If your business missed applying for PPP loans or didn’t quality, the federal government has approved Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for small businesses in all 50 states. This relief is offered via the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Targeted EIDL Advances
As of April 7, 2021, a new round of EIDL Advances, called Targeted EIDL Advances, was launched. It’s important to note that the combined amount of the Targeted EIDL Advance and any previously received Advance will not exceed $10,000.
The Targeted EIDL Advances differ slightly than previous EIDL grants. Businesses are only eligible if they meet ALL the following criteria:
Suffered economic loss greater than 30 percent, as demonstrated by an 8-week period beginning on March 2, 2020, or later, compared to the previous year. You will be required to provide the total amount of monthly gross receipts from January 2019 to the current month-to-date.
Must have 300 or fewer employees. Business entities normally eligible for the EIDL program are eligible, including sole proprietors, independent contractors, and private, nonprofit organizations. However, agricultural enterprises, such as farmers and ranchers, are not eligible to receive the Targeted EIDL Advance.
While there isn’t an available application, be on the lookout for an email invite from the SBA to apply, as it’s the ONLY way to apply. Just to be sure, you can search your inbox for this domain now – @sba.gov – to be positive you haven’t received it already.
Businesses that received a previous EIDL Advance less than $10,000 will have first priority to apply for the Targeted EIDL Advance, followed by businesses that applied before December 21 but did not receive because available funding was exhausted. They take several weeks to be sent out fully, so don’t fret if you don’t get it right away.
If you receive an email and qualify, you may be asked to provide an IRS Form 4506-T for tax information purposes.
For more info about the Targeted EIDL Advances, read more here. Here is a list of FAQ’s from the SBA’s website about the grants for more information.
This program offers:
Loans of up to $2 million
Interest rates of 3.75% (2.75% for non-profits)
Collateral of $25,000 for all loans (might be waived in some cases)
30-year repayment terms
Funds within 14-20 days
Cash advances of up to $10,000 upon application that DO NOT need to be repaid
PPP vs EIDL Loan
We’ve pulled some of the most important distinctions between PPP and EIDL loan properties for you (but can read them for yourself here):
While the PPP loan is forgivable, the EIDL loan is not (the $10,000 advance is actually a grant and does NOT require repayment)
There are fewer restrictions on what you can spend EIDL loans on, making them a perfect avenue to invest in marketing or other business growth efforts
PPP lenders are regulated lenders like banks, while the SBA handles EIDL loans
There is a personal guarantee required for EIDL loans exceeding $200,000
The SBA will place a UCC lien against your assets for collateral
You can still apply for an EIDL loan even if you haven’t filed your 2019 taxes. However, you will be asked to submit IRS form 4506T, which provides the SBA with access to your previous tax returns
You can read more about EIDL loans here. You can begin the official application process online here.
Our priority here at Flexicrew is to keep businesses like yours informed about COVID-19 — to stay up to date on developments.
Cleaning and disinfecting surfaces can also reduce the risk of infection.
Always follow standard practices and appropriate regulations specific to your type of facility for minimum standards for cleaning and disinfection. This guidance is indicated for buildings in community settings and is not intended for healthcare settings or for other facilities where specific regulations or practices for cleaning and disinfection may apply.
When to Clean and When to Disinfect
Cleaning with products containing soap or detergent reduces germs on surfaces by removing contaminants and may also weaken or damage some of the virus particles, which decreases risk of infection from surfaces.
When no people with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 are known to have been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces and help maintain a healthy facility.
You may want to either clean more frequently or choose to disinfect (in addition to cleaning) in shared spaces if certain conditions apply that can increase the risk of infection from touching surfaces:
If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean AND disinfect the space.
Develop Your Plan
Determine What Needs to Be Cleaned
Consider the type of surface and how often the surface is touched. Generally, the more people who touch a surface, the higher the risk. Prioritize cleaning high-touch surfaces.
Determine How Often To Clean
High-touch surfaces should be cleaned at least once a day.
More frequent cleaning might be needed when the space is occupied by young children and others who may not consistently wear masks, wash hands, or cover coughs and sneezes.
