Economic relief to help slow Novel Coronavirus pandemic
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Please join me in telling our state and federal representatives that our government needs to be doing more to help get us through this novel coronavirus outbreak.
We all know that response to this outbreak has been botched since the beginning, which is how we got where we are, and that we have a president who is still calling for more cuts to the CDC. We have a woefully un- or under insured population, and many of us are living paycheck to paycheck. As the world struggles to get through this pandemic, our government needs to have our backs.
Aside from providing more tests, more medicine, more respirators, and better healthcare in general, we need financial support right now. We live in a country, particularly those of us in NY, where two (or more) incomes are required just to get by. We are told to stay home if we are sick, but for many of us that isn't a possibility. When schools, or sometimes whole districts, close and daycare options aren't available, what are working parents supposed to do? When people stop eating out, how are restaurant employees supposed to put food on their own tables?
I am a small business owner. My company is located in Westchester and many of our customers are located in New Rochelle, which is now a "containment zone" under watch by the National Guard. My company has already taken a financial hit, and I think we all know that we're still in the early stages of this. Of course I am telling my employees to stay home if they are sick and of course I will continue to pay them for as long as I can, but I can't say for sure how long that will be. If we have no money coming in it's only a matter of time before the well runs dry. Unless you work for a huge corporation that's sitting on billions, your company is in the same boat.
A month or two of financial security will allow the barista at your local coffee shop, the server at your favorite diner, and the instructor at your kids' martial arts school to stay home when they are sick. This will result in fewer people being exposed, fewer tests being required, and less treatment and strain on our medical resources being necessary. The spread of this virus will slow significantly, and we can all get back to our normal lives that much sooner.
If the government does not step in, many people will continue to come to work sick and the virus will spread faster. Eventually, many businesses will be forced to close their doors, and many people will fall behind on their rent/mortgage and other bills. The government will eventually be forced to step in and provide some relief, but at that point much of the damage will be done.
NYC already has a plan in place to offer businesses with fewer than 100 employees and a decrease in sales of up to 25% or more an interest free loan up to $75,000 to help mitigate losses in profit. The City is also offering eligible small businesses with fewer than five employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees.
Even these measures will do nothing to help people working for tips.
Right above NYC in Westchester, where my business is located and where there are by far the highest number of confirmed cases in the state, there's nothing.
Please join me in urging our representatives to act now before it's too late.
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