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10/20/2021
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COVID-19

August 12, 2021

COVID-19 Response Resources

Community Development Block Grant – COVID-19 (CV) – Missouri Department of Economic Development:

The Department of Economic Development’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program was allocated approximately $43 million to help communities across the state prevent, prepare for, and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Communities may apply for funding for eligible activities including public services, infrastructure, economic assistance, and planning. While activities can address a variety of unmet needs, they must be directly related to COVID-19. Deadline: Applications accepted on rolling basis until funds are depleted.

Grants to Organizations – National Endowment for the Arts:

The American Rescue Plan’s Grants to Organizations program will be carried out through one-time grants to eligible organizations including, but not limited to, nonprofit arts organizations, local arts agencies, arts service organizations, units of state or local government, federally recognized tribal communities or tribes, and a wide range of other organizations that can help advance the goals of this program. Grants will be made to eligible organizations to support their own operations. Unlike other Arts Endowment funding programs that offer project-based support, Rescue Plan funds are intended to support day-to-day business expenses/operating costs, and not specific programmatic activities. Cost share/matching funds are not required. Support is limited to any or all of the following: salary support, fees/stipends for artists and/or contractual personnel to support the services they provide for specific activities as part of organizational operations, facilities costs such as mortgage principal, rent, and utilities, costs associated with health and safety supplies for staff and/or visitors/audiences, and marketing and promotion costs. Applicants may request a fixed grant amount for: $50,000, $100,000 or $150,000. Deadline: Applications will be submitted in two separate groups: one for organizations with legal names beginning with A-L versus one for organizations with legal names beginning with M-Z. Submit preliminary information to Grants.gov for both submission groups: August 12, 2021, Group A-L application due by August 25, 2021, Group M-Z application due by September 2, 2021. 

Business and Industry CARES Act Guaranteed Loan Program – USDA:

The Rural Business Cooperative Service (RBCS), a Rural Development agency of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces that in response to the national COVID–19 Public Health Emergency, USDA Rural Development was provided additional funding assistance of $20,500,000 in budget authority appropriated under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). This program offers loan guarantees to lenders for their loans to rural businesses and agricultural producers to supplement their working capital to prevent, prepare for and respond to the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Lenders need the legal authority, financial strength and sufficient experience to operate a successful lending program. This includes federal and state-chartered banks, savings and loans, farm credit banks, and credit unions. For-profit businesses, nonprofits, cooperatives, federally-recognized tribes, and public bodies may qualify for these guaranteed loans. Deadline: September 15, 2021. 

NEW! Build Back Better Regional Challenge – American Rescue Plan Act – Economic Development Administration (EDA):

The Build Back Better Regional Challenge is designed to assist communities nationwide in their efforts to build back better by accelerating the economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic and building local economies that will be resilient to future economic shocks. The $1 billion Build Back Better Regional Challenge will provide a transformational investment to 20-30 regions across the country that want to revitalize their economies. These regions will have the opportunity to grow new regional industry clusters or scale existing ones through planning, infrastructure, innovation and entrepreneurship, workforce development, access to capital, and more. Deadline: Phase 1: October 1, 2021; Phase 2: March 15, 2022.

NEW! Good Jobs Challenge – American Rescue Plan Act – Economic Development Administration (EDA):

EDA’s American Rescue Plan Good Jobs Challenge aims to get Americans back to work by building and strengthening systems and partnerships that bring together employers who have hiring needs with other key entities to train workers with in-demand skills that lead to good-paying jobs. Through the Good Jobs Challenge, EDA is allocating $500 million to collaborative skills training systems and programs. EDA encourages efforts to reach historically underserved populations and areas. These systems and partnerships will create and implement industry-led training programs, designed to provide skills for and connect unemployed or underemployed workers to existing and emerging job opportunities. Ultimately, these systems are designed to train workers with the skills to secure a union job or a quality job that provides good pay, benefits, and growth opportunities. Deadline: January 26, 2022.

NEW! Economic Adjustment Assistance – American Rescue Plan Act – Economic Development Administration (EDA):

EDA’s American Rescue Plan Economic Adjustment Assistance program makes $500 million in Economic Adjustment Assistance grants available to American communities. The Economic Adjustment Assistance program is EDA’s most flexible program, and grants made under this program will help hundreds of communities across the nation plan, build, innovate, and put people back to work through construction or non-construction projects designed to meet local needs. A wide range of technical, planning, workforce development, entrepreneurship, and public works and infrastructure projects are eligible for funding under this program. Deadline: March 15, 2022, applications are reviewed on a rolling basis.

