For the next several weeks, in response to the COVID-19 situation, the EDC staff will be working primarily from their homes. Email is the most expedient way to reach staff. Email addresses can be found here in the Contact Info under the About Us section.

We are committed to providing full service and wish everyone safety in the coming weeks. 


Click here for our COVID-19 Business Resources Guide. 

Resources to help you and your business address COVID-19

This page will be updated with new and relevant resources for business as they become available. If you have information that you would like to share with Catawba County’s business community regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please email us.

On this page, you will find:

  NC Stay at Home Order - Executive Order 121
  Assistance for Your Business
  Shifting Production to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)
  Unemployment Insurance Changes Due to COVID-19
  Covid-19 & Your Business Webinars
  We Need Your Feedback (Survey)
  Informational Resources for Your Business
  International Travel and Business Information
  Reliable Sources for COVID-19 Information and Updates


NC Stay at Home Order - Executive Order 121

At 4:00PM on Friday, March 27th, Governor Roy Cooper issued Executive Order 121, a Stay-at-Home order, effective at 5:00PM on Monday, March 30th and will last for 30 days. Additionally, the order prohibits gatherings larger than 10 people. It is important that you read the EO121 that is linked below.

Businesses deemed non-essential must cease operations at that time. "Essential Businesses" as defined in the order, and/or businesses with contractors/staff who operate solely out of their own residence and/or businesses who meet social distancing requirements may continue operations. See below AND review the order in it's entirety to determine if you meet these specifications.

Please note: No special documentation is needed from local or state authorities for a business that deems themselves to be essential or who falls under any of the categories stated above to continue operations. 

According to the Order, essential businesses and operations includes the following businesses, not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions. Review the order for details to self-determine if you meet these specifications.

  • Businesses that meet social distancing requirements
  • Businesses operating in CISA identified sectors
  • Healthcare and public health operations
  • Human services operations
  • Essential infrastructure operations
  • Essential governmental operations
  • Stores that sell groceries and medicine
  • Food, beverage production and agriculture
  • Organizations that provide charitable and social services
  • Religious entities
  • Media
  • Gas stations and businesses needed for transportation
  • Financial and insurance institutions
  • Home improvement, hardware and supply stores
  • Critical trades
  • Mail, post, shipping, logistics, delivery, and pick-up services
  • Educational institutions
  • Laundry services
  • Restaurants for consumption off-premises
  • Supplies to work from home
  • Supplies for COVID-19 essential businesses and operations
  • Transportation
  • Home-bases care and services
  • Residential facilities and shelters
  • Professional services
  • Manufacture, distribution, and supply chain for critical products and industries
  • Defense and military contractors
  • hotels and motels
  • Funeral services
  • Additional COVID-19 essential retail businesses, which include electronic retailers that sell cell phones, book stores that sell educational material, beer, wine, and liquor stores, gas stations and convenience stores, pet and feed stores, lawn and garden equipment retailers


Assistance for Your Business

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) - The $2 trillion coronavirus relief package signed last week, officially known as the CARES Act, includes nearly $350 billion for a federal small business loan program called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The program is designed to get cash in the hands of small businesses quickly, and incentivize business owners to keep employees on payroll by offering them loan forgiveness.  Starting April 3, 2020, SBA will begin accepting applications (through their lenders) for Paycheck Protection loans. To apply, contact your local commercial lender directly to assist you.  

US Small Business Administration - Coronovirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
This website gives more information about the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA Debt Relief, SBA Express Bridge Loans and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, guidance concerning common issues small businesses may encounter and connection to local resources for assistance in accessing federal resources.

SBTDC and other state partners – Navigating Your Business Through COVID-19
North Carolina’s small business service providers are here to help you navigate this unprecedented event. As a collective, we have a long history of helping businesses prepare for and recover from disasters. As North Carolina comes to grips with the coronavirus, we are committed to providing businesses with guidance to help them manage during this crisis.

