This is the final post in a series of three blogs devoted to helping businesses understand federal, state, and local rules and legislations related to COVID-19.

On April 2 Governor Kemp signed a statewide shelter-in place order as well as an order that closed all public schools for the remainder of the academic year. The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our day-to-day lives. While the federal government has enacted laws that provide relief for small businesses, adjustments and relief programs have also been implemented at the state and local level.

Georgia Department of Labor: Unemployment Benefits

The Georgia Department of Labor (GDOL) is requiring employers to file partial unemployment claims on behalf of their full-time and part-time employees whenever it is necessary to temporarily reduce work hours or there is no available work due to COVID-19. If an employer fails to comply with this new rule, the employer will be required to reimburse GDOL for the full amount of unemployment insurance benefits paid to the employee. Employers can file claims online through GDOL’S Employer Portal.

Georgia Business Annual Registration Deadline Moved to May 1

Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has extended the time for Georgia corporations to file annual registrations to May 1. This extension was made in response to the impact COVID-19 is having on Georgia businesses. Georgia businesses will be able to file annual registrations until May 1 without incurring any penalties or late filing fees.

Steps Taken by Athens-Clarke County to Assist Small Businesses

The Athens-Clarke County (ACC) Mayor and Commission voted on March 19 to utilize $3 million from the County’s “prosperity package”, which was passed as part of the County’s 2020 budget, to provide financial assistance for laid off workers, small businesses, and nonprofits. Details regarding applying for these funds are forthcoming.

On March 30, ACC’s city manager issued a local emergency order extending the business occupation tax deadline to June 1, 2020.

The ACC Economic Development Department is currently conducting a survey for local business leaders. In the survey, local businesses are able to report the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on their workforce and business operations. The survey will inform local leaders on issues facing the local business community during the pandemic.

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