Friday, March 27, 2020

PPE Assistance - Can Your Company Help?

How You Can Help
Everyone has the power to help in some way during the COVID-19 outbreak, and manufacturers across the country are doing just that. I'm sending you this message to ask if you would consider joining these companies in producing Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) items that are now in short supply. Please consider reviewing your production capabilities for producing items that the Foundation for Manufacturing Excellence has identified as critical in the fight against COVID-19:

SUPPLIES: Hand Sanitizer

PPE: N95 Respirators, Surgical Face Masks, Goggles / Masks, Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPR/CAPR), Examination Gloves, Gowns, Face Shields (Full Face Protection / FFP)

MEDICAL SUPPLIES: Nasal Cannulas, Catheters, Flow-Splitters for Oxygen Supply, Thorpe Tube Flowmeter, Oxygen Masks, Venturi Masks (High Flow)

DEVICES: Negative Pressure Rooms, Non-Contact Thermometers, Ventilator Machines, Hospital Beds, Oxygen Concentrators, Pulse Oximeters, Non-Heated Humidifier (aka Cool-Mist), Laryngoscopes, Infusion Pumps

Shortages of necessary PPE and medical devices will continue to pose a significant problem for health care workers and patients around the globe. Anyone with production capabilities should carefully consider the manufacture of known designs and development of new designs for the items listed above.

If you can help in this effort, I ask that you fill out the COVID-19 Critical Supplies Survey. Your response to this survey will be submitted the U.S. Department of Commerce through NIST-MEP for the purpose of connecting your company to entities responsible for procuring COVID-19 critical supply shortage materials.  Your response will also be submitted the State of Tennessee COVID-19 Unified Command team as a Tennessee company interested in helping to address the shortages.
To ensure you are ready to proceed or to just learn more, please visit the UT CIS website.

Please let me know if you have any questions or would like assistance.
Dwaine Raper
Director, Tennessee Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Phone: (423) 741-4898

Marshall County Covid-19 Resources Page

Hit this Link for the Coronavirus Resources Page

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Friday, March 20, 2020

Loans will be available to Tennessee small businesses that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19

Loans now available to Tennessee small businesses that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Today, Gov. Bill Lee announced that Tennessee has received a declaration for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to a request submitted on Wednesday, March 18.
“I applaud the efforts of the SBA in swiftly processing and approving Tennessee’s request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance,” Lee said. “Small businesses and nonprofits across the state are suffering greatly in the wake of this pandemic, and these loans will help overcome the temporary loss of revenue companies are experiencing during this difficult time.”
Small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 can apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million per applicant to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have otherwise been met.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are administered and processed through the SBA. Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at
Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
Interest rates for the loans are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofit organizations. The loans can be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable or other bills that can’t be paid due to the disaster’s impact.
“We have been in contact with business and community leaders across the state who are concerned about the toll COVID-19 is placing on their businesses and workforce,” TNECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe said. “We are pleased to see that these loans will act as a source of relief for so many of Tennessee’s small businesses in the months ahead.”
The SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
More than 94 percent of Tennessee’s private sector business establishments have fewer than 50 employees. This represents 151,500 businesses that employ over one million Tennesseans.
Employment has increased 13.6 percent at these establishments over the last five years, placing Tennessee in the nation’s top 10 states for small business growth.
Small businesses are encouraged to learn more about resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration at
Information about the SBA’s District Office in Tennessee can be found here.
Up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Tennessee can be found here.
TNECD Media ContactJennifer McEachern, Communications Director
(615) 336-2689 
About the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community DevelopmentThe Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development’s mission is to develop strategies that help make Tennessee the No. 1 location in the Southeast for high quality jobs. To grow and strengthen Tennessee, the department seeks to attract new corporate investment to the state and works with Tennessee companies to facilitate expansion and economic growth. Find us on the web: Follow us on Twitter and Instagram: @tnecd. Like us on Facebook:

