, UofL and Hatfield Media on a more centralized hub for small business with more comprehensive answers. In the meantime, you can access a small biz info hub from the Indianapolis Chamber. Obviously some things only apply to Indiana, but there is lots of helpful info.


The Keeping American Workers Paid & Employed Act is the third relief bill and is about to be signed into law (3/27) and it expands the types of programs available for small businesses – Paycheck Protection Program, Emergency Grants, etc. Thanks to Louisville Forward for this “in plain English” translation of the bill for small businesses (also includes example scenarios). We'll hear more about this on our webinar Tuesday (see below).

The first bill was an $8 billion emergency response package, which dedicated money to state, local, national, and international institutions to prevent and combat coronavirus and to develop a vaccine; the second bill ensured free coronavirus testing, established a federal emergency sick leave program for up to three months at 2/3 pay, for workers with coronavirus whose companies do not already have paid sick leave, with the exception of businesses under 50; it also gave $1 billion to states for unemployment insurance, and $1 billion for nutrition assistance.



New Process for SBA Disaster Loans (Mon. 3/30, 11am-12n) - REGISTER HERE If you attended a previous call but haven't applied yet, the process is different now (but easier!). If you’re unsure of what’s available or how to apply for these programs, join us on Monday, March 30th at 11:00 AM as we walk you through the NEW Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) application process and discuss what we know about new programs.  You can REGISTER HERE for this session.  

We’ll discuss how the process works, review the application forms and take your Q&A. Joining us will be Michael Ashcraft, Senior Area Manager for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), David Oetken, Center Director for the Louisville Small Business Development Center and Toni Sears, Asst. Center Director for Louisville Small Business Development Center. In preparation, you can download the EIDL application forms and information here or go to HERE


LIBA Town Hall For Members – Now What? (Tue. 3/31, 11am-12n) Register here. Many of you have attended ‘how to’ webinars for applying for SBA Disaster Loans. With the Keeping American Workers Paid & Employed Act about to be signed into law (on 3/27), the types of programs available have expanded – Paycheck Protection Program, Emergency Grants, etc. Thanks to Louisville Forward for this “in plain English” translation of the bill for small businesses (also includes example scenarios). To help you navigate, we’ll be hearing from:

  • Tommie Causey, Small Business Administration
  • David Oetken, Small Business Development Center
  • Shaun Spencer, Trimen Solutions (HR Professional)
  • Rebecca Fleischaker, Louisville Forward
  • Who else do you want to hear from? What questions do you have? Let us know now! We’ll also have Q&A open through the webinar and our Facebook. If we can’t answer your question that moment, we will find out! Register here.

Virtual Town Hall with Mayor Fischer (Wed., 4/1, 11:30am) - Watch via the Mayor's Facebook page. Now is a time of uncertainty for many Kentuckians, including our small business community, as we battle against the spread of COVID-19. Local, state and federal government​s are identifying resources and implementing policy changes to help residents, businesses and nonprofits weather the economic repercussions of this fight.

We invite LIBA and your members to join Mayor Greg Fischer for a Virtual Town Hall hosted on Facebook Live. During the event, Mayor Fischer will field questions from members of local chambers of commerce and business associations related to the COVID-19 pandemic, its impacts and available resources. He will be joined by representatives from Louisville Forward, GLI, LIBA and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Kentucky District Office.

You can email questions to by end of day Monday, March 30, to ensure we can answer their most pressing questions. Members will also be able to ask questions via Facebook during the event. Watch via the Mayor's Facebook page.  

Be The Leader You Need To Be - Mon. 3/30, 12n - From LIBA member Mike Gandalfo, who will be joined by international best-selling author, Michael Lennington, who co-wrote The 12 Week Year For us, it can be lonely as our teams are looking to us on what to do.  In every obstacle there is opportunity.  Innovation is born from challenges.  This mastermind conversation will be focusing on how to rise above the challenges, embrace the opportunities, and be the leader we are called to be. There will be a brief presentation about taking care of yourself, having a clear, appropriate message to your team and clients, and making sure your business is in a position to win once this is all over. Then we will open things up for conversation and questions.  Register here. 

RECENT WEBINARS (click links for recordings):


DIRECTORY: Our membership directory has been modified to include special info relevant during this time (delivery, online ordering, etc.). We are also including links to other area resources, we're all in this together! Please visit the directory here. (And if you are a member needing to add your information, please log in and do so. Email Leslie if you need help, or just send along your info and we'll get it in there.)

SOCIAL MEDIA: We developed the following social media graphic that can be shared. You can download the graphic HERE and we encourage you to share, share, share. We want people to stay safe while supporting their local businesses!

