Beautiful Sunset Scenery of Sedona, Arizona

 December 4, 2020

December 2 Executive Action on Vaccine, Event Guidelines, Assistance to Restaurants, Hospitals

Governor Ducey made several announcements December 2 affecting our community and local businesses. The following synopsis is provided by the office of District 3 Yavapai County Supervisor Randy Garrison.  

Vaccine Distribution

Arizona is expected to receive an initial shipment of COVID-19 vaccine doses in mid to late December, with more doses available in the weeks following. Once received, the state will promptly begin distribution. The distribution plan prioritizes health care workers, residents of long term care facilities, educators and vulnerable populations. ADHS Director Dr. Christ will provide updated details of the vaccination plan at a later date.

 Support for Restaurants

The Governor issued an Executive Order making it easier for restaurants to expand outdoor dining spaces.

Previously, restaurants could not temporarily extend their premises and were limited to the amount of space for which they could extend their premises. This order provides temporary extensions after approval from the local governing body.  

For Sedona restaurants and bars serving food, the City of Sedona welcomes all businesses who want to discuss options, on a case by case basis, to extend your premises pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Order. Please visit the Community Development Department at City Hall or call (928) 282-1154.

 The Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) is providing $100,000 to the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association (AzLTA) to expand its AZSAFE+CLEAN Certification  program, helping restaurants and hotels strengthen sanitation and mitigation practices. With the funding, AzLTA will:  

  • Make public health and sanitation experts available to hotels and resorts;
  • Develop a webinar in consultation with the Arizona Office of Tourism (AOT) and Arizona Commerce Authority (ACA) related to the AZSAFE+CLEAN Certification program, providing an overview of the program and marketing offerings in relation to the program; and
  • Develop a statewide outreach campaign to encourage participation and make hotels and resorts aware of the cooperative membership grants available.

 Arizona is providing an initial investment of $1 million to help restaurants and other dining establishments expand outdoor dining options. The funding will support the launch of the Safest Outside Restaurant Assistance Program, funding up to $10,000 per restaurant for items they need to extend their outdoor dining premise, including outdoor furniture, barriers, patio heaters, patio covers and more.

Funding will be distributed on a first come, first served basis for eligible businesses that have been approved for an extension of premises.  To be eligible, applicants must comply with all COVID-19 related Executive Orders; demonstrate a new extension of premises that has been approved by the local governing body and the Arizona Department of Liquor, if applicable; plan to extend the premises for a minimum of three months; must have fewer than 50 employees; must be Arizona owned and operated and more. Additional requirements will be listed on the application.  The application will open on Monday, December 7 and will be available HERE.

The Arizona Office of Tourism is providing $100,000 to help the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) provide direct consultation to any Arizona dining establishment interested in expanding its premises to increase physical distancing and maximize seating capacity amid the pandemic.

 ARA will assist in navigating the local and state permitting process, and provide application review prior to restaurants submitting to local and state officials. Additionally, ARA will expand public health campaigns that inform Arizona restaurants of current public health best practices.

 Mitigation Requirements For Events

Governor Ducey also issued an Executive Order enhancing health and safety requirements for large public events approved by local cities, towns and counties.

 Under Executive Order 2020-43 issued in June, organized public events with more than 50 attendees are prohibited in Arizona, with the option for local jurisdictions to selectively approve events of greater than 50 people only if they implemented enhanced mitigation measures.

 The Governor also announced that organized public events of more than 50 people may only be approved by local cities, towns and counties if they have determined that safety precautions consistent with guidance issued by both the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and ADHS are in place, and the event organizer has committed to implementing and enforcing these precautions.

 If an event is approved, the local jurisdiction must publicly post the mitigation measures the event organizer is required to implement and enforce on their website, and dedicate resources to enforcing mitigation measures.

 As was the case before, a local city, town or county may deny a request for an organized event due to public health concerns related to COVID-19.

 Additional Dollars For Hospitals

The Governor is directing an additional $60 million to provide more staffing at Arizona hospitals. With the funding, ADHS is working to secure an additional 500 nurses through the end of December, with additional staffing to last throughout January. The staffing boost will provide critical nursing resources to hospitals statewide amid the surge of COVID-19 patients.  