Small Businesses Offering Alternative Options

Local Links to Information from Lewisburg ECD (Coronavirus Tab)

Stevie’s Boutique
1300 S. Ellington Pkwy.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook & Instagram @steviesboutique

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up

Southern Charm Printing
113 Ewing St.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Social Media @southerncharmprinting

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Drive-Thru/Drive-Up
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Home Delivery

Family Botanicals
207 West Commerce St.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook @familybotanicalsllc
Instagram @family_botanicals

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Home Delivery

Bird in a Bush
214 West Commerce St.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook & Instagram @birdinabushdesigns
Pinterest - Bird in a Bush

Special Customer Alternatives

  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Home Delivery
  • Gift Certificates/Card Specials

Tillis Jewelry

102 2nd Ave North

Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook & Instagram @TillisJewelry

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Drive-Thru/Drive-Up Only
  • Gift Certificates/Card Specials
  • Home Delivery

Weathered Farmhouse
221 West Commerce St.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Social Media @weatheredfarmhouseco

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up

Womankind Massage & Wellness
304 Sunnyside Dr.
Chapel Hill, TN 37034
Social Media - @womankindmassage

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Gift Certificates/Card Specials

Lambert Lumber Co.
307 2nd Ave South
Lewisburg, TN 37091 

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Home Delivery

Pickers Creek Winery
1986 New Columbia Hwy.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook & Instagram @pickerscreekwinery

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Drive-Up

Russell Catering
220 Water St.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 

Social Media @russellcatering

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Drive-Up
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Home Delivery

Old Delina Country Store
4397 John Barnes Rd.
Cornersville, TN 37047
Facebook @olddelinacountrystore

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Home Delivery

Marshall Trading Co.
219 West Commerce St.
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook & Instagram @marshalltradingcompany
Pinterest - Bird in a Bush

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Online Sales & Specials
  • Curbside Pick-up
  • Home Delivery
  • Gift Certificates/Card Specials

4-Ever Flowers
224 3rd Ave. North
Lewisburg, TN 37091 
Facebook @4everflowerslewisburg
Instagram @4everflowersandgifts

Special Customer Alternatives
  • Home Delivery
  • Curbside Pick-up

Best Practices for Manufacturers from TN Chamber

The COVID-19 virus could be the single greatest threat to business continuity over the next 12-18 months and has caused us to re-evaluate how we work. Manufacturers are looking for ways to keep employees, customers, suppliers and their communities healthy. Expectations are that this global pandemic could last months, and employers need to develop strategies to protect employees and their ability to conduct business for a sustained period. Manufacturers are coming together to share their best practices. Here is a summary of those best practices. These are not designed to be for every manufacturer but an example that could be adopted/modified for your business:
  1. Meet with all employees and discuss good hygiene habits such as washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Hand sanitation should occur every 30 minutes. Coughs and sneezes should occur in the elbow and employees need to refrain from touching their eyes, mouth and face. Remind employees of these good habits daily if possible.
  2. Increase hand sanitizers availability throughout the facility with sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol content.
  3. Implement workstation disinfection every work shift. Desks, benches, computers, keyboards, tools, phones, etc., should be cleaned with disinfectant each work shift. For shared workstations the off-going shift wipes down and disinfects their workstation at the end of the shift and then the on-coming shift also wipes down and disinfects the workstation prior to work.
  4. Increase cleaning in “high touch” areas to every 2 hours. These areas are doorknobs, bathrooms and cafeterias/break rooms.
  5. Implement a 6 ft social distance policy wherever possible. No handshakes, fist bumps or any physical touching. Use phones and radios for communicating even when in the same area.
  6. Cancel or postpone any large meetings. Limit meetings to no more than 25 people. These include all Team Member/Town Hall Meetings, Sales conferences, etc. Encourage teleconferences/webinars even if attendees are in the facility.
  7. Close break rooms and cafeterias and have employees bring lunches from home and eat at workstation if possible. If not possible, rotate lunches to reduce the number of employees in the break room/cafeteria at one time. 
  8. Implement a “work-from-home” policy for those positions that can be conducted remotely. Use a conferencing software to keep employees engaged and productive.
  9. Review sick leave and attendance policies. Inform employees to not to come to work if they experience any symptoms or if someone in their household has experienced one or more of the symptoms.
  10. Initiate a ban on travel to all high-risk areas. Restrict all non-essential travel to other areas.
  11. Request employees to voluntarily inform you of personal travel. Any employee traveling to a high-risk area or highly populated area (Disney World, cruises, spring break locations) consider a 14-day leave for employees affected.
  12. Restrict non-essential visitors and cancel tours. Have essential visitors complete a self-assessment questionnaire.
  13. Relocate interview/recruiting efforts to off-site. Explain the “no-handshake” policy to recruits so that they understand your policy. Have candidates complete visitor self-assessment prior to interview.
  14. Prepare an isolation room that is equipped for employees exhibiting symptoms until they can get to a healthcare provider.
  15. Ensure you have proper PPE, gloves, masks, safety glasses for first responders who may have contact with affected employees.
  16. Share your procedures with your supply chain, review their policies and procedures and ensure vendors have a business continuity plan.