MARKETING YOUR OWN BUSINESS: During these unprecedented times when “social distancing” is a term as often used as “social media”, businesses are having to get creative to keep their customers engaged and their businesses relevant. So marketers and businesses owners are turning to their social media pages to share how their adjusting during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re already seeing a growing number of businesses turn to posting social media videos, specifically on Facebook Live and Instagram. To help support our members during this time, our Branding Committee (Lauren Hendricks and Tori Thompson) created a list of best practices for producing your own DIY videos for social media. Stay connected through video, and let followers see your world, even if they can't see you in person. Remember to have fun with video and be yourself! Download the tip sheet.

EXPAND YOUR AUDIENCE - LIBA will post your promotion to our social media audiences, email Mendy your promotion/images. 

5 TIPS FOR BUSINESSES NEW TO E-COMMERCE - Adding e-commerce options? Selling gift cards? Here are some straightfoward pointers to bring your online sales up to speed.  Thanks to our friends at Stay Local! New Orleans for these quick tips we wanted to share. Read the full blog post here.

    • It’ll be easier to build an E-Commerce store than tack it onto your existing shop -- using Shopify or Square’s Online Store platforms right now is faster than you think.
    • Ensure that the checkout process is simple. Only ask for the information you need.
    • Free or reduced-cost delivery/shipping plays a huge role in whether a customer decides to purchase or not, and keeps you competitive with others.
    • Provide the customer with an incentive for a future purchase.
    • Emphasize how much their purchase helps our local community. 


Potential Grant Pool: We are in process of working with our elected officials and other organizations to potentially offer grants to local, independent businesses. While the amounts would likely not be huge, we know that every bit helps. Please send us your stories about what this crisis will do to your business so we can pass them along as decisions are being made.

ALSO WORKING ON: LIBA is also working to answer questions related to rent abatement. 

Local banks and credit unions response - Bank on Louisville has gathered information about how local banks and credit unions are supporting customers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Please contact your financial institution to learn more about these relief efforts and discuss your individual eligibility. You will need to contact your bank or credit union to participate in relief programs as they are not automatic.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program:
Apply here.
These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. (WEBINARS OFFERED, see info above in Webinar section.)

Notes we've taken from the info webinars: Apply online if at all possible to speed up the process. Use Internet Explorer (Chrome has had problems). The help number is staffed 24/7 (and had good reports from those who used it): 800-659-2955 or e-mail (You can also request help in other languages or for hard of hearing). Estimated timeline: Turn in application, 2 days later get your confirmation of receipt, 2-3 weeks later you get approval or questions, 5-7 days later you close on the loan and receive the check. 

Update 3/27: They have changed the site in the last 36 hours and it is now much easier - instead of filling out forms online, you now download forms first, fill them out, then scan them and upload. Find all the forms and apply here. Internet Explorer is recommended. If you don't have a scanner, most smartphones can download a scanner app so you can take pix of the docs and save as pdfs. There are many other programs coming out with this 3rd relief bill, we'll be getting you more info. But APPLYING for a disaster loan does not preclude you from receiving relief from other programs that are also looking good and we'll know more about soon.

Sharia Loans - Our understanding is that in our Muslim communities fees are acceptable but interest is not. SBA is still recommending to apply for the disaster loan, and hopefully there can be special arrangements made when the loan is processed. 

METCO: The city’s small business loan program has implemented some temporary relief for current loan holders (pending approval by METCO Board at 3/20 board meeting):

  • ·         No late fees will be implemented for three months
  • ·         Loans will be extended three months

Loan programs assist with start-up capital, working capital, capital improvements to commercial and public properties, and helps low- and moderate-income individuals start or grow a business. For more information about the METCO loan program or small business resources, visit

Micro Loans:  Obtaining capital to start or expand a business can sometimes be the biggest barrier for our low to moderate income individuals. Loans are available up to $10,000. Loans are available from:

Jewish Family & Career Services –

Community Ventures –


KIVA: expanded 0% loan options. Effective immediately, U.S. applicants for a Kiva loan will have access to the following:

1.    Expanded eligibility: More businesses in the US will be eligible for a Kiva loan than ever.

2.    Larger loans: The maximum loan on the Kiva platform will increase from $10,000 to $15,000. NEW as of 3/27: In addition to offering 0% interest, no-fee loans, we’re implementing a 6-month grace period, a $15,000 loan maximum and expanded eligibility.

3.    Grace period: New borrowers may access a grace period of up to 6 months for greater financial flexibility.

If you’re a small business owner who believes you can benefit from a Kiva loan, or you know one in your community, go to to apply for a loan. Here are some recent FAQs.