You can contact District 3 Executive Assistant Brandi Bateman if you have questions: Brandi Bateman at 928-649-6227 or District3@yavapai.us.

Ducey announces stepped up Mask Messaging

Governor Doug Ducey announced November 18 that passengers arriving from out of state at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, Tucson International Airport and Mesa’s Gateway Airport will receive messages that masks are a priority in Arizona and asking them to wear masks while in our state.  The Governor also said beginning immediately, the Department of Health Services will work with the three airports to establish onsite COVID testing facilities with “quick” turnarounds to allow incoming passengers to be tested if they so desire.

Are your Mask Up and Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready messages readily visible to your customers?  Now is a good time to check and if you need additional or replacement posters, you can download them here

AZDHS Updates Guidelines for Restaurants/Bars With Dine-In Service

You can review the document here. The biggest change is the inclusion of parlor games and karaoke. ADHS recommends avoiding these if physical distancing of more than 6 feet between people who do not live together cannot be maintained. Masks must be worn while playing parlor games or singing.

The Governor’s Office is reminding restauranteurs that Executive order 2020-47  limits occupancy to 50% of the permitted fire code occupant load for “every restaurant with indoor seating” and states that “every restaurant establishment with outdoor dining shall ensure at least 6 feet of physical distance between tables.”

Michelle Conway Appointed Interim Chamber President/CEO 

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau (SCC&TB) Board of Directors has appointed Michelle Conway as Interim President/CEO.  Conway, the SCC&TB Director of Marketing, takes on the role following the departure of Jennifer Wesselhoff as President/CEO of the Park City, Utah Chamber of Commerce|Convention and Visitors Bureau.

 “Michelle’s deep experience with the business community and her critical role in developing sustainable marketing strategies for Sedona will keep the Chamber moving forward at this critical time,” said Board Chairman Lonnie Lillie.  “Her work with the Sedona Tourism Economic Recovery Task Force and in preparing the FY21 Destination Recovery Plan for the City Council have demonstrated the leadership skills we need to continue our economic recovery.”

 “I appreciate the Board’s confidence and I am looking forward to working with all our partners to continue moving forward,” Conway said.  “We have an excellent foundation in place thanks to Jennifer’s leadership and the commitment of our Board, Chamber staff, City leaders and Chamber partners.  They have all responded to the crisis with incredible energy, creativity and optimism.”

 “Challenges remain, but we will see better times ahead,” she added. “ I am privileged to be part of this amazing team.”

 Conway has served as the SCC&TB Director of Marketing since joining the organization in 2009 with a background in marketing, branding, advertising and public relations.  Her role has involved strategic planning, content and creative development, branding and vision leadership. She is responsible for  positioning Sedona as a premier destination that emphasizes sustainability while being the best place for residents to live, work and play.

 “Michelle is a leader in innovative destination marketing and management programs that ensure our economic vibrancy, resident quality of life, environmental preservation and visitor experience,” Lillie added.

 Conway has supplemented her Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Marketing with professional advancement training from the Desert Sands Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Dale Carnegie, Toastmasters International and the Advertising Agency Management Institute.  She is a member of the American Marketing Association, Destinations International, and Destination Marketing Association West. She is a 2020 graduate of Verde Valley Leadership. 

 She serves on the Northern Arizona Council of Governments Economic Development Council’s Tourism Committee, completing a term as Chairperson in 2019.

All Arizona Counties in “Moderate Transmission” Category

As of October 1, all Arizona counties are in the “moderate transmission” category of COVID-19, as established by the Arizona Department of Health Services.  Many types of businesses are permitted to reopen by following AZDHS limitations and filing an attestation. 

Please read the information carefully and follow the steps indicated to remain in compliance with “moderate transmission.” criteria.

Organized events of more than 50 people remain  prohibited, even if appropriate physical distancing is possible.  Issuance of Special Event licenses from the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control remains suspended.

Mandatory Mask Proclamation Continues

The proclamation by Sedona Mayor Sandy Moriarty mandating masks for anyone five years of age or older in a public place in Sedona remains in effect.

All businesses whose employees interact with the public must require employees to wear face coverings.

Please understand the proclamation’s requirements and review the City’s FAQs.