Golden Leaf Foundation COVID-19 Rapid Recovery for Small Businesses
The Golden Leaf Foundation announced a $15M loan fund for NC businesses. Businesses can apply for up to $50,000, with 6 months of no interest and no payments, followed by 48 months of principal and interest payments at 5.5% interest. Golden Leaf has received applications in excess of their current funding and is actively seeking additional funding to expand the program. Applications already submitted are being processed in the order they were received. You are welcome to continue with your application, and it will be reviewed as additional funding becomes available.


Shifting Production to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)

Economic Development Partnership of NC Guidance for Producers of Critical Medical Equipment and Supplies

  Want to make sure that others in the state know what you manufacture? Register on This site has existed for some time and is where we are directing individual hospitals and care providers who reach out to us seeking specific resources and items.

  Are you a manufacturer willing to help with production of finished PPE or materials? Is your business able to pivot to manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment? Manufacturers interested in contributing to textile PPE (gowns, masks, gloves, etc.) can contact the Carolina Textile District ((CTD is HQed in Morganton, NC)) for help in transitioning their production to prototype and producing medical supplies during the COVID-19 crisis. Contact Sara Chester. Carolina Textile District for more info at sara@theindustrialcommons.orgor by phone at 828-674-3141. The FDA has released guidance on masks (here), as well as hand sanitizer (here) in last couple of days.

  Are you a NC Manufacturer that can provide assistance producing critical healthcare products? Go to and complete the form. The NC Manufacturing Extension Partnership will share the information with state and federal leaders who are seeking needed items. This includes parts or production of respirators.  If you have questions, please contact KeAnne Hoeg at

  Looking for a site that facilitates connections for supplies and resources? BIO created the Coronavirus Hub to connect companies with capacity and resources with those that need them, including medical research centers, biopharmaceutical companies, testing developers and testing sites requesting supplies. The new hub will enable users to post requests for urgently needed items, as well as posting availability of supplies and capacity.

Unemployment Insurance Changes Due to COVID-19

The North Carolina Employment Security Division is publishing instructions and guidance on this page to help you understand new changes to the state’s unemployment system, due to the current impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus in North Carolina.

These changes were ordered by Governor Cooper on Tuesday, March 17, 2020, as outlined in his Executive Order 118.

The DES is working to ensure that necessary unemployment insurance benefits will be available to eligible North Carolinians affected by job loss due to the COVID-19 coronavirus disease in our state.

On this page, you will find answers and instructions:


Covid-19 & Your Business Webinars

In an effort to assist Catawba County businesses during this unprecedented time, local economic developer partners are continuing to host a series of webinars to provide beneficial health and business continuity information related to the Covid-19 virus.  In addition to this webinar series, the Chamber of Catawba County, Catawba County EDC (this page) and the SBTDC all offer Covid-19 Resource Pages for area business.  We hope you or representatives from your organization will be able to participate in these very important webinars.  The webinars will be recorded and placed online for viewing later (see below for the fist three webinars) if you are unable to make the presentation.


COVID-19 & Your Business, Parts 1 & 2 covered the following topics: An overview of COVID-19, preventative measures to protect your workplace, continuity of business operations, labor & employment law guidance, business resources & assistance and answers to other frequently asked questions. Please view the recorded webinars below, along with downloading a copy of the slides for each session. For more information, please email us.

Part 1 (VIDEO):

Download the Presentation Slides:   Catawba County Business Presentation - COVID 19 - Part 1


Part 2 (VIDEO):

Download the Presentation Slides:   Catawba County Business Presentation - COVID-19 - Part 2
Download the Presentation Slides:   Small Business Technology Development Centers - COVID-19 - Part 2


COVID-19 & Your Business: SBA Economic Injury & Disaster Loan Webinar (Part 3) was held Tuesday, March 31st.  The presenter was Levi Kinnard, Economic Development Specialist - NC District of the SBA.  Topics included: 

  • What is the Economic Injury Disaster Loan?
  • Who is eligible?
  • How to apply?
Part 3 (Video):


COVID-19 & Your Business (Part 4): Dissecting the Coronavirus Aid, Relief & Economic Security (CARES) Act was held Friday, April 3rd, and examined the recently signed CARES Act, a $2+ trillion economic package largely aimed to assist the country's business community during these difficult times.


