There’s no doubt that the spread of coronavirus has already begun to affect global economies. However, the United States and its citizens seem to be hit the hardest. According to some financial projections, the pandemic is expected to cause the unemployment rate to rise as high as 30% in the second quarter of 2020.
So, if you’ve been affected by the pandemic, just know that you’re not alone. Small businesses, individuals and even large corporations are struggling to adjust to the “new normal” that this virus has thrust us into. And, while that might not help your situation, we can help to mitigate the financial stress you might be feeling.
Whether you’ve experienced a job loss or are simply looking for ways to protect your savings amidst the pandemic, here’s where to find financial help as we continue to navigate the uncertainties of the coronavirus crisis.
Financial Resources Offered by Local & National Governments
It’s no secret that the United States is handling this crisis a little differently than most countries. The country is set up in such a way that it gives states a lot of autonomy. This means that during a financial crisis, both the national and local governments are offering different kinds of financial resources.
US Department of Labor
The US Department of Labor is doing its best to try and help businesses and employees get through this hard time. This includes offering special programs and relief benefits through their various departments.
The Wage and Hour Division, for example, is giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members.
The Department of Labor, in general, is a great resource for families and individuals who are looking to make sense of their rights and the potential to receive economic aid during these uncertain times. You can find more information about all of their initiatives here.
Benefits.gov has provided a high-quality round-up of resources and benefits for those who need them. This national government website is designed to ensure every American citizen can access accurate information regarding the acquisition or status of economic aid.
On this website, you can search for government benefits and financial aid related to unemployment assistance, healthcare, and food and nutrition. Or, you can use their handy Benefit Finder tool to find additional benefits you may be eligible for.
The Benefits Finder is the best tool to use in a time like this. You will be prompted to take a survey about your economic situation, including questions about your job and family, and the site will bring up all of the benefits you qualify for receiving.
According to the state where you live, the quiz will even tell you which state-level benefits programs you’re eligible for.
Community Programs Offering Financial Help
You don’t always have to turn towards the government for help during trying times. A lot of local community-driven programs are offering financial aid to citizens. Or, they’re offering to provide a service or product that can help alleviate the financial strain some might be experiencing.
Food Programs During Coronavirus
The national government has said that current food stamp (SNAP) recipients may receive supplemental funding during the coronavirus crisis. As well, you’ll find that nearly every school district in the country is offering to serve meals to kids who live in low-income households.
Assistance from Banks
Most major banks are urging their customers to contact them directly if they need financial assistance. Bank of America, Capital One, Chase and Citi Bank are amongst the financial institutions offering this kind of assistance. On top of this, most are waiving service fees and donating money to help communities get through the financial crisis.
Financial Assistance for Small Businesses
If you’re the owner of a small business, this time might feel especially tough for you. Depending on the state you live in, the U.S. Small Business Administration is offering up to $2 million in low-interest disaster loans for small businesses that have been or will be impacted by COVID-19. You can also find more helpful tools here in Finimpact's guide in helping small businesses combat COVID-19.
Financial Aid for Service Workers
Most service workers are working the front lines to keep the world functioning as the rest of us stay at home. Restaurant workers, bartenders and other essential workers who might have been sent home without pay, however, can still receive assistance.
One Fair Wage, for example, is offering cash assistance to service workers and tipped workers. And, both Restaurants Care and Children of Restaurant Employees are offering funds to workers who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who are quarantined.
Saving Cash During the Coronavirus Crisis
Nearly every single business and individual is struggling to get their finances in order as we prepare to battle the inevitable economic downturn that will follow as the pandemic begins to pass.
This means that now, more than ever is a great time to start thinking about how you’re going to save cash during the coronavirus crisis. As you stay at home, you’re likely not spending as much money as you normally do. And, that’s great!
But, we can also offer assistance. The Cheese team has been working from home since March, and we’ve saved our lunch budget. We donate this budget to 20 students who need it more than us. We are also working with the SoCal Tech Community to raise money on gofundme and donate protective gear to SoCal hospitals to support healthcare workers on the front lines. What’s more, the Cheese debit card will help you save more: you’ll enjoy Cheese Debit Card with zero banking fees, and get cashback and saving bonus whenever you spend and save. It’s an easy way to manage your money during the pandemic. In the future, every time you swipe the Cheese Debit Card, we will donate 5 cents to a pool to help people in need. Together, we’ll help more and earn more. And together, we’ll be stronger. Interested in learning more? Sign up today.