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Impacted by coronavirus? Here are some resources

From unemployment to mortgage assistance here the resources available to help get by as businesses shutter for weeks.

COLORADO, USA — Thousands of workers across Colorado are now out of work due to the coronavirus, which is rapidly spreading in the state and across the country.

On Monday, Gov. Jared Polis issued a public health order mandating that all restaurants and bars across the state close to indoor seating for eight weeks. Take-out, delivery and drive-thru service will be allowed. He said 240,000 people work in that industry.

RELATED: Gov. Polis: Restaurants, casinos, theaters to close across state

That's on top of closures that were already in place at ski areas and schools and entertainment venues. Some of those workers will still get paid but many of them won't or it is uncertain how long they'll continue to get paid.

> The video above looks at whether Colorado can financially respond to the state's COVID-19 response.

Here are some of the resources available to help people get by over the next few weeks and months.

RELATED: Coronavirus live blog, March 16-22: Dine-in restaurants, gyms, theaters closing across Colorado

Emergency childcare

While many are unable to work, others are still working and are considered "essential" in the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state. They include about 80,000 first responders who have young children, according to Governor Jared Polis.

The childcare will target those workers first.

>>Click/tap here to find out more information about program


The Colorado Dep. of Labor and Employment (CDLE) announced Monday that it will give assistance for workers and employers during the temporary closures.

Workers who have a reduction in hours or wages may file an unemployment claim by clicking here.

To find out if you're eligible or to calculate what your potential benefits might be click/tap here.

CDLE encourages all employers to utilize paid leave and telework options for employees before utilizing temporary layoffs. Employers can also consider alternatives to laying off staff through CDLE’s Work-Share Program. 

RELATED: Coronavirus live blog: Trump wants to send checks to Americans, IRS to defer tax payments

Work-Share Program

The Work-Share Program, for businesses, provides an alternative to laying off employees by allowing them to keep working, but with fewer hours. While an employee is working fewer hours, he or she may be eligible to collect part of his or her regular unemployment benefits.

Here are the requirements according to the CDLE:

  • You must have reduced the normal weekly work hours by at least 10%, but by no more than 40% 
  • The reduction must affect at least two out of all employees in the business, or a minimum of two employees in a certain unit.
  • You must have paid as much in premiums as CDLE paid your former employees in unemployment insurance benefits

> Businesses can click/tap here to learn more about the program and if they're eligible. 

Paid sick leave

Workers in certain industries are eligible for up to four days of paid sick leave when experiencing flu-like symptoms AND awaiting test results for COVID-19, according to the CDLE website.

The covered industries include:

  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Food services
  • Child care
  • Education, including transportation, food service and related work at educational establishments
  • Home health, if working with elderly, disabled, ill or otherwise high-risk individuals and; nursing homes and community living facilities.

> Click/tap here to read FAQs about the program.

Getting school meals while schools are closed

Colorado received a waiver from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture that allows students to take meals away from meal sites to be consumed elsewhere, allowing for social distancing. The goal of these alternative meal services is to provide meals to children while limiting interaction and proximity to other schoolmates and, therefore, decreasing the risk of COVID-19 exposure.

Families are encouraged to check with their local school district for the school meal sites available in their communities. 

Additionally, households that qualify can receive USDA Food packages through USDA Foods household programs

Housing and shelter resources

If you're unsure if you'll be able to continue making rent or mortgage payments, there are a variety of assistance programs, many of which are locally run.

> Click/tap here to find a program in your area. Remember, these places are likely to be experiencing a high number of inquiries, so be patient.

SBA disaster loans for small business

Small Business Administration (SBA)’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to qualifying businesses that have realized substantial economic harm within a designated disaster area. Congress has appropriated low-interest disaster loans to assist small businesses impacted by COVID-19. These small business loans support operational expenses and aid small businesses in meeting their financial obligations.

Governor Jared Polis announced Thursday that Colorado's application for federal disaster area designation has been approved which means the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan application is now open to business owners in all of Colorado’s 64 counties. 

>>Click/tap here to apply for Disaster Loan Assistance

Here are some tips for applicants.

  • Include the disaster in your application - specifically name "COVID-19" or "Coronavirus"
  • Apply online versus by mail
  • Write your password down; neither the system nor any personnel are able to retrieve it
  • Save your work at every prompt. The website may go down periodically due to high volume. If this happens, try to login again at a later time.
  • Do not rush through the application. Check and recheck the filing requirements to ensure that all the needed information is completed prior to submission. The biggest reason for delays in processing is due to missing information. 
  • Be sure to use the same contact information (business name and the name of all owners) that you use on your federal tax returns. Double check that they match.
  • If your tax returns reference other businesses that you own, you must also submit those tax returns in order to avoid processing delay.
  • If more funds are needed, applicants can submit supporting documents and a request for an increase. If less funds are needed, applicants can request a reduction in the loan amount.
  • If the loan request is denied, the applicant will be given up to six months in which to provide new information and submit a written request for reconsideration.

Temporary job or volunteer opportunities

New temporary jobs and volunteer opportunities will be listed on the state’s website.

> Click/tap here for more information.

King Soopers Safeway, Albertsons, and Amazon are both hiring in an effort to keep up with the demand.

RELATED: Colorado grocery stores to hire thousands to meet high demand

There are more than 1,000 immediate openings at Safeway and Albertsons stores in the Denver Division’s five-state region. The Albertsons Safeway Distribution Center in Denver is also hiring commercial truck drivers and warehouse order selectors. 

>>Click/tap here for employment information

The Post Office is hiring about 200 people. The Postal Service is an essential service for purposes of its compliance with state or municipality shelter-in-place orders or other social distancing restrictions.  

Positions are available throughout the state visit usps.com/careers for more information.

Help Colorado Now

Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at helpcoloradonow.org.

Coloradans can donate or volunteer, as well as the Colorado COVID Relief Fund, which has already raised nearly $3 million to help Coloradans impacted by the coronavirus. Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at helpcoloradonow.org.

Free hand sanitizer

Ironton Distillery & Crafthouse will have complimentary travel size bottles of housemade hand sanitizer available for pickup daily at their RiNo location, 3636 Chestnut Pl., from 3 to 7 p.m, starting on March 19.

The distillery team created Keep Clean! hand sanitizer with their high proof distillate direct from the stills in accordance with recent TTB and FDA guidelines.

Travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer can be picked up daily between  3 and 7 p.m. until they run out.

There's a limit of one bottle per customer. Guests can also bring their own containers and get up to four ounces for free. 

Any additional amount will be charged with a portion of the proceeds going to the Food Bank of the Rockies. While it is free, when picking up your bottle, we suggest bringing a monetary or non-perishable food donation to support Food Bank of the Rockies.

Click/tap here to find more information about Ironton Distillery

We're all in this together. If you know of another assistance program or resource that's available let us know so we can help get the word out. We'll get the information added as quickly as we can.

> Click/tap here to send us an email.


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