Be Safe during the Covid Pandemic – It is not over!

With family get togethers during the holidays, it is best to check in, and check on family, friends, neighbors, and others. Take reasonable medical safety precautions, as advised by the CDC, public health departments, and medical professionals. Listen to the experts, not just the opinionated. (Everyone has an opinion, but not everyone is an expert).

Get your Covid vaccines, if you have not done so. Get your Cover booster, if due. Wear good quality face masks in busy places. Maintain social distancing and be patient. Frequent hand washing is a sound health practice, always. This is the “new normal” and it is time to gracefully accept common sense precautions to protect others, as you would want your family and yourself to be protected. The science can be confusing and is admittedly subject to change with time and evidence. One fact, However, that has been repeatedly supported by the evidence is that the vaccines keep most people from the most serious of outcomes and consequences of Covid and the Covid variants. Get tested with known exposure, with or without the vaccine, and, with or without Covid symptoms. Hopefully, free testing kits will soon become available. If America wants to Build Back Better, free at home testing should be readily available. Celebrate the victories and try not to be too distressed by the failures. Happy Holidays… in whichever holiday tradition gives you comfort, peace, and joy. Maintain your sense of humor. Honor your family and your family traditions. Be kind.

Thank you for reading my blog. Your feedback and stories are welcome.

Follow the money!

A recent article published July 13, 2020 in the Kitsap Sun written by Nathan Pilling, discussed the SBA (Small Business Administration) Payment Protection Program and the potential impacts of the emergency small business loans received in Kitsap County, Washington.

I think it is important to evaluate how our tax dollars are being spent as our country tries to balance the intertwined crises of the economy and the pandemic.

As the coronavirus pandemic’s economic impact came into sharp focus, hundreds of businesses, trusts, churches and nonprofits in Kitsap and North Mason counties were approved for emergency small business loans backed by the federal government, databases released on July 6 by the U.S. Small Business Administration show.

Among the largest recipients of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in the region: Kitsap Mental Health Services in Bremerton and Taylor Shellfish Company in Shelton, which were both approved for distributions of between $5 million and $10 million.

In the SBA release last week, approved distributions of more than $150,000 are reported in ranges and those under that line are identified without names, by business or organization type. Many, but not all, list how many jobs the funds would help to retain.

Funds were designed to help businesses retain at least 3,300 jobs in the region, according to those databases.

Kitsap Mental Health CEO Joe Roszak said his organization received a $6.1 million distribution and that the vast majority of the money went to payroll. A final chunk of about $100,000 will be gone within the next week or two, he said.

“Individuals who were requiring services who refused to come in for service because they were fearful for their health and the health of others, it pretty much significantly impacted our operation’s ability to deliver services and revenue,” he said. “The PPP, I know, was really essential to stabilizing our operations and allowed continuance of many of our services, and for that we’re grateful,” he said.

On Bainbridge Island, the environmental education center IslandWood received about $1 million, which allowed the nonprofit to bring back staff it had furloughed as events like retreats and school visits were canceled and other funding had dried up, CEO Megan Karch said. About 60% of the center’s typical staffing level of 100 people had been furloughed, but many were able to come back to work with the funding on redesigning education programs that could go online, she said. IslandWood was transparent with staff that it was highly likely that they would be brought back only for a temporary period, and as the center recently finished off the pot of money, it had had to re-furlough employees and is now back down to about 35 staffers, Karch said. She anticipated about 70% of the loan her organization received would be forgivable. “The environmental education industry is at great risk, frankly,” she said. “The Paycheck Protection Program money is a step in the right direction.”

Pilling Nathan. (7/13/20). Payment Protection Progam: Who Received an Emergency Small Business Loan in Kitsap? The Kitsap Sun, https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/07/13/kitsap-ppp-payment-protection-program-who-received-emergency-small-business-loan/5394691002/

If you want to know which businesses in your area received Payment Protection Program Emergency Funds, follow this link: https://datacentral.kitsapsun.com/paycheck-protection-program-loans/