Covid-19 Resources in Arizona
Contributions By: Victor Giordano & JW Rayhons
In March of 2020 we were all hit by the COVID-19 wave, a period of high uncertainty when fear and misinformation took over our personal and professional lives. At that time, we would see articles and news expecting the pandemic to be done in four to six month, but look at where we are… A month away from March, and still seeing similar numbers of COVID-19 infections in some places.
As all negative periods provide a learning experience, the COVID-19 pandemic was not an exception. Throughout the pandemic we have learned how important a supportive system and our ability to adapt are. The industries of tourism, hospitality, entertainment, and those that are more dependent on people’s presence and interactions were heavily impacted causing one of the biggest unemployment and new applications for unemployment assistance rates in the history of the U.S.. Some of the government measures, such as imposed lockdowns, complicated businesses and people even more. Forcing us to find new ways of working, entertaining, studying, etc… While some have been able to adapt and take advantage of certain opportunities, others have not. With many businesses and families struggling, the federal government and state government have intervened in order to provide support for those in need.
Federal or state government programs cover both business and personal purposes. For people who are unable to work due to the COVID-19 complications and were not eligible for unemployment assistance became eligible for unemployment benefits, as well as an increase in the compensation to recipients of unemployment insurance or pandemic unemployment assistance was added as a weekly payment lasting up to four months. (https://des.az.gov/services/employment/unemployment-individual/apply-ui-benefits) For homeowners who are having difficulties to maintain their mortgage payments, the Federal Housing and Finance Agency encourages them to contact their mortgage servicers. (https://housing.az.gov/mortgage-help-homeowners-impacted-coronavirus) (www.fhfa.gov/coronavirus) The rental assistance program was aiming at renters who were having difficulty maintaining rent payments, but the program currently updates its status meaning they start and stop to accept new applications. Therefore, in order to apply for the program it is needed to monitor their website for updates. (https://housing.az.gov/general-public/eviction-prevention-assistance)
Other assistance programs launched by the government were aimed at businesses. These programs, such as the PPP were looking to provide help with businesses that are struggling during the pandemic. The PPP or paycheck protection plan is a forgivable loan if the money is used to keep or rehire employees, pay rent, mortgage, utilities, and/or interest. Other programs, such as economic injury disaster loan, and main street lending program are focused on facilitating small and medium sized businesses to take loans. (https://www.azcommerce.com/covid-19/financial-resources/)
For more information about resources: https://arizonatogether.org/ https://dcs.az.gov/covid19https://azdor.gov/news-events-notices/covid-19-relief-resources
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