As news regarding the novel coronavirus changes swiftly, the Greater Woodland Park Chamber of Commerce is taking steps to ensure Teller County businesses are informed and updated, offering a plethora of up-to-date resources and information on its website and through email notifications to subscribers.

“This is our mission. We are here to be a business advocate in our region. In a time of crisis, this is what we do,” said Chamber President Deb Miller. “We are a connector, a collaborator, one who can find resources to get out there to people.”

The information on the virus, COVID-19, is coming from sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Small Business Development Center, Pikes Peak Workforce Center, Colorado Department of Labor, Teller County Public Health and others, and is all verified by Miller before it is posted.

“This information is fluid and is changing daily. It’s about consistently getting on the phone, checking back (and) working with these entities to collaborate and put all that information together,” Miller said.

Information on the chamber website includes notice of public health orders and the City of Woodland Park’s COVID-19 response plan; health crisis updates from the CDC and the White House; the process for applying for the Small Business Administration’s low-interest disaster loans to help businesses and homeowners recover from declared disasters; resources for employers and employees impacted by the virus and emergency rules for paid sick leave for COVID-19 through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment; the Pikes Peak Small Business Development’s COVID-19 small business response; and information from John Hopkins University on the total confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide, the number of worldwide coronavirus deaths and how many people worldwide have recovered.

Other resources include information on a specimen collection site in Woodland Park, a collaboration of Teller County Public Health & Environment, in partnership with UCHealth and the Pikes Peak Medical Task Force; and educational updates as mandates are ordered by Gov. Jared Polis.

The chamber also provides information on small business grants; the process for relief lending; rapid response layoff transition services for employers; job attached layoff; the work-share program; unemployment insurance; information on the virus for restaurant owners; cleaning and disinfection recommendations; a working remote checklist; the Craft Emergency Relief Fund, emergency resources for artists; how businesses can check their status with the Better Business Bureau; aid availability and options for nonprofit organizations; the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program; and school district updates for parents and students.

For additional business resources provided through the chamber, visit the continually updated COVID-19 Business Resources webpage at woodlandparkchamber.com/resources/business-resources-covid-19-crisis.html.

“What I know about business owners now is that they are grieving,” Miller said. “... That’s where we come in. If they call, we can send them to the right place. We are built for this. ... When the order came down to close gyms and restaurants, that was another little hit. But we want to support local business.”

The chamber has also compiled and is updating a running list of Teller County restaurants and dining establishments offering takeout and delivery options, as well as restaurants that have temporarily closed and updated hours of operation. View the list at tinyurl.com/wkvrtjx.

As well, the chamber advertised information via email on how the community can assist the Teller Senior Coalition, which is in need of donations of toilet paper, paper towels, facial tissues, Latex gloves, masks, canned foods and more. The nonprofit TSC serves more than 800 seniors throughout Teller County, depending on services rendered.

For a list of needed items, visit tinyurl.com/razxx52. Call TSC at 719-687-3330 to coordinate the donation. Monetary donations are also being accepted.

“In our time of crisis, everyone in our community has pulled together. This is unlike anything anyone has ever experienced. I’m watching people work 24/7 to ensure that when we see the light at the end of the tunnel, Teller County is still going to be the place people want to come to,” Miller said.

Additionally, the Colorado Department of Public Health has launched a COVID-19 website, offering information on prevention and testing, guidelines, data and updates on the virus in Colorado. Visit covid19.colorado.gov.

Editorial Assistant

Breeanna Jent is a multi-beat journalist who joined the Pikes Peak Newspapers staff as its editorial assistant in 2018. She has lived in Colorado Springs for four years and enjoys reading, spending time with her family and dogs, and exploring Colorado.

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