Thursday, October 22, 2020

Back in Business: COVID-19 Resources & More

Posted by: Links and Excerpts Compiled by the Chamber on Thursday, October 22, 2020 at 2:00:00 pm Comments (6)


State Face Covering Requirement

Executive Order 20-37 requires face coverings in the state of Indiana for anyone 8 years old or older in the following places:
•    Public indoor spaces and commercial entities
•    While using public transportation or other vehicle services such as a taxi or ride share
•    Outdoor public spaces when it’s not possible to socially distance from people not in the same household
The order has exceptions for medical purposes, disabilities, exercising, and eating and drinking. The governor also modified the mask order for school children. Students can remove their masks during classroom instruction when they are able to maintain at least three to six feet of distance between students.

#MaskUpHoosiers Campaign | Website

St. Joseph County Public Health Ordinance Requires Face Masks

Public Health Order 3-2020, effective through December 31, 2020, requires all St. Joseph County residents to wear face coverings when in public spaces and any business open to customers must have hand sanitizers available (60% alcohol-based) at entrances | Order 3-2020

Indiana Continues in Stage 5 in Back on Track Plan

Governor Eric J. Holcomb has advanced the state to an updated version of the Stage 5 Back On Track Indiana plan and extend the state’s face covering mandate until at least Nov. 14. Executive Order

COVID-19 Response Team Coordination Updates

View current & archival information

Positive Cases | Deaths | Testing Data

As reported by the ISDH on October 22, the county’s (St. Joseph) total number of confirmed cases is 9,145 with 161 deaths (91,986 tests). Statewide, it is 155,246 (2,611,265 tested), with 3,831 deaths. View ISDH county by county map.

CrossCheck Self-Assessment

The county’s online self-assessment tool is now live. Here, residents can go through a series of questions and checks to assess their symptoms. Visit


Update on Employee Testing For Return-to-Work

The Indiana Department of Health is no longer recommending that employers require a negative test result before allowing an employee who has: 1) isolated for 10 days since their symptoms began; 2) seen improvement of symptoms; and 3) been fever-free for 24 hours without use of fever-reducing medication to return to work. A negative test should only be required of employees who wish to return to work before meeting the three criteria listed. An alternate return-to-work plan is recommended for employees who are severely immunocompromised. For more information, see the ISDH Indiana Health Alert Network Notification – July 28, 2020.

State Back on Track Reopening Plan

The roadmap is a five-phase plan developed by the State of Indiana to reopen the economy.
News Release | BackOnTrack Website | 5 Stages | Specific Industry Guidelines

Executive Order 20-26: Business Requirements

We recommend that all employers review Governor Holcomb’s most recent Executive Order, 20-26, thoroughly and carefully. Please note that all Hoosier employers shall develop a plan to implement measures and institute safeguards to ensure a safe environment for their employees, customers, clients and members. The plan must be provided to all employees and staff, as well as posted publicly. At a minimum, the plan must include an employee health screening process, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, hand-washing/hygiene opportunities; and social distancing measures. And all employers must adhere to the health and safety standards established by IOSHA. These requirements and more are found at the top of page 4 of the executive order. Executive Order 20-26

Sample Return to Work Plans

Manufacturing, Logistics & Warehousing Sectors

Office Environments

Sales and Services Operations

Purdue Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) Returning to Work & Recovery Guide
Email Purdue MEP if you have any questions, or if your organization needs additional assistance. To obtain the free guide, please complete the form here.

Miscellaneous Resources

CDC Cleaning & Disinfecting Guide | Download PDF | Website

ISDH Cleaning Guidance for Businesses | PDF

OSHA Guidelines on Preparing Workplaces | Download PDF | More IOSHA Resources/Info

OSHA Guidance for the Construction Workforce  | Website  

OSHA Prevent Worker Exposure | More

10 Steps All Workplaces Can Take to Reduce Risk | More

OSHA Guidance for Retail Workers | More

National Restaurant Association’s Guidance for Restaurants | Website

Brand & Marketing Recovery Guide, by Villing & Company | Download PDF

South Bend Clinic COVID Consulting | Download PDF
Call Dr. Brian Huber at 574.807.4697 |

