Some employees still drive to work and worry if they are safe. Others are working from home – perhaps for the first time. Many aren’t working at all as a result of COVID-19 layoffs. What we all have in common is a need to be informed, stay safe and take care of our households.
To help navigate these uncertain times, we’ve created this online toolkit with helpful tips and links to resources you may need. Use this guide to get financial relief, reduce expenses, connect with local support and find updated wellness information. Websites may be updated as information changes so check back often.
If you have been furloughed, laid off or had work hours significantly reduced because of COVID-19, the first step is to apply for unemployment benefits.
The Department of Labor has adjusted requirements to meet the growing need of people affected by the pandemic including those whose workplaces have closed temporarily. Learn more from the United States Department of Labor here.
For Missouri Department of Labor’s information and online unemployment application visit labor.mo.gov/coronavirus. This landing page also includes information about the Coronovirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), federal legislation, workers' compensation and discrimination. If you are ready to start applying, go directly to the application page here.
The Missouri DOL encourages self-employed gig workers and independent contractors to apply for unemployment assistance under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, federally funded aid in response to COVID-19. To apply, workers first must be determined ineligible for regular unemployment. Find detailed information in this article on the Missouri DOL website.
Qualified workers under either unemployment program are eligible also for the $600 per week federal supplement under the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program.
People who have exhausted other benefit options might find relief through the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program. Find more information in this DOL guide.
If you need to know more about continuation of health coverage while laid off through COBRA, read this USA.gov unemployment guide.
Whether you qualify for unemployment or not, most people are receiving an Economic Impact Payment of $1,200 from the federal government. It may be more for families with young children. If you have not received a check or direct deposit, find out if you qualify and track your payment via the Internal Revenue Service by clicking here.
EIP funds are typically deposited into bank accounts used for tax refunds. People who generally don’t file tax returns can get help with their payments here.
Learn more about the EIP program at irs.gov/coronavirus, a special IRS information section.
Those unable to work because of self-quarantine, coronavirus illness, caring for someone with the virus or caring for a child may be eligible for up to two weeks paid sick leave or family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act signed into law March 18. This guide by the Department of Labor answers many questions about eligibility. Another helpful guide was created by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
Some local communities, industries or businesses have launched fundraisers or grant programs to benefit displaced workers and workers whose hours have been reduced. For instance, locally, Coffee Ethic in Springfield is dedicating a portion of delivery sales and tips to the company’s baristas. Do a local or national search to see if you qualify for any programs. One site listing grants for individuals is grantspace.org. Although several programs listed here are location-specific, others apply nationwide including the Bartender Emergency Assistance Program, and for gig workers, the Freelancers Relief Fund.
Look for temporary work or a new job. Grocery, warehouse and essential businesses need help stocking, cashiering or delivery. There are also jobs you can do from home. Find a list of jobs and companies that are hiring through Missouri One Start, a Missouri Department of Economic Development initiative found at missourionestart.com/now-hiring.
A local resource for job seekers is the Missouri Job Center. Although currently closed to visitors, staff are available to answer calls and emails.
Another good website with resources for jobseekers is jobs.mo.gov. The site includes links to additional help. There is a daily webinar for workers on temporary layoff.
Turn your talent into a money-making side gig. One laid-off bartender is crocheting winter scarves she can sell. An artistic barista is making scrapbooks. A furloughed office assistant turned her cooking skills into a temporary income source.
Look through all your bills to explore what might be temporarily frozen or reduced – for instance, a membership to massage, health or fitness programs. Can you reduce your cable or phone plan, or temporarily cancel game or music streaming services? Increasing your home or car insurance deductible may also trim costs. Check with your auto insurer before changing your plan because some are temporarily lowering premiums because people are driving less.
It may also be helpful to find a 0% interest balance transfer credit card. Although you will still have to make payments, 100% will go toward principal for a specified period of time. Be sure to read the fine print.
The U.S. Tax Relief program extended the tax deadline from April 15 to July 15. Missouri’s filing deadline was likewise extended – good news for anyone who expects to owe money. If you expect a tax refund, don’t wait! File now to get funds while you need them most.
Likewise, an extension was issued on renewing car tags and driver’s licenses. The Missouri Department of Revenue released information about extensions on its website here.
