I thought it would be helpful to try to collect some of the different COVID-19 resources in one place for all of you. I will publish new info as it comes on my website, as well as send out emails (just sign up for my newsletter). You can also follow me on Facebook or Twitter (my direct messages are open!). I'm also active on NextDoor.
Please don't hesitate to email, text or call me if you have questions or need help. The House has adjourned but I am active in our community connecting folks to resources and helping with unemployment claims.
The Governor's Statewide Stay-At-Home Order can be found here. It does include essential business guidelines.
The US House of Representatives has passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT).
Key provisions of this Act:
Ensures that all testing for COVID-19 is covered by private insurance plans, with free coverage of a vaccine within 15 days for COVID-19 when such a vaccine is available.
For eligible small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals, the Act provides federally backed loans under an expanded Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) loan guaranty program. These loans can be used to pay for utilities, rent, mortgage, and payroll. Borrowers are eligible for loan forgiveness for the first 8 weeks of the loan.
The measure provides a stabilization fund for distressed businesses that do not qualify for small business relief. These provisions also include prohibitions on engaging in stock buybacks, and all loans must be used to retain at least 90 percent of the workforce.
For those who lost employment because of the pandemic, the measure provides robust unemployment insurance, including for self-employed, independent contractors, and those with limited work history. The assistance will include an additional $600 per week for each recipient and provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits after state unemployment benefits are no longer available.
U.S. individual taxpayers with a gross income of up to $75,000 ($150,000 joint) are eligible for a full $1,200 ($2,400 joint) rebate, and an additional rebate of $500 per child. Americans will not be required to do anything to receive a rebate check, as the IRS will use a taxpayer’s 2019 tax return or their 2018 return if they have not yet filed. The rebate is reduced by $5 for each $100 of the taxpayer’s income that exceeds $75,000 and completely phases out at $99,000.
If you'd like a full summary (the full Act is over 800 pages long), you can find a great one here.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment has set up a COVID-19 Resource Center on their website. If you have questions, especially about state-level policies, this is a great place to start. Link here.
The CDC also has a COVID-19 Resource page here.
Governor Kelly has signed several Executive Orders related to COVID-19 disaster information and relief. You can find those here.
The State Legislature passed an extension of unemployment benefits from 16 weeks to 26 weeks. If you have lost work this year, or are experiencing a reduction in hours due to the COVID-19 outbreak, you can find unemployment insurance resources here.
The Kansas Department of Education website is a great resource as we transition to distance learning for the remainder of the school year. You can learn more about this from the Task Force Guiding Document on Continuous Learning here.
Wichita area schools (USD259) will be serving "grab and go" lunches to students. Wichita Transit is offering free rides to students (don't forget your school ID) and guardians to and from one of our school meal location sites between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. More info on routes can be found here.
Staying Connected (Internet Resources)
Cox Communications is offering the following through May 15:
A $19.99 offer for new Starter internet customers with a temporary boost up to 50 Mbps download speeds, no annual contract or qualifications to help low income and those impacted from Coronavirus challenges, like seniors and students.
No termination of service, or late fees, because of an inability to pay their bills due to disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Cox Complete Care remote desktop support at no charge to residential customers (great resource for help with online classroom and conferencing services!).
A free month to new customers of Connect2Compete, Cox’s low cost internet product for families with school-aged children who are enrolled in low-income assistance programs ensuring digital equity for students without internet at home. Contact your school to be sure that you've been added to the eligibility list. These applications are being fast tracked.
Families can purchase discounted refurbished computers via PCsForPeople. More information can be found here.
For our small businesses, there are two options that have been announced so far. Kansas has created the Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund to support hospitality businesses and employees. You can find that info here.
Additionally, the federal Small Business Administration approved Kansas' application for COVID-19 disaster relief. You can apply for those funds here.
We will get through this together. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions I have not covered here.