May 14, 2020 – The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic have taken a toll on people and businesses at the local, state, national, and international level. When the Stay Home, Work Safe order began in the Greater Houston area, it quickly became clear that our Jewish community organizations would feel the effects.
The Jewish Federations of North America acted quickly to give local Federations information about the Federal Paycheck Protection Program that was provided through the CARES act. In turn, the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, passed on this and additional information to members of the Jewish Action Response Network (JRAN). Jackie Fisherman, the Federation’s Director of Government Affairs who leads JRAN, provided guidance to Jewish organizations to help them apply for loans, and connect with lenders and volunteer advisors on specific questions. The PPP loans are particularly valuable during this time due to the loan forgiveness factor and lowest available interest rate even if the requirements for forgiveness are not met.
As Jewish organizations now look toward reopening, Fisherman continues to help lead the discussion with pertinent information on the standards for social distancing, and how to best protect the community from a public health perspective.
JRAN is providing information through daily emails, guidance on the pandemic in terms of a phase shut down and a phased reopening, and access to a number of webinars.
“Every organization has to make their own decisions and pick and choose what works for them,” Fisherman said. “I’m doing my best to provide the tools they need to make informed choices.”