COVID-19 Resources

I have slowed down campaigning to monitor this crisis and be more engaged with my kids while their mom goes to work on the front lines of this epidemic.  I'm also doing what I can to help, including passing on masks I had purchased back in January to front line workers, and posting financial resources to help those looking for assistance. Finally, I continue to stay engaged every day advocating for steps to head off a second wave economic crisis that will be following on the heels of the current health crisis. 

FINANCIAL Resources

 

Please visit my Facebook page for periodic posts about financial resources

Shifting to Post-COVID Community Conversations

I have shifted my energy from monitoring and disseminating Covid Resources to engaging Portlanders in Community Conversations about what kind of post-COVID world we want to create here in Portland. Please join us! 

 

Several resources promised by the Federal government turned out to be other than what was promised. I do not want to participate in passing on false information. The following resources may not still be available. Please see resource links listed in the sidebar. You can now find my initial COVID-19 Statement at the bottom of this page. 

 

Resources for Individuals 

 

Family and Medical Leave Act expanded to provide relief to those affected by COVID-19

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 2, 2020 and expires December 31, 2020, responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing additional assistance in the areas of COVID-19 testing, sick leave, food assistance, and more. We’ve compiled key details of FFCRA that we believe you need to know.

 

  • Requires private insurance plans to provide free COVID-19 testing

  • Requires employers to provide emergency paid sick leave to workers affected by COVID-19 and expands family and medical leave.

  • Offers increased funding for state unemployment insurance, food stamps and nutritional programs.

  • Employees are eligible for up to two weeks of sick leave (full pay for self, 2/3 pay for family care) for illness, quarantine or school closures.

  • Employees are eligible for up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave for school closures (10 days unpaid and then up to 10 weeks at 2/3 pay).

 

FMLA expansion & Emergency paid sick leave covers:

  • Employers with fewer than 500 employees

  • Employees who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days (some exclusions)

  • Employees who must care for children under the age of 18 in the event of school and place-of-care closures or if their care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency with respect to COVID-19.

 

TAXES

The United States Treasury announced that individuals and corporations can delay their 2019 tax payments for 90 days due to the coronavirus pandemic. Some notes:

  • Individuals: Individuals can defer up to $1 million in payments for 90 days until July 15th. Your tax return is still due April 15th but an automatic extension until October 15th is still available. You will still need to make 2020 estimated tax payments as scheduled.

  • C-Corporations: C-Corporations can defer up to $10 million in payments for 90 days until July 15th. Your tax return is still due April 15th but an automatic extension until October 15th is still available. You will still need to make 2020 estimated tax payments as scheduled

 

RESOURCES FOR SMALL BUSINESS (including self-employed)

Your small business (even if you're an independent contractor or self-employed) is likely eligible for a $10,000 grant.

 

ALSO:

UPDATE: The Governor just released Executive Order 20-11, a moratorium on commercial evictions during the current state of emergency. It parallels her earlier order prohibiting residential evictions.

 

UPDATE: SBA has COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Grants of $10,000 for small businesses (even if you're an independent contractor or self-employed). Fill out the form here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance (Here's a helpful 13 minute video on filling out the form: https://vimeo.com/402753002)

Jas' original COVID-19 Statement

Financial Assistance Opportunities

Unemployment has been expanded by the passage of the CARES Act in Congress on March 27th. There is information on a combined SBA loan/grant program in the second update below. If you are facing unemployment or currently laid off, unemployment benefits have been expanded and now cover some people who are not usually eligable. 

 

Check out this flowchart to help you navigate the unemployment process. 

 

The City's Response and What More Can Be Done

Portlanders are a caring people who know how to pull together in crisis. Even as we heeded calls to step away from each other for social distancing, many of us were also stepping up to make or donate masks or pick up food for housemates and neighbors. We will get through this crisis together. 

 

While the city could have been more effective in getting the word out through our neighborhood associations and NET program, it was right to call for a moratorium on evictions, create grants to help small businesses, and create a safe place with services for the houseless. ​At the same time, the city should not abandon homeowners who are facing mortgage payments with less income.  At a minimum, we must make sure all Portlanders are able to stay in their homes, and have access to essential services, and we must continue to provide services and health care for our houseless neighbors.

 

The most recent report is that the curve is leveling off, and there is hope it will begin to go down in the next couple weeks. Continue practicing social distancing! Do not relax your guard at this time. It's not over. For as long as it continues, and for several months during the initial econmic recovery after the Home Stay is lifted, I believe city and state governments should ensure:

 

  • No evictions

  • No foreclosures of residential OR commercial properties

  • Extended paid sick leave

  • No utility shut-offs, including phone and internet

  • Grant and loan programs to assist local small businesses

  • Rent and mortgage assistance

 

UPDATE: The Governor just released Executive Order 20-11, a moratorium on commercial evictions during the current state of emergency. It parallels her earlier order prohibiting residential evictions.

 

UPDATE: SBA has COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Grants of $10,000 for small businesses (even if you're an independent contractor or self-employed). Fill out the form here: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance (Here's a helpful 13 minute video on filling out the form: https://vimeo.com/402753002)

 

Confronting the Coming Economic Crisis NOW

The current health crisis is already precipitating a potentially more dangerous economic crisis. If we do not confront this crisis head-on with bold ideas and bold measures, that 2nd wave crisis could generate yet a 3rd crisis for democracy. We must prepare now for all three crises by staying steadfast in our approach to mitigating the current health crisis and being proactive in moving quickly to restore and strengthen our economy for everyday Portlanders. Additionally, we must also strengthen our demoracy by expanding our city council, electing commissioners by districts to ensure all Portlanders are fairly represented in city affairs and employ a voting reforms to ensure our commissioners are elected by the majority of voters.  [More info

 

The economic fallout from this crisis will be significant. Unless we rise to meet this challenge head-on, the magnitude of the financial crisis could be with us much longer. Tenants, small businesses and homeowners will all need assistance through this time. We must continue the programs above for several months into the recovery, and there is more we can do.

 

We city should ask the Governor to reconvene the legislature as soon as practicable to pass emergency measures to shore up our safety nets, including additional funds and expanded coverage by Oregon Health Authority, and enabling legislation to allow Portland and other Oregon cities to establish public banks to facilitate better use of local resources in address the coming financial crisis.  

 

Finally, even before this crisis hit, I have been calling for greater local food resilience. Public health officials have expressed concern privately about the potential impact of this global pandemic on food prices. Let's start planning now to strengthen our local food systems and create true local food resilience.  And if you're looking for something to do during these long days at home, I encourage you to plant a garden. :-)

Building a more Resilient Portland that works for ALL of Us.

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3321 SE 20th Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97202

 

(971) 255-3730

team@Portland2020Vision.org

Paid for by Portland 2020 Vision, supporting James "Jas" Davis for Portland City Council, Position 2

Top five contributors: City of Portland Open and Accountable Elections.