PA Members --
As information and decisions change rapidly during the COVID-19 pandemic, please know that PA will continue to be here for you. During this crisis, more folks are becoming aware and angry about unjust policies harming our most vulnerable populations, igniting a passion to advocate for things like paid sick leave, expansion of unemployment assistance, and equitable access to healthcare.
As such, we plan to continue to uplift important resources for our community members in need as well as ways to provide mutual aid. This week, we’re highlighting important resources and ways you can support Durham workers, living-wage employers, and small businesses.
Please read on and share this information widely.
Key Information for Durham Workers
Changes in federal legislation will create important rights and resources for workers who may need to take leave or experience economic hardship during this crisis. Click here to review the provisions supporting employees in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. These provisions include changes in emergency family and medical leave as well as unemployment insurance. This act goes into effect April 2, 2020.
Support Living-Wage Employers in Durham
One way that the People’s Alliance has helped to promote living wages and support the local economy in Durham is by launching the Durham Living Wage Project. With the COVID-19 crisis deepening as both a public health emergency and an economic crisis, the leaders of the Durham Living Wage Project would like to lift up the 160+ local, private businesses that pay all of their employees at least $15/hour. These local businesses include everything from bars and restaurants to financial services providers, construction firms, health care providers, information technology firms, landscapers, local farms, communication firms, and nonprofits serving our community’s greatest needs. Some of these employers — such as restaurants, bars, child care providers, and retailers — have already had to drastically alter their businesses. Others continue to operate via remote work.
As community residents in a rapidly changing COVID-19 world, the Durham Living Wage Project recommends that local residents do these four things:
- Spend your dollars to support local businesses (as many local leaders and neighbors have already pointed out).
- When patronizing local businesses for goods or services, consider first those that pay all of their employees a living wage. Click here for a complete list of those businesses.
- Be particularly supportive of those living-wage employers in the hospitality sector who are trying creative ways to maintain their workforce given current restrictions on dine-in service at restaurants and bars. To do this, go to the "food/beverage/restaurant" list here and check out the websites for each establishment.
- Donate to nonprofits paying their workers a living wage.
Additional COVID-19 Resources for Workers and Small Businesses
Please note: these resources have been recommended by PA members. However, the PA has not independently verified their accuracy, legitimacy, or safety; and the PA disclaims responsibility for them. Thus, you assume any and all risks associated with accessing these resources if you decide to do so. We wish all Durham community members the best during these difficult times.
Worker Relief & Employment Support:
- One Fair Wage — Emergency Coronavirus Tipped and Service Worker Support Fund provides cash assistance to restaurant workers, car service drivers, delivery workers, and personal service workers.
- Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation’s COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund moves money to organizations leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community and establishes a relief fund for individual workers facing economic hardships or health crises as a direct result of COVID-19.
- Career Center of the Carolinas can help those impacted by COVID-19 find work.
- The IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page offers help to taxpayers affected by the coronavirus.
Small business support:
- Honeycomb Credit is a crowd-funding company that can help small businesses leverage the funds they raise into loans for small business relief (this process can take time).
- The IRS Coronavirus Tax Relief page also offers help to businesses affected by the coronavirus.
- The Small Business Administration has reduced interest rates on disaster assistance loans.
- The City of Durham has a page dedicated to small business support.
- Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation’s COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund also helps businesses maintain payroll during closure or re-open once this crisis has passed.
The following resource guides include lots of information relevant to workers and businesses/employers responding to COVID-19:
- COVID-19 Resource Sheet for Durham from Taylor Nowrocki
- Wake County Resources for COVID-19 from community members in Wake County
- NC, National, and Domestic Violence-Specific Resources Regarding COVID-19 from North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence
- Addiction Professionals of North Carolina State-Wide Resource Guide from Addiction Professionals of North Carolina
Work Led by Other Durham Organizations / Progressive Partners
People's Alliance has signed onto two important platforms calling for a just, progressive response to the COVID-19 pandemic: the NC People’s Platform for Social and Economic Survival and Beyond and Raise Up NC/Fight for $15’s demand for paid sick leave for McDonald’s workers. Please sign on and share widely!