Barnes & Thornburg Labor & Employment Business Return to Work Checklist | Download PDF

Business Furnishings Post-COVID Workplace Solutions Guide | Download PDF 


PPE Supplies

State PPE Directory | Website

Chamber PPE List

The Chamber has compiled an extensive list of PPE suppliers: face masks/coverings/shields, hand sanitizer/disinfectants, gloves, gowns, acrylic partitions, signage and more. View list

Purdue MEP COVID-19 Critical PPE Manufacturing Supply Chain Initiative | Website

Purdue MEP COVID-19 PPE Manufacturing Design, Specifications & Instructions Portal | Website 


Mishawaka Small Business COVID Relief Program

More at

Other Funding Options

Indiana Small Business Development Center: Relief Options

SBA Update Links

Access the latest links from about funding sources for small businesses.


877.820.0890 or email (For business & industry questions only)

CDC Guidance for Businesses

General Info from the CDC

Prevention Steps for Close Contact (St. Joseph County Department of Health)

State Department of Health Dashboard

Feel ill? Don't have a doctor? Call 211.


Path Forward Series

The U.S. Chamber Foundation, in their Path Forward: Navigating the Return to Work webinar series, looks at the different phases and challenges of how we reopen the economy. Each episode features conversations between the U.S. Chamber president Suzanne Clark and experts with practical recommendations for businesses of all sizes. Episodes air every Monday and Thursday at 3:00 p.m. ET. You can register to attend, however, episodes are also recorded and can be found on their Facebook page and YouTube channel. Learn more

CDC Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting

Download PDF

ISDH Guidance for Businesses

View the Indiana State Department of Health's new (as of April 15) Guidance for Employers During COVID-19

ISDH COVID-19 Cleaning Guidance

View the Indiana State Department of Health's COVID-19 Cleaning Guidance for Businesses

Indiana Unemployment Insurance Employer FAQs

FAQs Link

Indiana Unemployment Insurance Claimant FAQs (How to File)

Download PDF (As of March 26)

Families First Coronavirus Response Act

All employers, with under 500 employees, are required to give their employees this Families First Paid Sick Leave Notice.  Download notice. If you have any question, please reach out to the Chamber's Director of Operations Mari Bishop at 574.400.4001. Download Families First Employee Rights Poster.

Labor & Employment Law

COVID-19 Employer Update: Barnes & Thornburg Webinar (March 23). Access Webinar

Benefits Playbook

View the Gibson COVID-19 Employee Benefits Playbook

Tax Information

With the impending federal $2.2 billion federal relief legislation, RSM shares their Tax Alert on the Legislation.

Preparing and Responding to COVID-19

Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers from the CDC

Workplace Tips - Tips and resources for employers to combat the virus

U.S. Chamber's Business Resources: Preparedness Tips and Guidelines

Corporate Aid Tracker - How businesses are helping nationwide

Survey on Business Impact - Results from the American Chamber of Commerce in China

Resilience in a Box - A toolbox to help businesses put a plan in place (created by the US Chamber Foundation in partnership with the UPS Foundation)

More Resources - Including consolidated, business-specific guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Coronavirus Resource Page

COVID-19 Safety and Health Standards

Key Planning Recommendations for Mass Gatherings

CISA Guidelines on Essential Businesses


Rapid Recovery for a Stronger South Bend - Elkhart Workforce

Employers may apply for up to $100,000, capped at up to $5,000 per employee, via the Employer Training Grant (ETG) – which is an increase from the previous cap of $50,000 per employer. Individual learners may apply for up to $10,000 in scholarship resources available via the Workforce Training Grant (WTG)– which is also an increase from a previous cap of $5,500. Eligible training programs are highlighted on the Next Level Jobs resource page, with eligibility for funding being focused on the following sectors: Advanced Manufacturing, Building & Construction, Health & Life Sciences, IT & Business Services, and Transportation & Logistics. Interested employers may complete the below form or contact South Bend - Elkhart Regional Partnership Director of Education and Workforce, Leighton Johnson via email at for more information. Read news release

