Beautiful Sunset Scenery of Sedona, Arizona

 September 9, 2020 11:00 a.m.

JENNIFER WESSELHOFF TO TAKE PRESIDENT/CEO POST IN PARK CITY, UTAH

 Sedona Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau President and CEO Jennifer Wesselhoff has accepted the President and CEO position of the Park City, Utah, Chamber of Commerce | Convention & Visitors Bureau, and will resign from her Sedona position effective October 9. 

In a letter to SCC&TB Board Chairman Lonnie Lillie, Wesselhoff cited completion of the Sedona Sustainable Tourism Plan and the Chamber’s partnership with the City of Sedona in response to the COVID-19 crisis as recent accomplishments.

Regarding the pandemic, Wesselhoff wrote, “I am confident we will implement recovery plans while remaining flexible, working with the Board, the Sedona Tourism Economic Recovery Team, government partners and the Arizona Office of Tourism.  The Sedona | Safe.Clean.Ready campaign demonstrates our responsiveness and excellent working relationships with residents, elected leaders and the businesses community.”

Wesselhoff has led the Chamber since 2007, beginning as the Communications Manager  in 2001. During her tenure, she guided the Chamber’s accreditation as a Destination Management Organization, led the 18-month development of Arizona’s first Sustainable Tourism Plan, and saw tourism grow to become Sedona’s largest industry, with a $1 billion annual impact and 10,000 tourism-related jobs. She led Sedona to statewide recognition as a tourism industry leader, most recently representing the region on the Governor’s Economic Recovery Task Force.

Lillie said the Chamber will conduct a national search to hire a new President/CEO.

Read Jennifer’s resignation letter.

$10 million in State Rent & Mortgage Relief Available Beginning August 20  

The Arizona Small Business Rent and Mortgage Relief Grant program is distributing $10 million in grants to small businesses who have had to shut their doors during this pandemic. Applications will be accepted beginning, August 20, 2020 at 10 a.m. HERE.

The Arizona Rent and Mortgage Relief Grants will provide up to two months of rent or mortgage payments for small businesses headquartered in Arizona which were directly impacted by Executive Order 2020-43, including gyms, fitness centers, bars and nightclubs, indoor movie theaters, water parks, and tubing operators. This includes yoga studios, dance studios, martial arts studios or any related businesses that shut their doors in order to comply. The maximum award will be $25,000. 

Grants will be prioritized for businesses that are determined to be most in need and do not have access to other financial support.

Business eligibility:

  • Must be doing business in Arizona prior to January 1, 2020.
  • Applicant business must be renting or leasing a physical location outside the owner’s personal residence.
  • Employing less than 50 employees. (based on W-2s, full-time employee is equal to 1.0 employee and part-time employee is 0.5 employee).
  • Each business owner may only apply for one grant i.e., individuals with multiple locations may not apply for rent at each location.
  • Business must have been shut down due to Executive Order 2020-43 as outlined above.

 Businesses will be asked for the following information:

  • Rent or mortgage statements for June, July, August, September or October (subtract utilities if included).
  • Provide information regarding other sources of income for the owner. Preference will be given to businesses which are the primary/sole source of income to the owners.
  • Provide an attestation of cash on hand.
  • Provide attestation that the business is in good standing with the Arizona Department of Revenue.

Visit Local First Arizona for more information and read the news release from the Governor’s Office, which also includes information about Child Care funding.

Ducey, AZDHS Announce Criteria for Reopening Gyms, Other Businesses 

According to information released August 11 by the City of Sedona, “Because Yavapai County currently qualifies as a county with moderate transmission by the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), gyms, movie theaters, and bars that have a food permit may reopen…”

Please read the information carefully and follow the reopening steps indicated. For more information, contact questions@sedonaaz.gov.

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. Download the full Executive Order here.

June Executive Order Requires Businesses to have the Following Measures in Place: 

  • Physically distancing of 6 feet.
  • Providing employees with face coverings and requiring usage.
  • Conducting symptom checks for all employees before shifts.
  • Requiring sick employees to stay home.
  • Increasing the frequency of employee hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting.

Read the specific guidance for restaurants and bars providing dine-in services here.

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 

268 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.

SBA Loan Application Online Application Process

You will find additional information here.

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.

 

New Employee Job Training Grant

The Arizona Commerce Authority created a Rapid Employment Job Training Grant to support employers financially with training new employee expenses. Here is a quick reference sheet, and you can apply here.

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


The Paycheck Protection Program provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. 

Go here for the Paycheck Protection Program.

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 virtually 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