Assistance relating to convenience stores as essential businesses.
Are convenience stores considered essential businesses?
On April 17, the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated it’s guidance identifying convenience stores, their distributors and supply chains as critical infrastructure workforce. The CISA guidance is advisory and is not a federal directive to states, meaning state and local governments are not required to provide the same level of recognition. Here are key messages (PDF) about how convenience stores meet the essential needs of their communities.
Where can I find information about the current status of executive orders and/or plans for reopening each state?
Here’s some resources:
Information on federal loan programs available to businesses.
Where can I find information on the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program?
On April 30, the Federal Reserve released new details on the loan program for mid-sized businesses called the Main Street Loan Facilities. Here are links to the term sheets for these programs: New Loans, Priority Loans and Expanded Loans, as well as an FAQ.
Tell me more about the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
The SBA offers an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for small businesses affected by COVID-19 at an interest rate of 3.75% for small business and 2.75% for non-profits, as well as up to $2 million in assistance and up to 30 years to pay off the loan.
For more information visit the SBA’s website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
CDC and FDA guidance on preventing the spread of the virus and steps for employees with suspected or confirmed cases.
What are some immediate steps to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
Public health agencies advise that personal hygiene is of critical importance to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We encourage you to become familiar with safety precautions from CDC:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water (scrubbing for at least 20 seconds) and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- When coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue—discard tissue immediately into a closed bin
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
- Stay home if you have a fever
- Be vigilant in cleaning common surfaces in the workplace.
If you are sick with COVID-19 or think you might have COVID-19, follow these steps from the CDC to care for yourself and to help protect other people in your home and community.
Should employees in retail food and food production settings wear face coverings to prevent exposure to COVID-19?
Review the CDC’s recommendation regarding the use of face masks, respirators and cloth face coverings for workers in the food and agriculture sectors to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The FDA and CDC also released a fact sheet that provides a quick reference to these items. CDC recommends the use of simple cloth face coverings as a voluntary public health measure in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. For workers on farms, and in food production, processing, and retail settings:
Here's a list of companies (PDF) compiled by NACS that offer hand sanitizer, PPEs, protective barriers, signage and thermometers.
How can retailers reduce conflicts with customers regarding face mask and social distancing policies?
The CDC suggests strategies that businesses can use when employees face the threat of violence from customers who resist policies and practices to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers (for example, required use of face masks, social distancing directions and limits on the number of customers allowed in a business).
The CDC’s Basic Dos and Don’ts for Employees to Prevent Workplace Violence include:
- Don’t argue with a customer if they make threats or become violent.
- Don’t attempt to force anyone who appears upset or violent to follow COVID-19 prevention policies or other policies or practices related to COVID-19 (e.g., limits on numbers of household or food products).
- Do attend all employer-provided training on how to recognize, avoid and respond to potentially violent situations.
- Do report perceived threats or acts of violence to your manager or supervisor, following any existing policies that may be in place.
- Do remain aware of and support coworkers and customers if a threatening or violent situation occurs.
New FMLA requirements, paid-time off requirements and other employment-related issues.
Where can I find information on how to access small business loans and tax credits available under FFCRA and the CARES Act?
NACS has hosted several webinars that are available online. Additionally, NACS legal counsel Steptoe & Johnson has online resources.
Does NACS have a template letter for employees to use when requesting emergency paid sick leave or emergency family and medical leave?
Yes, NACS legal counsels at Fisher Phillips have provided this template letter.
Where can I find information on employment-related issues facing employers?
Fisher & Phillips, NACS legal counsel on employment regulations and issues, has assembled a comprehensive set of FAQs for employers that will be continually updated throughout the recovery period.
Access NACS resources for emergency planning, preparation and recovery.
Are there resources from NACS available to my company?
NACS Emergency Planning Resources can assist the convenience retail community with disaster planning, preparation and recovery—including pandemics. The downloadable documents, Emergency Planning and Job Aids, include a plan evaluation and tasks and checklists for store employees to perform during emergency and disaster planning and recovery.
A response plan developed by NACS member company StrasGlobal is available to all retailers who may looking for advice on crafting their own plans as they adjust operations in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
Services and supplies for cleaning and sanitizing, including training and CDC guidance for areas where COVID-19 could be present.
Are there cleaning and sanitizing resources I can quickly access to share with my employees?
Contact NACS for assistance with identifying companies in your operating areas that offer cleaning and sanitizing services and supplies.
NACS e-learning partner Ready Training Online (RTO) has created a free seven-minute training module on how to help prevent the spread of illness and disease at businesses.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has listed EPA-registered surface disinfectant products in its Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 list. The EPA notes that coronaviruses are enveloped viruses, meaning they are one of the easiest types of viruses to kill with the appropriate disinfectant product.
The CDC provides recommendations on the cleaning and disinfection of rooms or areas of those with suspected or with confirmed COVID-19 have visited.
The Partnership for Food Safety Education, of which NACS is a partner, has free resources on handwashing and food safety available to retailers to download and share in their stores.
FDA and CDC guidance on fresh produce, food and food packaging.
Where can I find food safety resources pertaining to workplace guidelines and workers testing positive?
The FDA regularly updates resources available to industry members and consumers on COVID-19 and food safety, including food supply chain guidance, social distancing and disinfecting, temporary policies and what do to if a worker tests positive for COVID-19.
Can fresh produce transmit the COVID-19 virus?
There is no evidence that fresh produce (or any other food, or other product/material) can transmit the virus. FDA directly addresses food safety on its FAQ page.
Additionally, FMI – the Food Industry Association, has compiled COVID-19 resources and information to support the food industry.
Should I take additional measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 on food and food packaging?
Per the FDA, currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19.
If you are concerned about contamination of food or food packaging, wash your hands after handling food packaging, after removing food from the packaging, before you prepare food for eating and before you eat. Follow CDC guidelines on frequent hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and frequent cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and review FDA’s guidance, Shopping for Food During the COVID-19 Pandemic–Information for Consumers.
Access the latest COVID-19 updates from U.S. government agencies and global organizations.
Where can I find the latest updates from government and global resources?
Access timely information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak from the following resources: