Now that our county and the entire nation are in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis with no clear end in sight, we are witnessing the economic impacts locally, especially since the first round of federal stimulus programs have ended. While we await the next major legislation package to be voted on in mid-August, we must keep our families, our employees and our communities intact.
As Winston Churchill said, “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” This is exactly what the middle of the COVID crisis feels like for thousands of families and business owners across Coconino County. In this time, we need to encourage each other onward. One way the county does this is by reminding community members of the provisions and resources available to them, with the aim of making our collective journey out of crisis less painful. Please consider sharing this article with a friend, an employee or an employer to help them “keep going.”
Resources to preserve your income:
The CARES Act provided mortgage forbearances for all government-backed home mortgages (USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, FHA). These mortgage payment deferrals are possible for up to one year, so if you are not already getting mortgage payment relief for a government-backed mortgage, then talk with your mortgage servicer. If you have a conventional mortgage (not a USDA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, VA, FHA), then still talk with your mortgage servicer, as most servicers are enabling borrowers to receive mortgage deferments for up to three months with no negative impacts to credit scores.
Home mortgage refinances are another option that many are taking advantage of, as interest rates are at record lows and can reduce monthly housing payments.
The Social Safety-Net Services Coalition Resource Guide is available for download. This guide includes phone numbers and addresses for support organizations across Coconino County. They include: Food Services (including Tribal Communities), Housing Services, Emergency Cash Assistance, Medical Services, Children and Youth Services, Senior Services and dozens of other services that help families preserve money. coconino.az.gov/DocumentCenter/View/35228/COVID-19-Social-Safety-Net-Services-Coalition-Resource-Guide-V9.
Resources to increase revenue for your business:
PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loans are still available until Aug. 8. These loans are largely forgivable and provide a significant increase in operational capital. To learn more about this option, go to: sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program.
EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) loans continue to be another source of working capital. These loans do not have the same forgiveness as PPP loans but continue to be a viable and additional source of revenue. To review this option, go to: sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loans.
A comprehensive list of Grant Opportunities for Non-Profits, Native American Tribes, Private Entities, Schools and Academic Institutions is published by the county every week and is available at: coconino.az.gov/2435/Grant-Opportunities.
The Grant Opportunity Summary Report shares (120+) programs offered through federal, state, foundations and private entities that can help to fund your eligible business activities.
Resources to keep yourself and others safe:
Coconino County continues to offer FREE COVID-19 testing at Fort Tuthill, Monday through Friday. Pre-registration is highly encouraged and may be done here: coconino.az.gov/2338/Testing-Information.
Business reopening guidance and ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can be found here: coconino.az.gov/2374/Re-Opening-Guidance.
Restaurants and food service businesses can build customer confidence by displaying the CERTIFIED COVID AWARE emblem at their place of business after completing the FREE Enhanced Food Handler’s Certification program here: coconino.az.gov/2397/CCHHS-Enhanced-Food-Handlers-Cert.
As we continue to help one another move through the crisis, keep in mind another notable quote, this time from Franklin D. Roosevelt: “There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.” May we all continue to move forward and continue to help our families and businesses along the way.
Please contact me for further information on any of the resources shared above. FBN
By Chris Pasterz
Chris Pasterz is the economic development manager for Coconino County. He can be reached at email@example.com or 928-699-8361.