ROANE ALLIANCE

We plan and implement strategies for the controlled growth of Roane County’s economy as a unified voice representing the best Tennessee has to offer businesses, citizens and travelers.

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ROANE ECD

We bring growth-oriented businesses with strong fiscal discipline, infrastructure and workforce-ready people to East Tennessee.

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ROANE TOURISM

We attract travelers who seek unique heritage and the best outdoor recreational experiences to Roane County.

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ROANE CHAMBER

We connect leaders and organizations for the benefit of local and regional business growth.

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EDUCATION MATTERS

We empower leaders, parents and students to invest in education, so they are better prepared to fulfill the workforce opportunities of Roane County’s future.

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RETIRE ROANE

We offer natural beauty, historic charm and low-cost living, distinguishing Roane County as one of the best retirement destinations in the nation.

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The Roane Alliance office is open for normal business hours. We require visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing in order to keep yourself, as well as our staff, safe. 

CLICK HERE FOR THE TN DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH'S DAILY CASE COUNT REPORT

CLICK HERE FOR DAILY COVID UPDATES FROM COUNTY EXECUTIVE RON WOODY

ADDITIONAL ROANE COUNTY TESTING LOCATIONS/DATES

CLICK HERE FOR ROANE COUNTY BANKS & CREDIT UNIONS PROCESSING LOANS

TENNESSEE PLEDGE: REOPENING TENNESSEE RESPONSIBLY

(4/24/20) Governor Bill Lee released his administration’s reopening plan, called the “Tennessee Pledge.” The state’s rollout of guidance and best practices for Tennessee businesses in 89 of 95 counties includes safeguarding protocols such as distancing, usage of face coverings, and capacity measures. The first business sectors to receive guidance through the plan include the restaurant and retail industries. More information can be found on the Governor's website for economic recovery.

REfusing to return to work

Federal guidelines the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development follows to administer the Tennessee Unemployment Compensation (TUC) program state an individual must be willing and able to work to receive state unemployment benefits. Not returning to work when there is available employment may be considered a “refusal of work” and could potentially disqualify claimants from receiving TUC benefits. 

The federal CARES Act provides provisions for individuals who have traditionally been ineligible for state unemployment benefits, but those provisions do not apply to employees apprehensive about returning to work because of health concerns. Under federal law, workers who have been placed on a temporary layoff related to COVID-19 who can work, and do not qualify for any other Unemployment Insurance provisions through the state or under the CARES Act, must return to work if called back. For more information click here.

Employers can use the “Refusal to Work Form” below to notify the Department of an employee’s refusal to return the work. The Department will investigate the claim to determine if the employee is no longer eligible for unemployment benefits because they are able and available to earn income. 

General workplace health and safety

The following is general workplace health and safety information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Stay informed about public health recommendations related to the coronavirus and other health threats by visiting the link above.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES)

COVID-19 Stimulus Bill and What It Means for States: The National Conference of State Legislatures summarize the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) which provides an estimated $2 trillion stimulus package to battle the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Title II CARES Implementation: The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service has announced in a reversal to the CARES Act, that Social Security beneficiaries who typically do not file a tax return will automatically receive the $1,200 payment.

CARES Act Nonprofit Info and Application Form: With three stimulus bills already passed, the last of which was 854 pages, it’s hard to know where to focus.  The Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act, U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business is one of the latest reports that can help answer many questions.  In addition, InsideCharity explains here the main two ways your nonprofit can get cash now that the CARES Act is law.  In addition, an amendment was added, making 501C6s eligible for this loan.  They also discuss the steps you need to take to make sure you can get your money as efficiently as possible. It only takes 10 minutes to apply for the SBA's simplified Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)!  The EIDL program:

  • Waives requirement for a personal guarantee on advances and loans less than $200,000;
  • Waives the requirement that an applicant be unable to obtain credit elsewhere;
  • Authorizes approval based on a simple check of borrower’s credit score or alternative method.;
  • Also, the SBA can provide $10,000 cash advance (available within three days of application) to serve as a grant if the money is used to maintain payroll, mortgage or lease payments, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, or the repayment of obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program authorized by the CARES Act makes loans of up to $10 million available to certain qualified small businesses. These loans are intended to be forgivable if the borrower maintains employees and otherwise complies with the CARES Act. Congress has appropriated $349 billion for this program. More information on PPP, including the application form and FAQs for borrowers, is available on the U.S. Department of Treasury’s website.  For more FAQ's and Guides click the links below: 

BUSINESS, tax & CHAMBER information:

Franchise Excise Tax Deadline:  On March 20, the State of Tennessee extended the filing and payment date for franchise excise tax, per the Franchise & Excise Tax Notice #20-05 (pdf).

Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans:  Tennessee Governor Lee announced the state has received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration from the US Small Business Administration.   All Tennessee small businesses and nonprofit organizations that have suffered economic injury as a result of COVID-19 will now be eligible to apply for disaster loan assistance of up to $2 million per applicant with low or no interest.  If you have questions please contact Jutta Bangs. To apply and learn more click on the links below:

Tennessee & US Chamber Associations:  The U.S. Chamber of Commerce website provides resources for businesses, as well as actions they have taken in the fight against COVID-19.  The Tennessee Chamber's website provides state and national resources for manufacturers and businesses, as well as employers and Chambers.   

