COVID-19 Resources

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, DDI has put together a running list of resources for downtown businesses and residents in need, as well as a status report on what we and local government entities are doing to assist. The situation is very fluid, so this page will be updated often as new information becomes available.

If you're a business owner who would like to discuss available assistance in more detail, please contact President/CEO Nicole Thompson at [email protected] or 919.682.2800 ext. 23.

 

Want to help?

This page is primarily for those seeking resources, but we have also included information on how you can help support local businesses and their staff. Thank you for supporting the downtown Durham community.

Where to find the latest information about COVID-19

These federal, state and local resources are reliable and are updated regularly with new information about the pandemic and ways to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Closure Status

State of North Carolina Stay-At-Home Order Effective March 30 to April 29

Governor Cooper announced on March 27 that the state of North Carolina will go under a Stay at Home Order as of Monday, March 30 at 5 p.m.

The Order directs people to stay at home except to visit essential businesses, to exercise outdoors or to help a family member. Specifically, the order bans gatherings of more than 10 people and directs everyone to physically stay at least six feet apart from others.

The Order does not supersede local orders.

Durham County Stay-At-Home Order Effective March 29 to April 30

Board of County Commissioners Chair Wendy Jacobs announced a Stay-At-Home Order for all Durham County residents to help stop community spread of the virus. The order went into effect at 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 29, 2020, and will remain in effect until April 30, 2020.

The order is largely an extension of the City of Durham’s order, adding just a few revisions and extending it to the entire County, including Research Triangle Park (RTP), Treyburn Corporate Park and the unincorporated areas of Durham County.

An important addition is the requirement that employers perform temperature checks of their employees when they report to work. Any employee with a temperature above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit must be sent home. This, along with a few other social distancing and sanitation requirements can be found in Section D of the order (page 5 of 13). 

City of Durham Stay-At-Home Order Effective March 26 to April 30

In light of growing concerns regarding COVID-19, City of Durham Mayor Steve Schewel has issued a Stay-at-Home Order for all city residents to further help stop the spread of this virus.

Effective Thursday, March 26, 2020, beginning at 6 p.m., this order requires all city residents to remain in their homes until April 30, 2020 as part of an attempt to reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections in Durham.

Exceptions to the order will be allowed for those seeking medical treatment, buying food, or exercising outdoors. Essential workers, such as hospital and medical staff, law enforcement and firefighters, food service and grocery store employees, local government employees, etc., will be allowed to travel to work. The order will not prohibit restaurants from providing take-out or delivery options. It also does not prohibit daycares, homeless shelters, and government agencies from operating. The order will be enforced by the Durham Police Department.

All City of Durham facilities, including City Hall, police headquarters, fire stations, and Durham Parks and Recreation facilities and playgrounds, remain closed to the public until further notice.

Durham One Call along with many City staff from all departments are teleworking and are available during normal business hours to provide assistance either by phone or by email. The City’s website is also fully operational and allows residents to easily make water bill payments and submit online services requests. Durham One Call will also be available by phone at (919) 560-1200, through their free smartphone app available in the Apple and Google Play stores, and through their webpage.

Public safety employees in police, fire, and the emergency communications center (911), along with other City employees such as those who work in the Water Management, Solid Waste Management, and Fleet Management Departments, will continue their duties while observing social distancing and hand sanitization best practices.

Federal Help for Businesses and Individuals

Warning About Business Assistance Scams

There are organizations and entities that are advertising that they can provide assist businesses during the PPP process….for a “small” fee.  DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THIS. There are numerous entities that provide free assistance — LaTasha Best-Gaddy at SBTDC,  LaShon Harley at SBC, the Women’s Business Center of North Carolina ([email protected]) and the 7a banks. Please, do not be tricked into thinking you need to pay for assistance.

Notice About Banks and 7a Lenders – April 3, 2020

While the US Small Business Assistance has said that PPP applications will be accepted starting today (April 3), remember that the PPP application MUST be done with and sent by a 7a lender and the process is still being finalized. Know that the pace of the creation this federal government program (PPP)  is VERY unusual. Typically programs of this scale take months to go through the federal process. This program took weeks. So, please have patience with the banks as they are working to get final guidance and instructions from SBA – updated information was being sent as late as last night to 7a lenders. Rather than completing applications today, many are asking that you sign up on their websites, and when the application is available, they will send information directly to you. 

