NC Stay At Home Order  - What it means for your business

Governor Roy Cooper has issued Executive Order 131, which is a statewide restriction on occupancy limits in retail and "big box" stores all across NC. Scroll to Page 5 of the document below to see how these rules will effect you. This order builds on Executive Order 121Stay at Home Order that began Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. and lasts until April 29, 2020.

Please carefully review the Order and the FAQs to determine the impact to your job or business.

COVID-19 News

Click the below links on information about the COVID-19 Relief Efforts

Here's what's now closed: 

  • All restaurant bars and dining rooms (take out / curbside / delivery is ok).
  • All entertainment facilities (swimming pools, movie theaters, health clubs, and yoga studios).
  • All personal care businesses (hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, and tattoo parlors)
  • Any gathering of 10+ people

Here's what businesses and employees are still permitted to work:

  • Work from Home.
  • Essential Businesses and Operations (As defined in the order).
  • Outdoor Businesses or Services ( construction related contractors, lawn maintenance, equipment repair or maintenance, etc.) that consistently practice Physical Distancing Requirements
  • Any business providing nonessential goods and services may continue to operate, provided they do so via curbside, delivery, mail order, or virtual/web service only.

Here's what any business owner or employee are permitted to do whether deemed essential or not: 

  •  Minimum basic operations for all businesses, facilities, and other entities is allowed, provided they comply with Physical Distancing Requirements. 
  • Any business, facility, or other entity may have staff present to perform the minimum activity needed to maintain value of inventory, ensure security, process payroll and benefits, to perform or maintain any function permitted, or to facilitate employees working from home.

Is your business considered an Essential Industry?

​NEW Protocol for Essential Business:

  • Effective Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m. Governor Cooper issued a state-wide Stay-At-Home order for nonessential businesses. The lists of essential businesses are much more extensive than earlier orders. Please check the list in the link above first to see if your business is essential. If your company is essential, you do not need any type of paperwork for your employees to come to work.
  • If your company is uncertain whether it is essential, you may make an essential business request with the N.C. Dept. of Revenue here .
  • If a company made a previous request to be considered an essential business, it is not valid and you must start again. Again, a company must ask with the new process in the essential business link above if the company is not sure and wants to get an official State decision. If you make a request to NCDOR, you may continue to operate until the request is acted upon.
  • In accordance with the City of Burlington's State of Emergency, any business that is deemed nonessential, must close. There are still allowances for minimum operations (human resources, payroll, facilities maintenance) but nonessential business must close operations.

Federal Coronavirus Aid Package - Business Resources 

Congress has passed a $2 Trillion Federal Coronavirus Aid Package that orders significant financial, tax and social tools be expanded and offered to businesses and employees throughout the country.  Here are some of the highlights of the stimulus package for businesses:

In the weeks immediately after the passage of the CARES Act, Americans will see fast and direct relief in the form of Economic Impact Payments. For more information, CLICK HERE.

The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.

For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE
If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
The application for borrowers can be found HERE

Main Street Lending Program
U.S.-based businesses and nonprofits with 10,000 employees or less, or those with $2.5 billion or less in revenue last year, will be able to refinance existing loans or obtain new unsecured loans through a $600 billion program designed by the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department. Loans will be provided through banks and credit unions, with a minimum loan size of $1 million, a repayment period of 4 years, interest rates ranging from 2.5 – 4.5%, and amortization of principle and interest deferred for the first year. Please note that the terms of this program may change before it is operationalized by the Fed. More information can be found here.

The CARES Act assists eligible businesses looking for payroll support to keep Americans working. For more information, CLICK HERE.
The IRS rolled out a refundable tax credit that is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. For answers to frequently asked questions, CLICK HERE.

For more information, please review the following web summaries of the CARES Act:

US Senate Small Business Committee Summary 
National Law Review Summary
NPR CARES Act Summary  
CARES Act Bill Text 
CPA Advisor Summary 

SBA Small Business Loans

The SBA is currently offering businesses impacted by Coronavirus Express Bridge Loans, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Plan Loans.  More information can be found at

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application
SBA Paycheck Protection Program Website
North Carolina SBA Disaster Declaration  

For questions and consultation, please call the SBA Disaster Assistance Customer Service Center:  1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or send an email to: .

Check out this recorded summit led by the The Chamber for a Greater Chapel Hill-Carrboro from Friday, April 3. A really informative Q&A session with SBA staff. Watch video here. 

If you already have an SBA loan or need to find an SBA-approved lender in North Carolina, we've got you covered:

North Carolina SBA Lenders - Find the right funding for you

Guidance for SBA Resources

With so many different resources available in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis, many businesses are dizzy trying to figure this all out.  The US Chamber of Commerce assembled this helpful summary guide.

NC Rapid Recovery Loans 

The Goldean LEAF Foundation announced they have created a $15 million rapid recovery loan program in response to economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Golden LEAF funding will support NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loans for eligible businesses have the following terms:

  • $50,000 maximum loan
  • 0% interest
  • No payments for 6 months
  • If not repaid in 6 months, coverts to term loan

The NC COVID-19 Rpid Response Recovery Loan Program is managed by the NC Rural Center. Participating Rapid Recovery organization include Business Expansion Funding Corporation (BEFCOR), Carolina Small Business Development FundMountain BizWorks, Natural Capital Investment Fund, and Thread Capital.  Information on this program can be found at

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