Rapid Recovery for a Stronger South Bend – Elkhart Workforce Employer Signup Form

Jobs Progress Online Portal

The City of South Bend and Goodwill Industries of Michiana, along with several other regional partners, like the Chamber, launched the Jobs Progress initiative, aimed at connecting community members facing unemployment or reduced hours with employers who are hiring in the region. View website at

Goodwill Industries of Michiana

View their Facebook page

HR Resources

View HR COVID-19 resources provided by the Society of Human Resource Management

Chamber Jobs Board

Post job openings on the Chamber Jobs Board and view job openings.


Online lifelong learning tool launched by the St. Joseph County Library | Website

View School Reopening Plans

The following are some reopening plans from area school systems. We recommend that you view the schools’ individual websites for more information and updates.

Penn-Harris-Madison School Corporation 
School City of Mishawaka
South Bend Community School Corporation

Career Launch Virtual Tour

While we had to cancel the March 24 and 25 Career Launch event at the Century Center. We now bring it to you virtually! Our area employers are ready to show high school students and adults what entry-level or internship opportunities that have available. Use this page as a great learning exercise for high school students learning from home. Take the tour.

Home Learning

WNIT and WORLD to Broadcast Daily At Home Learning Programs for Grades 6-12. More Info


City of South Bend

City of Mishawaka

St. Joseph County Department of Health


Childcare Resources

Brighter Futures Indiana


1-800 Water Damage of South Bend

First Response

Face MasksCoverings

Running list of suppliers

Insurance Coverage for COVID-19

Plews Shadley Racher & Braun LLP: Why you should be looking at  your insurance coverage 

Mental Health and Well-Being

Counseling/Mental Health Business Category

Signage (COVID-specific)



Guidance Regarding COVID-19 and Travel

List of Canceled/Postponed Events

Restaurants Offering Take Out


South Bend Clinic Hotline 574.307.6870
Beacon Answerline 855.523.2225
Call 211 for those people without access to a health care provider

Hygiene and Social Recommendations

  • Practice social distancing, six feet apart. Note: the CDC is recommending gatherings of no more than 10 people.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water is unavailable, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, preferably with your elbow.
  • Avoid handshakes.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. 
  • If you don't feel well, stay home


Thursday, February 20, 2020

SPOTLIGHT: Pathfinders Advertising Awarded Small Business of the Year

Posted by: SBR Chamber on Thursday, February 20, 2020 at 4:00:00 pm Comments (0)


Celebrating 40 years in business in 2020, it’s only fitting that Pathfinders Advertising receives recognition as Small Business of the Year. Founded by CEO/Owner Stephen Ball, the strategic marketing communications firm has succeeded over the years by delivering the “Pathfinder Way.” This means to build relationships and partnerships, start with strategy, work with urgency, be resourceful, exceed expectations, and eliminate surprises through transparency.

Five years ago, the agency employed 36. Today, the firm employs 67, an 86% increase, while also elevating sales by more than 60% between 2015 and 2019. Many of their team members are seasoned veterans with 15-30 years’ experience in the industry. The firm has been successfully hiring local talent, as well as bringing new talent into the market from Illinois, Michigan, Arizona, California, Ohio, Texas and Tennessee.

In 2016, the agency transformed the dormant Frank’s Wholesale Florist warehouse at 1250 Park Place in Mishawaka into a creative office space, relocating from its Edison Lakes Parkway, Mishawaka, office. The 15,500-square-foot building, which had been vacant for nearly a decade, features an open environment to bolster creativity, collaboration and employee productivity. The new space, which
saw both internal and external renovations, now includes a 2,500-square-foot, full-service photo/video studio to accommodate this growing client requirement. Since its move to the new space four years ago, the firm has continually made property improvements to keep up with their growing staff and capabilities.