NEW! Travel, Tourism, & Outdoor Recreation – American Rescue Plan Act – Economic Development Administration (EDA):

Through the Travel, Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program, EDA is focused on accelerating the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. $750 million of EDA’s American Rescue Plan funds are allocated to support the following efforts: State Tourism Grants: $510 million in non-competitive awards to help states quickly invest in marketing, infrastructure, workforce and other projects to rejuvenate safe leisure, business and international travel; and Competitive Grants: $240 million to help communities that have been hardest hit by challenges facing the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors to invest in infrastructure, workforce or other projects to support the recovery of the industry and economic resilience of the community in the future. Deadline: Competitive Tourism Grants due March 15, 2022, applications reviewed on a rolling basis.

State Assistance for Housing Relief (SAFHR) – Missouri Housing Development Commission:

The SAFHR Program provides rent and utility assistance for households who have been impacted by COVID-19. Eligible tenants can apply for financial assistance to be paid directly to their landlord or utility provider. Financial assistance includes rent and utility arrears for the period beginning April 2020 and up to 3 months of forward rent and prepaid fuel utility assistance. The first priority is to provide financial assistance to eligible Missouri households beginning February 2021. Rental assistance requests will be processed first and utility assistance requests are anticipated to be processed in March 2021. Expected to remain open until September 2022.

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant – Small Business Administration (SBA):

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVO) Grant program was established by the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020. The program includes $15 billion in grants to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. Eligible applicants may qualify for SVO Grants equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees. Venues must have been in operations as of February 29, 2020 and have not applied for or received a PPP loan on or after December 27, 2020. Deadline: Currently open.

Support for Small Business – KKR:

Created as a key pillar of KKR’s COVID-19 Relief Effort, KKR Small Business Builders (SBB) aims to support entrepreneurs and their small businesses around the world. The grants are designed to help business owners sustain their enterprises, maintain or create jobs, and spur economic opportunity as they respond to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and recover from its resultant economic dislocation. KKR Small Business Builders will support companies in three key ways: access to capital, technical expertise, and a network of support. To be eligible, a business must have between 5 and 50 employees, less than $7 million USD in annual revenue, demonstrated need for support, a strong plan for moving forward, and be in good standing with the IRS or their local regulatory body.

Small Business Relief Initiative – GoFundMe:

GoFundMe has partnered with Yelp and Intuit QuickBooks to create a Small Business Relief Fund to help small businesses negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of these three companies has contributed $500,000 to the Fund, and it’s receiving additional donations from the public. The fund will provide $500 grants to any small business that raises $500 on GoFundMe.

Current Grant Opportunities

Our Town Grant – National Endowment for the Arts:

Our Town is the National Endowment for the Arts’ creative placemaking grants program. Through project-based funding, they support projects that integrate arts, culture, and design activities into efforts that strengthen communities by advancing local economic, physical, and/or social outcomes. These projects require a partnership between a local government entity and nonprofit organization, one of which must be a cultural organization; and should engage in partnership with other sectors. Cost share/matching grants range from $25,000 to $150,000, with a minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount. Projects may include activities such as: arts engagement, cultural planning, design, and artist and creative industry support. Deadline: Submit to grants.gov by August 5, 2021, submit full application by August 17, 2021.

Community Grant Program – Foundation for Rural Service:

As part of its ongoing commitment to rural communities across the country, FRS offers aid for communities served by NTCA members through its annual Community Grants Program. These grants are designed to provide support to a variety of local efforts to build and sustain a high quality of life in rural America. Applications for these grants are accepted ranging from $250 to $5,000. The grants awarded support a variety of projects concentrated in four major categories: business and economic development, community development, education, and telecommunications applications. Applicants must work with a NTCA member as a sponsor of their application. Deadline: September 15, 2021.

Infrastructure and Capacity Building Challenge Grants – National Endowment for the Humanities:

The purpose of the Challenge Grants program is to strengthen the institutional base of the humanities by enabling infrastructure development and capacity building. Awards aim to help institutions secure long-term support for their core activities and expand efforts to preserve and create access to outstanding humanities materials. The program funds two distinct types of projects: Capital Projects support the design, purchase, construction, restoration, or renovation of facilities for humanities activities. This includes the purchase and installation of related moveable and permanently affixed equipment for exhibiting, maintaining, monitoring, and protecting collections (whether on exhibit or in storage), and for critical building systems, such as electrical, heating ventilation and air conditioning, security, life safety, lighting, utilities, telecommunications, and energy management; and Digital Infrastructure supports maintenance, modernization, and sustainability of existing digital scholarly projects and platforms. Deadline: Additional round due September 28, 2021. 

