OSLC Coronavirus Update #1
Monday 30 Mar 2020
Resources and economic relief for individuals and businesses.
Breaking: “Stay at Home Order” for the State of Maryland. What does that mean? https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Gatherings-FOURTH-AMENDED-3.30.20.pdf
Medical updates from the CDC on disinfecting your home, and a link to a Maryland information consolidator on coronavirus:
Recommend OSLC members stay focused on the official government information outlets to the public. Links to information for Maryland residents are provided below. Other surrounding States will have similar official outlets.
The most up to date information covering financial, medical, and other social assistance resources for individuals and businesses is being published at the State level. Expect the details of how the newly signed CARES Act will be implemented in the State of Maryland to appear on official Maryland websites.
Major Disaster Declaration
Maryland has received the Major Disaster Declaration From Federal Administration For COVID-19. This opens the State up to receive Federal assistance form a wide variety of Federal departments, agencies, and programs.
A united coronavirus effort in Maryland. This site includes resources for individuals and businesses. The newly signed CARES Act will affect the kinds of resources that flow to Maryland individuals, and businesses. The situation is fluid and will change each day.
Maryland Division of Unemployment Insurance http://www.labor.maryland.gov/employment/unemployment.shtml
Maryland Coronavirus Information for Businesses: https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-business
Governor Hogan announced new COVID-19 business relief programs on March 23. These resources are available through the:
Maryland Department of Commerce: https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-fund-programs
Maryland Department of Labor http://www.labor.maryland.gov/employment/covidlafund.shtml
SBA The entire state of Maryland has received designation for SBA assistance. Small businesses can apply here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance
Forbes analysis of the newly signed CARES Act: https://www.forbes.com/sites/anthonynitti/2020/03/25/congress-reaches-agreement-on-a-coronavirus-relief-package-tax-aspects-of-the-cares-act/#56d7c85b5f99
Maryland is in need of volunteers with medical experience and those willing to do training in order to volunteer.
Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps https://mdresponds.health.maryland.gov/
Public-Private Utilities and Private Commercial Entities.
Check with your bank, credit union, and other financial institutions you use. Many are beginning to issue guidance on how they will handle loans, credit cards, and other financial matters. There is significant relief in what some of those financial institutions are doing for their customers. I received one this morning from a financial institution I deal with that caters to U.S. Military members and their families. There are some significant financial relief packages being offered. I’m hearing that others are doing similar things.
Check with your utility provider (electricity, gas, water, sewage, Internet, etc.) as many are offering relief packages for their customer. Some are allowing customers to defer bills to a future date. Some are providing free service for a temporary period of time. During these times, every bit helps, but be very careful to read the fine print as some of the offers may have long-term repercussions.
Be Patient The Federal, State, and Local governments are all overloaded. Most are working with skeleton staffs or via teleworking, which is not always as productive as being in the physical office. Websites (like unemployment compensation and SBA applications) will be choked with applicants. Pray a lot, and try to remember, there is another person on the other end probably trying to work your application via teleworking. Put yourself in their shoes—what if your office normally processed 200,000 applications a month, and you received 3.3 million in one week.
Again, be careful on the Internet. There are some evil people out there taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty. I’ve heard from one OSLC member whose family member was snagged in a coronavirus-related scam. It appears the family member lost all savings and possibly the title to the car. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Department of Homeland Security provide official U.S. Government warnings and guidance on COVID-19 related scams and fraud. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Internet Crime Complaint Center mirrors the guidance and provides a method to report a scam or fraud.
A lot of helping hands are going to be needed to get OSLC, Open Arms and our members, families and community through this emergency.
For those of you already engaged in helping others, thank you and please let us know viaDisasterResponse@oslclaurel.org. This will be monitored and will ensure that our efforts are coordinated, and help avoid duplication and shore up the gaps.
If you are interested in volunteering to assist others during this crisis, please let us know at: DisasterResponse@oslclaurel.org.