As you know, per the Governor’s Comeback Plan, which was updated July 8th, convenience stores have been allowed to resume selling self-serve beverages.  However, self-serve food options (roller grill offerings, etc.) are considered to be the same as buffet restaurants, which are prohibited.

However, from what we understand from speaking with members, there are county health departments in the state who are allowing self-serve food options in convenience stores.  We are advising members to check with your local/county health departments to see if they are allowing the sale of these items.  You are advised to follow the guidelines set forth by your local/county health department as it pertains to sales of self-serve food items.  

We continue to work with the Governor’s Office and DHHR to get statewide guidance, but until that time, please follow the guidelines set forth by your local/county health departments. 

USDA is Now Accepting Applications for Matching Grants Under the Higher Blend Infrastructure Incentive Program
U.S. Deputy of Agriculture (USDA) has launched an online portal to begin accepting applications for Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) grants. The program is designed to expand the availability of higher blends of both ethanol and biodiesel to retail consumers. The USDA is offering up to $100 million in grants to help transportation fueling and biodiesel distribution facilities convert to higher ethanol and biodiesel blends by sharing the costs for installation of compatible fuel dispensers and related underground storage tank equipment and infrastructure. USDA is making grants available for up to 50 percent of total eligible project costs, but not more than $5 million per project. According to the USDA, approximately $86 million is available for implementation activities related to higher blends of fuel ethanol, and approximately $14 million for higher blends of biodiesel. Higher biofuel blends are fuels containing ethanol greater than 10 percent ethanol and greater than 5 percent biodiesel. Eligible recipients include, but are not limited to, vehicle fueling facilities, local fueling stations/locations, convenience stores, hypermarket fueling stations, fleet facilities (cardlocks), fuel terminal operations, midstream partners and/or distribution facilities.

Guidelines for Reopening Certain Businesses Now Available
Gov. Jim Justice announced yesterday evening that the State had met the criteria of three consecutive days with Coronavirus positive cases below three percent, meaning that Week One of the “West Virginia Strong – the Comeback” begins today.  Today, hospitals can open for elective procedures, as well as other outpatient medical facilities.  Week Two actually begins Monday and provides that small businesses of ten or less people, professional services (nail salons, hair salons), outdoor dining for restaurants and churches can open.   Click here to read the full plan from the Governor.

Paycheck Protection Program Funding Available Now!

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has resumed accepting Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications from participating lenders as of 10:30am EDT today.

Last Friday, the President signed into law the latest COVID-19 response bill that replenished the PPP with an additional $310 billion as well as an additional $10 billion for SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The bill did not make any substantive changes to the PPP or EIDL program. Congressional leadership is characterizing the latest COVID-19 response bill as an interim funding effort, with the expectation that they will continue to negotiate a larger “phase 4” package in the coming weeks.

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