NEW! Food Insecure Urban Agriculture Matching Grant – Missouri Department of Agriculture: 

The Food Insecure Urban Agriculture Matching Grant will fund projects that address food insecurity within urbanized areas. Applicants must provide a minimum 25% match for their project in a combination of cash or in-kind contributions; however, the cash match must be greater than 50% of the total match for eligibility. Funding is available up to $50,000 per project. Applications for the grant funds must benefit residents affected by food insecurity in urbanized areas including the following counties: Boone, Buchanan, Cape Girardeau, Cass, Clay, Cole, Greene, Jackson, Jasper, Newton, Platte, St. Charles and St. Louis as well as within the city of St. Louis. Deadline: September 30, 2021.

NEW! Hometown Grants – T-Mobile partnering with Main Street America and Smart Growth America:

T-Mobile is investing big in small towns by awarding up to 100 towns a year with project funding—up to $50,000 each. The program will focus on revitalizing community spaces in towns with 50,000 people or less, and Main Street programs are encouraged to apply. Submit a proposal for a town project of your choice, and if selected, use the funds to get started. For example, you could implement tech upgrades at your library, refresh a local park, or break ground on a new place where neighbors can connect. Deadline: Applications accepted quarterly, next deadline is September 30, 2021.

NEW! Historic Preservation Fund Grants – Missouri State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO):

The Historic Preservation Fund (HPF) will be funding National Register, Survey, Planning and Outreach and Predevelopment (also known as Preconstruction) projects. The HPF grants fund projects that relate directly to the identification, evaluation, or protection of historic properties. All Certified Local Governments, all county governmental entities, municipalizes, and qualified non-profit organizations with a historic preservation mission are eligible to apply for Historic Preservation Fund grants. Approximately $200,000 in grants will be awarded. Required pre-applications are due before 5 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2021. The pre-application will be evaluated no later than Oct. 15, 2021. Deadline: Final applications due November 1, 2021.

Community Grants – PeopleForBikes:

The PeopleForBikes (PFB) Community Grant Program provides funding for important projects that build momentum for bicycling in communities across the U.S. As part of PFB’s efforts to get more children and youth on bikes, this grant cycle is dedicated to supporting bike park and pump track projects only. PeopleForBikes accepts grant applications from non-profit organizations with a focus on bicycling, active transportation, or community development, from city or county agencies or departments, and from state or federal agencies working locally. Deadline: Letter of intent due July 23, 2021, full application due October 15, 2021.

Highlighted Ongoing Grant Opportunities

Community Facilities Fund– Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation:

Rural LISC created the Community Facilities Fund to provide capital to help develop and improve essential community facilities in rural areas. Rural LISC utilizes this fund to provide permanent and construction-to- permanent financing for rural community facilities, including health care centers, hospitals, educational facilities, and other nonprofit and public facilities in rural communities with populations under 20,000. Deadline: ongoing.

Growing Rural Communities Fund – Rural Local Initiatives Support Corporation:

Rural LISC has developed an innovative new financing tool to provide low-interest loans to qualified commercial real estate projects in rural America. The Growing Rural Communities Fund will finance real estate acquisition and construction costs to spur job creation and economic revitalization in distressed communities. Deadline: ongoing.

Community Facilities Direct Loan & Grant Program – USDA:

This program provides affordable funding to develop essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Deadline: ongoing.

Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan Program – USDA:

This program provides loan guarantees to eligible private lenders to help build essential community facilities in rural areas. An essential community facility is defined as a facility that provides an essential service to the local community for the orderly development of the community in a primarily rural area, and does not include private, commercial or business undertakings. Deadline: ongoing.

June 7, 2021

December 18, 2020

Spire creates new assistance program for Missouri

ST. LOUIS (Dec. 8, 2020) — Spire is offering a new financial assistance option of up to $500 for active, Missouri small businesses struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Spire will begin accepting applications for the new Small Business Pandemic Relief Program the week of Dec. 14.

The assistance is crucial as a recent study conducted by Spire of small business customers found 98% have been impacted financially by coronavirus. Many of these small businesses are restaurants working through public health precautions and social distancing practices related to the pandemic.

“Small businesses are an important part of our community, making up almost half of Missouri’s private sector jobs and playing a significant role in the state’s economy,” said Scott Carter, president of Spire Missouri. “We want to do our part to help.”

