Cherokee Office of Economic Development · Cherokee by Choice.

COVID-19 Business Resources

We know this period of time with the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) is difficult for all of us.  Please let us know how the Cherokee Office of Economic Development can be of assistance during this time. We are continually monitoring the evolving situation and will provide regular updates on COVID-19’s impact on Cherokee County and resources to help you navigate any challenges.

Also, we would love to hear how this has impacted daily operations and if your industry has shifted any productions to assist in the need for additional supplies to combat the further spread of the virus. To share your companies story, please reach out to us at









Find open stores, restaurants, and services in Cherokee. Click HERE to search or list your business. 









COVID-19 Zoom Backgrounds: Download HERE.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) ACT

Signed into law March 27, 2020, the CARES Act is designed to get funds into the hands of affected businesses as soon as possible. The legislation:

  • Provides $376 billion to help small businesses (up to 500 employees), non-profits, sole proprietors and independent contractors negatively impacted by COVID-19. All are eligible entities to apply for some aspect of relief.
  • Modifies the EIDL program, making “advance” funds available to businesses.
  • Makes taking advantage of SBA loans easy and does not negatively impact your credit rating.
  • For more information, visit
  • Trade

    If you are a Georgia exporter whose operations have been impacted by COVID-19, the Export-Import Bank of the United States is offering relief provisions including waivers, deadline extensions, streamlined processing and flexibility to help U.S. businesses experiencing disruptions. For additional information, click here.  (Source: Georgia Department of Economic Development)


    The State of Georgia has a new COVID-19 hotline. If you believe that you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up unannounced at an emergency room or health care facility. Hotline: (844) 442-2681.

SBA Loan Process/Funding Resources

Following the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by President Trump and a request for Georgia from Governor Brian Kemp, Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loan assistance is now available to businesses in Georgia suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19.

Second Draw Paycheck Protection Program

  • The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) incentivizes small businesses to keep your employees on the payroll.
  • The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for 8-weeks and the funds are used for payroll, mortgage interest, rent and utilities; rate varies from .5 to 4%; loan amounts based on recent payroll, up to $10 million.
  • Apply with your local/regional SBA lender.
  • Local banks accepting PPP applications from non-customers:
    LGE Community Credit Union | Ashley Rowe | Ashleyro@lgeccu@org | | 770.286.7844
    Credit Union of Georgia | Lisa Kendrick | 678.322.2046
    Ameris bank | John Moreau | 770.345.7500 or 770.704.9893
    (Note: Ameris Bank is prioritizing existing customers’ applications, but IS accepting applications from non-customers.)
  • Learn more here:

Economic Injury Disaster Loan

  • The Economic Injury Disaster Loan provides a 3.75% loan, up to $2 million directly with the SBA.
  • The loan includes an EIDL “advance” of up to $10,000 that does not have to be paid back; is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis; requires an online application (deadline is 12/31/2020); and is heavily credit score driven.
  • The ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN (EIDL) application process has reopened. SUBMIT your application. Check your email from the SBA to reapply.
  • Learn more and apply directly ONLINE here:

SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan

  • The SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan allows businesses to access up to $25,000 quickly if you already have a preexisting relationship with an SBA Express Lender.
  • The loan helps businesses overcome temporary loss of revenue and bridge the gap while applying for current SBA disaster relief loans.
  • Apply for the SBA Express Bridge Loan 𝗔𝗦𝗔𝗣:

SBA Debt Relief

  • SBA will pay the principal, interest and associated loan fees of your existing 7a loans for six months.
  • Learn more here:

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed, or experiencing significant revenue losses as a result of COVID-19. Download the comprehensive guide prepared by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce HERE.



Fresh Start Cherokee via social media (@freshstartcherokee and @startupcherokee)

Cherokee Connect

Telework Best Practices – Georgia Commute Options 


State Entrepreneurship and Small Business Facts

Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act

Georgia SBDC: Guide to Conquering a Business Crisis – from the U.S. Senate’s Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Georgia SBDC, Response and Recovery

Invest Atlanta Business Continuity Loan Fund: (SMBs operating within city limits only; could apply to existing or future NAV startups too)



Small Business Administration

SBA Disaster Assistance

CARES act and SBA – by Rep. Steve Chabot


Alternative Resources/Funding

Kauffman’s Guide to Helping Small Business Navigate COVID-19

Economic Innovation Group: Understanding the Payment Protection Program COVID-19 Business Center

We Funder Loans

Paypal Working Capital’s Capital’s Immediate Support Response

CASE at Duke Fuqua’s Capital Release Fund Resources

Facebook Small Business Grants Program


The Cherokee Workforce Collaborative will be held on September 14, 2020, from 8-9 a.m. (Virtually)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act)
(Source: Georgia Chamber of Commerce)

Under the EFMLA, employees who have worked for the employer for at least 30 days will be entitled to take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) for any of the following reasons:

  1. To adhere to a requirement or recommendation by a health care provider or a public health official having jurisdiction to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus
  2. To care for an at-risk family member who is adhering to a requirement or recommendation by a health care provider or a public health official to quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus
  3. To care for a child of the employee if the child’s school or place of care has been closed, or the childcare provider is unavailable, due to coronavirus
  4. Under the bill, the first two weeks of such FMLA may be unpaid. An employee may choose to substitute accrued vacation leave, personal leave, or other medical or sick leave during this period, but an employer may not require an employee to do so. After the two weeks of unpaid leave, employers must provide up to 10 weeks of paid FMLA leave at a rate of no less than two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay.

Unemployment Rule 

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) has adopted an emergency Rule 300-2-4-0.5 Partial Claims, effective March 16, 2020. The rule mandates all Georgia employers to file partial unemployment claims online on behalf of their employees for any week during which an employee (full-time/part-time) works less than full-time due to a partial or total company shutdown caused by the COVID-19 public health emergency. Download the How Employers File Partial Claims Desk-Aid found on the GDOL Alert Page and follow the step-by-step instructions.

We are here to keep your project moving.  Unable to make an in-person visit?  No problem!  We have a rich database of shareable photos of Cherokee’s diverse locations to help you move your story forward.  Whether a visiting film team with studio backing or a student just starting out, COED remains dedicated to helping you bring your film project to life. For all film inquiries, please contact Film Project Manager Molly Mercer at 770.345.0600 ext.3280 or .

If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the last couple of weeks is that Georgia’s leaders are strong, innovative, and creative in finding resources for all those financially impacted by COVID-19.  Check out this list of resources specific to the film industry shared from the Georgia Film, Music & Digital Entertainment Office.

Georgia Department of Economic Development Film Division 

COED Office Information


All public gatherings (groups larger than 10) will be postponed or canceled at this time until further notice. This is out of an abundance of caution for all staff members and event attendees.