COVID-19 Info

 

In an effort to protect the public and our employees, all transactions with departments in City Hall must be done via drop box, telephone or internet. Our drop boxes are located on the front porch of City Hall, City Hall parking lot, Fire Department parking lot and in front of the Library. 

You may contact City Hall at 304-842-8200 and request the department you want, or you may contact that department directly at the number below:

Police Department       304-842-8260
Fire Department           304-842-8252
Utility Services             304-842-8220
Tax & License              304-842-8229 or 304-842-8230
Code Enforcement      304-842-8218
Engineering                  304-842-8231

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May 11, 2020

Here are several more guidelines released by the Governor's office relating to reopening businesses in West Virginia.  The Week 3 guidelines are in effect beginning today and the Week 4 guidelines will take effect next Thursday, May 21st, in time for the Memorial Day weekend. 

Restaurant Guidelines
Wellness Centers Guidelines
Outdoor Equipment Guidelines
Campground Guidelines
Large Retail Guidelines

For more information, please visit Governor Justice's Website.

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May 11, 2020

Updates from the SBA

  • Loan Money is still available through the Paycheck Protection Program.
  • Upcoming webinars from WV SBA.  Registration & more details below:
  • Monday, May 11, 2020 at 2 p.m. Q & A with SBA
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020 at 2 p.m.  Q & A with SBA
  • Wednesday, May 13, 2020 at 2 p.m.  Q & A with SBA
  • Thursday May 14, 2020 at 11:30 a.m.  Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): Will You Forgive Me?  

Click here for Microsoft Teams Link.

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May 8, 2020

The 2020 Census is in full swing and the Mayor and City Council urge every resident of Bridgeport and Harrison County to fill out the Census information that is being distributed.  An accurate count of every resident is extremely important.

Every person in West Virginia that does not respond to the US Census is $20,000 lost in federal funds for West Virginia and our communities over the next ten years. Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year. Our community has the potential to receive resources based on census population counts that help pay for hospitals, emergency services, schools, roads, infrastructure, economic development, and much more. The Census data also helps the state retain Congressional representation, which is based on population. All of mentioned items impact the lives of Bridgeport residents and all West Virginians.

Companies use Census data to determine where to locate new stores, restaurants and other industries. This could potentially provide a huge economic boost to Bridgeport and surrounding areas.

As of May 6th, 2020, Harrison County has received a response rate of 48.5%, but there is still time to do your civic duty and fill out the survey.

City officials encourage you to fill out and return the requested Census information. The survey takes minutes to complete and your responses are safe and confidential!

Go online now to BE COUNTED: https://2020census.gov/

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May 7, 2020

WVU is offering virtual sessions designed to prepare businesses to get up-and-running and reengage with customers through the state’s phased reopening plan that spans the month of May, and will feature experts from WVU, Grow with Google, the Robert C. Byrd Institute, the WV Small Business Development Center and the Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors’ Bureau.

Topics and dates for the webinars are detailed below. All sessions can be accessed via this Zoom link and will be held at 11 a.m. 

Monday, May 11 11am: A new digital world: using Google Ads and digital marketing techniques for your business, Led by Laurel Cook, Assistant Professor of Marketing, WVU Chambers College and Joanne Hunt, WVU assistant director of student media, WVU 

Tuesday, May 12 11am: Ready to reopen: how to prepare your WV business to reopen safely and successfully, Led by Ajay Aluri and Frank DeMarcoHospitality program, WVU Chambers College; Susan Riddle, President & CEO, Visit Mountaineer Country Convention and Visitors' Bureau; and West Virginia restaurant owners Bron Kayal and Ray Glymph

Wednesday, May 13am: Avoiding HR Headaches: rebuilding your team post COVID-19, Led by Maria Mancini, Director of Leadership and Organizational Development and the WVU Talent and Culture team

Thursday, May 14am: Navigating your finances post COVID-19 Led by Frank Golsborough, Business Coach, Small Business Development Center; and financial experts from business community

Friday, May 15 11am: Reactivating your supply chainLed by John Saldanha, Sears Chair and Associate Professor of Global Supply Chain Management, WVU Chambers College; and Stephen He, assistant professor, Marketing, WVU Chambers College

Monday, May 18 11am: Switching gears: manufacturing opportunities learned from COVID-19, Led by Thorston Wuest, assistant professor of  WVU Statler College of Engineering, Staci Miller, WV Manufacturing Extension Partnership; and Bill Woodrum, Robert C. Byrd Institute

Tuesday, May 19 11am: Prepping your private practice post COVID-19, Led by Dr. Chris MartinWVU School of Public Health

Anyone in the region is eligible to participate. For more information, please contact Anna Carrier at amccart1@mail.wvu.edu.