PLEASE have patience with the banks. Everyone is anxious to apply, but the banks are trying to understand the program and provide correct and accurate information when they open up the application process. Everyone is strongly encouraged to reach out and talk with their bank so that they are aware of what’s happening.

 

Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Stimulus Bill)

On March 27, the U.S. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus bill. 

What is being done to help local businesses?

Parking Availability and Cost

From Park Durham:

 All changes are effective beginning at 6 p.m. on  Thursday, March 26, and will be in place until further notice. 

  • 1.  The PARKDurham Customer Service Center is closed until further notice. Residents will still be able to conduct business over the phone at 919-560-4157 or online (links below). Beginning Friday, March 27, phones will be open from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. from Monday through Friday to answer questions. Customers can still make credit card payments for parking citations using the following online platforms: 
  • 2. Monthly Parking Permit Customers  
    • a. During this period, customers may make payments by check or money order by mailing payments to PO Box 1370, Durham, NC 27701. Please make the check payable to the "City of Durham."  
  •  3. Off-Street Parking Garages and Lots 
    • a. Parking garage and surface parking lot operations have been suspended. The gates to all facilities will be open until further notice. 
  •  4. On-Street Metered Parking Spaces 
    • a. In response to Governor Cooper’s executive order that closed all restaurants and bars in North Carolina except for takeout and delivery orders, we  have  converted  many  on-street metered parking spaces in downtown Durham to Curbside Delivery Zones. These spaces will return to on-street metered spaces once Governor Cooper’s executive order is lifted. We strongly encourage customers to only park for the actual time needed to pick up restaurant orders.  
    • b. An image of the Curbside Delivery Zone signage can be found  here.  
  • 5. On-Street Parking Enforcement 
    • a. Parking enforcement ambassadors have suspended issuing parking citations for nonpayment at  pay  stations and overtime parking.  
    • b. Parking enforcement will be limited to on-call requests to issue parking citations in the downtown area  for  illegal  parking in loading zones, sidewalks, fire lanes, bus lanes, ADA parking spaces, crosswalks, etc. 
  • 6. Facilities Maintenance 
    • a. Facilities  maintenance  and custodial  efforts in City-owned parking garages have been suspended until further notice.   

Rent/Mortgage Renegotiation

  • Commercial property owners are encouraged to  apply for assistance under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Fund. IF you have payroll or detailed and specific information on independent contractors that work for the business, you may be eligible for PPP. 
  • DDI has reached out many downtown property owners encouraging them to work with their tenants on monthly rental payments. Contact your landlord, and ask that they work with you on discounting or deferring payments until the mandate is lifted, and that they offer flexibility as things return to normal once the crisis ends.

Taxes

  • State taxes: The NC Department of Revenue has waived late filing and payment penalties for businesses and individuals affected by COVID-19. More information.
    • DDI is in contact with Representative Zack Hawkins, and we have requested that he work with his colleagues to allow businesses to defer sales and payroll tax payments during the crisis. More information to follow as we have it.
  • Federal taxes: The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service are providing special filing and payment relief to individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible. 
    • Individuals: Income tax payment deadlines for individual returns, with a due date of April 15, 2020, are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $1 million of their 2019 tax due. This payment relief applies to all individual returns, including self-employed individuals, and all entities other than C-Corporations, such as trusts or estates. IRS will automatically provide this relief to taxpayers.  Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this relief.
    • Corporations: For C Corporations, income tax payment deadlines are being automatically extended until July 15, 2020, for up to $10 million of their 2019 tax due.
    • More information.
    • UPDATE: Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced on March 20 that the federal income tax filing deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. More information.

