If you have spent any time in California, you have grown reasonably accustomed to (or, at least familiar with) floods, earthquakes, wildfires, and droughts. We can now add global pandemic to the list. Through each of these situations, I have always been impressed with the depth of character, the caring and the support demonstrated by community members.
Since this crisis has begun, I have run across story after story personifying this national ethos of service and sacrifice. Thankfully, we don’t have to look far for examples of character, concern and support. Just in the last week, a cannabis manufacturer and Dunn Edward Paint store made sizable donations of N95 masks to our Fire and Police Departments. These masks are critical in keeping our first responders healthy and ready to serve Cathedral City residents battling the COVID-19 virus. Cathedral City’s brand new Best Western Plus and Zobo and Meester’s Restuarant have donated much needed food to the Cathedral City Senior Center. These donations help ensure Geoff Corbin and Ron Casidine at the Senior Center are able to continue their incredible work of providing nourishing meals to our senior citizens. Still, others are donating critically needed blood to our local Life Stream donation center in Rancho Mirage and La Quinta. Local resident and Life Stream CEO Dr. Rick Axelrod, M.D., M.B.A. and his team work tirelessly to ensure the Coachella Valley has an adequate blood supply our doctors need in times of need.
While this global crisis affects all of us in different ways, the economic impacts are real and immediate for virtually everyone. The balance of today’s Community Update has been written to help those who have lost their income.
When creating your plan to get through this situation, below are resources which should help.
I) Replacing lost income:
- For those affected by COVID-19, here is a great summary of what California Employment Development Department is offering.
- Unemployment Insurance: Here is how to file a claim.
- Paid Family Leave: Here is how to file a claim.
- For those with a disability: EDD Disability Insurance and/or Supplemental Security Income
- For those 65 and over: Supplemental Security Income
II) Saving money: While there is a nearly endless list of creative ways to save money, below are valuable local resources:
- Southern California Gas reduced rate plan for income qualified families [California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE)]
- Southern California Edison reduced rate CARE and FERA plans;
- CVWD-Coachella Valley Water District Help2Others Customer Assistance Program
- Desert Water Agency Help2Others Customer Assistance Program
- California Earned Income Tax Credit and Young Child Tax Credit
- Google “Cathedral City resale store” for a list of great stores offering real bargains
III) Landing a great new job:
- Preparing for interviews: “60 Seconds and You’re Hired”. Single best interview preparation resource I have found.
- Spend time creating a solid resume;
- Leverage the expertise provided by the professionals within the Riverside County Workforce Development Center.
IV) Transportation: Coachella Valley’s Sunline Transit Agency is demonstrating, yet again, their proactive thinking, leadership and concern for Coachella Valley residents with free local fixed route and paratransit bus service.
V) Ensuring food security: Keeping yourself and your family healthy during this crisis is best achieved through adequate rest and nutrition. Below are resources to ensure you and your family have enough to eat:
- GetCalFresh (California’s SNAP program)
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)
- Riverside University Health System WIC program
- Find Food Bank
- Cathedral City Senior Center
VI) Stay healthy: Managing income loss, health concerns or social isolation one at a time can be challenging. Managing all three of these concerns at once requires intentional effort to maintain a healthy emotional outlook. Below are several articles which can help keep our situation in perspective.
- “How to manage the psychological effects of quarantine” by Dr. Mark Banschick M.D.
- “8 Things to Do While Under Quarantine” by Dr. Kyle D. Killian, PhD. LMFT
- “How to deal with uncertainty” by Dr. Clay Drinko, PhD.
- “Healing the Heart During COVID-19” by Christine Fonseca, M.S.
- “In Helping Others, You Help Yourself” by Dr. Marianna Pogosyan PhD.
The City is utilizing several websites to communicate valuable and time-sensitive information on different resources; County, State and Federal policy changes and public and/or private assistance programs available to our residents and business owners. Please refer to www.discovercathedralcity.com and www.ccedd.org for frequent updates. The www.ccedd.org is a website exclusively tailored to serving Cathedral City businesses. www.ccedd.org is updated on nearly a daily basis as new programs become available. Please bookmark this page and refer to it often.
The Coachella Valley Economic Partnership is conducting a crucial business survey which will be used to assess the economic impact of COVID-19. This tool will give Valley leaders a distinguished data set which will allow us to uniquely discern the difference of impacts the Coachella Valley is experiencing as compared to the nation. The survey was created with the assistance of economic developers nationwide and with special guidance from the Institute of Decision Making at the University of Northern Iowa. One of the goals of this survey is to use the results to attract much needed recovery funds. If you are a business owner or know a business owner, please take time to fill out this brief survey today. All responses are due by March 31. Here is a link to the survey.
Lastly, some businesses have been impacted much more significantly than others. Most notably, our restaurants and auto dealers have suffered an estimated 70% to 80% decline in revenues. Whenever possible, please order food to-go, for curb-side pickup or home delivery. You patronage now will help keep these businesses alive, keep their staff employed and position our restaurants for a more rapid recovery once the COVID-19 curve is flattened. You can also purchase restaurant gift cards which provides much needed revenue now and can be used later in the year. Additionally, Joe Wallace, CEO of CVEP wrote a great article about the importance of supporting our automotive repair shops and dealers. These businesses are an integral part of our community, and now is the time to thank them for all they do by supporting their business.