To be eligible for the program, a business must be an active, Missouri customer in the small general services rate class, be a locally owned business or franchise, and complete an online application. If accepted into the program, small businesses can receive $100 per month for up to five months. The program runs through Sept. 30, 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

“Young’s Restaurant & Catering Company, Inc. has been around since 1954,” said Grant Young, owner of the Valley Park, Missouri establishment. “Even as a longstanding family-owned business, we have felt the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Carryout is only 40% of our normal business. We’ve been able to keep everyone employed and our doors open because of support from loyal customers who purchase gift cards and patronize us regularly. As we approach another rough patch, I appreciate Spire stepping up and offering assistance. Every bit helps right now.”

Approved Dec. 2 by the Missouri Public Service Commission, the Small Business Pandemic Relief Program is part of the company’s comprehensive approach to provide relief for customers who are experiencing hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic. In November, the natural gas provider began offering up to $400 in assistance for Missouri residential customers who have been furloughed or experienced job or income loss and have an outstanding balance on their Spire account. Additionally, Spire previously launched one-time credit assistance programs for both Missouri residential and small business customers.

“From the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve been committed to ensuring our community maintains access to affordable, reliable, clean natural gas,” said Carter. “We encourage customers who are struggling to call us. We are here to help.”
To apply or learn more about the new program or other ways Spire is helping customers impacted by the pandemic, visit SpireEnergy.com/relief.

About Spire
At Spire Inc. (NYSE: SR), we believe energy exists to help make people’s lives better. It’s a simple idea, but one that’s at the heart of our company. Every day we serve 1.7 million homes and businesses making us the fifth largest publicly traded natural gas company in the country. We help families and business owners fuel their daily lives through our gas utilities serving Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri. Our natural gas-related businesses include Spire Marketing, Spire STL Pipeline and Spire Storage. We are committed to transforming our business through growing organically, investing in infrastructure, and advancing through innovation. Learn more at SpireEnergy.com.

July 15, 2020

JEFFERSON CITY — July 14, 2020 Governor Mike Parson announced $50 million in new grant programs for Missouri businesses.

“The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted Missouri businesses,” Governor Parson said. “However, this challenge has not stopped them from stepping up and finding new ways to serve Missourians. These critical programs will help Missouri businesses continue their operations, cover costs for increased PPE production, and keep them safe and moving forward.”

“This virus isn’t going away, and we have to protect both the lives and the livelihoods of Missouri workers, families, and children,” Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon said. “Thanks to today’s action by the Governor, we are not only reinvesting in our economy but building up the success and safety of our state over the long term.”

$30 Million Small Business Grant Program

The Small Business Grant Program was developed to provide relief to small businesses and family-owned farms for reimbursement of business interruption costs due to the COVID-19 crisis.

This program is available to for-profit businesses and family-owned farms that employ 50 or fewer employees. Funds can be used to cover facility redesign and labor, air filtration systems, e-commerce website design, worker salaries during closure or reduced hours, and necessary costs to make the business more resilient as a result of COVID-19, among others.

“We know that every segment of agriculture has felt the tremendous impact of COVID-19 and will for many years,” Missouri Department of Agriculture Director Chris Chinn said. “We have continuously worked with Governor Parson and colleagues across state government— including DED and the General Assembly – to provide support for the unmet needs of Missouri’s family-owned farms and ranches.”

$20 Million PPE Retooling Grant Program

The PPE Production Grant Program is designed to increase production of personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to help contain the spread of COVID-19. The new program will help companies produce PPE in Missouri as part of the state’s Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.

This program assists manufacturers by awarding grant funds to reimburse companies facing high PPE production costs. Eligible uses for awarded funds under the PPE Production Grant Program include purchasing equipment and retooling, upgrading, or expanding facilities to increase PPE production.

Funding for these programs comes from the CARES Act. The programs will be administered through the Department of Economic Development. Businesses interested in the programs can learn more and apply at showmestrong.mo.gov.

GRANT APPLICATION

June 15, 2020

April 20, 2020

Small Business Loan Discretionary Grant Program

The St. Louis Port Authority is sponsoring the Small Business Resource Discretionary Grant Program through the St. Louis Economic Development Partnership. This new St. Louis County program will give $500 discretionary grants to help sole proprietors, contract workers, gig workers, 1099 workers, and other businesses who do not qualify for our Small Business Resource Program (SBRP). The grant program is giving a preference for businesses in the Promise Zone area in North County and Lemay in South County to help businesses lessen the burden of paying for rent or even for groceries to help them get through this crisis. Learn more here: https://bit.ly/2VBr5MD

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

The Save Small Business Fund is a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.

Funded by corporate and philanthropic partners, the Save Small Business Fund is a collective effort to provide $5,000 grants to as many small employers as we can. We hope these supplemental funds will help you get through the next days and weeks.