Unemployment

  • Governor Cooper's Executive Order of March 17, instituted the following changes to unemployment insurance benefits to aid workers and employers affected by COVID-19:
      • Removed the one-week waiting period to apply for unemployment payment for those workers who lose their jobs;
      • Removed the requirement that a person must be actively looking for another job during this time when many potential employers are closed and social distancing guidelines are in effect. 
      • Directed that employees who lose their jobs or, in certain cases have their hours reduced due to COVID-19 may apply for unemployment benefits.
      • Directed that employers will not be held responsible for benefits paid as a direct result of these COVID-19 claims. 
      • Waived the requirement that people must apply for benefits in person; workers can apply for benefits online or by phone.
      • More information.
      • For answers to your specific questions about unemployment benefits, email [email protected].
  • Unemployment Benefits for Sole Proprietors
      • The Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) program provides unemployment benefits to individuals who have become unemployed as a direct result of a Presidentially declared major disaster.
      • In order to qualify for this benefit your employment or self-employment must have been lost or interrupted as a direct result of a major disaster declared by the President of the United States. You must have been determined not otherwise eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits (under any state or Federal law).
      • More information

 Utilities

  • Duke Energy and Dominion Energy have suspended all home and business nonpayment disconnections. 
  • Duke Energy has also announced that it will waive late payment fees and fees for returned payments until the national state of emergency is lifted.
  • Spectrum small business and residential customers who face difficult economic circumstances related to the COVID-19 pandemic will not have their internet, TV, or voice service terminated. In addition, the company will not charge late fees for those customers facing difficult economic circumstances related to the pandemic.

Online Meetings/Conferences/Webinars

Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Geoff Durham Live Address with Economist Dr. Michael Walden

Join at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 31 to hear from Durham Chamber President and CEO Geoff Durham, along with special guest, economist Dr. Michael Walden and hear their perspective on the current environment and what the future marketplace might look like.

Please register, and you will get a link emailed to you with the Zoom video conference before the event.

Other Webinars/Online Conferences

These organizations are hosting regular webinars during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Resources for Business

Loans

  • Small Business Association
  • Golden LEAF NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan
    • The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program supports North Carolina small businesses and family farms as they recover from the economic impact of COVID-19. This rapid recovery loan helps small businesses bridge the gap between when crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. UPDATE: As of March 26, Golden Leaf has received applications in excess of the current $15 million funding level and are 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 Golden Leaf will review it as additional funding becomes available.
    • Apply for a Rapid Recovery Loan

Grants

  • Truist – NCIFund COVID-19 Grants
    • $1 Million in grants from $5,000 to $25,000. Funds are available to businesses that have completed all application components, on a first come – first served basis. Businesses in MD, NJ, NC, OH (Brown, Butler, Clermont, Hamilton and Warren Counties), PA, SC, VA, WV and Washington, D.C. may apply, with the following stipulations.
      • Business was in operation as of August 1, 2019.
      • Business has no more than 10 full time employees and no more than $1 million in annual revenue.
      • More information.

Other Resources

Resources for Individuals

Fundraisers

  • Day One Fund

    This fund is being established as a partnership with Day One Disaster Relief and supported by community leaders: Mayor Steve Schewel;  City Council Members: Vernetta Alston, Javiera Caballero, DeDreana Freeman, Jillian Johnson, Mark-Anthony Middleton, and Charlie Reece; and members of The Durham County Board of Commissioners.

    The funds raised will be distributed to the most critical need, in the most equitable way possible.

    Application information will be posted here as soon as it is available.

  • Durham Artist Relief Fund

    Funds donated here go directly to artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists (note: we will try to help as many artists with need in Durham as we can).

    Apply for Funds

  • Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund

    Frankie Lemmon Foundation has created a fund to show support to the restaurant industry. This fund is open to those who have experience wage disruption or lay offs in the Triangle restaurant industry due to coronavirus-based restaurant closures. This includes wait staff, bartenders, hosts, managers, delivery drivers, cooks, catering staff, dishwashers, and other restaurant and bar workers.

    Apply for Funds

Employment

  • Amazon 

    Per this article in the Herald-Sun, in North Carolina, Amazon expects to add 2,000 new jobs across the state, including more than 540 in the Triangle. The new jobs will be at the company’s many fulfillment centers and in its delivery network. Amazon is also planning to boost its minimum wage for employees, from $15 to $17 per hour, through April.