If the space is a high traffic area, or if certain conditions apply, you may choose to clean more frequently.
Determine If Regular Disinfection Is Needed
In most situations, regular cleaning (at least once a day) is enough to sufficiently remove virus that may be on surfaces. However, if certain conditions apply, you may choose to disinfect after cleaning.
Consider the Resources and Equipment Needed
Keep in mind the availability of cleaning products and the personal protective equipment (PPE) appropriate for cleaners and disinfectants (if needed).
Clean High-Touch Surfaces
Clean high-touch surfaces at least once a day or as often as determined is necessary. Examples of high-touch surfaces include: pens, counters, shopping carts, tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, stair rails, elevator buttons, desks, keyboards, phones, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
Protect Yourself and Other Cleaning Staff
Ensure cleaning staff are trained on proper use of cleaning (and disinfecting, if applicable) products.
Wear gloves for all tasks in the cleaning process.
Wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds after cleaning. Be sure to wash your hands immediately after removing gloves.
If hands are visibly dirty, always wash hands with soap and water.
If soap and water are not available and hands are not visibly dirty, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and wash with soap and water as soon as you can.
Always follow the directions on the label to ensure safe and effective use of the product. The label will include safety information and application instructions. Keep disinfectants out of the reach of children. Many products recommend keeping the surface wet with a disinfectant for a certain period (see product label).
Wear gloves. Gloves should be removed carefully to avoid contamination of the wearer and the surrounding area. Additional PPE, such as glasses or goggles, might be required depending on the cleaning/disinfectant products being used and whether there is a risk of splash.
Use chemical disinfectants safely! Always read and follow the directions on the label of cleaning and disinfection products to ensure safe and effective use.
Wear gloves and consider glasses or goggles for potential splash hazards to eyes.
Ensure adequate ventilation (for example, open windows).
Use only the amount recommended on the label.
If diluting with water is indicated for use, use water at room temperature (unless stated otherwise on the label).
Label diluted cleaning or disinfectant solutions.
Store and use chemicals out of the reach of children and pets.
Do not mix products or chemicals.
Do not eat, drink, breathe, or inject cleaning and disinfection products into your body or apply directly to your skin. They can cause serious harm.
Do not wipe or bathe people or pets with any surface cleaning and disinfection products.
CDC does not recommend the use of sanitizing tunnels. Currently, there is no evidence that sanitizing tunnels are effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Chemicals used in sanitizing tunnels could cause skin, eye, or respiratory irritation or injury.
In most cases, fogging, fumigation, and wide-area or electrostatic spraying is not recommended as a primary method of surface disinfection and has several safety risks to consider.
Clean and Disinfect Specific Types of Surfaces
Soft surfaces such as carpet, rugs, and drapes
Clean the surface using a product containing soap, detergent, or other type of cleaner appropriate for use on these surfaces.
Launder items (if possible) according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
Use the warmest appropriate water setting and dry items completely.
It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with other people’s items.
If handling dirty laundry from a person who is sick, wear gloves and a mask.
Clean clothes hampers or laundry baskets according to guidance for surfaces.
Wash hands after handling dirty laundry.
Electronics such as tablets, touch screens, keyboards, remote controls, and ATM machines
Consider putting a wipeable cover on electronics, which makes cleaning and disinfecting easier.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and recommendations for cleaning the electronic device.
For electronic surfaces that need to be disinfected, use a product on EPA List Nexternal icon that meets manufacturer’s recommendations. Many of the products for electronics contain alcohol because it dries quickly.
Spraying cleaning products or disinfectants in outdoor areas – such as on sidewalks, roads, or groundcover – is not necessary, effective, or recommended.
High-touch surfaces made of plastic or metal, such as grab bars, play structures, and railings, should be cleaned regularly.
Cleaning and disinfection of wooden surfaces (such as wood play structures, benches, tables) or groundcovers (such as mulch and sand) is not recommended.
Clean and Disinfect Your Facility When Someone is Sick
If there has been a sick person or someone who tested positive for COVID-19 in your facility within the last 24 hours, you should clean and disinfect the spaces they occupied.
