RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Senator Tim Kaine and The Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce joined together Thursday afternoon for an information session followed by a Q&A to inform the Latino community and businesses about the impact of COVID-19. The event was conducted in English and Spanish.
One of the biggest topics was how Latinos in Virginia can find information about COVID-19 and what federal and local governments are doing to support people during this public health crisis.
In regards to Latino businesses, Sen. Kaine wants them to know that they are eligible for forgivable loans that would allow them to continue to pay employees.
Under the CARES Act, small businesses with less than 500 employees can apply for an economic injury disaster loan. Eligible applicants can receive a $10,000 emergency grant within three days of submitting their application.
The Virginia Hispanic Chamber Commerce has a detailed list of all of the resources needed to apply and other information in English and Spanish.
The VHCC is also helping small Latino businesses complete the loan application process. They said they do not want language and culture to be a barrier when applying for the loans.
The chamber said that many Latino business owners are overwhelmed with all the documentation needed to fill out the loan application, so they are doing their best to provide information that helps them make the best business decisions.
Sen. Kaine did touch upon how COVID-19 is affecting minority groups. He said he would be shocked if Virginia didn’t see the same pattern as we are seeing in other states.
“The more resources you have, the more you can protect yourself,” Sen. Kaine said.
Kaine has been on the radio in Richmond and all over Virginia providing updates in Spanish. The senator said they are also working on providing the Latino community with materials in English and Spanish.
The success of the administration isn’t just the programs they pass but what information becomes available to the public, Kaine said. His team is also challenging federal websites to provide information in Spanish and other languages.
In the next wave of relief packages, Kaine said he will look into offering resources targeted towards the Latino community.
For now, here is a list of helpful resources for the Latino community during this pandemic:
Sen. Tim Kaine asks that anyone who may have suggestions or questions contact his office at (202) 224-4024.