Chamber gathering info for Economic Injury Disaster Loan

The Cordova Chamber of Commerce asked businesses harmed by the novel coronavirus to identify themselves. The chamber is gathering data to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan, a loan administered by the Small Business Administration to repair private sector losses.

Economic harm due to the virus must be significant and clearly documented — for instance, if a hotel has had an abrupt spike in cancellations, said Cathy Renfeldt, executive director for the chamber. The chamber will follow up later with businesses who get in contact now, she said.

Renfeldt encouraged residents to participate in the local economy as much as possible while practicing social distancing. A series of free online business courses is available on the chamber’s website, Renfeldt said.

While some local businesses have closed their shutters, others have adapted their practices to accommodate social distancing. Some restaurants, such as OK Restaurant offer meals for takeaway, and some retailers, such as Cordova Gear, offer the option to buy products online or by phone and to have them delivered by mail or picked up from the venue during open hours.

Kayak Cafe, one of the only businesses in Cordova to offer food delivery, is uniquely well situated to accommodate social distancing. Kayak Cafe should be able to keep up with any increase in orders for delivery, said co-owner Karen Deaton Perry. Some other establishments, such as Cordova Electric Cooperative, have been able to keep doing business without opening their offices to the public.

“As a community, we’ve always been well prepared for disaster,” Renfeldt said. “This is no different … If and when we do encounter any cases [of the coronavirus] in Cordova, I think we’re going to be more prepared than a lot of other places have been.”