Before cleaning and disinfecting
Close off areas used by the person who is sick and do not use those areas until after cleaning and disinfecting.
Wait as long as possible (at least several hours) before you clean and disinfect.
While vacuuming, temporarily turn off in-room, window-mounted, or on-wall recirculation heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems to avoid contamination of HVAC units.
Do NOT deactivate central HVAC systems. These systems provide better filtration capabilities and introduce outdoor air into the areas that they serve.
It is safe to wash dirty laundry from a person who is sick with COVID-19 with other people’s items, if needed.
Ensure safe and correct use and storage of cleaning and disinfectant products, including storing such products securely and using PPE needed for the cleaning and disinfection products.
If less than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, clean and disinfect the space.
If more than 24 hours have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, cleaning is enough. You may choose to also disinfect depending on certain conditions or everyday practices required by your facility.
If more than 3 days have passed since the person who is sick or diagnosed with COVID-19 has been in the space, no additional cleaning (beyond regular cleaning practices) is needed.
The survey was conducted online among 201 Human Resources executives from companies of various sizes and industries nationwide. Responses were collected March 2nd through March 12th, 2021.
Flexibility Continues for Workers beyond COVID-19
Over 84% of companies responded they are offering some flexibility to workers during this time. Of those, 64% report offering flexibility to all employees, and 40% are offering flexibility specifically to parents and caregivers. Nearly 13% report offering child care options during this time, and 23% increased paid time off offerings.
When asked if this flexibility will extend past the pandemic, 95% of companies reported some or all elements of the newly instituted flexibility will continue. Just 4% of companies reported they will eventually return to pre-pandemic routines.
Meanwhile, 6% of the 96% of companies that moved all or part of their workforces to remote work situations plan to return to their pre-pandemic remote work policies. Another 4% will not keep workers remote, and 5% are still determining what they will do. That means 84.2% of companies are retaining new remote work options for their teams.
“Remote work is the work of the future. Positions that were previously thought to be perpetually in person, such as customer service or other client-facing roles, were successfully converted to remote positions during the pandemic. This will continue with the adoption of artificial intelligence and robotics in the coming decades,” said Challenger.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way companies work and supervise workers. Visit Flexicrew blog to keep updated on workforce trends and changes. If your company is having difficulty recruiting all the quality talent necessary, contact our professional recruiters Today!
Regular interaction between employees can greatly improve the work culture and productivity in an organization. Communicating effectively at the workplace will greatly improve relationships between employees and help in completing important projects faster. Better communication greatly improves the performance of the employees at work, while making the team members trust each other. And that trust interestingly lends itself to improved self-esteem.
Research information indicates that organizations where employees communicate well with each other are likely to have a turnover rate for employees which is approximately half the average for the industry sector.
Periodically every person is likely to find that he is not able to communicate effectively with others due to various reasons. These can lead to misunderstanding with others and irritation.
Some methods for improving communication between team members are discussed below. These are some of the simplest techniques which the organization can incorporate in the daily routine of the employees and improve the relationships between team members and other employees, making them more responsive.
Improve Trust Levels
If the employee trusts the manager or other senior employees, he is more likely to contact the manager and inform him about any kind of problem which he faces at the initial stage if he can’t solve it himself. Hence to improve the trust levels, managers should develop a rapport with their employees first. For example, when a new employee joins the organization and is undergoing the orientation process, the supervisor could take the new employee for lunch with other team members. During the lunch, the employees should discuss their life, habits, approach to life instead of business. Though this may not take much effort, it is a very effective icebreaker, improving communication between team members significantly and quickly.
Offer Compliments in a Better Way
Though the manager can use the standard term “great job” to compliment the employee who has done the work assigned well, it is usually not very helpful. However, in some cases, the employee may get confused, since he will wonder which specific aspect of the job was done well, so that he could replicate it later. Instead, the manager should focus on the specific aspects of the task or work done by the employee, so that he knows his strength and specifically what got him the praise.
Give Feedback Which is Constructive
Most employees have received negative feedback from their supervisor delivered in a harsh tone, which destroys trust and communication permanently. So, while giving feedback it is important to review the specific action, and not pass comments on the character of the employee. The worker should be given the opportunity to share their views and help in a positive way.