If you have someone in your facility that tests positive (diagnosis should remain private):

  1. Isolate individual immediately.
  2. Work with health officials to identify people who may have been in contact with the individual and determine necessary health screening, containment/quarantine of potentially affected individuals.
  3. Complete a deep sanitation of affected employee’s work area before any other employees work in the area.
  4. Require a doctor’s note for return to work.

Keeping employees healthy is not only the right thing to do but also makes good business sense. Absenteeism can rise to 15% - 30% due to sickness, quarantines, family care responsibilities or just plain fear. Managing through will require constant communications and discipline towards your policies. We can manage through this together. Please share other best practices that you are implementing. Stay vigilant and stay healthy.

Thursday, March 19, 2020

TN Resources for Assistance to Businesses, Workers & Families

Link to Small Businesses Offering Alternative Options in Marshall Co.

Link to SBA Assistance for Small Businesses and Update

Link to Unemployment Assistance Information

Link to Child Care and Other Assistance for Families

Link to Local Community Resources

This is the guidance we have at this time that was attached in the link. There is another link inside this link for after an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19.

Click on the left for guidance for businesses and employers. Read through the steps for employers and then click the how to conduct a risk assessment. It is not an actual flow chart just guidance on how to handle. We have flow charts for processing and triaging calls and clinic walk ins.

Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
  • Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Resources and Assessment for Small Business in Marshall County

Survey for Small Businesses to Evaluate, Market on Your Behalf and Provide Resources

Preparing and Responding to Coronavirus

Pandemic Guidance A brief outline of how to prepare before and respond during a pandemic by, official website of the Department of Homeland Security.

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC recommended guidance for employers, including advice for developing a response plan and steps that all employers can implement now. Based on what is currently known about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Understanding the Coronavirus – Webinar about the impact of coronavirus on the private sector and how companies should consider their response, hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (Jan 27, 2020)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What You Need to Know – Free webinar hosted by Baker Donelson to learn about how you can safeguard your business from the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak.

After Travel Precautions – To slow the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) into the United States, CDC is working with state and local public health partners to implement after-travel health precautions.

Resources for Businesses

COVID-19 Safety and Health Standards, Control & Prevention An overview of information for workers and employers about the evolving coronavirus outbreak. Includes links to OSHA standards, control and prevention, by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)

Coronavirus Resource Page A resource page by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, including links to Resilience in a Box and Disaster Preparedness and Recovery Quick Guides.

Stay in the Know

CDC Preparedness and Prevention on Facebook and Twitter

Tennessee State Department of Health on Facebook and Twitter

Create your own Crisis Management Plan

Click here for resources on creating your own Crisis Management Plan