Resources and updates for businesses and workers in Hampton Roads

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) – Many business owners and workers are struggling to keep up during the coronavirus shutdown. 

In an effort to help smalls business owners affected by the virus within the Commonwealth of Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam requested an Economic Disaster Loan Declaration on Wednesday.

This would provide small businesses impacted by the virus with emergency resources currently available from the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act signed into law on March 6.

The request comes after Congresswoman Elaine Luria sent a letter to the Governor urging him to submit on behalf of the Small Business Administration.

The following resources were put together in an effort to help businesses and workers adapt to what is happening now, and prepare for what may be to come.

The Hampton Roads Workforce Council (Virginia Career Works Hampton Roads)

As of March 18, all Hampton Roads Virginia Career Works centers are closed until further notice which includes the delaying of meetings, training workshops, and hiring events, according to a statement released by officials on Wednesday. 

The council works to support employers and job seekers, many of which are now impacted by the coronavirus. Although the centers are closed, online resources and employment services are available, and the regional Virginia Career Works centers are working to provide online workshops in the near future. 

Virtual and telephone services 

The following phone numbers and links can be used to answer questions and provide information about the workforce due to the coronavirus:

Unemployment information

Unemployment personal are available from Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. According to the Hampton Roads Workforce Council, filing a claim can be done via Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) or through the VEC Customer Contact Center at 1-866-832-2363. 

Businesses with impacted workers  

“If you are a business owner or HR representative for an employer considering work stoppages, layoffs or furloughs, we encourage you to contact our Business Services team. We will get back to you within one (1) business day, or sooner, to discuss information and services that may assist impacted employees, including Unemployment Insurance, tax assistance, layoff aversion strategies, financial planning, remote access career services and more. Contact Steve Cook at scook@vcwhamptonroads.org,” according to VCW officials.

Information for working parents

The Hampton Roads resources below contain childcare information:

Additional resources 

Additional Virginia Career Works information related to emergency benefits for workers impacted by the coronavirus.  

The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity

The Virginia Department of Small Business and Supplier Diversity is requesting that business owners complete a survey that asks questions regarding the impact the coronavirus has had on their business. Results will be shared with “State and Federal partners.”

The survey will be open until Friday, March 27 at 5 p.m. and can be found online.

Norfolk Department of Economic Development

The Norfolk Business Loan through the Norfolk Department of Economic Development helps offset foreign supply chain disruptions.

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for Virginia small businesses suffering economic injury as a result of COVID-19.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance.