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

Free Business Webinar

If you missed the webinar, it can be viewed HERE.


Webinar Series

Our team was proud to partner with the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce on April 8, 2020, for a webinar on Navigating the SBA Loan Process & the CARES Act. If you were unable to attend or want to watch again, please click HERE.

  • Statewide Shelter-In-Place/Essential Businesses

    Governor Brian Kemp recently announced a statewide shelter-in-place order, which has been extended until April 30. To determine which industry sectors/business types are deemed essential, the Governor has chosen to follow the guidance of the recently-issued CISA memo. The memo can be found here.  

    The Executive Order can be viewed HERE.

    View the guidance and FAQs for the executive order HERE.


  • Paycheck Protection Program (SBA)

    As part of Phase III of the Coronavirus legislation that was recently signed into law, the CARES Act, Congress included provisions to assist small businesses in protecting the job security of employees.  The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing each small business a loan up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses.

    If all employees are kept on payroll for eight weeks, SBA will forgive the portion of the loans used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. Up to 100 percent of the loan is forgivable. Click here to learn more.

  • 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.

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.

SBA Loan Process

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.


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

Cherokee Connect


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


Third-Party / Non-Profit 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 has been rescheduled for May 12, 2020, from 8-9 a.m. in the COED Boardroom.

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.

Office Hours

We are closely monitoring the situation and impact on our local area. Our office is located on the campus of Chattahoochee Technical College, which has announced it has closed its campuses through April 26 or until further notice. Though our doors may be closed to the public, our office is still open for business. For now, the Cherokee Office of Economic Development will operate during regular business hours. During this time, we will be 100% accessible through phone and email to answer any questions or concerns. To contact an individual team member, visit our COED Team page: or call 770.345.0600.

The Circuit/Coworking Space

We recently received official word from Chattahoochee Technical College that this campus, including The Circuit, will be closed through April 26 or until further notice, to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.