If you have questions, email questions@sedonaaz.gov

Brief Online Mask Video Helps Protect Everyone 

The City and the Chamber are supporting the Sedona Emergency Mask Proclamation.  You can help by sharing this 1:39 “How to Use a Mask”  video that demonstrates proper masking procedure. The CDC video on the City COVID-19 page has more information on when and how to use a mask.

Protect Others, Protect Yourself

This page from Sedona Medispa & Wellness is an excellent example of how local businesses can take the initiative to educate their customers

You can post  any of three flyers and posters to promote the #MaskUpSedona message at your place of business.

To help employees find COVID-19 testing sites near you, put in your zip code at Arizona Department of Health

As always, please join us in observing the safety steps of SedonaSafeCleanReady.com

Steps for Employers in Handling COVID-19  

The Arizona Department of Health Services has published COVID-19 workplace guidance with directions on what to do if someone has symptoms, is awaiting test results, and when isolation is required. The guidance is specific to the types of COVID-19 tests, enabling you to act quickly and correctly, helping stop the spread of the virus in the workplace. The four-page publication is entitled “Release From Isolation Guidance.”

An accompanying flow chart offers a step-by-step guide to assessing the most appropriate actions. 

Free Enhanced COVID AWARE Food Handler’s Certificate

Coconino County’s Health and Human Services and Northern Arizona University’s Economic Policy Institute are offering a FREE online Enhanced Food Handler’s Training and Testing program for food service employers and employees. The training teaches best practices as they relate to COVID-19. Upon completion employees receive an Enhanced Food Handler’s Certificate. Businesses who complete employee training receive a Certified COVID AWARE decal to display on their business window. 

 This program has 3 major benefits:

  1. Provide training derived from the latest health guidance and state/local proclamations and executive orders.
  2. Improves safety practices for customers, employees and the community
  3. Promotes customer confidence in your business.  

Start the program here.

Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready Campaign Continues to Grow 

270 businesses have volunteered to implement posted safety practices and are now listed on SedonaSafeCleanReady.com. We are also encouraging residents and visitors to practice the guidelines. 

By signing on, you get immediate access to Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready logos and posters letting customers know you are operating responsibly and educating them on interacting safely with you and your employees.

We are promoting Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready through social media, blogs, free media and paid advertising.  The City of Sedona is helping  with A-frame signs and variable message boards. 

Signing up takes just a few moments. Act today!  

Send ekeider@sedonachamber.com photos of your safety practices, so we can share what you are doing!

Is Your ‘Open or Closed’ Status Accurate? 

We strive to keep our Business Status page accurate and assure your business is correctly represented as open, closed, providing curbside service, etc. 

Please check the page and let us know if we should update your status.  It is a critical resource in keeping residents informed. Please email ekeider@sedonachamber.com with any updates.

Sedona Tourism Economic Recovery Task Force

The Sedona Chamber of Commerce has formed a Tourism Economic Recovery Task Force representing a range of Sedona businesses to guide the Chamber’s recovery strategy and to serve as a resource for City of Sedona and Verde Valley leaders. The Task Force is meeting regularly and we will keep you updated on this page. 

Ducey Executive Orders Online

Governor Ducey has issued numerous COVID-19  Executive Orders that impact the business community. You can see all the COVID-19 Executive Orders here.

The Arizona Office of Tourism Provides Guidelines for Tourism Industry Businesses

The Arizona Office of Tourism shared Travel-focused Pandemic Data Resources


FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE


SBA Disaster Loan Update 

The SBA is accepting applications for the EIDL Loan and Advance Programs.  Check it regularly. 

  • Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis
  • You may apply for a $10,000 grant to cover business expenses, including payroll.
  • If you submitted a loan application and wish to apply for the $10,000 grant, you need to reapply for this specific grant at the link above. The SBA will merge your previous application with this new application.
  • The amount of the Advance will be determined by the number of the small business’ pre-disaster (i.e., as of January 31, 2020) employees. The Advance will provide $1,000 per employee up to a maximum of $10,000.

Businesses in the City of Sedona can email Molly Spangler, the Director of Economic Development for assistance completing the application. Businesses outside the city should email Jeri Denniston  at the SBDC for help.

Non-profit organizations are eligible for SBA Disaster Loans. Nonprofits should contact Northern AZ SCORE and United Way of Yavapai County for assistance.