Zip codes qualified in our area:
63042
63137
63033
63121
63135
63136
63138

TO QUALIFY YOU MUST

  • Employ between 3 and 20 people
  • Be located in an economically vulnerable community
  • Have been harmed financially by the COVID-19 pandemic

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

April 14, 2020

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis seeking input from regional businesses

In partnership with numerous chambers of commerce and regional organizations, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis is conducting a confidential survey of business leaders in the seven-state region of the Eighth Federal Reserve District. The survey will directly assist monetary policymakers and regional leaders in making decisions that impact the employment and financial situations of businesses in our region.

The survey does not require a firm name, and individual responses will be accessible only by a few economists at the Federal Reserve. The aggregate results will be analyzed and complied into a report for the public. Click below to complete the survey.

Take the survey

If you have questions, please contact Charles Gascon, Regional Economist at the St. Louis Fed at charles.s.gascon@stls.frb.org.

Stay healthy,

Greater North County Chamber

St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force – overview and FAQ

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force is an unprecedented collaboration that includes BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s.  The St. Louis metropolitan area’s largest health systems are working together to coordinate capacity, staffing, supplies and other issues to prepare for a coming surge of patients.  The Task Force is also coordinating with public health departments, elected leaders and state and federal agencies to provide the best possible care for patients.  Dr. Alex Garza, Chief Medical Officer at SSM Health and Incident Commander for the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Taskforce will hold daily briefings on Facebook Live at 3pm – the link is below.  I will also forward to you the daily briefing slide deck and link .

https://www.facebook.com/St-Louis-Metropolitan-Pandemic-Task-Force-114664760188697/?epa=SEARCH_BOX

St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force Overview

“This is deadly serious for this community right now.”

  • The next few weeks will be extraordinarily challenging for this community. This virus will reach every part of the metro area.
  • You and your family are NOT immune to this virus. Neither is our region. This will hit us hard. How hard it hits is really up to everyone in the region and the approach we take.
  • We have all seen what the virus has done to people and healthcare systems from Illinois to Washington State to Louisiana to the most extreme situations in places like New York and Italy. That same virus is spreading in our region today. We could easily face the same kind of situation – unless we all stop the spread now.
  • This is deadly math. The lack of testing hinders our ability to understand the full impact of the virus. To the best of our knowledge, this virus kills 1 to 2 people out of every 100 who become infected. We really can’t change that statistic—we can only change the number of people who get infected.
  • Right now, we are on a pace that would result in thousands of people hospitalized and, potentially, hundreds of deaths across the St. Louis metro area. However, this modeling does not have to become our reality. Through our individual and collective actions, we do have the power to stop the spread. That would reduce the number of people who are sick, and the number of people who ultimately die.
  • To be really clear: If we want to lower the number of people who get very sick and die, we need to lower the number of people who get infected.
  • We don’t have a vaccine for this virus – all we can do to prevent this threat is to stop it from spreading.
  • Most of you probably know someone who works in healthcare in this region or as a first-responder. This virus poses a real threat to them as they selflessly care for our sickest patients, so we have to stop the spread to protect healthcare workers. Other essential workers – from grocery workers to janitors to utility workers and more – are also at risk as they continue to provide the basic services we all depend on.
  • We have a chance to bend the curve and avoid that reality – but this couldn’t be more serious. Stop spread. Save lives.

“We have a regional plan to stop the spread and save lives.”

  • Based on the data, our health systems, public health directors and leaders came together.
  • Our region’s elected leaders acted appropriately and boldly weeks ago to close schools and casinos; ban large events; transition bars and restaurants to carry-out or delivery only; and implement “stay at home” orders across the metropolitan area.
  • Meanwhile, our healthcare systems came together to plan for a surge in cases and manage capacity, ventilators, and other supplies as if they were one hospital system.
  • That’s why our major health systems, BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital, have come together to form the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, with Dr. Alex Garza as their system-wide incident commander.
  • As a unified system, all of the hospitals have cancelled elective procedures to free up space and resources, evaluating and expanding care spaces, re-training staff and ensuring the best use of resources. Under the Task Force’s leadership, we are also evaluating and expanding care spaces, retraining staff, and more.
  • The Task Force is also coordinating constantly with public health officials on matters relating to testing, alternative sites of care, transportation and other issues that will be essential to our metro-wide response in the coming week.
  • It is an unprecedented step for our healthcare systems to come together to create a structure like the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force – but this is an unprecedented challenge and we are all in this together.
  • Our community is blessed to have outstanding healthcare providers – and many of them.  But without unified coordination by a Task Force with our elected leaders and public health officials, and without extraordinary efforts to stop the spread of this virus, COVID-19 could overwhelm our region’s healthcare capacity.
  • Because of his unique background, we have asked Dr. Garza to help lead the system’s coordinated response as incident commander for this effort. Dr. Garza is a trained emergency physician with more than 20 years of experience in the U.S. Army Reserves. He also served as Chief Medical Officer of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
  • The Task Force’s coordination and the heroic work of our healthcare workers will help save lives. But we all need to help stop the spread by following social distancing orders, staying at home as much as possible, washing our hands frequently and cleaning surfaces.