Processes Should be Streamlined
If the organization is working on a very large project, with many stakeholders, there is likely to be communication letdown between the employees at some stage. This malfunction should be used to improve the process and prevent similar problems in future, removing any hurdles which the employees face. When the employees are informed about the process changes, the manager can also get feedback from the staff on the effectiveness of the processes, to make necessary charges in future if required.
On a Final Note
Effective communication within the workspace plays a crucial role in improvement of a business and success of any organization. When communicating, nonverbal communication must also be considered. How a supervisor or subordinate delivers a message has a lot of effect on the meaning of of that communication and the resulting action.
Improve Communication with a Staffing Agency’s Support
Flexicrew can help improve your work environment communication, reduce your anxiety and stress by assisting you with workforce planning and recruiting the quality talent that you need in this uncertain time. Contact one of our workforce professionals Today!
According to the Washington Post, “Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll. A federal emergency hotline for people in emotional distress registered a more than 1,000 percent increase in one month compared with the same time in 2019. In one month, roughly 20,000 people texted that hotline, run by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.”
It’s terrifying to realize a pandemic such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) remains around the world. The different stages of a pandemic can provide panic and anxiety. No one knows just how widespread or deadly the novel coronavirus will end up being. But being proactive about your workers’ mental health can help to keep their mind and body healthy.
In the following information, we have detailed suggestions on ways to protect yourself and your staff.
One of the first steps you can take is to recognize the things you can control. Practicing self-care such as seeking professional help from a licensed mental health professional and finding ways to manage stress. Your means of coping with stress and anxiety goes a long way in managing your mental health. Here are some ways to help you ease anxiety surrounding COVID-19.
1. Help Employees Practice Good Self-Care
Eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and engaging in some form of exercise may seem obvious since we were taught them as early as grammar school. But they are always good steps to helping your personnel stay as physically and psychologically healthy as possible during stressful times.
Good self-care also keeps your workers’ immune system healthy which means eating well, sleeping well, and managing stress.
2. Peace of Mind
Practice recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, The World Health Organization, and other excerpts to curtail transmission of COVID-19 still include wearing a mask when going out, keeping at least 6-foot distance from others, and washing your hands regularly.
If you live in an area where the COVID-19 infection rates are very high, try to stay home as much possible, avoid crowds, and when do you go out practice the methods of safety detailed above. There are always steps you can take to decrease risk. Be aware that steps like washing your hands, wearing a mask, and keeping social distance remind you to focus on the things you can control.
Knowing you are doing everything possible to keep safe gives a lot of peace of mind.
3. Professional Help
If your staff’s mental health is being affected by the stress and anxiety of COVID-19 then they may need to seek support.
Workers experiencing burnout should reach out to their Human Resources department. Frequently supervisors are not familiar with what benefits are offered, particularly relating to mental health. But HR personnel are more aware of what’s available from a company and will be able to help obtain those resources.
It might mean to seek the help of a mental health professional. A licensed mental health professional can help you manage stress while helping you to make the best personal decisions. The good news is thousands of therapists are now using remote methods, such as video conferencing, telemedicine so you can talk to someone right from home or your workplace (in private, of course).
High anxiety and stress can cause some workers to adopt unproven or unsafe prevention methods. Some of these methods can be harmful to you and others. It’s important to make sure any actions you take are truly beneficial.
“Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.” – Helen Keller
Be aware that increased depression and anxiety is probably going to occur with your workers. So, plan for it. If they start to feel sad, overwhelmed, frustrated or anxious – talk with them, have them write about it, just get it out, do not let it fester inside them. Be prepared and make a plan. Who to talk to?.
Another important issue is that employees often adopt the coping strategies they observe in their bosses. Supervisors who show anxiety and stress during a pandemic may end up projecting the anxiety right along to their subordinates.
5. Read News From Trustworthy Sources And Limit Media Consumption
Avoid media outlets that provoke stress or focus on issues that can’t be controlled. Instead, turn to sources that give reliable information. One reputable source is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). They provide helpful tips to keep you and your co-workers safe during these unprecedented times.