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May 5, 2020

Best Practices as the state starts to slowly open up over the next few weeks.

Barber Shops and Salons 
Commercial Facilities  
Eating Establishments 
Religious Gatherings 
Small Businesses 
Organized Camps
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April 29, 2020

WV Development Office Exporting Assistance Grant

Please share:

The International Division of the WVDO offers assistance with developing export markets for products made by businesses in West Virginia. This email is an update on the State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant  recent changes within the CARES Act funding for non-travel items, such as website development and online marketing, that has been increased. This may be an opportunity to expand your customer base in international markets.  The State Trade Expansion Program (STEP Grant) can be used by existing companies to start or increase  export sales. 

The STEP grant is listed on the website here:  https://westvirginia.gov/divisions/international-development/step-export-program/ 

This grant can be used to offset the cost of various export marketing activities such as:

  •  International trade shows (in the U.S. or abroad, including booth rental, booth display, trade show fees)
  • Foreign trade missions
  • Business matchmaking to identify foreign buyers
  • International travel (airfare, meals, lodging, ground transportation)
  • Website development
  • Online marketing
  • Magazine advertising
  • Shipping of samples to other countries
  • Translation of materials into foreign languages
  • Lab testing/export certifications

 As you can see, many of these activities do not require traveling.  This funding could encourage companies to consider investing in their websites to generate opportunity.  Please contact Enybe or Caitlin if you have questions.  Contact info below & attached. 

Caitlin Ashley-LizarragaInternational Trade Representative - Caitlin.Lizarraga@wv.gov  304-957-2014

Enybe DiazInternational Trade Representative - Enybe.Diaz@wv.gov  304-957-2018 

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 April 26, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Statement and Training Schedule

Congress recently provided additional funding for several programs providing assistance to small businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This package includes the following:

  • $310 billion in additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program
  • $50 billion in additional funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
  • $10 billion in additional funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Advance Program

The SBA and Treasury have announced that the PPP program will resume accepting applications Monday, April 27, 2020 at 10:30 AM

In addition to this information, the SBA has updated their PPP program Frequently Asked Questions document. There are now 35 questions and answers to both very detailed and very general questions about the program that may be helpful to you.

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Important Updates from the WV SBDC

Business Surveys

Surveys to collect data on the impact of business closures and reductions throughout the state. Data will be collected on businesses that have remained open through the crisis, in an effort to better understand the recovery needs of each region of the state. This will also assist the public with locating restaurants, pharmacies and other business locations that are still providing services in the midst of closures.  Through this effort, these organizations hope to maximize future stimulus funds for West Virginia.

Survey for Businesses with amended hours and procedures;

https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/fa698ee3b8824567ad8bb1079bf722b5

Business Impact Survey;

https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/92aebfcdebe44b84a2377034f3a8aa05?portalUrl=https://Region4PDC.maps.arcgis.com

Application Updates

SBA is currently not accepting applications for EIDL, EIDLA, or PPP;

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance program are no longer accepting applications, as the programs have reached the maximum authorized amount.

For questions regarding your existing application for these programs, please call the SBA Disaster Hotline at 1-800-659-2955 or email DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov. Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. The WV SBDC and the WV SBA District Office do not have insight into the application portal and applicants will need to call the SBA Disaster Hotline at 1-800-659-2955.

Additionally, due to the lapse in appropriations, the SBA will have no legal authority to accept new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans or lender applications, and lenders will not be able to adjust loan amounts within the CAFS system. If you have questions about your PPP loan application, please contact your lender directly.

WEBINAR

April 22nd 11:30am - Labor and Unemployment Laws Forum; Employer-focused webinar and interactive session on COVID-19

This webinar will address key questions and issues that small businesses must navigate when managing their workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic, including state stay-at-home orders, county health department orders, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and other long-standing state and federal employment laws.

Link to Register;

https://globalmeetwebinar.webcasts.com/starthere.jsp?ei=1307421&tp_key=a33ce71ea9

Please submit questions prior to askme@wv.gov

WEBINAR

April 23rd 11:30am - Marketing-focused presentation to businesses affected by COVID-19

This 30-minute webinar will teach you how to start or expand your online presence. 

Link to Register;

https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_C5fq7QfRTKGKigaPXzB8kg

Please submit questions prior to askme@wv.gov 

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Small Business Grant Opportunity

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories. Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as they can with hopes these supplemental funds will help you get through the next days and weeks.   

TO QUALIFY YOU MUST:

- Employ between 3 and 20 people

- Be located in an economically vulnerable community

- Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

Follow this link to see if you qualify…and please share with others who may benefit.

https://savesmallbusiness.com/

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April 14, 2020

Press Release

The rising number of COVID-19 cases in West Virginia, across the country and around the world is concerning. The severe shortage of masks and protective personal equipment (PPE) at hospitals, nursing homes, and in the hands of responders is even more alarming. If you scan social media platforms, you will be hard pressed to not see individuals donating their time and resources to sewing masks for sale and even for donation. Businesses have been generous in donating PPE to our city staff, and for that we are extremely grateful.

City Manager Randy Wetmore received an anonymous donation on Monday of 20 patriotic face masks. He intends to give half of the masks to the Police Department and the other half to the Fire Department. A shortage of PPE has not been identified by either department, however; the donation of additional supplies is sincerely appreciated.

The City Manager would like to personally thank the individually who took the time to donate the masks. If you would like to reach out, please contact rwetmore@bridgeportwv.com or 304-842-8225. Your unselfish act is greatly appreciated and will add to the safety of our first responders.

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April 6, 2020
Press Release

Randy Wetmore, City Manager would first like to thank everyone for their efforts at social distancing, and City officials feel there has been a substantial reduction in use of the parks. While solo exercise is okay, team sports (such as basketball, football, softball, and soccer) are not permitted in our parks at this time. To reiterate, please always maintain at least 6-feet of distance between yourself and others when outside of your home and avoid congregating in groups. The Mayor and Council are pleased with residents assisting in mitigating the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As of April 4, 2020, the Governor has issued an expanded Executive Order (www.governor.wv.gov), which includes Harrison County. The new Executive Order, which among other things limits gatherings to no more than 5 people, and the prediction by many that the number of confirmed cases will be increasing over the next several weeks we are highly encouraging people not to use the parks, park shelters, picnic tables and trails for at least the next two weeks.  City officials will update should additional time be necessary.

“We know people enjoy walking the trails”, Wetmore said, “but at this time we are encouraging people to walk around their neighborhoods rather than the trails.  But while doing that, you need to practice social distancing as well.  We are trying to discourage people from gathering in keeping with the recommendations of both the Federal and State governments.”

We are also asking individuals who are fishing at the lakes to practice social distancing and remain 6-feet apart.  This includes the area around the lakes, as well as on the dock. In an effort to minimize person-to-person contact, city staff will place “Caution” tape around all pavilions. We would like to stress that pavilions are not to be used at this time.

Again, thank you all for doing your best to limit the spread of the COVID-19 in Bridgeport and Harrison County. 

We are all in this together and together we will successfully get through this.

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April 5, 2020

Please mask guidance links from CDC via Threat Prep.

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April 3, 2020 

U.S. Department of Treasury and U.S. Small Business Administration Announce Paycheck Protection Program Final Rul, Small Businesses Encouraged to Approach Lenders Now

General Overview of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

SBA lenders will start accepting Paycheck Protection Loan (PPP) applications today, April 3rd, for small businesses and sole proprietors. Independent contractors and self-employers can begin submitting applications on April 10th. This program provides potentially forgivable loans as long as the loan proceeds are used to cover payroll, mortgage interest, utility and rent costs over the 8 week period after the loan is made and employee and compensation levels are maintained.
 
Eligible Businesses

  • A small business with fewer than 500 employees
  • A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
  • A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization with fewer than 500 employees
  • An individual who operates as a sole proprietor
  • An individual who operates as an independent contractor
  • An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any trade or business
  • A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard
  •  A 501(c) (19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard
  •  If you are in the accommodation and food services sector (NAICS 72), the 500-employee rule is applied on a per physical location basis
  •  If you are operating as a franchise or receive financial assistance from an approved Small Business Investment Company, the normal affiliation rules do not apply

 
Ineligible Businesses

  • Businesses engaged in illegal activity under federal, state or local law. (Cannabis warning)
  • A household employer (e.g. if you have a nanny, staff, etc.)
  • Any previous defaults on a federal loan in last 7 years

 
Other important information

  • 1% interest rate
  • 2 years (2) term
  • $10,000,000 Maximum Loan Amount
  • Payments for the loan will be deferred for (six) months. (Interest continues to accrue.)
  • No collateral or personal guarantees required
  • Forms needed by borrower:

   

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