Re: Welcome and updates

From: "Luis Rodriguez luis.rodriguez@PROTECTED [NJLibsGrowBiz]" <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Subject: Re: Welcome and updates
Date: May 13th 2020
this is a bit off tangent to what Cynthia wrote, but one thing I am trying to do is to set up training for my staff so that they can help people fill out unemployment application forms - not the in's and out's of benefits, but basic information so that they can help the people who need to apply.  

One library was passing out unemployment application forms and also mailing completed ones.  I am not sure about the mailing part (if you can get to the Butler Library to drop off a completed form, you will definitely pass a mail box on the way).  However, we do have people without internet access, etc.  Trying to figure how to do this in a way which is safe (and where the form doesn't blow away when we leave it on top of our book drop!)

From: "Cynthia Lambert clambert@PROTECTED [NJLibsGrowBiz]" <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Sent: 5/13/20 11:58 AM
To: NJLibsGrowBiz <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Subject: Re: [NJLibsGrowBiz] Welcome and updates
  From: clambert@PROTECTED  

Keep in mind--short term needs might also include how to take to your staff and help them through this.  How to explain complex things like benefits, unemployment, rehire at fewer hours, etc.  How/When do you even ask your employees to return?

I think many bosses and leaders are being looked to right now for comfort and a road map.  I also think that the bosses/leaders really have no idea what's actually going to be the road map.  It's hard to constantly hold the responsibility for others, while so much trouble is on everyone's door step.  

At the moment, I have no answers to this--but I am working on this, thinking on it.  If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.


From: NJLibsGrowBiz
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 11:35 AM
To: NJLibsGrowBiz
Subject:RE: [NJLibsGrowBiz] Welcome and updates
From:  alevandowski@PROTECTED 

Hello Luis,


Thank you for sharing.  I’m interested to see what everyone else has to say and what they may be working on.


These are great…clear steps for what can be done currently, using the connections and resources available to you.  


One suggestion I have for formulating a strategy is to consider short-term, mid-range, and long-term needs of the business community.  For example, short term may include things like:

·       Reaching existing and new customers through social media and website 

·       Adapting business operations for curbside/delivery

·       Financing for immediate budget gaps; applying for federal and state funding

Mid-term may be the immediate needs of reopening and operating with new restrictions.  Long term would be looking 6-12 months ahead, maybe also beyond the pandemic and moving back into “normal.”  This could also include thinking about how businesses can better plan for disruptions like this and other emergencies.


It may also help to structure conversations with business owners to think in these terms—of what their needs are currently and what they might need in the future.





Andrea Simzak Levandowski (she/her/hers)

Library Consultant for Small Business Development & Technology

New Jersey State Library

P.O. Box 520

Trenton, NJ 08625

(609) 278-2640 x190



From: NJLibsGrowBiz <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Sent: Wednesday, May 13, 2020 10:15 AM
To: NJLibsGrowBiz <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Subject: Re: [NJLibsGrowBiz] Welcome and updates



From:  luis.rodriguez@PROTECTED 

Hi, all.  I am working on identifying the groups to whom we would give priority in terms of programs and services when my library re-opens.  One of the groups is local businesses.  Below I list the kinds of things we would try to do to help their recovery.  I would appreciate any suggestions on other things we could do.


Luis Rodriguez

Butler Public Library


Assist Butler businesses to recover from the negative economic consequences caused by COVID-19

Among the actions the Library will take to achieve this objective are:

  • Do concerted outreach to local businesses to let them know of what the Library would like to do to help them and, of more importance, to ask them what they would they would like the Library to do to help them.
  • Create an email distribution list of Butler businesses in order to send those businesses information on programs designed to assist them and on strategies to help them survive.
  • Offer programs on the above topics.  A particular focus of these programs will be to allow a local business owner to ask questions relevant to his or her particular situation.
  • Identify the major types of businesses in Butler and try to find programs, advisors, online resources and/or reading materials relevant to those businesses.   This chart from Reference USA identifies the major businesses in Butler

  • Develop connections to local, county, state and federal offices which can assist Butler businesses to see if they can answer questions from the Library on behalf of a local business (much like the Director does now with this Connecting Butler contacts).
  • Create an online guide to resources for businesses and share the guide widely.



From: "Andrea Levandowski  alevandowski@PROTECTED [NJLibsGrowBiz]" <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Sent: 5/13/20 9:43 AM
To: NJLibsGrowBiz <NJLibsGrowBiz@PROTECTED>
Subject: [NJLibsGrowBiz] Welcome and updates


  From:  alevandowski@PROTECTED   

Hello all,


I’m so happy to see that the NJLibsGrowBiz list is working!  Thank you for taking the time to let me know that you received my message.


I hope that this list will be a way to easily keep you updated on topics of interest as well as a means of asking for help or sharing advice on business reference with other library staff.


In case you missed it, here are some items to be aware of:


·       Handouts, slides, and recordings from the 2020 NJLibsGrowBiz Virtual Summit are available:

·       The Entrepreneurship & Libraries Conference is accepting proposals for breakout sessions.  The deadline is June 1, 2020:  This Conference will be held November 11-13, 2020 at the new Durham County Library in Durham, NC. 

·       Libraries Lead with Digital Skills, an initiative of the Public Library Association with Funding from, is accepting applications through June 1:  Libraries can receive up to $2,000 to offer programming around Grow with Google resources

·       ReferenceUSA Training for Library Staff - Bill Carlson from InfoGroup will be teaching two ReferenceUSA training sessions for library staff.  These webinars will cover all of the ReferenceUSA modules available in New Jersey along with various features for searching, downloading, and saving results. 

o   May 27, 2020 02:00 PM: 

o   June 3, 2020 10:30 AM: 


Shamelessly stolen from the NJ Chamber of Commerce daily emails:

For information on applying for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, click here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Small Business Survival Guide has a complete listing of all of the coronavirus resources for small businesses.

The N.J. Economic Development Authority is offering assistance programs for New Jersey businesses. Information and applications can be found here.

The IRS posted information on 'stimulus checks' here. 

The state's jobs and hiring portal matches employers and candidates. For employers to participate, click here.

New Jersey's website for information on all of the state's business resources during the pandemic.

New Jersey's website for up-to-date information about COVID-19.

Have Questions About the Status of an Unemployment Claim? - You can send a message to the state Labor Department through its website – Then follow these instructions:

  • On the top of the page, scroll to the right for “Need Help” and unveil the drop-down menu
  • Choose Send an Email
  • Choose Email: Submit a message through the new online form.
  • Follow the prompts

To report a scammer or suspected price gouging, alert the N.J. Division of Consumer Affairs at (973) 504-6240 or at

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Be well and stay safe.





Andrea Simzak Levandowski (she/her/hers)

Library Consultant for Small Business Development & Technology

New Jersey State Library

P.O. Box 520

Trenton, NJ 08625

(609) 278-2640 x190









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