Letter: Assistance for business owners
We know that everyone across our industry is being hit extremely hard by COVID-19 and the related travel reductions and cancellations. While we all work together to limit community spread, we’re also focusing on how we can connect hoteliers, restaurants, attractions and any tourism-dependent businesses with resources to navigate this truly unprecedented storm.
AZ Dept of Economic Security (AZDES) Shared Work Program
Employers experiencing a slowdown in their businesses or services as a result of the coronavirus impact on the economy may apply for the UI Shared Work Program. This program gives employers an alternative to layoffs and allows the retention of trained employees by reducing their hours and wages that can be partially offset with UI benefits. Visit Arizona Shared Work Program to learn more.
Help for Small Businesses
Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program: Provides up to $2 million in loans to support small businesses that suffer economic injury from disasters. It is administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). On March 16, Governor Ducey requested the SBA issue a disaster declaration for Arizona’s small businesses affected by COVID-19.
Help for the Tourism Industry
Congress approved a bill today that President Trump is expected to sign which provides paid sick leave, food assistance for vulnerable populations and financial help for coronavirus testing.
Congress is currently working on a third relief bill which could exceed $1 trillion in economic relief, including $150 billion for the tourism industry. The administration has made clear it is intent on helping industries hardest hit by travel restrictions. The U.S. Travel Association has made specific recommendations for this bill which can be viewed here.
Share Your Challenges with AOT
We know that sweeping policies enacted quickly have the tendency to leave more specific related questions unaddressed. We’re asking our tourism industry partners looking for specific guidance on COVID19-related issues to email firstname.lastname@example.org with challenges you're facing, and we'll work to connect you with the appropriate resources.
Thank you for your dedication to Arizona's tourism industry - we are in this together.
Debbie Johnson Director, Arizona Office of Tourism @AZTourismNews
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