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Coronavirus: COVID-19 Updates

August 13, 2020

Coronavirus: Updates & How to Prepare

Training & Courses:

SCMEP is aware that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a developing concern for many of our clients. Anyone that has registered for a training course will be notified via email if the course has been canceled/postponed. We are actively monitoring the situation and continue to stay in contact with state resources so we can quickly respond in the event that additional precautionary measures are required. The well-being of our clients and communities are of the utmost importance to us and we will keep everyone apprised of any changes to our current operating plan as they develop.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 for the business community, the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce has provided resources and guidelines, based on information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA), and S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC).

PPE Exchange – A National FDA Approved Automated Source for PPE and Supplies:

In the beginning of the COVID-19 response in South Carolina, hospitals and other provider groups were struggling to source the PPE and disinfecting supplies necessary to maintain operations.

With support from the SC Manufacturing Extension Partnership, SC Department of Commerce, SC BIO, and SCHA, we are excited to announce an automated resource for accessing PPE and supplies.

PPE Exchange is an online marketplace of regional and national suppliers of PPE. Think Amazon but for PPE and supplies. Via PPE Exchange, hospitals, providers, and businesses looking for supplies are virtually connected to a marketplace of Verified suppliers where they can search for items, schedule orders, compare prices and complete the transaction online.

Benefits of sourcing supplies on PPE Exchange:

  • Support technology built on blockchain allows you to track the transaction from placement of order to delivery
  • Access to more than 200 regional and national suppliers
  • Ability to source from SC based suppliers
  • Ability to price shop across numerous suppliers
  • Process for aggregate or bulk ordering for smaller volume providers who typically don’t meet the required minimums
  • A “request a quote” feature to compare current pricing with pricing from additional suppliers

To begin accessing the SCHA marketplace on PPE Exchange, visit click “request access.” Enter your email and basic information. Once you do that, an email will be automatically sent prompting you to reset your password and login to the website.

South Carolina Launches COVID-19 Emergency Supply Portal to Connect Providers with Organizations in Need:

A collaboration between SCMEP, the SC Hospital Association, the SC Department of Commerce and SCBIO has resulted in the expedited launch of a new online South Carolina Emergency Supply Collaborative web portal.

Located at, the portal connects parties in need of essential supplies and equipment with those that can provide it quickly and efficiently. It allows industry and community partners with the ability to quickly produce, source, test, certify or contribute critical medical supplies (such as face shields, gowns, ventilators and masks) to directly connect with the healthcare providers, first responders and members of industry in search of those essential supply needs in one easy step.

NIST MEP Emergency Assistance Program:

SCMEP has recently been awarded funds through the NIST MEP Emergency Assistance Program part of the CARES Act.  The funds are being made available to support US small- and medium sized manufacturers (SMEs), including manufacturers in rural areas.  The funds will be used to provide services that directly support the efforts of South Carolina’s manufacturers and boost their ability to respond to the business challenges they face as a result of the pandemic.  These challenges lie in a number of areas including workforce, supply chain disruption, loss of business/markets and cost competitiveness.

Examples of eligible services include:

  • Competitiveness Reviews
  • Cost Analysis Assessments
  • Cyber Security Assessments
  • Cost Reduction – Lean Manufacturing Suite
  • EHS Compliance Assessments and COVID-19 Procedures
  • Energy Assessments
  • Maintenance System Effectiveness Assessments
  • MFG 4.0 Assessments – Artificial Intelligence for Visibility and Data in the Supply Chain
  • Sales and Marketing Effectiveness
  • Quality Management Systems Gap Analysis (including ISO 13485)
  • Training Within Industry
  • Reshoring
  • Supply Chain Strategy Development
  • Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) Training
  • Risk Management Training – How to Protect Your Company During the COVID-19 Virus

To learn more about how the program may assist your manufacturing business, please contact us. 

In the News

South Carolina Launches COVID-19 Emergency Supply Portal to Connect Providers with Organizations in Need

Manufacturing Extension Partnership Releases Critical Needs List

Additional Resources

DHEC: South Carolina County-Level Data for COVID-19

DHEC Releases Guidance for COVID-19 Scenarios in Businesses

DHEC Interim Guidance for COVID-19 Scenarios for Businesses

RETURN TO WORK: 2020 Mitigation Plan Post COVID-19 for Manufacturers

2020 Post-COVID-19 Return to Work Checklist

COVID-19 Guidance & Resources for Small and Medium Manufacturers

SBA Online Disaster Loan Application


Protecting Your Business From COVID-19

Responding to a COVID-19 Exposure At Your Business

The Importance of Supply Chain Disruption Planning


Critical Needs List

Scams and Cybersecurity Threats

Today’s Three Things to Know (April 6th, 2020): Governor Issues Stay-at-Home Order, General Assembly Returns For One-Day Session, CDC Issues New Guidance






Small Business Association:

US Chamber of Commerce:

CARES Act: What it Means For You:

There are still lots of unknowns until all of the regulations and guidance are written (likely in 30 days), but until then, here is what you should know:

  • The CARES Act provides a loan of up to 2.5X your average monthly payroll to basically help pay for 8 weeks of payroll, healthcare, rent, and utilities
  • The SBA diaster loan is still in place for up to $2M loans, but the newly-passed CARES act created a new loan up to $10M that can be partially or fully forgiven. To qualify you must be less than 500 people domestically
  • In general, the amount that is forgivable is the amount that you spend on payroll, interest on mortgage debt, rent, and utilities over an 8-week period during this coronavirus crisis. There will be many more details on exceptions and how to claim this forthcoming in future government regulation releases
  • There are also much larger loans for companies between 500 and 10,000 employees that have significantly tougher restrictions, more information on those can be found here
  • You can defer social security tax and may be able to claim tax credits. Everyone can defer the 6.2% social security tax for 2020 and pay it over two years (half on Dec 31, 2021 and half on Dec 31, 2022). If you had operations suspension or a 50% reduction in quarterly receipts when compared to prior year’s same quarter, you may be eligible for tax credits up to $10,000 per person based on wages for companies affected by COVID-19
  • If you already have an SBA loan, you will have no payments on principal, interest or fees for six months (it is unclear whether this is forgiven or just deferred). More details on loan for small businesses can be found here. There are many more tax implications regarding AMT, carry back losses, business interest deduction, and more to check out here
  • There is a lot in the new bill to expand and pay for unemployment, this may affect your strategy for retaining people. Each person receiving unemployment will also get $600 more per week from the federal government. This has strategic implications for your company because in Ohio, if someone qualifies for the $600, and if they make under $50,000-60,000 they will likely be making more while on unemployment than working for you for the next 4 months that this benefit from the federal government is in place
  • Unemployment was extended to independent contractors, part-time workers, and self-employed individuals. You must extend sick leave, and in certain cases paid-FMLA, if you are under 500 employees, but it will be paid fully by the government – and you need to put up a poster on this now
  • According to the Families First Coronavirus Response, employees affected by COVID-19 must be given 80 hours of sick leave that covers many coronavirus related issues including having to self-quarantine, being sick, or taking care of family or out-of-school kids

Further, even you are under 50 employees and FMLA doesn’t normally apply to you, you also must pay (at a reduced salary) for 10 weeks of required FMLA leave if one of your employees needs to take care of out-of-school kids. The government will reimburse these expenses through taxes, potentially through an advance on the payment rather than on the back end. Details have not yet been released on how to get those funds back