Federal and State and Local tax deadline postponed from April 15 to July 15. (More local info: Louisville Metro Revenue Commission (LMRC) will extend the 2019 annual occupational license tax filing and payment deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. The extension is for all taxpayers, including those who filed quarterly estimated deposits in 2019 and those who pay once a year. LMRC also has shifted the April 15, 2020 quarterly deposit deadline to May 15, 2020 for entities required to file a quarterly estimated payment. All other LMRC deadlines will remain in place.)

SSBCI - Potential source, we'll keep you updated - Senators have introduced a bill to reauthorize the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) in the U.S. Senate as S. 3551. The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) was a federal financing program that delivered flexible, affordable capital to small businesses around the country. The expiration of the SSBCI Program in 2017 left a void in the marketplace for affordable small business loans. S. 3551 would provide $3 billion in funds to a reauthorized SSBCI Program and provide immediate access to capital for small businesses that desperately need it. The programs created by states under the original SSBCI are still in operation and would be ready to immediately deploy capital to businesses in need.


Summary of the Families First Coronavirus Relief Package that will become effective April 2.  For businesses with under 500 employees, this requires paid sick time (related to Coronavirus) that will be subsidized by the government by giving credits towards Social Security taxes owed by the business.(Businesses with under 50 employees can request waivers.) The bill also ensures testing for the Coronavirus will be at no cost for all. 

The new guidance (3/27) includes two posters – one for federal workers and one for all other employees – that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under the new law.  In addition, the WHD released a questions and answers document about posting requirements, as well as a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy. More resources around the new 


Kentucky: They will consider it temporary job loss, similar to if an employer has to have a shut down. The state is also waiving the seven-day wait period of requesting unemployment benefits, and the job search requirement. To apply for unemployment insurance, visit the Kentucky Career Center’s unemployment benefits page at or call 502-875-0442. But first, check the schedule.

Applicants will need to provide a name, social security number, birthday, email and postal address and employment details.Kentucky’s unemployment insurance provides between $39 and $552 per week, depending on the lost income, for 26 weeks for employees who lose their job through no fault of their own. The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy says this usually comes out to about 45% of a person’s lost wages. (Employers: If you have 50 employees or more and are laying off 15 or more, you can send your list directly in so your employees do not have to individually file - please file a mass electronic claim (E-Claim). This will allow individuals seeking unemployment compensation to benefit from expedited claims processing. For more information on E-Claims, please contact the Kentucky Career Center by email or phone 502-564-2369.)

Indiana: Individuals can file for unemployment insurance through the Indiana Department of Workforce Development. A video primer on Indiana’s unemployment insurance can be found here,

1099/Contractors/Freelancers, etc. are able to apply for unemployment as of 3/25. See below:

Small Business Owners and Unemployment - there's still some confusion around this because it depends on how you are set up and how you do your billing as to whether you count as self employed/independent contractor (who can definitely apply for unemployment now) versus small business owner. We're working to get more clarification and will let you know.

One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund - The One Louisville: COVID-19 Response Fund  will provide support for families impacted by COVID-19. Download the flyer here. 

The Team Kentucky Fund has been established, residents of the Commonwealth can make tax deductible donations to help residents who have lost income during COVID-19. To make your donation, click here. (Application processes to come.)

General Human Services (food, etc.) -

Local Gig Workers Relief – led by Lance Minnis - 

Local Musicians – led by Carly Johnson -

Restaurant Worker Relief Fund: The LEE Initiative and Makers Mark are providing free carry-out, heat-and-serve meals to restaurant workers with pay stubs to prove their employment. Workers can pick up the meals (limit 2 per person) at 610 W. Magnolia Ave., from 5 to 8:30 p.m. They are also stocking family necessities for babies and children, non-perishable canned foods, toilet tissue and Tylenol. Everything is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Donate at or for more information. 

Apron Inc Emergency Fund for Restaurant Workers: A $10,000 emergency fund specific for COVID-19 affected businesses and employees, and Apron will be distributing $400 grants to eligible applicants. To be eligible for a grant a person must:

  • ·         Be diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus (Apron will require a doctor’s letter).
  • ·         Be employed in an independent restaurant at least six months.
  • ·         Be able to produce bills to be paid (Apron does not give money directly to grantees).

Apply at

Bartender Emergeny Assistance Program - The U.S. Bartenders Guild is offering eligible bartenders grants to help with expenses. Bartenders do not have to be members of the Guild to apply.

