FRIDAY ADDRESS - APRIL 17, 2020
Hello. I’m Mayor Susan Seaman. As I’ve mentioned in my previous communications, the City of Eureka is working diligently to support the health and well-being of our citizens, our community, and our economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
First, I’d like to recognize our employers and employees in essential businesses that are affected by the many changes that have come with COVID-19. I commend you for working together to adjust and flex in these uncertain times.
I’ve received some questions around employee and employer expectations and safety, as well as where small businesses can find support. Next, I’ll share some resources that may be useful during this time.
To provide guidelines for workplace planning purposes, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently published their Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19, outlining steps employers can take to help protect their workforce.
OSHA has divided workplaces and work operations into four risk zones, according to the likelihood of employees’ occupational exposure during a pandemic. These risk zones are useful in determining appropriate work practices and precautions.
To learn more, visit OSHA’s website, osha.gov. This webpage provides information for workers and employers about the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and includes links to interim guidance and other resources for preventing exposures to, and infection with, COVID-19. Those of you who are working in the field, doing essential business, are important players in this time of crisis. We encourage you all to take necessary precautions to stay safe.
This is an anxious time for small business owners. The federal Small Business Administration has recently begun the implementation of large-scale relief programs that aim to mitigate the financial impact associated with nationwide shelter in place guidance. Without a doubt, these roll-outs have come with numerous challenges. Fortunately, we have a team of local business and financial partners working daily to try to make it less confusing.
I want to encourage you to work with the North Coast SBDC to learn more about the support available to you. Their website at www.northcoastsbdc.org has a financial resources page that is updated daily to represent which lenders are able to help with specific programs. They also offer weekly “Surviving Together” webinars, which provide both valuable information about working in your small business and gives business owners an opportunity to commiserate on their situation. This is a difficult time for many business owners and there is no shame in asking for help where it is needed. The North Coast SBDC can work with you confidentially to ensure you are getting the benefits available to help you keep community unemployment down and your business moving forward.
Finally, please continue doing your part to control the community spread of COVID-19. We have been so proud to see that your actions so far have truly helped make it harder for this virus to spread. We are doing well, but we’re not out of the woods. Remain sheltered in place, and if you absolutely must leave your home, practice social distancing and wear a mask. Wash your hands, cough or sneeze into your elbow, avoid touching your face, and sanitize your cell phone and other items you touch or share frequently.
As always, and in addition to our video updates and social media posts, you can find regular updates at the City of Eureka’s website at ci.eureka.ca.gov, as well as links to other important community resources.
Again, I’m Mayor Susan Seaman, and I appreciate your attention to this message. Be safe, stay healthy, be patient with yourself and kind to your neighbors and family. We’ll talk again soon.