Written by Courtney Morey

In today’s professional climate knowledge is power, the more you know about something the less scary it is. So let’s explore your options as a business owner during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Mike Swaney is the Operations Manager of Delivery Reemployment Services at MassHire in the Cape and Islands district. Swaney talked with Jason Zagami about what employers should be aware of and which MassHire resources employers can take advantage of right now.

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If You Decide to Layoff Your Employees:

There have been changes made to the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) because of the special circumstances that COVID-19 has brought.

Due to the nature of this virus and the changes in the DUA requirements and benefits, layoffs have become a strategic move for businesses to survive, while also guaranteeing the financial safety of their employees. 

Many of the requirements which were mandatory to claim benefits have been altered so that workers who have been laid off receive income more quickly and will be able to support themselves and their families.

As an employer, if you have laid off your employees it’s important that you make sure they know where to claim for unemployment and the specific terms that they should use when applying for benefits. By keeping yourself informed of changes to DUA you can better assist your employees and ensure that there won’t be any delays in getting their benefits. 

Unemployment insurance helps employees receive temporary income while their hours have been reduced or eliminated entirely. It’s the employer’s responsibility to educate themselves on what they should be contributing to DUA.

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If You Need Financial Relief:

Depending on your business, you may be eligible for financial relief :

  • The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program 
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury in Massachusetts, due to COVID-19.

Small businesses may qualify for loans up to $2 million.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

  • SBA Express Bridge Loan Program
A smaller loan that is available to small businesses that have an existing business relationship with an SBA-approved lender. Meant to hold your business over until you are approved for a long-term loan.
  • SBA Paycheck Protection Program 
If you chose to keep employees on the payroll, this loan program provides loans up to $10 million with a 1.0% interest rate and a 2-year maturity rate with no payments in the first 6 months.
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance 
A $10,000 grant available to businesses that have already been approved for Economic Injury Disaster Loan.

There are additional options for your business. Make sure that you’re taking advantage of the help that is out there!

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If You are Looking to Hire:

Many businesses are having to put a pause on their operations, but there are still many whose services are in high demand. 

When you become a member of MassHire they conduct a search for the perfect applicant for you. 

The recruitment process includes: 

  • Job Postings 
  • On-site Interviews (now virtual interviews)
  • On-Job Trainings
  • Pre-screening 

The business department at MassHire develops a relationship with you and your business. This helps them to recruit the right people for the job you need to fill. 

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Knowledge is Power

Being informed is the best defense for your business right now. 

Whatever position you find yourself in with your business, just know that you have options and support.

This pandemic won’t last forever. If you take advantage of the resources and benefits being offered you will emerge from this stronger than ever.