Meals for those age 60+:

Breakfast/Lunch for those under 18: Jefferson County Public Schools is offering free breakfast and lunch to children and teens at more than 58 sites in response to COVID-19. The sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays. Map of sites | List of sites

GLI Job Match Program:  While we recognize that many businesses are negatively affected by the changes implemented from COVID-19, we also know that some businesses are needing to scale up their workforce. If you are a business that is scaling up your workforce, or if you’re an employer who needs to scale back, GLI wants to help make those connections. Click the link to email if you are looking for work or needing workers, the number of people you are looking for, specialized skills you require, and your contact information.

Utilities/Rent - Louisville Water Company and LG&E will not be turning off service for nonpayment. Evictions are also not taking place while courts are closed. 


If you're unsure at what level your business is allowed to remain open after yesterday's Kentucky executive orders, you are supposed to be able to call 833-KY-SAFER (833-597-2337) to clarify. (Let us know your results!) All in-person retail businesses that are not life sustaining are now closed (though they can still fill phone and online orders through curbside services or delivery). A full list of categories of life-sustaining, in-person retail businesses is attached to the order.

Hand Sanitizer Request Form - #TeamKentucky is working to prioritize requests for hand sanitizer with distillers and other companies that are rushing to obtain and produce the necessary products. Please complete this form so we can process and prioritize your request. Note: Hospitals, first responders and other critical employers are receiving top priority.

State Guidance for Home-Based Processors 

State Guidance for Farmer's Markets

Building Trust In Trying Times - Tips for business owners during the Covid-19 pandemic from the Better Business Bureau.

For essential businesses that are open, here are signs for your doors from the health department in English and Spanish

PARC - To support restaurants and accommodate those who are picking up carry-out orders and gift cards, the parking authority is allowing free parking at meters adjacent to restaurants for up to 15 minutes. Cars must use their flashers. Visit

Package liquor sales - Kentucky restaurants can temporarily sell package liquors to go.

Business Liability Insurance - Check with your insurance carrier about any benefits you may have from disruption due to acts of God.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)  - The CDC also offers resources for business and employers on how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with guidance from health professionals. Visit

SCORE Online Support Is Available: 

Local Workshops. Visit our Workshop Calendar to find Webinars available to you at this time. Please follow this link to see the calendar and register for upcoming webinars:

Mentoring Sessions. Mentors are available to participate in remote mentoring sessions via phone, email and video. If you already have a SCORE mentor, ask them if you can use a remote mentoring method for your sessions. If you don’t already have a mentor, you can find a business mentor today 

Libraries: While libraries are closed, the Ask A Librarian resource is still available. 

Remember all your library free resources - Right now would be a great time to get reacquainted with the Louisville Free Public Library's digital resources. LFPL offers access to eBooks, eMagazines, downloadable audiobooks, streaming music and movies, and online courses - 24 hours a day, seven days a week with a Library Card.  See all the resources in one place at  If someone doesn't have an LFPL library card, don't fret!  People can now get one online at

AND Online Training Videos -, a premier online learning resource offering more than 4000 courses covering technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies & more is available for FREE to all LFPL library card holders. Get instruction in everything from 3D animation and photography to Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Office. Start learning online today at


If you have any resources related to PPEs (Personal Protection Equipment) such as surgical masks, personal protective gowns, face shields, eye protection, and hand sanitizer - be it the capability to manufacture or anything in stock - please contact us


Free website edits related to the recent coronavirus pandemic. We do not want anyone’s resources to be limited during this intense time. Any individual, company or non-profit is encouraged to reach out and take advantage of this resource. You can utilize free website edits to:

  • Add an announcement related to the pandemic
  • Update an existing page
  • Add a payment gateway to accept donations
  • Add a shopping cart to sell gift cards
  • Setup a contact form

If you, your organization or someone you know needs help making an update to their website in order to continue to do business as a result of the coronavirus, reach out to our team and we can help.


We are offering a free business consultant via Zoom to everyone that has been effected by COVID-19. This consult will provide you with advice on how to utilize your current business assets to help generate income into your business. We have helped several businesses get online and start selling right away.


* Square Online Store launched the ability for any business to accept online orders for curbside pickup or local delivery. The monthly fees for these features are waived through June 30, 2020. You can view tutorial videos to help you get set up online.

* We are refunding all software subscription fees for the month of March, which includes Square Appointments, Retail, Restaurants, Loyalty, Team Management, Payroll, Marketing, and Square Online Store. Square will manage the process for you—there’s no need to do anything.