“Do your part.”

  • What we do today will absolutely impact how many people get sick, how many people are able to recover in the coming weeks, and how many people lose their lives. Stay home. Wash hands. Save lives.
  • The next 10 days to 2 weeks are critical. A surge is coming. Each of us can affect how big that surge is.
  • Our health care workers are already working to save lives and doing heroic work.
  • But what we do as individuals – whether we stay at home, whether we practice social distancing, whether we wash our hands – will directly impact whether our healthcare providers are able to manage the curve, or whether we get overwhelmed.
  • If you are sick, call your healthcare provider. Don’t just show up and don’t wait.  Call.
  • We will get through this if we all do our part. And eventually, our economy will restart and lives will begin to return to normal. But the single most important priority for our community for now must be to stop/slow the spread of this virus.

“We are together in this challenge.”

  • Our region is strongest when we all come together.
  • This virus doesn’t stop at a zip code or a neighborhood. It doesn’t care. What we do in St. Clair County will help protect people there and in St. Charles. What we do in the City of St. Louis will save lives there and in St. Louis County.
  • The St. Louis region is known around the world for our response to the 1918 influenza pandemic. This region did what others did not do and we saved a lot of lives. It was really a textbook example in public health. We can do this.
  • We have world-class medical research and treatment facilities – COVID and vaccine research; thriving agricultural and other industries; rapidly emerging geospatial capabilities.
  • Many business leaders and people across the community have reached out to see how they can help and be a part of the solution, because they are committed to the vitality of our region.
  • This is a community of boundless generosity, ingenuity and compassion.
  • We rally together when times are tough – , we have come together and we will only become stronger.

 
 Issues/Q&A

(TASK FORCE) Who belongs to it?
The task force includes our metropolitan area’s largest healthcare systems, including BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital (this includes 24 total healthcare facilities in the Metropolitan Statistical Area). They are working together to coordinate capacity, staffing, supplies and other issues to prepare for a coming surge of patients. They are also coordinating with public health departments, elected leaders and state and federal agencies to provide the best possible care to patients in the weeks ahead.

(TASK FORCE) Where can I follow task force briefings?
Task force briefings are streamed live on Facebook here, and task force briefing slides are also shared: https://www.facebook.com/St-Louis-Metropolitan-Pandemic-Task-Force-114664760188697/

(REGION DEFINITION) How are we defining the region?
All of the modeling we have done is based on the Metropolitan Statistical Area of the St. Louis region. That includes St. Louis City, St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Lincoln County and Warren County in Missouri. And, the Illinois counties of St. Clair, Madison, Bond, Calhoun, Clinton, Jersey, Macoupin and Monroe. Approximately 2.8 million people live in the MSA.

(MODELING) What do the models predict?
The models paint a grim picture with many thousands of people hospitalized and way too many people dead from all over the region. But we are not trapped by those models. We can stop the spread of this virus and demonstrate what happens when an entire region comes together to stop a common enemy. Stop spread. Save lives.

(MODELING – SPECIFICS) Can you tell us exactly how many people might get sick or be hospitalized?
Our current modeling shows that more than 80,000 people in the metro area could become infected by the end of April. That could result in anywhere from around 1,300 to more than 3,000 total patients in our hospitals based on our current modeling. The higher end of that range could potentially overwhelm our healthcare capacity, especially our ICU’s and ventilators, as well as burn out our region’s healthcare professionals.

However, I want to stress that this is based entirely on how much the virus spreads in the community. Therefore, the single most important thing we can do is prevent this region from reaching our crisis number of patients. We can do that by decreasing the spread.  Stay home. Wash your hands. Clean surfaces often, if you are sick, contact your healthcare provider or the health department and isolate yourself. If we do these things, we can lower the number of people who become infected which lowers the number who will need hospital and intensive care and makes the jobs of our healthcare workers easier.

(MODELING) When does the surge hit the St. Louis metro area?
Based on our modeling, we expect the surge to hit within the next two to three weeks. Our work today will impact how big that surge is.

