Since my update last week, the COVID -19 virus has taken over the news and all of our lives – either directly or indirectly. There is a lot of news and information coming at us from all directions. My hope is to try and consolidate some of the information on the State level with links to provide you with the latest information.

If you are a business owner and you and your employees are being affected by the COVID-19 virus, your employees are eligible for Unemployment Insurance whether they are totally out of work or just have reduced hours. Some highlights:

• Your employees do not have to search for other jobs during this period
• Your Unemployment Insurance rate will not be affected by claims made due to COVID-19
• The state has sped up this process and employees should receive the first check within a week.

Additional information and sign up can be found on the Department Employment Workforce (DEW) website, which can be accessed by clicking here. You may also click here for a report from the SC Emergency Management Division that provides even more links to other resources.

The state DOR has suspended state sales tax and employee tax due until June. This morning the Federal Government suspended the employer taxes due until July. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the state follow soon on that date. The Federal Government approved this morning for SC Small Business Administration (SBA) to approve low interest disaster loans for businesses. We will continue to try and get information out to you as soon as we see it and understand how it is going to work.

The one thing I know for sure is that we will get through this and look back at the things we could have done better or done different and we will be better prepared the next time. Now is not the time for politics or criticizing mistakes. All of us are concerned about the pandemic and its impact on our health, our families, our businesses, our community, our economy, and our livelihood. Together, and with God’s help, we will get through this and we will be stronger as a state and a nation.

I will continue to update you as new information becomes available.