Monday News Rundown

Here you will find a collection of announcements from Monday, March 23, 2020, affecting the Ithaca-Tompkins County community and beyond.

Serving Tompkins County's Homeless Population During COVID-19 Pandemic

ITHACA: During this challenging time we want to assure the community that services continue to be provided to our homeless population.  Tompkins County Department of Social Services (DSS) along with St. John’s Community Services have been working to accommodate the needs of homeless persons in our community while supporting social distancing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Those who typically stay at the homeless shelter are currently being housed in alternate locations. The Code Blue population, which are those who are provided accommodations when it is 32 degrees or colder, are being served at the homeless shelter while ensuring good social distancing practices are implemented. In the event the number of individuals exceeds the number the shelter can accommodate, they too will be housed in alternate locations.

The Friendship Center is limiting their services but is still providing boxed meals for individuals and will accommodate those individuals who do not have alternate options for warmth and other needs.

Outreach staff, consisting of DSS staff and other community partners, are visiting individuals who are experiencing homelessness and have provided information and education on COVID-19 and continue to offer options for sheltering and other services. This outreach will continue, and resources will be encouraged and provided. Tompkins County DSS continues to serve the community mostly over the phone. If individuals are homeless or experiencing a housing crisis, they can call 607- 274-5644 for housing services or 607-274-5345 for cash assistance. If someone does not have access to a phone, they can come to the DSS office (320 West Martin Luther King Jr Street) where they will be met at the door and screened. Once they are cleared to enter, they will be able to call their worker from the lobby phone and will be assisted.

Many community members have inquired about how they can assist the homeless during this time. If you are interested in volunteering your time to help, please contact 607-274-5022.

Elm Street Reopens

ITHACA: Sewage construction on Elm St. between Floral Ave. and Chestnut St. has been completed, and Elm St. has reopened. The street will briefly close again in the future for resurfacing.

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to New York Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

ATLANTA: The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New York small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on March 17, 2020.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of New York; and the contiguous counties of Fairfield and Litchfield in Connecticut; Berkshire in Massachusetts; Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Sussex in New Jersey; Bradford, Erie, McKean, Pike, Potter, Susquehanna, Tioga, Warren and Wayne in Pennsylvania; and Addison, Bennington, Chittendon, Grand Isle and Rutland in Vermont.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist New York small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza.

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID- 19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

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 disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 21, 2020.

For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov.

For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

AccuWeather Global Weather Center — March 23, 2020  —  AccuWeather expert meteorologists provide updates to media working on stories related to Spring snowstorm heading to the Midwest and Northeast.


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