(TESTING AVAILABILITY) Do we have enough COVID-19 tests right now?
When something of this scale is coming, every single resource we have is precious. There are not enough available tests right now to test everyone who might show symptoms consistent with this virus. This is a national problem, not just a local one. That’s why we have to do everything we can to stop the spread (stay home, wash hands, clean surfaces) even if we are feeling well.

(PPE SUPPLY) Do we have enough PPE for health care workers in this area?
We are going to need more. How much more we need depends on how effective we are at stopping the spread. The health systems and government leaders are doing everything we can to get more PPE, but we really need everyone in the region to help us by stopping the spread.

I have seen amazing efforts to make masks at home for healthcare professionals. We are so thankful for that, but the very best thing you can do to protect healthcare professionals is not to make a mask, but to stay home and stop the spread. We are developing a metro-wide framework by which we will track PPE and supplies across all of our hospital systems, and going forward, I will be able to update you regularly on where we stand. Those numbers will change in real time, but we will do our do our very best to keep you informed.

We don’t have enough beds for the worst possible surge that could come and that is what we are hoping to avoid by asking people to stay home, wash their hands and stop the spread. That’s the only way we reduce infections and hospitalizations. We are developing a metro-wide framework by which we will track capacity across all of our hospital systems, and going forward, I will be able to update you regularly on where we stand. Those numbers will change in real time, but we will do our do our very best to keep you informed.

(TRIAGE/CARE GUIDELINES) How will you make decisions about who gets care if this surge happens?
We don’t want to get to a place where we have to make decisions about who gets care and who doesn’t. We want to avoid that by stopping the spread here. But, we are working through now how those decisions would be made if we get to that point.

(ALTERNATIVE CARE SITES) Are you exploring using alternative sites for care?
We are exploring every potential resource to deal with the surge that could be coming. As health systems we are working together to share resources. We will continue to do that to meet needs.

But, there are many other issues besides space. If the surge we anticipate does come, we would need more staff, more equipment and other resources. We don’t really have all of that available to us. What we can do is prevent the spread of this virus and avoid the surge that would force us to find alternative sites for care.

 

(HEALTH CARE STAFFING/BURNOUT/ILLNESS) How are you dealing with healthcare staffing shortages caused by illness or burnout?
That is a really important issue and we are working together to make sure that we are taking care of those who are taking care of us. They are going to get tired. They are going to be stressed. They are going to worry about exposing their own families when they go home at night. We are doing what we can to help by arranging additional staff and hotels where they can sleep at night without exposing their families.

Plus, this goes beyond healthcare workers. We should be thinking about first responders, grocery store workers and others whose work is really essential to our daily lives. But, the best thing we can do to protect all of them is to stop the spread.
(TIMING) When will this be over? When will you know that what we are doing is working?
We will know in the next few weeks whether what we are doing is having an impact. When we see a decrease in the number and severity of the cases we are seeing, we will know. Test results are lagging indicators so it will take a while to know what kind of impact we are having. Most models show this will be with us for months.

We do know that staying home, creating social distance and washing hands will have an impact and help us get through this more quickly.

(MENTAL HEALTH CARE) How should we deal with the mental and emotional stress this crisis is causing?
Humans are social creatures. We need to be with each other and all of us who are working on this recognize that. But, for a while, we need to do life differently. We need to protect the people we love and our neighbors by staying at home and connecting only through technology.

(EQUITY/ACCESS TO CARE) What are we doing to ensure there is equal access to care across socioeconomic and racial demographics?
That is a very important issue. This virus doesn’t discriminate in any way. All of us are vulnerable and we are all dependent on everyone. So, we have to take care of everyone, regardless of their ability to pay.

If you need care call your health provider. If you don’t have a health provider and you are concerned you may have this virus you can go to the , the or the for a virtual visit with a provider. You can share your symptoms and a healthcare provider will evaluate that information and offer a recommendation for you.  You can also reach out to great providers like Affinia Healthcare or CareSTL.

Have some spare time on your hands these days? Help healthcare workers in need by making cloth masks! It’s easy! If you or your organization is able to provide cloth masks, please email EOCdonations@stlouisco.com.

April 8, 2020

From the Governmental Affairs Committee: SEMA

SEMA adapts Applicant Briefing to online presentation in support of local governments, nonprofits statewide involved in COVID-19 response

Normal in-person presentation about FEMA program rules and application process shift to online video format for local governments and eligible agencies included in federal Public Assistance disaster declaration

Editor’s Note:
The Applicant Briefings are not for the general public and there will not be any information related to the FEMA Individual Assistance program, which provides assistance to individuals and families.