Client partners include PayPal (California), EcoShell (California), Kasasa Financial (Texas), Whirlpool (Michigan), Stryker (Michigan), Amway (Michigan), PNC Bank (Pennsylvania), Fifth Third Bank (Ohio) and First Student (Ohio). Core segments of experience include financial products and services, consumer package goods, business-to-business, durables and health care.
In order to move their clients’ business forward, Pathfinders puts innovation first. Their proprietary archetypal branding process helps get to the heart of customer and consumer motivations. Other tools such as consumer benefit road mapping and post-purchase journey exploration help clients streamline their messaging and grow their business year over year.

“As an organization, our goal is to be the first partner our clients think of when a communication challenge or opportunity comes across their desk,” said Vicky Holland, president of Pathfinders Advertising.

Awarded “Best Places to Work” in Indiana two years in a row, Pathfinders supports the community through their engagement with Girls on the Run Michiana, Junior League, La Casa de Amistad, Center for the Homeless, South Bend Museum of Art,
St. Joseph County FOP and WNIT Public Television.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

300by30: Seeking 300K People in SJC
by 2030

Posted by: Jeff Rea, Chamber President and CEO on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 at 11:00:00 am Comments (0)


It’s a pretty simple concept. Communities that don’t grow, die.

Ours suffered through several decades where population growth lagged, and more people left each year than came in. That, of course, didn’t help your business—from a customer or an employee standpoint, as you sought to attract top talent.

The trajectory has changed over the past decade, and St. Joseph County has experienced slow and steady growth. In recent years, that growth has mostly been attributed to more people being born than people moving away or dying. Out-migration continues to be
a concern.

While the overall growth has been positive, it still trails growth numbers in other major Indiana counties, and has been slower than many of the peer communities around the country that we like to compare to. To simplify, even though we’re growing, each day we fall further behind our competition.

We realize this needs to change, and the Chamber has set an ambitious goal of growing St. Joseph County to 300,000 people over the next decade. The Chamber intends to help drive progress toward that goal. 2019 has St. Joseph County population at approximately 271,000.

To achieve this goal, a number of things needs to fall in place. First, we must do all we can to retain the people we have—attract new people. Good paying jobs and key quality of place improvements will contribute to that. We need to convince young people to stay or come back. We need retirees to see the benefits of living here. We need immigrants to see this area as a good option for them. And, we need more students being educated here to stay here. A broad strategy will get us to where we need to be.

The Chamber and Visit South Bend Mishawaka serve as information resources for people seeking to visit or move to our area. In addition, both serve as the voice of the local community, and you’ll see an improved communication effort aimed at better telling our story. After visiting other communities, those communities are not better than ours, but many simply tell a better story.

You’ve told us your chief challenge is attracting top talent. Attracting that talent is a tag-team effort. You introduce prospective hires to an outstanding employment opportunity at your company, and we’ll introduce them to an outstanding community experience. We’ll work closely with your HR team or company leadership to best align efforts and provide you with the appropriate community information to help “seal the deal” when recruiting.

As part of this effort, our army of volunteers will be integrated more. For example, if you are trying to land a young professional to fill that key post, let us know. We’ll send a young professional volunteer your way to help your prospect better understand the community through a peer’s eyes. We are all in this together, and one at a time, as champions, we need to get more people here.

The job situation is still a critical component to attracting new people. Our economic development efforts will play a critical role, and the Chamber will team up with key partners across the region to make sure opportunities exist for those that want to come here. Similarly, our advocacy efforts will ensure key quality of place improvements happen in the region, the tax and business climate is welcoming, schools are improving, and other key elements like roads, trails, trains and planes add to the effort.

This population priority also closely aligns with the work our partners at the South Bend-Elkhart Regional Partnership are doing. One of their five primary regional goals is transforming net domestic migration from -2.13 persons per 1,000 persons annually to a positive net domestic in-migration. In the region, population grew 2.16% between 2010 and 2018. In 2017-2018, that net domestic migration number fell to .8 persons per 1,000. The best way we can help obtain the regional goal is to make sure St. Joseph County is doing its part, and the Chamber will lead that effort.

2020 is an important year, and it's crucial we get off to a good start toward this goal. The 2020 Census should affirm population estimates seen in recent years and help us better project what the future looks like. Please, make sure you, your friends, neighbors and family get counted; a complete count is critical for the area.