Watching media stories that talk about how fast an illness is spreading, or the death toll will increase stress and anxiety. Limit your media consumption to a certain time frame or a certain number of stories.
It is helpful to stay informed, but you shouldn’t allow yourself to be bombarded with anxiety-provoking news all day. The most important actions are to keep you and your workers properly informed, calm, and healthy as possible.
6. The Bottom Line
Remember one thing. People are strong. We will get through this. It is not forever and most important do not project what has not yet happened. If you are healthy and safe, don’t worry about what might happen. Get vaccinated when it is your turn. Stay in the moment and enjoy the present.
Excerpted from Eden Workplace survey published 3/10/2021
85% of office workers are looking forward to returning to the office in some capacity according to research. This however, does not necessarily reflect non-office or contrach workers.
Eden Workplace released findings from its Eden Workplace Return to Office Survey, which finds that at the 1 year mark of quarantine, 85% of office workers are looking forward to returning to the office in some capacity. The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research and involved 1,000 nationally representative U.S. full- and part-time office workers ages 18+ between February 9th and February 17th 2021.
As the availability of COVID-19 vaccines has elevated discussions about employees returning to the office, the survey reveals more than half (52%) of office workers report socializing with colleagues as their top reason for wanting to return to the office. Other missed benefits by employees included having access to proper work equipment (44%) and getting out of the home (44%).
Attitude Differences by Segment
The results also indicate different perspectives by age, ethnicity, and education levels. While 89% of millennials wish to return to the office, only 80% of baby boomers felt the same. Also, while 90% of non-white office workers expressed that they were looking forward to returning to the office, the results for white office workers were slightly lower at 84%. In terms of education, those with a college degree were the most likely to want to return at 90%.
Employee Health & Safety
The survey results also feature a number of insights related to safety, including that more than 3 in 5 (61%) respondents want strict enforcement of COVID-related workplace regulations by their employers. In fact, a quarter (26%) even feel that employees who violate COVID safety rules should face the steep consequence of being demoted or even fired.
The survey data showcases just how strong the national demand is among employees to return to the office, but also how insistent they are that employers provide a safe environment. The enthusiasm was universal, but it was especially strong for earlier career team members as well as non-white team members. It is clear that people miss seeing their colleagues. A more flexible future is desired with a shift to the hybrid office.
Other Key Fndings
Employers are going to have to rethink their approach to traditional in-house proceedings.
Two-thirds of office workers (66%) will not be comfortable with in-person meetings unless everyone in attendance is at least six feet apart.
While most workers miss their coworkers and they don’t expect a major shift in how they will dress for work.
More than half (53%) expect to return to their pre-COVID, in-office dress style.
Another 23% think their colleagues will use the opportunity to showcase more formal attire (9%) or stylish and chic outfits (15%). On the flip side, 24% expect their colleagues to dress as casually as they did while working from home.
Most workers feel basic COVID protections are important, but there is a large discrepancy among employee expectations depending upon access to COVID health and safety information and their level of displacement during quarantine.
The vast majority of workers expect free hand sanitizer (71%), company-provided masks (61%), and their workspace to be socially distanced (59%).
Meanwhile, those who never worked from home are far more likely to not want their employer to enforce COVID rules (46%), compared to those who have been working from home during quarantine (38%) and those who have already returned to the office (33%).
Technology to Keep Employees Safe
One prominent theme from the data is that, despite some variation in employee expectations about how the return to the office will roll out, they want to go back. Working from home clearly has its place, but the drive among workers to be among peers and colleagues is extraordinary. The timeline for a full return to the office is fluid, but it seems that we have turned a corner. It is therefore critical that employers invest in the proper technologies to help them manage their space and keep their employees safe.
You can review the full results from the Eden Workplace Return to Office Survey here.
Flexicrew Staffing Keeps you Informed
Flexicrew will continue to monitor changes in the workspace, worker attitudes and employer actions. Stop back for pertinent findings.
The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has passed Congress and will head to President Joe Biden for a signature. Highlights of the bill include extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more.
