April 5, 2020Covid-19As swiftly as the coronavirus has spread around the world and into our community, so too have the efforts to respond to this crisis. This newsletter details some of those efforts underway in our community. It also provides specific information on unemployment insurance and resources available to small businesses.
District 20 COVID-19 Resources
My office has compiled a list of resources and services being provided in District 20 (Silver Spring, White Oak, Takoma Park) during this difficult time. Below you will find two documents: one if you need assistance and the other if you can give assistance. Both are regularly updated and are available in English, Spanish, French and Arabic. We are working on an Amharic translation now. These documents were crafted to be shared or printed to post in apartment buildings and public spaces, if you can do so safely. The “services available” document includes phone numbers for people who have limited or no access to the internet. Please do all you can SAFELY do to share these with people who may not have access to email and the internet.
ENGLISHServices – Giving HelpSPANISHServices – Giving HelpFRENCHServices – Giving HelpARABICServices – Giving Help
New Changes to Federal Unemployment Law
On Friday, March 27th, Congress passed and the President signed into law the $2 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill (CARES Act). This includes new changes to unemployment law. The CARES Act:
creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020, to provide payment to self-employed individuals who are unable to work as a direct result of the coronavirus public health emergency.provides an additional $600 per week payment to each recipient of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four months.provides an additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits through December 31, 2020, to help those who remain unemployed after state unemployment benefits are no longer available.
My office has been working closely with the Maryland Department of Labor. If you have any difficulty accessing unemployment benefits, please contact me at email@example.com so we can assist you.
Resources for Small Businesses
Small businesses are the heart and soul of our local economy and a major part of what makes our community special. We need to make sure our small businesses survive this public health crisis. If you need assistance with the state application process, please contact my office. Federal:SBA (Small Business Administration) Injury Disaster Loans: Small businesses in Maryland can now apply for SBA’s working capital loans to help alleviate economic injury caused by the pandemic. Click here to learn more or apply. State:Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund: A $50 million grant fund has been created to support small businesses and nonprofits during the pandemic. The COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund offers working capital to assist small businesses in MD who have seen a disruption in their operations due to COVID-19. Click here to learn more or apply.Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Loan Fund: The $75 million loan fund is available to for-profit businesses in MD with fewer than 50 employees. Businesses can apply for loans of up to $50,000 which can be used to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, and utility expenses. Click here to learn more or apply.For additional information about the impact of COVID-19 on Maryland’s businesses, click here.Local:Montgomery County Public Health Emergency Grant: The Montgomery County Council will soon vote on legislation to create a $20 million program to allow businesses to access grants so they can pay their bills and employee salaries. Click here to learn more.The City of Takoma Park has established a Takoma Park Citywide Small Business Mini-Grant Program to provide emergency assistance to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will issue grants of up to $3,000 per business for their immediate needs. Click here to learn more.YOU!: This flyer lists local restaurants available for carry out and links to local businesses from which you can purchase a gift card now for use later. We will make it through this crisis by working together. The shutdown has brought to our attention inequities that lie just beneath the surface in our society, as too many struggle with food insecurity, economic vulnerability, and lack of basic healthcare. I have been inspired by and grateful for the many actions people are taking to ease that suffering–whether they are healthcare workers, grocery and pharmacy workers, non-profit and school staff, first responders, farmers, and so many others who have turned their lives and work models upside down to make sure everyone is safe, healthy, and fed during this crisis. I am also grateful to everyone who is staying home to stop the spread, helping out as they can, and accepting help when they need it. Everyone is doing their part to make our community strong.Please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org if I can assist you in any way.Stay strong, be safe, and wash your hands. [...]