Despite the absence of positive coronavirus cases in the six-county Snowy Mountain Region, the economic impact on rural businesses and communities is evident and mounting. More than 30 local businesses have submitted Economic Injury Worksheets documenting substantial revenue losses, employee layoffs, supply chain disruptions and cash flow concerns. SMDC is working closely with the Department of Labor and Industry to link employers and employees to unemployment insurance benefits. The Federal government has relaxed regulations for UI claims. Benefits linked to COVID-19 will not be charged to employer accounts and will not increase unemployment insurance rates. Business owners who pay themselves a wage qualify for benefits. The Small Business Administration is making available Economic Injury Disaster Loans for both profit and nonprofit corporations. SMDC is working closely with the U.S. Economic Development Administration to secure additional funding to provide low-interest loans for working capital. Congress continues to deliberate strategies to be included in the third phase of stimulus relief. SMDC will continue to update its COVID-19 webpage and post to Facebook. For further information, please email: email@example.com.