  • Congressman Patrick McHenry – Rep. Patrick McHenry is serving his eighth term in the United States Congress where he represents the citizens of North Carolina’s 10th District and serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Financial Services.
  • Congresswoman Virginia Foxx - Rep. Foxx is serving her eighth term in the United States Congress where she represents the citizens of North Carolina’s 5th District and serves as the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Education and Labor.
  • Joe Hartz - Policy Director at U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business
  • Rob Yavor - Senior Professional Staff, Ranking Member Steve Chabot, U.S. House Committee on Small Business
Part 4 (Video):


We Need Your Feedback (Survey)

To help the EDC, the Chamber, and other economic development partners understand the local impacts of COVID-19 and how we can provide you the best assistance, please take several moments to submit your responses to the following survey. Click here.


Informational Resources for Your Business

National Association of Manufacturers: Coronavirus Resources
The NAM is in contact with federal officials who are overseeing the response to the coronavirus and they are working to share additional available information.

US Chamber of Commerce: Combatting the Coronavirus
The U.S. Chamber is working closely with the White House, U.S. government agencies, and foreign government officials to inform and equip businesses with the most important and up-to-date information to prevent the spread of the virus and prepare businesses for the near and long-term impact

COVID-19: FAQs on Federal Labor and Employment Laws
Ogletree Deakins provides answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the latest developments on the virus and guidance from federal agencies.

Comprehensive And Updated FAQs For Employers On The COVID-19 Coronavirus
Fisher Phillips has assembled a cross-disciplinary taskforce of attorneys across the country to address the many employment-related issues facing employers in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The COVID-19 Taskforce has created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document, which has been continually updated since first published on March 3 and will continue to be updated as events warrant.

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers (CDC)
The CDC provides this interim guidance to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19. Let your employees know you are monitoring the situation and share best practices for prevention and treatment.

Coronavirus – FAQ for Employers (CAI)
CAI addresses some of the most common questions received during this period of rapidly changing information.


International Travel and Business Information

Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina Assistance Importing Materials From International Locations
If your company is considering importing needed items or raw materials from overseas and you would like assistance vetting foreign sellers, please reach out to Michael Cole, International Trade Manager at the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina at or by calling (919) 794-1158.

Travel > Coronavirus Disease 2019 Information for Travel (CDC)
This page offers current travel warning, alert and watches, as well as destinations with risk of community spread. RDU also has this page offering current information.

Pandemic Preparedness Planning For U.S. Businesses With Overseas Operations (CDC)
The United States Government has created the following guide to help U.S. businesses with overseas operations prepare and implement pandemic business continuity. This is a list of suggestions and can serve as a starting point for developing a comprehensive plan. The checklist highlights actions applicable to businesses of all sizes, although each item does not necessarily apply to every overseas business.

Getting Ahead of the Coronavirus Outbreak: A Checklist for Multinational Employers
Courtesy of a member company, a suggested macro-checklist for multinational employers designed to help plan for and respond to a potential pandemic.


Reliable Sources for COVID-19 Information and Updates

NC Department of Health & Human Services (NCDHHS) COVID-19 Website:  NC DHHS and NCAHEC Weekly Business Forum, Every Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:00pm beginning March 25, 2020.: The NC DHHS Division of Public Health (DPH) and NC AHEC will hold weekly forums for the NC business community. The forums will enable members of the business community to obtain timely information on COVID-19 and to pose questions directly to public health subject matter experts. Please submit any questions for subject-matter experts to prepare for in advance to Questions must be received no later than 5pm on the Monday prior to the forum. Click here for call information.

Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 Website:

Catawba County Public Health Website:

Catawba County Public Health Facebook: @catawbacountypublichealth

North Carolina Coronavirus Hotline > 866.462.3821
The North Carolina Division of Public Health has established a call line to address general questions about coronavirus from the public. In the event of an emergency, please call 9-1-1.

World Health Organization: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease, including daily updates.

World Health Organization: Video Explainer
Video from WHO explaining what’s currently known about the virus.

North Carolina AHEC Digital Library: COVID-19 Resources
A short, high quality list with selections from NC agencies and AHEC regions. Of note is this link to a list from the Eastern AHEC librarian containing a news feed for the latest information.