April 3, 2020
It’s been just under a week since Raleigh and Wake County’s ‘stay-at-home’ order went into effect. Since Monday, our entire state has been under a similar order from Governor Cooper. We are only at the beginning of this crisis, but I am more confident than ever that we will get through this if we all continue to do our part – even when it gets tough – and stay home.
As COVID-19 moves quickly into our community, I wanted to share some resources for you and your family, how you can help, and actions our city is taking to continue government functions.
First, if you or a member of your family is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, our county and state have issued new guidance to ensure those that are most in need are tested. Reach out to your doctor or local health department about a test if you meet one of the two criteria:
- A fever or lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case within the past 14 days; OR
- A fever and lower respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath) and a negative rapid flu test
If you have recently become unemployed, you can apply for benefits at any time – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, online at this link. Additional payments from the federal government will begin this week and will be paid retroactively.
There are several resources for small businesses who are struggling as a result of COVID-19. You can learn more about and apply for a North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan here. The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering a loan to help small businesses keep workers on their payroll for the next several months. You can learn more about that program here. You can apply through your bank beginning today, April 3rd. The Raleigh Chamber of Commerce also has excellent information on the SBA Disaster Assistance Loan program.
There are also several opportunities for grants from large businesses and non-profits. Google, which has a significant footprint in Raleigh, is offering grants and credits to small businesses. You can learn more here. Facebook is offering a similar grant program for small businesses.
Next week, the City Council will hold our April 7 meeting virtually, which we will do for the duration of the State of Emergency. We will continue regular city business as well as discuss our continued response to COVID-19. You can learn more and sign up to speak here.
We are in uncharted territory as a city and as a nation. The next few weeks will bring even more losses and challenges and we need each other now more than ever. Take care of yourselves and check in with friends and family members via phone and social media. Thank you to those who have been on the frontlines of this crisis – our doctors, nurses, and emergency services workers. We are so grateful to you and all of those who are keeping our city safe during this time.