SELECT A TAB FOR MORE INFORMATION AND RESOURCES ON:
- Employment/Health Benefits
- Child / Family / Seniors
- Volunteering & Donating
- Business Supports
EMPLOYMENT AND HEALTH BENEFITS
|Vermont Department of Labor - Unemployment Benefits|
|Department of Vermont Health Access - Medicaid Benefit Information|
|Vermont Health Connect - Health Insurance|
|Vermont’s COVID-19 Presumption law The State of Vermont has enacted legislation that allows workers’ compensation benefits – under certain circumstances – for any employee infected by COVID-19. |
CHILDCARE, FOOD, EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
Food Distribution: The Vermont Foodbank and Vermont National Guard have added another food distribution site for those in need: Friday, May 8 at the Allen Brook School, 497 Talcott Road, Williston from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
|EWSD Childcare Opportunities for Essential Workers during Vermont’s COVID-19 Response|
Childcare for Essential Persons – Childcare is available for those who have been deemed essential to the COVID-19 response
|Essex Westford School District - Free breakfast and lunch for children throughout closure|
|WIC (Vermont Dept. of Health) - Gives access to healthy foods, nutrition education and counseling|
|3SquaresVT (known nationally as SNAP) - A state food assistance program based on income|
|Vermont Department of Public Service - Internet and telecommunications resources to support you and your family|
|Foodpantries.org - Listing of local food pantries, websites and locations|
|Heart & Soul of Essex - Offering resources for Essex residents. Download printable Community Services Brochure.|
|AARP Community Connections - Sometimes, just hearing a friendly voice on the other end of the line can help in challenging times. AARP Friendly Voices are trained AARP volunteers who will provide a call to say hello.|
- Chittenden Solid Waste District (CSWD) - Williston Drop-Off Center (WDOC) Please visit websites for up-to-date hours of operation, materials accepted, fees and limitations. Be sure to observe the facility guidelines to help keep yourself and staff safe:
- Stay 6 feet apart from each other and staff
- Wear a mask
- Consolidate your visits to reduce traffic through Drop-Off Centers
- Water and COVID-19 FAQs - CDC Information about drinking water, recreational water and wastewater; guidance for boil advisories and spread of COVID-19 in spas and water playgrounds. Read the "Don’t Flush It" series and get the word out to prevent flushing wipes, even if the package says, "flushable".
Vermont Department of Taxes Issues 2020 Tax Season Guidance in Response to COVID-19 Emergency
The Vermont Department of Taxes continues to carefully monitor the evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Department is working closely with the office of Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont legislature, following changes at the federal level, and adhering to guidance from the Vermont Department Health. Please see the Department’s information on relief for Vermont taxpayers at tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus. You should check this link periodically as the guidance may change. You may also follow the Vermont Department of Taxes on Facebook and Twitter.
|Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) Community Action Housing Assistance Program for general inquiries, including difficulty paying rent. For more information or to set up an appointment, please call (802) 863-6248 ext. 4.|
|COVID-19: EXTENDED HOUSING SUPPORTS FOR VULNERABLE, HOMELESS VERMONTERS Vermont Department of Children & Families’ Economic Services Division has extended housing supports for those over age 60, or have underlying health conditions. For more information, contact the DCF Benefits Service Center at 1-800-479-6151, M-TH from 8AM to 6PM and Friday from 8AM to 4:15PM.|
|Vermont Legal Aid and Legal Services Vermont work together to provide free civil (not criminal) legal help to low-income people who live in Vermont. Services are free. Visit their page to find help with rent and evictions, landlord visits and housing. If you have health issues that place you at higher risk with COVID-19 exposure, you can make a reasonable accommodation request to your property owner to ask them not to come to your home during this public health crisis.|
|Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has directed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to suspend foreclosures and evictions for homeowners for a temporary time.|
|Federal Housing Administration (FHA) Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced a temporary suspension of foreclosures and evictions for single-family homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages.|
|United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has placed a foreclosure and eviction moratorium (temporary stop) on all USDA Direct and Guaranteed Home Loans.|
|United States Department of Veterans Affairs can help Veterans, service members, and their surviving spouses to buy a home or refinance a loan. VA will also offer benefits and services to help you build, improve or keep your current home. Visit the Homeless Veterans Crisis Chat for free, confidential support for homeless Veterans.|
NEEDED: HOMEMADE FACE MASKS AND DISINFECTANT WIPES
April 23, 2020 - As stay-at-home orders gradually lift, the Town of Essex and Village of Essex Junction employees look forward to seeing our residents again. To best protect customers and employees, we will need face masks for municipal staff to wear in offices and in the field. If you are interested in donating homemade face masks, please place inside a Ziploc style bag and drop off at the Police Station, 145 Maple St. If you don’t sew would like to donate, we are also in need of disinfectant wipes. All donated items must be in new, unused, and unopened condition. Thank you to all individuals and organizations for your contributions! Visit the CDC website for information on how face masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a variety of face mask patterns.
|Volunteer Opportunities - Help support Vermonters affected by COVID-19|
|Neighborly Best Practices for helping during COVID-19|
TAX TIP: The Internal Revenue Service will not let you deduct the value of your time or service, but expenses related to volunteering for a qualified organization can be tax deductible donations.
As we helplessly sit and watch as COVID-19 puts enormous financial pressure on all nonprofits, the pandemic creates medical and health needs, as well as economic uncertainty above and beyond the usual. This means that nonprofits working directly to meet those needs require more resources to do so. Many donors are dialing back their contributions due to the economic uncertainty. Many fundraising events and other programs to raise funds are on hold out of concern for public safety. It has never been a better time to donate to your favorite causes.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for consumer protection offers the following advice when considering charitable organizations.
