Following the latest Public Health Order issued Sunday, March 29 by Salt Lake County Health Department and signed by Mayor Jenny Wilson, the Salt Lake County COVID-19 Economic Impact & Recovery Team is launching a free Business Relief Hotline for all Salt Lake County-based businesses to access and receive immediate resource guidance, as well provide a live outlet to ask questions.
The impacts of COVID-19 on Utah’s economy and small businesses are profound, as the community-wide effort of limiting the spread of the disease unfolds. Understanding the heavy burden of this ever-changing climate, Salt Lake County seeks to serve as a wayfinding support system to individuals leading and operating Utah businesses through this public health crisis.
“We know social distancing restrictions require businesses to adapt to a safer, temporary reality in order to protect the health of all our residents,” said Mayor Wilson. “Because of this, we believe it’s crucial that the County serve businesses by helping them tap into desperately needed resources as they become available. This free service is one of many we will deploy to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our residents and their livelihoods.”
Salt Lake County will connect callers to local, dedicated caseworkers who possess up-to-date information that’s otherwise overwhelming individuals as they attempt to absorb federal, state, and local options coming at them from a firehose.
“The amount of information flowing right now about various COVID relief programs is overwhelming said Dina Blaes, director of the Salt Lake County Office of Regional Development. “We’re providing this free service so business owners can focus their energy on meeting payroll and making rent rather than wading through federal legislation to see if their business even qualifies. We want to help them locate the best solutions for their particular needs as quickly as possible.”
For some, this might entail businesses that do not have a current SBA loan and are unsure of eligibility; or those which have not engaged with their bank or credit union for services beyond checking and credit cards.
The Economic Impact and Recovery Team also wants to provide insight and valuable resources to local municipalities and townships so they may also champion businesses within the reach of their own economic development offices.
“As dozens of professionals in a variety of the region’s industries convene with us each week to collaborate and strategize about solutions to the economic impact of COVID-19,” said Blake Thomas, Salt Lake County’s Economic Development director, “We anticipate bringing forth and announcing more tools to be shared among cities in Salt Lake County, and the rest of Utah, so that we may weather this epidemic the best way we know how – together.”