The coronavirus pandemic has spread around the globe, leaving local governments searching for answers and people scrambling for resources. The daily routine of doing business has become complex. A Providence Business News poll indicates that half of the workforce is relegated to working remotely, which is creating a host of issues and challenges for working families.
PBN has assembled a resource guide to assist businesses and the public with addressing challenges presented by the outbreak. This resource guide will continue to evolve, as new resources are discovered and added. Please contact our editorial department if you have a resource to share. Please email information and resources to web editor Chris Bergenheim at: Bergenheim@pbn.com.
PBN COVID-19 Resource Guide
- Rhode Island Department of Health: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has spread in people since December 2019. For information on Rhode Island specific COVID-19 numbers, see RIDOH’s COVID-19 Disease Data webpage. For general questions, email RIDOH at: RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov, or call (401) 222-8022.
- Rhode Island Commerce Corp.
- COVID-19 Business Planning Checklist from Rhode Island Society of Certified Public Accountants
(*Based on FEMA guidance and best practices). Covers everything from coronavirus business planning, continuity planning and dealing with clients and services, suppliers, vendors, contractors to communications and emergency planning for employees: https://www.riscpa.org/news-and-events/165/covid-19-business-planning-checklist/view-news
- Guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 per the U.S. Department of Labor:
Guide offers information about how a COVID-19 outbreak affects the workplace, steps employers can take to reduce risk of exposure, and what to do to protect workers, etc.: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf
- Information on SBA Disaster Loan Assistance
- The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Rhode Island small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on SBA disaster assistance.
- If your business has questions regarding SBA loans and access to capital, call the Small Business Hotline during business hours at (401) 521-HELP or e-mail email@example.com.
- Disability & Unemployment Insurance
- Technology Assistance for Rhode Island Companies: resources include free Microsoft Office products: http://www.doit.ri.gov/covid-19/
- Medical supply assistance from manufacturers: resources include medical supply donations and other supplies: https://rigov.wufoo.com/forms/covid-19-medical-supply-donations/
- The R.I. Department of Labor and Training and R.I. Department of Health have COVID-19 preparedness and response measures to support employers, employees, and nursing homes throughout the Ocean State.
- The DLT has filed an emergency regulation, which expands access to Unemployment Insurance and Temporary Disability Insurance/Temporary Caregiver Insurance programs to serve Rhode Islanders impacted by COVID-19. The emergency regulations will:
- Waive the seven-day waiting period for regular unemployment insurance claims and claims filed under the short-term compensation program (WorkShare).
- Waive the seven-day minimum amount of time that claimants must be out of work to qualify for TDI/TCI benefits.
- Waive the required medical certification for individuals under quarantine (and allow them, instead, to temporarily qualify via self-attestation that they were under quarantine as a result of COVID-19).
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