- Research the charity. Is it a real group? Search online to learn more about its reputation. If you’re getting requests by phone, tell callers to send you information by mail. A legitimate charity will send you information in writing.
- Know where your money is going. Find out what percentage of your donation goes to the charity, and whether your donation is tax-deductible.
- Pay it safe. How does the charity want you to pay? Rule out anyone who asks you to send cash, wire money, or get a prepaid debit card. Chances are, that’s a scam.
For more information on what to know before giving to a charity, visit this FTC Consumer Information page for donating wisely and avoiding scams.
TAX TIP: Your charitable giving will qualify for a tax deduction only if it goes to a tax exempt organization, as defined by section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. You can verify an organizations’ status with the IRS Tax Exempt Organization Search.
ReVTA (Restart Vermont Technical Assistance Program) begins receiving applications on September 22, 2020. If your business was negatively impacted from Covid-19, you may qualify for various assistance. Please go to www.vermonteconomicdevelopment.com for more information and to submit an application for help.
Town Meeting TV interviews Elaine Haney of the Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) on the State’s response and how businesses can access COVID-19 financial relief. Elaine, serving as the Chair of the Essex Selectboard, also comments on how Essex and Essex Junction are responding in a unified way.
To find out what types of business activities are permitted under Governor Scott’s Stay Home Stay Safe Executive Order, please utilize the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) website. ACCD updates their guidance for businesses regularly. If you have questions about how the guidance provided relates specifically to your business model, you can request more specific guidance through this form.
|Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce|
|COVID-19 Guidance for Vermont Businesses|
|Vermont Department of Health Food and Lodging Program released a helpful guide: COVID-19 Guidance Fact Sheet|
Call: (802) 863-7221
|The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act|
|State of Vermont Critical Business List (PDF)|
|COVID Response & Recovery Support for Working Lands Businesses|
Coronavirus Food Assistance Program: Are you a farmer or rancher whose operation has been directly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic? The Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide direct relief to producers who have suffered losses during the 2020 marketing year due to COVID-19. Visit the USDA website for more information.
Vermont Department of Taxes Issues 2020 Tax Season Guidance in Response to COVID-19 Emergency: The Vermont Department of Taxes continues to carefully monitor the evolving situation related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Department is working closely with the office of Governor Phil Scott and the Vermont legislature, following changes at the federal level, and adhering to guidance from the Vermont Department Health. Please see the Department’s information on relief for Vermont taxpayers at tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus. You should check this link periodically as the guidance may change. You may also follow the Vermont Department of Taxes on Facebook and Twitter.
- Virtual Town Hall Series - Vermont Department of Labor video series to assist employers and those who are self-employed. Videos provide the step-by-step process for employers that feel they may need to lay off employees, such as steps to take, who to notify and work with, as well as what to do when and if they are looking to hire.
- The Vermont Occupational Safety and Health Administration (VOSHA) has put together an online training to assist employers in protecting the safety and health of workers during the pandemic. Please visit their website page to take the training and pass on to your employees.
YOUR COMMUNITY DURING COVID-19
The Champlain Valley Exposition, often referred to as “the fairgrounds” is an agricultural non-profit 501c3. It proves year over year to not only be a host of dozens of events and gatherings, but it’s a huge economic driver for the region. Every year, CVE hosts dozens of events that touch every fabric of Vermont’s culture. Ranging from the Vermont Farm Show, Circus Smirkus, the National Street Rod Association, Girls on the Run, and the iconic Champlain Valley Fair. But in 2020, CVE's role in the community changed. Instead of rides, concerts, food, and excitement at the Fair, CVE hosted the UVM Medical Center as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site and remains a "Surge Site," a hospital, for the Vermont National Guard and the State of Vermont. No one can say for certain what the near future will look like, or even how CVE will be operating in 2021. When large gatherings can occur again, look to the Champlain Valley Exposition as the epicenter of entertainment, culture, agriculture, and economic activity. Make no mistake. The Champlain Valley Exposition must survive and be a pillar for the region and the State of Vermont.
Mask Mandate Effective August 1st
(As reported on the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce website): In a move foreshadowed by the Governor during his Tuesday press conference, today the Governor announced he signed an order that masks be worn in public places where physical distancing isn’t possible starting August 1st. Masks will be required of anyone over the age of 2, unless the person has a physical or developmental disability that would be complicated by the wearing of one. Currently, there is no penalty structure in place for refusal to wear face coverings, however, businesses can now easily refuse service to customers who don’t comply. The state will continue to focus efforts on education.
While the Governor has been hesitant to create a mask mandate, his administration has said that such a mandate is a tool in the toolbox to combat the spread of COVID-19. In looking at regional trends, the Governor is worried about a resurgence of the virus and spill-over from neighboring states.
From the Unified Manager
Town Meeting TV interviews Evan Teich, Unified Manager of Essex and Essex Junction offers his condolences on recent deaths, and describes the municipal response, public safety preparedness, regional collaboration, closing of parks equipment, pending use of the Expo as a field hospital, and his faith in the community to work together during this period.
Cancellations and Announcements
- May 28, 2020: The 99th Annual Champlain Valley Fair will be postponed to 2021. For more information, please visit https://champlainvalleyfair.org/
- July 4th Fireworks are canceled.
- Village of Essex Junction Train Hop is canceled for 2020.