We’re also offering a resource hub with information and advice for businesses to navigate this new environment, which covers how to offer local delivery, set up and promote electronic gift cards, utilize free marketing campaigns, turn off signature requirements for in-person purchases, and more. 


Several large delivery vendors are making temporary changes to help support small businesses. Postmates and GrubHub have both announced that they will suspend commission fees for independent restaurants during the crisis. Restaurants must sign up for the relief pilot program for Postmates. UberEats is waiving their delivery fees for independent restaurants.


We would like to take a moment and offer our help to any business that needs help in letting their employees work from home. We will be giving a free 30 days trial on our monitoring/antivirus software for anyone who needs it. This includes our remote software that will give you the ability to connect to you computer at work from home. We at Phoenix-IT know that this will be a difficult time for the small business community and want to help in anyway we can. Please do not hesitate to contact us for any technology questions. We are here to help!, 502-473-5502


We added a temporary service for any company that needs a fast and easy solution to make and take phone calls from anywhere/home. They can cancel at any time, so this is really to help companies get through this uncertain time. The second offer is for our regular business phone service with 4 options to make/take calls from home, and we are offering free set-up for all LIBA members. Jamie Webb, 888-955-5155  x130, 


They have announced a program to help up to 30,000 small businesses across the globe. Applications are not ready yet but we'll keep you posted as we hear more. News story link here. 



Free conference call services -





Other Resources -

From member Excavive -  Working from Home: 21 Tips for Effective Productivity

Psychology Today: 5 Tips for Working From Home During COVID-19 Remote Work Benefits, Obstacles, and Best Practices

Harvard Review: 15 Questions About Remote Work

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF: During this critical time, it’s important that we not only take care of ourselves physically, but also emotionally. The news can be frightening and the future seems uncertain at the moment, so it’s critically important that we take some down time to help our emotional states adjust. First, getting plenty of rest and eating well will help us maintain both our physical and emotional well-being. But it’s also important to unplug from the news every so often and take a break to exercise at home by taking a walk (while practicing recommended social distancing), spending time with your family or reading a book. This crisis won’t last forever, and it’s important that we stay emotionally strong for ourselves, our families and our community.   


What works for leaders in times of crisis? 

  • Anxiety is contagious. Be aware that you can help contain and manage anxiety with your own behavior. 
  • Lean into your strengths. Family businesses have a tested resiliency and the ability to recover from challenges. Keep this in mind every day. 
  • Look to the past for guidance. What other challenges have you overcome? Tell those stories to remind others that together, we will work our way through this. 
  • Show commitment to your people. Your employees look to you for strength and guidance. You demonstrate prudence in your actions and language. Lead with calm. 
  • Work together. Focus on the health and well-being of your people and your communities. Monitor those around you. 
  • Lead with intention. Respond rather than react. Responding requires us to slow ourselves down and work with our family and leadership team toward common goals.  
  • Continue to be financially responsible. Most family businesses exhibit a conservative use of debt, making them uniquely positioned to ride out a crisis. 
  • Focus on what is within your control and what is in front of you. You live with three spheres: what you can control, what you can influence, and what is beyond your control and influence. You can only influence the first two realms, thus try not to stress so much about what you cannot control or influence. 
  • Be purposeful. Decide where to put your time and effort. You can choose to focus on the 24 hour news noise which adds to your anxiety. You can also choose to focus on your personal support system—sleep, regular meals, prayer, meditation, humor, and your plan for the day. Make the conscious choice to focus on the actions that will support the work you need to do. 

Best Practices from Family Business around the World: 

  • Set up a “crisis room” with regular senior leadership team meetings (virtually or in person) for morning and evening check-ins. This helps you have one message to communicate to your employees. 
  • Manage your energy. Pay attention to how you are feeling and do what is most difficult when you have the most energy. 
  • Test IT infrastructure to make sure it can handle more people working from home in case you need to take this approach. 
  • Develop employee communication plans in case a location has an infection or a community has a lock down. 
  • Communicate your policy regarding health status and compensation to others in the organization. This includes what to do if you feel sick or have contact with people who are sick (including family), PTO, triggering events for furloughs, etc. 
  • Contact cleaning contractors in case you need to administer a disinfecting deep-clean. 
  • Develop plans and required actions at 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, and 1 year intervals. 
  • Contact your commercial bank/relationship manager and share your planned response to anticipated slowing of sales, production or service challenges, and supply chain disruptions. 


How does Coronavirus spread?

Coronavirus generally spreads between people within 6 feet of each other through respiratory secretions, especially coughing and sneezing. It is not currently known whether the virus can be transmitted by touching a surface with the virus on it.


When to Seek Care



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