JEFFERSON CITY – Following the federal disaster declaration for COVID-19 on March 26, the State Emergency Management Agency has made an online applicant briefing available for local government and nonprofit agencies statewide that are eligible for federal assistance for emergency protective measures taken as part of the COVID-19 response. This online presentation was developed to align with SEMA’s social distancing measures.

SEMA strongly encourages all eligible agencies in Missouri’s 114 counties and the City of St. Louis that plan to apply for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to review the video on SEMA’s website, in order to better understand program changes, eligibility information, the federal reimbursement process, documentation requirements and other essential program information. All Requests for Public Assistance must be submitted to FEMA within 30 days of the March 26 disaster declaration date, or April 25. Applicants should note that the Requests for Public Assistance (RPAs) must first be received by SEMA, processed, and then submitted to FEMA by the April 25 deadline, and to plan accordingly.

Governmental agencies, public health agencies, public hospitals, urgent care facilities, etc., and private non-profits that incurred COVID-19 related expenses should review the Applicant Briefing video, including those that are unsure of their eligibility status to ensure proper steps are being taken now to receive reimbursements.

SEMA encourages public officials and community leaders in all 114 Missouri counties to share information about the Applicant Briefing video with all potential applicants to ensure they have an opportunity to watch the video online and submit a request for FEMA Public Assistance.

View the Applicant Briefing video and other necessary information about the FEMA Public Assistance program at: http://sema.dps.mo.gov/programs/state_public_assistance.php.

For questions about the Applicant Briefings or the Public Assistance program, please call (573) 526-9234.

April 4, 2020

DED Stay-At-Home Order: Business Guidance

The following guidelines may assist businesses and individuals with understanding and complying with the Stay-at-Home Order issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services and effective on April 6, 2020.

  1. The order requires individuals to practice social distancing when outside their homes to work; to access food, prescriptions, health care, and other necessities; or to engage in outdoor activity.
  2. The order does not require all businesses statewide to close or cease operating.
  3. This order sets a baseline to be followed throughout the state concerning public health. This order does not affect the authority of local authorities within the state to issue or enforce more restrictive public health requirements for businesses or individuals.
  4. The order refers businesses to guidance by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to assist in determining whether the work their employees do is considered “essential” during the COVID-19 response period.
    • Workplaces that qualify as essential under the guidance may remain open.
      • When feasible, workers should work from home.
      • Workers onsite should take all necessary precautions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including practicing social distancing except when performance of job duties requires otherwise.
    • Workplaces that qualify as essential and are engaged in retail sales to the public must limit the number of people in each retail location to the following standards based on the workplace’s fire or building code occupancy:
      • For smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy;
      • For larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10 percent or less of the authorized occupancy.
    • Workplaces that do not qualify as essential but can operate with fewer than 10 people and while maintaining social distancing may remain open. Workers onsite should take all necessary precautions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19.
    • For workplaces that do not qualify as essential under the order or the federal guidance but believe that, in the interest of public health and safety, they should receive a waiver from the prohibition against social gatherings of 10 or more people, they may apply to the Department of Economic Development Director, through the Department’s website at https://ded.mo.gov/businesswaiver, for a waiver of that limitation.
    • Daycares, child care providers, or schools providing child care for working families should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance targeted for those operations.
  5. Individuals should continue:
    • to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people;
    • to practice social distancing;
    • to refrain from visiting nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, and assisted living homes; and
    • to recognize that state office buildings are closed to the public.

April 2, 2020

The State DED and Regional Chamber need real-time information about the impact from the businesses, please take time to let them know how you are doing, it matters:  http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07egz8xkc4k7xjg53t/_tmp/greeting

Coronavirus Emergency Loans: Small Business Guide & Checklist

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

The administration soon will release more details including the list of lenders offering loans under the program. In the meantime, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued this guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.

Business/Economic Relief Information and Funding Assistance:

Other resources you might want to be aware of:

Other items of interest:

Food Delivery Services:

CDC’s Official Website for COVID-19 Updates:

Tips for Working at Home:

Ideas and Free Educational Materials for Kids at Home:

Scholastic’s Free Learn at Home Program    
https://classroommagazines.scholastic.com/support/learnathome.html

Khan Academy Free Learning
https://docs.google.com/document/u/1/d/e/2PACX-1vSZhOdEPAWjUQpqDkVAlJrFwxxZ9Sa6zGOq0CNRms6Z7DZNq-tQWS3OhuVCUbh_-P-WmksHAzbsrk9d/pub

Crash Course YouTube Channel
https://thecrashcourse.com/