    Apply Here

Counseling

  • Disaster Distress Helpline 

    The Disaster Distress Helpline provides 24/7/365 crisis counseling and support for anyone in the U.S. experiencing distress or other behavioral health concerns related to any natural or human-caused disaster, including public health emergencies. Calls to 1-800-985-5990 and texts of “TalkWithUs” to 66746 are answered by a network of independently-operated crisis centers around the US, who provide psychological first aid, emotional support, crisis assessment and intervention, and referrals to local/state behavioral health services for follow-up care & support.

    • Spanish speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support or text “Hablanos” for Spanish to 66746
    • Deaf/Hard of Hearing – TTY 1-800-846-8517 or can text “TalkWithUs” to 66746
    • Callers to the hotline can connect with counselors in 100+ languages via 3rd party interpretation services; to connect with a counselor in one’s primary language, indicate preferred language to the responding counselor and they will connect to a live interpreter

    More Information

Ways to Help

Support local businesses with your business

Most businesses have suspended dine-in or shop-in services during the crisis, but many are offering other options for their customers. Call or check social media to see what services are available at individual businesses.

  • Use curbside or delivery services

    Even though venues cannot seat patrons, you can still enjoy food from many of your favorite downtown restaurants. Almost all restaurants that have remained open offer takeout and/or delivery. In addition, the many restaurants are now offering curbside services. Click the button below for a complete list of downtown restaurants with curbside service and/or delivery.

  • Purchase a gift card or shop online

    Gift cards put cash directly into the hands of local business owners, and many merchants have online stores where you can purchase their goods. The following downtown businesses offer gift cards or online shopping:

Add Your Business

Support Local Businesses and Staff with Donations

Downtown Durham, Inc. is providing this list as a service, and unless expressly indicated, is not affiliated with any of the fundraisers listed below. Please use your best judgment when giving to online fundraisers.

  • Day One Fund

    This fund is being established as a partnership with Day One Disaster Relief and supported by community leaders: Mayor Steve Schewel;  City Council Members: Vernetta Alston, Javiera Caballero, DeDreana Freeman, Jillian Johnson, Mark-Anthony Middleton, and Charlie Reece; and members of The Durham County Board of Commissioners.

    The funds raised will be distributed to the most critical need, in the most equitable way possible.

    As an example, the funds will be used to:
    - support individuals whose livelihood was impacted by the outbreak
    - purchase medical supplies
    - purchase cleaning supplies
    - provide community support for those who are most vulnerable

    **Aid will be distributed to communities who currently have confirmed COVID-19 diagnoses.**

    Any funds raised beyond what is needed to help impacted communities will be reserved for future community disaster relief in Durham and North Carolina.
    Day One Fund

  • Durham Artist Relief Fund

    Funds donated here go directly to artists and arts presenters in Durham who have been financially impacted by cancellations due to COVID-19, with priority given to to BIPOC artists, transgender & nonbinary artists, and disabled artists (note: they will try to help as many artists with need in Durham as they can).

    Durham Artist Relief Fund

  • Durham Arts Council Arts Recovery Fund

    All Fund proceeds will go directly to the Durham arts community impacted by COVID-19. This fund supports local nonprofit arts organizations, artists, artist collectives, arts presenters, arts venues and arts businesses.

    The DAC Arts Recovery Fund is working in partnership with the Durham Artist Relief Fund established by Northstar Church of the Arts. The two funds will support, cross-promote, and coordinate with each other to maximize resources available to the arts community. The Durham Arts Council Arts Recovery Fund is able to expand the emergency resources by attracting and administering dollars on behalf of public and private funders that are not able to channel their support through a GoFundMe platform. Individual donors may give through either campaign, or both.

    DAC Arts Recovery Fund

  • Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund

    Frankie Lemmon Foundation has created a fund to show support to the restaurant industry. With the closure of dine-in service at restaurants across the state, many will experience significant wage loss. The Frankie Lemmon Foundation asks that you join them in lending a hand to restaurant workers in our community who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    This fund is open to those who have experience wage disruption or lay offs in the Triangle restaurant industry due to coronavirus-based restaurant closures. This includes wait staff, bartenders, hosts, managers, delivery drivers, cooks, catering staff, dishwashers, and other restaurant and bar workers.

    Triangle Restaurant Workers Relief Fund