Monday, February 3, 2020

Indiana Design Firm Epoch Joins Shive-Hattery

Posted by: Epoch and Shive-Hattery on Monday, February 3, 2020 at 11:00:00 am Comments (0)


Epoch, an 11-person architecture design firm located in South Bend, Indiana, has joined Shive-Hattery. The integration complements design capabilities for both firms and creates a stronger Indiana presence for Shive-Hattery.

Founded in 2012, Epoch will operate as Epoch, a Division of Shive-Hattery. Through the integration, client offerings will be enhanced with the ability to provide a full suite of in-house design services including architecture, engineering, interior design and landscape architecture.

“Both of our organizations value being a trusted part of our communities and have an unwavering focus on earning and keeping long-term relationships with clients,” said Jim Lee, Shive-Hattery President. “Epoch joining Shive-Hattery is an intentional step towards sustainable growth and demonstrates our commitment to providing comprehensive design solutions with the best talent.”

Epoch’s leadership and staff will continue with the firm for a seamless transition with no disruption to client relationships or projects, an important consideration for Epoch founder, Kyle Copelin.

“Creating the right client experience depends on having the right people in place. We have a solid foundation built upon our cultural fit with Shive-Hattery,” added Copelin. “We can now expand our reach to better serve clients and create new opportunities for our designers.”

Shive-Hattery’s addition of Epoch expands on the firm’s recent growth; earlier this year, Lincoln, Nebraska-based studio951 also joined with Shive-Hattery.

For more information about Epoch, visit

Friday, January 3, 2020

Business Fiber Networking: Eliminate Network-Induced Production Slowdowns

Posted by: Interlink Group on Friday, January 3, 2020 at 12:00:00 am Comments (0)

In an effort to inform and educate our members, we are sharing content provided by Interlink Group, a full-service web design, high-speed networking and managed IT services company.

There is a multitude of working parts within your organization that can impede your pace of production, but few are as significant as being limited by network bandwidth. Lapses in productivity occur every time that employees have to wait on a slow upload, download or transfer of files. These network impediments can often be seen as an annoyance, but they combine to form a surprisingly significant decrease in the company-wide workflow. Interlink Group has continually aided businesses across the Northern Indiana region to eliminate this exact issue.

Comprehending the importance of fiber networking can be accomplished by first establishing an understanding of the basics of enterprise networks. At the most basic level, your organization’s network has a speed limit, which is determined by the number of megabits per second (Mbps) that you receive. The oldest and most widely utilized bandwidth option for business customers is a T1 line, which provides anywhere from 1 Mbps to 3 Mbps.

To determine how much bandwidth your business is currently receiving, do a quick Google search for “internet speed test.” Google has integrated an easily accessible tool to see your current upload and download speeds.

Thankfully, in today’s continually accelerating world of technology, the issue of sluggish networks no longer needs to be a necessary evil for doing business. Fiber networks, a recent innovation in
the enterprise IT world, have allowed for hugely increased
network speeds.

Fiber networking service is slowly being offered by IT companies throughout the nation. Interlink Group already specializes in connecting organizations to fiber network rings so that you can reap the rewards of this vastly improved solution. It opens the door to utilizing fiber optic cabling for better speed and stability, rather than older, slower metal cabling. This new form of enterprise networking allows for connections ranging from 1.5 Mbps up to 1 Gigabyte per second (1000 Mbps).

As companies continue to increase their investment in fiber networking, entry pricing has become significantly more affordable for businesses across the nation. For instance, Interlink Group offers a fiber networking service called Metro Ethernet Connectivity, which offers scalable Metro Ethernet options that provide speeds up to 100 Mbps. This connection allows organizations to access fiber networking speeds at a fraction of the price of what it used to cost.

Your business can eliminate the problem of network-induced production slowdowns with this newly accessible option. Fiber networking is the new frontier of our ever-connected world. The massive leap in network capability creates the ability to accomplish more and retain the productivity that is currently lost to slow business networks.

Reprinted with permission by Interlink Group