By Alabama NewsCenter Staff
The site becomes the state’s official guide to COVID-19 relief efforts, to help empower those affected by the outbreak and those who want to offer support.
“We wanted to quickly create a trusted resource that centralizes information, resources and opportunities for businesses and individuals in need of support,” Ivey said. “We are all in this together.”
The website is designed to be a comprehensive guide to aid in navigating all issues related to the COVID-19 response. Individuals and business owners can seek help and identify state and federal resources that can provide a lifeline in the form of low-interest loans and financial assistance.
Business owners, for example, can learn about the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, which launched April 3 to provide a direct incentive for them to keep their workers on the payroll. Displaced workers, meanwhile, can use the site to learn about enhanced unemployment benefits.
“It’s important for Alabama’s business owners and its workforce to take full advantage of the resources being made available through the federal government’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “The site is meant to expedite the process so both employers and employees can get back up on their feet as fast as possible.”
At the same time, the site will function as a pathway for Alabama’s good corporate citizens and the general public to offer support and solutions that can help spark recovery across the state. It will act as a portal for companies, nonprofits and individuals to volunteer, make donations of supplies, offer an assistance program and post job openings.
“Over the last two years, Opportunity Zones have allowed us to build a network of stakeholders that care deeply about helping distressed places. We hope this site will provide a gateway linking our network to those businesses and communities in economic distress, no matter where they are in Alabama,” said Alex Flachsbart, Opportunity Alabama founder and CEO.
“These are challenging times,” Ivey said. “We needed a place to efficiently and rapidly post and disseminate information – as soon as it’s available – for all affected parties. Thank you for your support and partnership in helping bring Alabama together.”
Any business, program or individual wanting to join ALtogether as a resource in COVID19 response and relief can register at altogetheralabama.org/join.
To help small business owners during the COVID-19 crisis, Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth also announced on Monday a one-stop information website, www.atlasalabama.gov. Atlas Alabama was created by the Alabama Small Business Commission, which Ainsworth chairs.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is already providing small business owners with unprecedented challenges and frustrations, so they should not have to struggle to find the information necessary to survive in the current economic climate,” Ainsworth said in a news release.
The website provides information available at the federal, state and local levels. It links to all health orders being enforced in Alabama, along with information from a variety of state agencies. It also includes federal resources for businesses, including information on the federal CARES Act stimulus package, Small Business Administration loans and tax relief from the Internal Revenue Service.
Atlas Alabama also is linked through altogetheralabama.org.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama NewsCenter website.