Message from our ISI Excecutive Committee

A Message from the ISI Executive Committee

Our nation is facing an unprecedented crisis, one that none of us have faced in our lifetimes. We hope and pray that you and your families are safe and healthy during this extremely trying time. We can only hope that this situation brings us together as a nation and as an industry.

As arena managers, owners and operators, we will continue to face many challenges in the coming days, weeks and months ahead. While some of us may have weathered the storm of September 11, the financial crisis of 2007-08, Superstorm Sandy (in the New York/New Jersey Metro Area), the California wildfires and/or other catastrophic events, none most likely will be comparable to what we are up against now.

The Covid-19 crisis will test us, our industry and our nation in ways we never imagined possible. We will only prevail by thinking ahead, working collectively and operating differently. So what can we do now to navigate this catastrophe and better prepare for impending obstacles?

Here are some suggestions:

Continue to communicate with your customers — Let them know that you are there and care. Communicate via email, social media and on your website.

Plan and communicate your refund and credit policy — As difficult as it may be for us as small business owners, things will be tougher for those who have lost or will lose their jobs and have no income. Many of us have had to cancel or postpone programs. Reassure your customers that they can still participate in a program down the road when the situation improves. Regularly communicate your plans to your customers.

Pay it forward — If you have had to cancel children’s birthday parties occurring in the days and months ahead, reach out to all of the children who will now be unable to celebrate with their friends at your rink. Call them on the phone and wish them a happy birthday or send them a small gift in the mail. Take this a step further and contact all of the children who had parties at your arena last year and wish them a happy birthday as well. These thoughtful actions will go a long way toward showing customers that you truly care.

Think ahead to when your arena will be open again — People will have concerns about being in groups and that facilities are clean. First impressions go a long way. Wegman’s super market in New Jersey has greeters at the door who hand customers gloves and disinfect their shopping carts. What can you do at your arena when you reopen (or if you are still open) to reassure customers that they are safe and that you have their best interests in mind? When your reopen, will you need to limit the number of people who skate, and do you need to plan for that?

If your arena is not under lockdown (shelter-in-place) — Find out if a small crew of workers can perform annual maintenance now instead of in the summer. You may be able to get great deals — and help support our vendors by buying netting, dasher boards, ice paint and rental skates now. Yes, this may be challenging with little or no revenue, but you may be able to secure low-interest loans from the government to buy many of these items

If your arena operates summer camps — How are you going to reassure customers that everyone is safe? Will you need to change program formats or how camps are operated?

Contact other rinks in your area — Work together to address challenges. Think of various ways you can help each other, such as sharing staff, maintenance projects and extra supplies.

Think out-of-the-box to maintain customers and engage employees — Can you have your staff instruct online classes for customers — workouts and dryland exercise programs for skaters and hockey players? Perhaps you can offer online education to your staff, such as ISI University, Microsoft Office and/or motivational classes? And how about working with your ice rental, learn-to-skate and other patrons to defer payments, host fundraisers or develop other creative ways to maintain them as customers.

These are going to be difficult times, but we will be stronger and better from this experience. We can mitigate some of the hurdles by thinking ahead, planning and addressing challenges together.

ISI is here for you, and we have many member resources to help you grow and manage your business better and more efficiently. There are numerous professionals on our board and in the ISI office who can help you with the operation of your arena and your business. We will get through this, with vision and a spirit of cooperation. No doubt, it will not be easy, but it can be done.

March 25, 2020

 

ISI Statement and Resources Regarding COVID-19

ISI is carefully monitoring the evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and taking necessary measures to help safeguard our skaters and families.

In communications to our member rinks last week, we provided a list of the latest EPA-approved disinfectants that have proved successful in fighting harder-to-kill pathogens such as norovirus and Ebola.

Please consult the experts in learning about prevention, preparation and protection. In addition to the well-published medical advice, we support the following recommendations to reduce the spread of the virus:

  • Stay home if you are sick
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly
  • Avoid handshakes and hugs
  • Monitor the WHO and CDC websites for travel advisories and follow their recommendation

We encourage all members to be respectful of individual or individual organizational decisions regarding participation. We strongly recommend that you follow the advice and direction of your local health department and follow their guidance.

The following websites provide helpful resources on preventive measures and how to talk to your children about the situation:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 

American Red Cross

National Association of School Psychologists (“Talking to Children About COVID-19”)

We will continue to assess the coronavirus situation closely and make any necessary plans as it relates to our upcoming national competitions. Updates will be posted on our website. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate this ever-changing health outbreak.