Notes for making the online application easier: 

  • Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge are the recommended browsers for completing the loan application.
  • The site had been experiencing high traffic. The process may go more quickly if you apply after 7 p.m.
  • You only need one year of tax returns, instead of the originally stated 3 years. After you complete the application, you will hear from an SBA Loan officer within 3 weeks.
  • A bookkeeper or accountant can fill out the application for you.

Senior Core of Retired Executives Offer FREE Business Advice 

Free SCORE business advisory services for COVID-19 business advice, and  recovery planning. Contact Wade Bell at wade.bell@scorevolunteer.org


LOCAL ATTORNEYS EXPLAIN


Aspey, Watkins & Diesel PLLC explain topics to help businesses related to Covid-19

Some of the topics include:  

Click here to view all topics


EMPLOYMENT & PAYROLL RELIEF


Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act from the US Senate 

Click here for the Small Business Guide and Checklist, provided by the US Chamber of Commerce

US Senate Committee on Small Business provides Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for Small Businesses here.

CARES Act Eligibility Guide

CARES Act FAQs

New Guidance from Department of Labor on Leave Rules

The U.S. Department Of Labor just published guidance for explaining paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Relief for laid off and unpaid employees:  Arizona@Work is a resource for temporary employment services. Your laid off employees should register at Arizona Job Connection. The Arizona@Work icon is on the upper left.

Here you will find the Sedona Emergency Community Resource Directory

Arizona Unemployment Insurance: The CARES Act includes additional funding for state unemployment insurance and may waive some restrictions such as waiting periods. Your laid off unpaid employees can begin the process of applying for benefits at AZUI.gov

NOTE – the Northern Arizona Council of Governments recommends entering COVID-19 as the ‘Reason for Separation.’

Your laid off employees can get help navigating the services above by calling NACOG’s  West County One Shop at (928)778-1422 or (928)308-4832, or the East County One Stop at (928)649-6867 or (928)649-6868, or visit their websites: nacog.org and yavapaiatwork.com.


MARKETING OPPORTUNITIES


Hashtag and Video Tour Promotion 

We want to offer inspiration for the many people not ready to travel. Inspired defined: extraordinary quality, as if arising from some external creative impulse. Sedona tends to inspire people, locals and visitors. We hope you’ll follow us and be #SedonaInspired, use the hashtag, post your photos, videos, and Sedona inspiration for travel, exploring, and keeping Sedona beautiful. Join us!

Email us a video virtual tour of your business. We will be adding quick video clips of a #SedonaInspired moments for those still not ready to travel.

We are Listing Restaurants Offering delivery, drive through, take out. If your restaurant offers these services, please let us know and we’ll add you here. Send your information to pr@sedonachamber.com.

Flexible signage for curbside pickup:  The City is permitting businesses who offer curbside pickup service to use a-frames and other additional signage to advertise during the coronavirus emergency. For details, contact the City at questions@sedonaaz.gov.


NON-PROFITS


Non-Profit Support: The Arizona Community Foundation has established a COVID-19 Community Response Fund to help non-profit organizations who provide critical care and need emergency funding to meet the surge in demand.  Apply for or donate to the fund at azfoundation.org

Non-profit organizations are eligible for SBA Disaster Loans. Nonprofits should contact Northern AZ SCORE and United Way of Yavapai County for assistance.


VISITOR CENTER & CHAMBER OPERATIONS


Visitor Center: The Visitor Center at Forest and 89A is open 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. We will continue to operate as follows:

Chamber Administrative Office: The Chamber offices at 45 Sunset Drive is open by appointment only. Staff are keeping regular hours, available by phone, and email while keeping communications and services going full blast.

Please bookmark to regularly review and share the Sedona Travel Advisory page and our Updates to Sedonans.


ADDITIONAL BUSINESS RESOURCES


City of Sedonasedona

City of Sedona Covid-19 information and resources

 


County & Stateaz-1

Coconino County Health and Human Services information

Yavapai County Health Services website

Arizona Department of Health and Human Services information

Arizona Commerce Authority

Arizona Department of Economic Security

Unemployment Insurance Fact Sheet from the Department of Economic Security


Centers for Disease Control and Preventioncdc_logo

CDC website on coronavirus

CDC’s travel notices

Tips on coronavirus prevention