Contact your utility company to request a suspension of disconnection if you are unable to pay your bills. If you qualify, you can also request bill paying assistance through the Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation (OACAC)’s Low Income Energy Assistance Program.
If you have federal student loans, take advantage of the CARES Act stipulation that payments automatically pause for six months, ending Sept. 30. Learn more about that program at studentaid.gov.
In addition, those with federally-backed mortgages can request a hardship forbearance, delaying payments for up to 180 days. The CARES Act also stipulates your loan servicer cannot foreclose on you for 60 days. The Federal Housing Administration issued an online guide that answers many questions.
If your mortgage is not federally backed, contact your loan servicer as soon as possible to discuss forbearance options.
The CARES Act provides more guidance about relief from bills including medical, telephone and energy in this usa.gov document.
Find out if you might qualify for food stamps through Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) in this guide by the Office of Family Assistance.
There are many resources to keep you informed about the latest virus updates and government stay-at-home orders at the local, state and national levels. The following list includes links to websites that are frequently updated.
Stay up to date on Missouri’s responses to COVID-19 on the governor’s website.
Greene County’s latest stay-at-home order can be found and COVID-19 response can be found here.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has a robust information page about COVID-19, safe practices and updated infection numbers.
To find the latest information from the federal government, with links to many resources, visit this roundup.
Check this CDC page to get the latest updates on news and health information.
This Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Coronavirus page features links to updated news, information for patients and healthcare workers, state and local governments, economic support and data resources.
Not sure if what you're reading on the internet or hearing from friends is true or not? FEMA developed this page to help rumor control.
Learn more about the Coronavirus and what steps you can take to stay healthy. We found these sites to be informative and practical.
This guide by the University of Missouri Extension offers information about the virus with links to additional resources.
This Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guide is a good place to learn about COVID-19, symptoms of the virus and updated information about the virus.
Get the latest information about resources you may need through the Missouri Department of Social Services in this online guide.
The Administration for Community Living provides a wealth of information that older adults and people with disabilities need to know about COVID-19, in addition to links leading to guides and programs. Visit acl.gov/COVID-19.
To cope with mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, find guidance through the Missouri Department of Mental Health and this local guide from Community Partnership of the Ozarks. Learn more about the signs to watch for in yourself and others and what to do if you need help in this webcast featuring C.J. Davis with Burrell Behavioral Health.
Local organizations and community members have created helpful guides and resource pages for supporting businesses, employees, entrepreneurs and community members.
Find a good variety of personal, job, finance and family assistance through this guide created by Community Partnership. In addition to helpful resource links, how-to videos can help with virtual tasks and communication. The United Way of the Ozarks shares information here about community needs.
The Facebook page COVID-19 SGF posts news, updates and tips about the virus and staying at home.
The volunteer moderated Facebook page Welcome to Springfield: We’re Closed is a good place to find social media posts in real time about what’s happening in the community. Posts about restaurants, businesses and local needs are frequent topics.
Find a list of restaurants still operating in the Ozarks in this media roundup.
To learn which downtown businesses are operating, visit itsalldown.com.
The policy revisions or additions recommended …
Tara Bielinski, vice president of strategic initiatives and population health at Phoenix Healthcare, while caring for her mom identified a gap in health care that inspired the CareWell program. CareWell brings back the “doc in a bag” to help patients gain comprehensive primary care at home. This is sponsored content.
Jeff Eiserman, a senior risk advisor at Ollis/Akers/Arney, says the first priority in preparing for unexpected disaster is shoring up your financial house. In addition, Eiserman says vetting your suppliers, and making sure you have a diversified supply chain is a sure way of getting through difficulties like the COVID-19 pandemic.
Callie Carroll says the different jobs she has held over her career have given her more assets than she would have had with a cookie cutter resume. Now the vice president of business development and a shareholder relations officer at Old Missouri Bank, Carroll says those experiences make her more dynamic. Callie Carroll is a Springfield Business Journal 2021 40 Under 40 honoree.
Aaron Elliott never imagined he would get into medical device or create a self-defense fitness-based business. Now the co-owner of F8 Fitness and Self-Defense at the age of 46, he says Dr. Seuss nailed it on the head with “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” He says as long as you have the passion for it, you can do anything.