While some of the bill was changed during its time in the Senate, it’s largely similar to the initial version passed by the House. However, some key provisions, such as a higher minimum wage, were scrapped amid efforts to pass the bill swiftly.
This article defines the most relevant terms included in the bill.
Small Business Assistance
The bill invests billions toward small business assistance. Here is the current funding breakdown:
New grant program for bars and restaurants, specifically: $28 billion
Paycheck Protection Program: $7.25 billion
Just like the two other COVID-19 relief bills passed during the pandemic, this version also features direct payments to Americans. This time around, eligible recipients can expect $1,400 per person ($2,800 for couples), including adult dependents—a family of four could receive up to $5,600.
However, payment parameters are stricter this time around than with the previous direct payment. The full amount will go to individuals earning under $75,000 (or $150,000 for couples), with payments cut off entirely for individuals earning over $80,000 (or $160,000 for couples). Individuals earning an amount between those figures will receive a reduced sum.
The bill extends two previously established pandemic unemployment assistance efforts: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Unemployed gig workers, freelancers, contractors and others who previously qualified for aid will continue to be eligible under these programs. The financial assistance provided by these two programs is currently set to expire in mid-March, which pressured legislators to act quickly.
The bill also provides for enhanced unemployment assistance payments of $300 per week. Under the bill, these programs and their financial aid are extended throughSept. 6.
The bill sets aside billions in financial aid to homeowners and renters. Here is the funding breakdown:
Aid for emergency rental assistance: $22 billion
Aid for mortgages, utilities and property taxes: $10 billion
Aid to states and localities to help individuals at risk of becoming homeless: $5 billion
Emergency Paid Leave
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law on March 18, 2020, required certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. That requirement expired Dec. 31, 2020.
The American Rescue Plan maintains the status quo, in that it does not require employers to offer leave under the FFCRA framework. However, the bill does provide tax credits for employers that voluntarily provide leave under the FFCRA framework through the end of September 2021.
Aid to Schools and Child Care
A significant portion of the relief bill involves aid to states, including schools and child care facilities:
Aid for getting K-12 schools ready for in-person learning: $125 billion
Money may be used for purchasing protective equipment, improving ventilation systems and hiring support staff, among other things. However, 20% of the money schools receive must be used to address pandemic learning loss—for example, extending learning time into the summer.
Aid carved out specifically for private schools: $2.75 billion
Aid for colleges: $40 billion
Institutions will be required to spend at least 50% of their allocated funds on emergency financial aid grants to students.
Child care provider assistance: $39 billion
Funds may be used for payroll, rent, protective equipment and other expenses.
The relief bill provides an overhaul of the child tax credit for the 2021 tax year. The bill increases the amount of the credit to $3,000 for each child under the age of 18 and $3,600 for children under the age of 6. The credit will also become fully refundable, meaning low-income individuals would receive the benefit.
The bill also expands the earned income tax credit for individuals without children. The maximum credit will be nearly tripled, and eligibility will be expanded as well.
The bill subsidizes private health insurance premiums for unemployed workers through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The provision allows individuals eligible for COBRA insurance coverage to maintain their employer-sponsored coverage after losing employment without having to pay any portion of the premiums through the end of September 2021.
Additionally, the bill invests nearly $35 billion in premium subsidy increases for those who buy coverage on the ACA Marketplace. The bill increases the subsidies provided to currently eligible individuals, and removes the 400% federal poverty level cap (equal to approximately $51,000 for an individual) on subsidy eligibility.
Aid to States, Local Governments, Tribes and Territories
The bill provides billions in financial assistance to states, local governments, tribes and territories. Here is the current funding breakdown:
Aid to state and local governments: $325.5 billion
Aid to tribes and territories: $24.5 billion
Creation of the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, to carry out capital projects directly enabling work, education and health monitoring: $10 billion
What’s NOT in the Bill
A minimum wage hike to $15 per hour—one of the most discussed provisions from the initial bill—has been removed from the final version due to strict rules governing budget bills in the Senate. Some Democrats have suggested this provision may be considered as a standalone bill, but any movement on that front remains to be seen.