UNEMPLOYMENT & LAYOFFS:

TN Department of Labor/Unemployment:  The Tennessee Career Center is encouraging people who have lost their jobs and need to apply for unemployment to go online at www.jobs4tn.gov.  If you do not have access to the internet please call 844-432-0969 but be advised that the wait time is very long so it is suggested that you request a call back.   For Tennessee businesses that have closed to help slow the spread of COVID-19 and temporarily laid off employees, those workers can collect unemployment benefits if they meet other eligibility requirements. 

The Tennessee Department of Labor website now has separate sections for employers, employees, frequently asked questions about unemployment, and for the latest changes at American Job Centers.  Important documents are listed below for convenience but please check their website for the latest details.

U.S. Department of Labor: On March 25, The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued the Families First Coronavirus Response Ace (FFCRA) Notice/Poster that must be posted by any covered private employer on their premises (with 500 or less employees in the US).   In addition, their website provides resources to help workers and employers regarding the COVID-19 virus that includes workplace safety and OSHA resources, unemployment insurance, wages and leave, and more. 

DOL Releases FFCRA Regulations: The U.S. DOL issued regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on April 1, 2020, which confirmed that employees must give notice to their employers of the need to take leave and provide documentation to support paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave. The IRS also provided guidance on needed documentation. For a more detailed overview:

TN Department of Human Services: The Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS) is making essential financial resources available to families that have been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 emergency.  Beginning 10 A.M. CST Thursday, March 26, families can begin applying, online, for up to two months of emergency cash assistance if they were employed as of March 11, 2020 and they’ve lost employment or at least 50% of their earned income as a result of the pandemic. 

Hospitality Industry:

Tennessee Talent Exchange: The Tennessee Talent Exchange is a new initiative powered by Jobs4TN to help employees in the hospitality sector (restaurants and hotels) find work in the grocery, retail and logistics industries now.

Restaurant Industry: Restaurants Act provides important information regarding resources that are available at the state level for restaurant operators and employees. Samuel Adams and The Greg Hill Foundation have created the Restaurant Strong Fund to aid restaurant workers impacted by the Covid-19 closures. Samuel Adams has donated over $2,000,000 to kickstart the funding, if you are interested in donating please click the link above . Applications available up until Friday April 24th.

FAMILY ASSISTANCE:

Family assistance/SNAP aid:  The Tennessee Department of Human Services has closed its local office and are asking people to apply online or call 866-311-4287.  They have opened up some of the criteria so those that may not have been eligible before may be eligible now.

Child Care Provider Assistance: On March 24, the Tennessee Department of Human Services in partnership with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee announced $10M in Financial Assistance for Child Care Providers impacted by the COVID-19 emergency, in addition to the March 3 tornado disaster in Middle Tennessee.

COVID-19 Essential Employee Childcare Assistance: To help Tennesseans move forward during the COVID-19 emergency, DHS is increasing access to child care at no cost for Tennessee workers who are providing "essential businesses and services". This child care is available through payment assistance with licensed child care agencies and a partnership with Tennessee YMCAs and Boys & Girls Clubs. (pdf 4/17/20) COVID-19 Essential Employee Childcare Assistance

 Local & State Summaries

COVID-19 Stimulus Bill and What It Means for States: The National Conference of State Legislatures summarize the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) which provides an estimated $2 trillion stimulus package to battle the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Executive Order Summaries: This summary of State resources summarizes Governor Bill Lee's Executive Orders No. 14 - 20. View all Executive Orders at sos.tn.gov.

Governor's Daily Press Briefings: Governor Bill Lee holds daily press conferences at 3pm CDT.

Resource Guide from Marsha Blackburn: Senator Marsha Blackburn has released the following COVID-19 Resource Guide for Tennesseans.

 

LOCAL INFORMATION & Policies:

FREE and Low-Cost Internet Plans: The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) has compiled a list of current offers from Internet Service Providers that will help low-income households acquire service at low or no cost. In addition, we have created a list of local businesses who provide WiFi for the convince of their customers and who are happy to help students who need to connect to the internet for academic purposes. 

The Roane Alliance:  The Roane Alliance office is open for normal business hours. We require visitors to wear masks and practice social distancing in order to keep yourself, as well as our staff, safe. For more information contact our office at 865-376-2093 x200 or email info@roanealliance.org. Stay safe and thank you for your understanding and patience.

Roane County Government: To keep up with the updates from County Executive Ron Woody visit RoaneCountyTN.gov  or the Roane County Government Facebook page.

Preparing your organization

Businesses, no matter their size, can significantly influence our community’s readiness, awareness, resources and engagement against the spread of the COVID-19. This begins with organizational preparedness, including risk management teams and contingency plans.

Employers should prepare and follow the CDC's Outbreak Response Plan and:

  • Ensure the plan is flexible and involves employees in development and review.
  • Conduct a focused discussion using the plan, to find out ahead of time whether the plan has gaps or problems that need corrected.
  • Share the plan with employees and explain what human resources policies, workplace and leave flexibility, pay and benefits are available.

 

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee on Safe Habits and Symptoms: Everyone plays a part in slowing and stopping the spread of COVID-19. Here's how you can help.