March 13, 2020

Resources for Administrative Members during the COVID-19 Pandemic

COVID-19 Pandemic Preparedness & Response Plan For Reopening Ice Facilities (April 28, 2020)

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Guidelines Announced for Opening Up America Again(April 17, 2020)

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Stimulus Overview and Resource InformationInformation courtesy of National Council of Youth Sports

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SBA Disaster Loan Program – Economic Disaster Injury Loan (EDIL) – This program is in place. Borrower’s work directly with the SBA (not the banks) through their website https://disasterloan.sba.gov/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html Over the last day, improvements were made to the website and the required documentation has been streamlined. Terms and amount are determined by the SBA officer based on ability to repay

  • Up to 30 year amortization
  • Interest rates of 3.75% Fixed
  • Personal guaranty
  • Collateral if available

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) includes a section for a new SBA loan program titled Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). PPP is administered through existing SBA Preferred Lenders. Although many of the guidelines are pending, below is a summary of key terms (as they stand today):

Paycheck Protection Program    $349B Authorized through June 30th

  • These are 7A Loans with a 100% guaranty to the Bank
  • Unsecured
  • No Personal Guaranty
  • No Guaranty Fee paid by Borrower
  • Bank pays no servicing fee to SBA
  • Use 7A Application Forms

Maximum Loan Amount & Terms

  • 2.5 Times the Borrower’s average monthly payroll over the last 12 months (may exclude individual comp>$100k)
  • Some adjustments to calculation for highly seasonal businesses and start ups
  • Payment deferral for first 12 months
  • Maximum term 10 Years

Interest Rates – Same as 7A

  • P+2.75 for maturities greater than 7 Years
  • P+2.25 for maturities less than 7 Years

Use of Proceeds

  • Any 7A approved use of proceeds
  • However only the amounts paid for the following are eligible for Debt Forgiveness
    • Payroll  (may exclude comp for individual over $100K)
    • Rent
    • Mortgage Interest
    • Utilities

Debt Forgiveness

  • The total amount of proceeds used for Payroll, Rent, Mortgage Interest & Utilities paid in the 8 weeks after loan origination.
  • Forgiveness amount is reduced based on number of FTE reduced, or reductions in comp for individual more than 25%, during that period
  • No reduction in forgiveness for termination or pay cut prior to 4-1-20 if reversed before 6-30-20
  • Borrower submits certified report to lender – lender reports online to SBA – payment is processed to lender within 5 days

 Borrower Requirements

  • Must meet SBA definition of small business (generally under 500 employees but some variation by NAICS codes) Non-Profits are also eligible.
  • Borrower must certify:
    • These funds are necessary to maintain on-going operations
    • Proceeds will be used to pay Payroll, Rent, Mortgage Interest, Utilities
    • Intent to maintain certain number of FTE through June 30 based on the number used to determine maximum loan amount
    • Cannot have both an SBA Disaster Loan (done after 3-31-20) and PPP Loan – must choose one or the other

Information courtesy of Texas Security Bank

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Some suggestions on things you might be doing to minimize the effect on your company and employees:

  1. Review your insurance policies for Business Interruption riders/clauses. Speak with your agent regarding your coverage
  2. Consider applying for SBA Disaster Assistance Loan. Apply online at www.SBA.gov/disaster.  These are low interest, long term repayment loans, with no payments for the first year, that can help businesses that have been affected by Coronavirus and the resulting economic actions. These loans are done directly with the SBA and not through the bank.
  3. We know that this will take a toll on your employees. We suggest that you go to www.DOL.gov/Coronavirus . The Department of Labor is working with state unemployment insurance programs to help pay benefits where:
    1. An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19 preventing employees from coming to work
    2. An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over
    3. An individual leaves employment due to risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member
  4. Additional resources for displaced employees can be found at www.careeronestop.com

Information courtesy of Texas Security Bank.

SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to the Coronavirus

• The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Upon a request received from a state’s or territory’s Governor, SBA will issue under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration.

• Any such Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance declaration issued by the SBA makes loans available to small businesses and private, non-profit organizations in designated areas of a state or territory to help alleviate economic injury caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

• SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will coordinate with the state’s or territory’s Governor to submit the request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance.

• Once a declaration is made for designated areas within a state, the information on the application process for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance will be made available to all affected communities as well as updated on our website: SBA.gov/disaster.

• SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

• These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

• SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

• SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are just one piece of the expanded focus of the federal government’s coordinated response, and the SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible.

• For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center.  Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

• Visit SBA.gov/disaster for more information.

Resources for Professional Members during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Resources to Help You Stay Connected to Your Skaters

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Disaster Unemployment Assistance for Professional Coaches

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our daily lives, we want to assure you that the well-being of our members is top of mind.

We realize that these are frightening and challenging times for you as a professional skating coach, and we are empathetic to your concerns.

If you are facing unemployment or a lapse in employment, the following resources may be available to you:

Due to the expected influx of people filing for unemployment, we recommend applying for benefits as soon as possible.

Note: We strongly encourage you to apply with YOUR state government to see if you are eligible for  unemployment benefits. The experts are encouraging those that are unemployed due to the corona virus to start at the state level. Make sure the website you visit to ends in  “.gov”. 

Healthcare Resources

You may also have healthcare concerns, and the following resources should prove helpful:

For more information, visit Benefits.Gov.

Other Resources