A Leadership Tri-Cities graduate is calling on his fellow grads to adopt a small business to help them survive the coronavirus outbreak and mandatory business closures.
John Roach, a member of the 17th class, proposed that each of the program’s previous classes regroup to adopt a business that’s struggling to stay open in the face of widespread closures to prevent the spread of the virus that causes the deadly COVID-19 illness.
“Donate money, raise money, help them pivot their business model, help them create alliances that will sustain them during this time,” he proposed, suggesting people connect by phone and through social media to formulate plans.
It is difficult to describe the disruption businesses face in the battle to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Schools are closed. In-person dining is prohibited in restaurants. Events with more than 50 people are prohibited and those with fewer face restrictions to preserve safety buffers between attendees.
Everything from weddings and funerals to paying utility bills has shifted almost overnight. Business that do not comply with the state directives could even be subject to legal consequences, Gov. Jay Inslee’s office said March 17.
Here are some coronavirus-related news for – and about – business.
Loss of job or income
The governor said Washington is open to all possible solutions to help displaced workers, including universal basic income. The state is using its own mechanisms, including unemployment and the new sick and family leave policy to help.
Inslee supports the federal government redefining a pandemic as a disaster to open the door to federal unemployment benefits.
The governor’s office was considering policies to suspend rent and mortgage payments during the crisis on March 17.
The U.S. Senate is expected to take up the Family First Coronavirus Response Act, which passed in the House.
The act guarantees free coronavirus testing, establishes paid leave for all employees, enhanced unemployment insurance, expanded food security initiatives and increased federal Medicaid funding, among other steps.
The Senate also is crafting a stimulus package that reportedly has support from President Donald Trump’s proposal to send direct payments to Americans.
Access to loans
Benton, Franklin and most counties in Washington are eligible for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Go to sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance for information.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures deposits in federally supervised financial institutions, also took steps to allow banks to continue lending to households and businesses during the crisis.
The FDIC notes banks more than doubled their capital and liquidity levels since the Great Recession and are safer and stronger.
“As a result, the agencies are encouraging banks to use that strength to support households and businesses,” it said.
The FDIC previously encouraged institutions it supervises to be flexible about debt, hinting at the recession-era practice of “extend and pretend” in some cases when loans are past due.
In the Tri-Cities and beyond
Before launching into the positive steps people and businesses are taking to manage the crisis, a warning from the state Department of Financial Institutions: Con artists will seek to capitalize on fear. Invest and purchase through trusted resources only.
Additions, deletions or corrections? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Daily and Monthly NewsSign up now!