DED COVID-19 Information

These links will be to sites and resources for the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Department of Economic Development is partnering with Governor Ricketts to inform and assist businesses during Nebraska’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The links listed below provide an overview of these efforts from our agency, as well as the Departments of Labor, Insurance and Health and Human Services. Our team is committed to serving Nebraskans facing financial challenges during this time, and understands that local economic leaders will play an important role in creating regional solutions for businesses and their workforce. The department’s Field Services Team is working consistently with business leaders in these regions to address ongoing COVID challenges. Contact numbers for our staff in these regions are listed below.

If you are a business in need of assistance due to COVID-19, please contact the DED business representative in your area:
Click for the Business Development Contact Map
Region Nebraska Counties DED Staff Phone Number Email
Western Arthur, Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Keith, Kimball, Morrill, Perkins, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sioux Brittany Hardin 308-660-9111 brittany.hardin@nebraska.gov
Southwest Chase, Custer, Dawson, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Gosper, Hayes, Hitchcock, Hooker, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Red Willow, Thomas Ashley Rice-Gerlach 308-655-0919 ashley.gerlach@nebraska.gov
South Central Adams, Buffalo, Clay, Fillmore, Franklin, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Howard, Kearney, Merrick, Nuckolls, Phelps, Polk, Thayer, Webster, York Kelly Gewecke 308-627-3151 kelly.gewecke@nebraska.gov
North Central Blaine, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Keya Paha, Loup, Rock, Sherman, Valley, Wheeler Sheryl Hiatt 402-340-6180 sheryl.hiatt@nebraska.gov
Northeast Antelope, Boone, Burt, Cedar, Colfax, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Knox, Madison, Nance, Pierce, Platte, Stanton, Thurston, Wayne Lyndsy Jenness 402-768-1407 lyndsy.jenness@nebraska.gov
Southeast Butler, Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, Washington Deb Eggleston
Kris Benson
402-380-7253
402-840-0730
deb.eggleston@nebraska.gov
kristine.benson@nebraska.gov
All DED Contacts Found Here

CDBG Resources to Assist Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

The Nebraska Department of Economic Development (DED) has allocated Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to assist qualified businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. This funding is currently available through DED’s CDBG Economic Development (ED) funding category. Businesses located in the city limits of Omaha, Lincoln, Bellevue and Grand Island are not eligible for this program. All counties are eligible if the business is located in their jurisdiction and not in the ineligible cities.

On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) issued a Quick Guide to CDBG Eligible Activities to Support Infectious Disease Response. The guide outlines eligible activities for providing loans or grants to private, for-profit entities to support a range of eligible activities that prevent and respond to the spread of infectious diseases such as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Activities include:

  • Supporting new businesses or business expansion to create jobs and manufacture medical supplies necessary to respond to infectious disease.
  • Avoid job loss caused by business closures related to social distancing by providing short-term working capital assistance to small businesses, to enable retention of jobs held by low- and moderate-income (LMI) persons.

Under this new guidance, CDBG ED may be able to assist two types of for-profit businesses:

    1. Businesses eligible for the Nebraska Advantage Act*, including:
      1. Manufacturers
      2. Scientific Testing
      3. Research and Development
      4. Targeted Export Services
    2. Businesses that provide essential goods and services to communities having at least a 51% or greater LMI population. Businesses providing such essential goods and services include:
      1. Grocery stores
      2. Pharmacies
      3. Hardware/home improvement stores, etc.

Eligible activities may include:

  • Direct Financial Assistance
  • Working Capital
  • Purchase of Machinery and/or Equipment (Fixed Assets)

Implementing CDBG for business assistance will require local governments (e.g., cities, villages, or counties) to apply on behalf of businesses in their jurisdiction. There are a number of federal requirements, including meeting a National Objective of creating or retaining jobs for LMI persons or benefiting residents in communities where the population is at 51% or more LMI.

*For more information about Nebraska Advantage, refer to the most recent brochure, https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/NE_Advantage2020.pdf.

For more information about CDBG ED, for which you may currently apply, refer to the 2019 Application Guidelines at https://opportunity.nebraska.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/2019_Chapter-2_Economic-Development_20190719.pdf, or contact your local DED Field Staff representative by county:

Butler, Cass, Dodge, Douglas, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Sarpy, Saunders, Seward, Washington –
Deb Eggleston deb.eggleston@nebraska.gov 402-380-7253 or Kris Benson, kristine.benson@nebraska.gov, 402-840-0730

Antelope, Boone, Burt, Cedar, Colfax, Cuming, Dakota, Dixon, Knox, Madison, Nance, Pierce, Platte, Stanton, Thurston, Wayne – Lyndsy Jenness, lyndsy.jenness@nebraska.gov, 402-768-1407

Adams, Buffalo, Clay, Fillmore, Franklin, Hall, Hamilton, Harlan, Howard, Kearney, Merrick, Nuckolls, Phelps, Polk, Thayer, Webster, York – Kelly Gewecke, kelly.gewecke@nebraska.gov, 308-627-3151

Blaine, Boyd, Brown, Cherry, Garfield, Greeley, Holt, Keya Paha, Loup, Rock, Sherman, Valley, Wheeler – Sheryl Hiatt, sheryl.hiatt@nebraska.gov, 402-340-6180

Chase, Custer, Dawson, Dundy, Frontier, Furnas, Gosper, Hayes, Hitchcock, Hooker, Lincoln, Logan, McPherson, Red Willow, Thomas – Ashley Rice-Gerlach, ashley.gerlach@nebraska.gov, 308-655-0919

Arthur, Banner, Box Butte, Cheyenne, Dawes, Deuel, Garden, Grant, Keith, Kimball, Morrill, Perkins, Scotts Bluff, Sheridan, Sioux – Brittany Hardin, brittany.hardin@nebraska.gov, 308-660-9111

Contents:

Advice for Exporters

    • Maintain frequent contact with customers and in-country partners, while acknowledging that the partner’s business is likely also affected by the local virus situation
    • Scan partner country news outlets for information on government policies, supplier operations impacting your own business
    • Remain in contact with DED, the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), and the United States Department of Commerce on relevant assistance programs

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Useful Links

International Travel

U.S. State Department Travel Advisory

  • *The U.S. State Department raised international travel advisory to Level 4: Do NOT Travel*
  • For a list of official travel restrictions to each country, please visit the International Air Transport Association at the following link.

IATA International Travel Document News

Export-Import Bank of the United States

Harvard Business Review

McKinsey & Company

Grant Thornton

Nebraska Export Information

Nebraska Import Information

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Supply Chain Notes

*Last Updated: 3:00pm CST, April 3, 2020

According to 2019 data from the U.S. Census Bureau, Nebraska’s top five import partners are China, Canada, Mexico, Switzerland, and Japan. Nebraska’s largest export partners are the same, with an addition of South Korea. Below are brief synopses of conditions and COVID-19 responses in each country. Each of these countries are reporting COVID-19 cases and government responses vary. Please contact DED for questions on developments in additional countries.

Exporters should be cognizant of potential bottlenecks and weak points in their supply chain. Consider diversifying the supply chain to minimize dependence for essential components.

China

China’s leaders last week indicated intent to sell sovereign debt to prepare for economic stimulus measures. Nomura, an investment firm, estimates 1.5 percent GDP growth for China in 2020, the lowest in 20 years. There are over 82,000 cases of COVID-19 in China, primarily in Hubei Province.

Ports, road and rail transportation, and logistics networks in China are reportedly returning to normal in China while working through backlogs. Imports from China to the U.S. decreased 44.9 percent in February, March due to decreased factory activity.[1] Xin Guobin, China’s Vice Minister of Industry and Information Technology said on March 30 that 98.6 percent of major industrial companies in China resumed operations, adding that 90 percent of these companies’ employees returned to work.[2] Import of components from China may be delayed as the sea freight industry faces simultaneous challenges of an increase in Chinese output and a slow in global demand. Road, rail, and flight service into Wuhan, China, where the virus originated, will resume on April 8.

