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Blaine’s Bulletin: Coronavirus and Reopening Update

Washington, May 1, 2020

While the last few months have been trying as we have stayed home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Missouri is on the path to safely reopening. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) got back up and running this week to help businesses across the nation pay workers and stay afloat. And, with testing now widely available to people who need it and encouraging numbers being reported by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, we are getting closer and closer to being able to safely return to normal. As we look forward to that transition, we continue hearing stories of communities coming together from all over the Third District, showing that in times of crisis, Missourians always step up to the plate. 

Pulling together and helping one another in times of need is one of the things this state does best. In Washington, Missouri, a family-run business that makes award ribbons, the Hodges Badge Company has found another way to help the community while most competitions, and their need for ribbons, have been cancelled. They are now using their materials and skills to make protective masks for essential workers and people with compromised immune systems. Not only have they adjusted to keep their own people employed, they are taking steps to keep their entire community safe. 

A local insurance agency in Union has also organized “Meals for Mercy.” Their efforts give the community the opportunity to sponsor meals made by local restaurants for hospital workers who have been on the frontlines of testing and treating patients. Like many towns and cities in the Third District, they are helping food industry workers put a meal on their own families’ tables by giving medical workers food to put on theirs.  

For those small businesses still looking for help, the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration opened the second round of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program on Monday. This funding is projected to support nearly 700,000 jobs here in Missouri and will certainly help families as our economy gets back on its feet.  

With Missouri beginning our reopening on Monday, let’s all remember to remain vigilant and look out for one another. You can find helpful information at Health.MO.gov and CDC.gov/coronavirus. As always, I am here to help. My office is open and ready to assist you in any way.