Additionally, the bill does not include an extension of the eviction moratorium, which is set to expire on March 31, or an expansion of mandated paid sick and family and medical leave. While neither were included in the original House bill, these were popular provisions contained within one of the previous bills.
While there are many complex provisions in this nearly $2 trillion relief bill, many legal and tax consultants are available to help employers make sense of everything. Please reach out with questions about how this new bill may affect your organization. And if you need assistance with recruiting or flexible staffing support, please contact Flexicrew.
Come back again to this space to track Flexicrew’s Coronavirus efforts and information for your business and workforce.
This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.
Top federal health officials on Monday, March 8th told Americans who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 that they could once again gather in small groups at home without masks or social distancing.
The guidance, issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, came almost a year to the day after the coronavirus first gripped the United States and Americans were told to avoid large groups to stop the spread of the deadly disease.
Still, the good news is heavily caveated. Travel, even for those who’ve been vaccinated, is advised against — though some prominent medical experts said the CDC is being overly cautious. And the threat of pernicious Covid-19 variants may be about to inflict another surge of death and sickness.
But the announcement of the guidelines on Monday was a striking moment after 12 months of pain and heartache, signaling the first step in a real — albeit restrained — return to normal life for the 30 million Americans already fully vaccinated.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal on the state of mental health in Americans. You’ve been limited in how you can celebrate birthdays, graduations, and weddings and even funerals. You’ve seen loved ones hooked up to a ventilator fighting for their lives. You’ve got an entire hygienic routine every time you leave the house: Wear a mask, stay six feet apart, wash your hands, and repeat.
Here’s what you can do to protect your mental health during this ongoing pandemic.
Get Some Exercise
You don’t have to go to the gym to stay in shape. There are actually plenty of exercises and routines that you can do from the comfort of your own living room. That includes exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks, and even going for a walk or jog around the block.
On top of building your endurance and strength, exercise can trigger the release of endorphins in your system. According to the Mayo Clinic, these are known as the “feel-good” hormone and will naturally boost a low mood during such trying times.
Stay in Contact With Positive Co-Workers
Not being able to meet with those you regularly work with can be detrimental to your mental health. Prolonged loneliness and social isolation can lower your productivity and increase your risk of certain mental health disorders, substance abuse issues, or even suicide.
In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that loneliness increases the risk of serious health disorders. The best way to avoid these consequences is by staying in touch with loved ones via daily or weekly phone calls, video calls, or text messages.
Leave the House
Some states still have limitations when it comes to where you can go, what you can do, and who you can see. Yet at this point in the pandemic, you realize that your mood declines and you feel fatigued the longer you stay put in the house.
In a study published in Issues in Mental Health Nursing, vitamin D, which can be absorbed by the body from sunlight, is a great mood booster and actually is used to treat depression. So, if you’re feeling down and lonely in the house without physical interactions with your team members, spend some time in the backyard or go for a walk at the park.
Reach Out to a Therapist
If you were already struggling with your mental health prior to the pandemic, there’s a good chance that your situation has actually worsened as the months continued. Luckily, the forced closure of most mental health facilities doesn’t mean that you currently have no access to care. Many counselors, therapists, and psychiatrists have moved to telemedicine for the time being. Scheduling an appointment with a therapist via video call is a great way to process your emotions and learn how to cope.
Get a Pet (We’re not joking)
Most people would appreciate coming home from work every day to be greeted by a friendly dog or cat. But when loneliness and sadness become excessive during quarantine, a pet may be exactly what you need to feel better.
The connection between pet ownership and mental health has been long studied. In fact, a survey conducted by the Human Animal Bond Research Institute, mental health improvements were seen in about 74% of pet owners.
During a pandemic that doesn’t seem to be ending anytime soon with new variants popping up periodically, it’s important that you prioritize your mental health. Not only will this make you feel less lonely and like you have a greater purpose, but it’ll also save you from a ton of emotional turmoil that you’ll have to sort through once COVID-19 is gone for good.
Excerpted from 2020 article by McKinsey & Company. Flexicrew continues to monitor research and trends in the workplace to keep our clients abreast of the latest information affecting employers and workers.