Canada

Bank of Canada reduced its key interest rate by 100 basis points to 0.75 percent. Canada’s Government last week approved a C$52 billion financial relief package. The legislation includes wage subsidies for small businesses and C$2,000/month for four months to workers affected by the coronavirus. Generally, the legislation expands credit availability for small to large Canadian businesses. Farmers are also provided additional credit through Farm Credit Canada under the relief package.[1]

Nonessential travel between Canada and the U.S. is restricted, while trade continues. Canada is reporting over 11,000 cases of COVID-19.

Mexico

The Mexican Government has not yet introduced coronavirus-related financial relief measures. Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on March 28 urged citizens to stay at home for one month to limit virus transmission in the country. Mexico City’s Mayor on March 22 announced the suspension of outdoor events, the closure of museums and gyms, and a ban on gatherings of more than 50 people. While much of private industry continues operations, specific non-essential can be delayed at public request, including the construction of a $1 billion Mexicali brewery project.

Nonessential travel between the U.S. and Mexico is limited, while trade continues. Mexico has not yet placed significant restrictions on incoming travel. Mexico is reporting 1,500 cases of COVID-19.

Switzerland

The Swiss Government issued emergency loans worth $6.8 billion to 32,000 companies as of March 30.[1] The total federal relief package is $20 billion. Swiss Cantons, akin to provinces, have the authority to close manufacturing plants if they do not fall under the essential operations of healthcare, food, and agriculture.

The Swiss government issued a recommendation that all citizens stay at home. As of March 20, gatherings of five or more are banned countrywide. Bars, restaurants are closed while sports and cultural gatherings are prohibited. Switzerland is reporting 19,000 cases of COVID-19.

Japan

Cases of COVID-19 rise in Tokyo, causing Tokyo officials to begin talk about a lockdown. Supply chains in Japan may be slowed due to delayed deliveries

Prime Minister Abe will introduce an extra budget next week to include an economic stimulus package.[1] Previewing the measures, Abe stated that interest-free loans will be available to the private sector and that the government will implement tax, monetary and fiscal policy simultaneously. Similar to other government relief packages, the legislation will include payments to citizens to soften unemployment. Goldman Sachs cut Japan’s 2020 GDP expectations to a 3.1 percent contraction.

Manufacturers in Japan are decreasing operating days and hours in response to component supply delays and demand decreases. Operating decreases differ by region and virus transmission risk. Toyota, for example, will halt production for 7 production lines in 5 domestic plants from April 3.[2] Exports from Japan are falling 1 percent year-over-year due to the virus. Additionally, Japan is expected to expand its entry ban to include individuals traveling from the U.S., China, South Korea, and much of Europe. Japan is reporting 2,600 cases of COVID-19.

South Korea

South Korea’s government will introduce a second round of relief in April in addition to the original $39 billion in emergency funding for small businesses. The new budget will include $816 in emergency cash payments to families, excluding the top 30 percent by income.[1] The original package included loan guarantees for small businesses with less than $78,000 in annual revenue. Domestic commercial banks are allowing postponement of loan payments. Auto manufacturers and suppliers expect to receive $8 billion in government relief to continue operations and refine manufacturing processes.[2] Essential business operations in South Korea continue.

South Korea has stringent restrictions on international arrivals. The country began a 15-day social distancing policy on March 22, banning sports, religious, and entertainment gatherings. There are 10,000 COVID-19 cases in South Korea.

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DED International Team Contacts

DED is here to assist and advise Nebraska exporters in navigating this process. Your contacts are:

Susan Rouch, Export Development Manager: susan.rouch@nebraska.gov

Cobus Block, International Business Manager: cobus.block@nebraska.gov

Taylor Bolam, International Business Associate: taylor.bolam@nebraska.gov

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