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O’Reilly Development Company has added to its Missouri senior living communities with completion of The Wildwood in Joplin, The Township in Battlefield and The Castlewood in Nixa. Each of these …
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Salute to Design & Construction represents a collaboration of several local industry organizations, including The Builders’, to promote construction by organizing volunteer speakers for local school career days and hosting an annual banquet to recognize scholarship recipients, project awards, professional honors and lifetime achievement awards.
Various labor market trends are driving employees to demand better benefits packages.
A lot of this answer depends on where you live.
he National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) reports there were an average of 3,840 construction fires each year between 2013 and 2017 alone, which caused 49 civilian injuries and $304 million in …
The Builders’ is committed to workforce development in our region and supports a variety of initiatives to help ensure a well-trained pipeline leading to fulfilling construction careers.
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You’ve started your business, now what? Kyle Short, director of business services at BluCurrent Credit Union walks you through the first six steps to open your business account. Short provides a …
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Meleah Spencer, CEO of The Kitchen, Inc., says architect Stephanie Ireland was the ideal person to bring their dream of a new campus to life. Spencer says the design is perfectly suited to handle …
Croley Insurance has been fielding questions from employers and employees alike wondering what options exist for continued health insurance coverage if the company lays off workers. Trevor Croley, …
Anxiety and fear surrounding COVID-19 can be overwhelming for employers, employees, families and the community as a whole. As we work to flatten the curve for COVID-19, another wave is coming—COVID-19 mental health crisis.
Buddy Webb, principal architect with Buddy Webb & Co., says though maintaining a staff of primarily licensed architects and those seeking licensure is against the current industry trend, they have …
Sam M. Coryell, President of Coryell Collaborative Group, says in order to grow outside Springfield they needed to reorganize their five businesses under one company. This allows them to control …
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Annually 8 million work days are lost due to intimate partner violence. That is the equivalent of 35,000 full time jobs. This four-part series provided by Harmony House offers training, downloadable resources and community resources available to help owners, managers and workplace colleagues learn how to recognize and respond if an employee is experiencing intimate partner violence. This first session explains what intimate partner violence is and is not, as well as describes the seven forms of abuse: physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, spiritual, legal and financial/economic. Also download helpful information and tools to address intimate partner violence in your company.
Part 2 of the Harmony House workplace training series delves into intimate partner violence risks and costs in the workplace. Rachel Carter, prevention education coordinator at Harmony House, shares local stories from a business owner and victim to illustrate some of the signs, symptoms and appropriate ways to address intimate partner violence in the workplace. Also download helpful information and tools to address intimate partner violence in your company.
Part 3 of the Harmony House workplace training series examines red flags you should look for if you suspect somebody is the victim of intimate partner violence and provides useful information about what to say and what not to say. Also download helpful information and tools to address intimate partner violence in your company.
Part 4 of the Harmony House workplace training series connects you with local and national resources and organizations to share with employees. Download model company policies that address everything from prevention to emergency response plans in the case that a perpetrator brings intimate partner violence to your workplace.
This complete employer toolkit includes four training videos totaling less than 30 minutes, access to model company policies, downloadable informational posters, links to national and local resources and much more. Learn how to prevent and address intimate partner violence to not only support your employees but also protect and improve your business
As humans we know our brains need to feel safe, first and foremost, which is why we physically distanced and made such drastic changes to our daily routines in recent months. But we also need to be heard, to have the opportunity to name our struggles and have them witnessed. It also is incredibly important to be compassionate with ourselves, as family members, employees, supervisors, or business owners.
To lead people effectively, it is critical that we are able to manage and understand our own feelings and the feelings of others. When we do this: burnout is lower, the intent to leave a job is reduced and employees are overall less frustrated.
After you take time to pause, breathe and assess how you are feeling through the Rate the Weight scale, the next step is to identify what to do with that feeling and rating. This step is self-care and self-regulation, which is doing the things we each uniquely need to do in order to maintain our happiness, health and the ongoing development of our minds. Learn how to do this for yourself and tips to implement for your team.
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Jonathan Groves, Associate Professor of Communication at Drury University says there are two books he recommends to business owners interested in innovation and generating ideas.