I hope this letter finds you and your family well during this time of crisis. Over the past few weeks, we have seen local, state and federal officials enacting precautionary measures to limit the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.
I support the work being done locally, and across the nation, to keep our country safe. However, as a Mountaineer and North Carolinian, I feel and understand the same anxiousness you likely do from this pandemic.
We have seen App State move to an online platform while urging students to remain off-campus, shelter-in-place orders issued, our economy stall, and other factors that have put us all on edge.
As time progresses, I am concerned about the physical and financial stability of our communities. This virus not only takes a physical toll, but an economic one through shorter hours and lower wages, increasing unemployment and mass layoffs, all resulting in a loss of stability.
That being said, I want you to be aware of some resources you can utilize in the weeks and months ahead:
Small business owners struggling during this pandemic can apply for Economic Disaster Loans through the Small Business Administration.
The SBA offers low-interest loans to eligible businesses, renters and homeowners who reside in regions affected by a declared disaster, like North Carolina.
If you are at risk of unemployment or have been laid off, the North Carolina Division of Employment Security assists people applying for unemployment benefits.
Some qualifications need to be met to receive benefits; however, Governor Roy Cooper waived several program restrictions through Executive Order 118, making applying for and receiving benefits easier.
The COVID-19 Student Relief Fund, launched by the Scholly program, offers $200 in cash assistance to students during this crisis. The fund aims to assist students with everyday expenses and encourages students, graduates or parents of students to apply.
These programs, and countless others, can bring stability to students and their families. It is important for us to remain proactive and reactive as time progresses while looking out for one another.
As a community, we can tackle any problem in our way and I want to ensure our families, neighborhoods, and university continue to prosper.
On March 27, Cooper issued Executive Order 121 imposing a stay at home order for the entire state. It is enforced by law and goes into effect March 30 for 30 days.
These measures are not meant to disrupt our way of life, but implement further restrictions to slow the spread of COVID-19. This order is long overdue, but a step in the right direction.
We will unfortunately lose people, but as the state’s case count approaches 2,000, we must try to save every North Carolinian from this virus. We can rebuild our local economy, but we cannot bring back those lost due to government inaction.
If you have any personal questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local leaders, appropriate agencies, or myself and we will try and assist you to the best of our ability. If you don’t know where to turn for assistance, I would be more than willing to see which resources would best fit your needs. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
This crisis does not define us and we will come out of it stronger than ever before.