LRCOG News & Updates
Our Mission
"In its dedication to regional excellence, the Lumber River Council of Governments is
proactive in identifying local and regional needs and the resources to address
those needs in an effective and fair manner."
2020 Census Self-Response Rates

Are you curious about how many people in your community are responding to the 2020 Census? Stay up to date with a map of self-response rates from across the United States.
Take a Look at Our Local Area Self-Response Rates
as of April 9, 2020
Focus On: Census 2020
With Census 2020, North Carolina will certainly record a large population growth since 2010 and that could mean an additional U.S. House seat and billions in additional federal funding for local governments and state programs that serve the growing population. Kelly McCullen hosts a discussion w/ State census leaders.
NCWorks Career Centers are continuing to provide services to our valued customers virtually by phone and email. See below the contact information for local area centers:
Help Preserve and Improve
U.S. 74!
In 2015, the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) identified a network of key multimodal transportation corridors called Strategic Transportation Corridors (STC) to support smart planning, help set long-term investment decisions, and ensure that North Carolina’s economic prosperity goals are achieved.
One of the corridors is U.S. 74 from I-26 in Polk County to U.S. 117 in Wilmington.
As part of our master plan for this corridor, a brief survey was created to better understand your vision and ideas for preservation and improvements to U.S. 74. 
Announcements
30 Days to Slow the Spread
Tuesday, March 31 – President Donald J. Trump announced the extension of the Coronavirus Guidelines for America for an additional 30 days through Friday, April 30th. The recommendations  are simple to follow and will continue to have a resounding impact on public health.
Attorney General Josh Stein has ruled that online meetings are allowed under Open Meetings Laws
ECONOMIC IMPACT PAYMENTS
The IRS will soon be issuing Economic Impact Payments to every eligible American. We need your help to reach individuals who do not normally file because they do not have enough income that requires them to file. This includes the homeless, certain seniors and some limited English-proficient individuals who will need to provide information to the IRS to get their Economic Impact Payment.
Eligible Social Security recipients and railroad retirees who are otherwise not required to file a return will not be required to file a return or provide further information.
COVID-19: NC Unemployment
Insurance Information
The North Carolina Division of Employment Security is providing the following guidance to help people understand the impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus on unemployment insurance benefits. This page will be updated as more information becomes available.

Federal Unemployment Assistance : Updates on the expanded benefits through the CARES Act

Information for Individuals : Information for people filing for unemployment

Information for Employers : Unemployment information for employers related to COVID-19

Online Account Help : Information about creating and accessing your online account
COVID-19 Public Assistance Hotline

The NC Division of Emergency Management has stood up a COVID-19 Public Assistance Hotline to help local governments answer questions about FEMA Public Assistance for COVID-19. Applicants (local governments and eligible non-profits) are encouraged to call the number below or send an email to get questions answered.
NCEM PA Hotline Number: (919) 825-2548
NCEM PA Hotline Email: pahotline@ncem.org
 Also linked below is a FEMA fact sheet on eligible emergency protective measures for COVID-19.
 
Please review as it may answer some of your questions.
Apple Announces COVID-19 Screening Tool in Partnership with the White House and Administration

As a direct result of President Donald J. Trump’s All-of-America campaign to combat COVID-19, Apple Inc. has partnered with the White House, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to develop an interactive COVID-19 Screening Tool, now available on Apple.com/COVID19 and as an app named COVID-19 in the App Store. Users can also find links to these tools at Coronavirus.gov. This new tool guides users through a set of questions covering symptoms, risk factors, and potential exposure. The tool then generates recommendations provided by the CDC for users based on the inputs they provided. Those CDC recommendations will be updated regularly. In addition, the CDC will be open-sourcing the underlying recommendations and algorithms, allowing other private-sector entities to build additional innovative tools. The recommendations and algorithms will be published at open.cdc.gov. The White House commends companies like Apple Inc. for answering President Trump’s call for a public-private alliance against this invisible enemy.
DES has received official guidance on how to implement the three unemployment programs of the federal CARES Act. We are working as quickly possible to modify our systems to begin payments.
The Development Finance Initiative ( DFI ) team is available to advise local governments  creating emergency loan funds for small businesses. 

The Development Finance Initiative ( DFI ), a program of the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Government, is available to assist local governments who are considering or in the process of creating their own small business emergency loan programs to provide bridge loans to local businesses impacted by COVID-19. 

The DFI team is available to provide one-hour phone consultations with local government staff to think through loan program structures and financial modeling on a first-come, first serve basis. Additional advising is also available upon request.
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Websites
Get the latest information on COVID-19 in North Carolina
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)
Coronavirus (COVID-19)
website designed specifically for COVID-19 in conjunction with the White House, CDC and FEMA
LOCAL GOVERNMENT RESOURCES
Resources
NC  2-1-1
Get up to date information on COVID-19
 NC 2-1-1 is an information and referral service provided by United Way of North Carolina. Accessible via an easy-to-remember, three-digit number, families and individuals can call to obtain free and confidential information on health and human services and resources within their community.
Text COVIDNC to 898-211 for announcements and updates
Dial 2-1-1 or 888-892-1162 Available 24 hours a day 7 days a week
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights (FFCRA)

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
UNC School of Governments Offering Webinars on a variety of subject areas about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

PREVIOUS WEBINARS NOW AVAILABLE ON DEMAND

View UNC School of Governments' website for a complete list of webinars as well as resources and blog post related to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Internet Service Offerings

In response to COVID-19, more commonly known as the coronavirus, many North Carolina residents are being asked to work and learn remotely. To help ensure they can access high-speed internet, NC DIT has compiled a list of new and existing free or affordable service offerings from vendors across the state.
Department of Homeland Security announces IT resources to aid counties in response to COVID-19
Funding Opportunities
Coronavirus Funding Options
Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.

In addition to traditional SBA funding programs, the CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-19 outbreak.

  • Paycheck Protection Program- An SBA loan that helps businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
  • EIDL Loan Advance- This loan advance will provide up to $10,000 of economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties.
  • SBA Express Bridge Loans- Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.
  • SBA Debt Relief- The SBA is providing a financial reprieve to small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
SBA Emergency Loans Overview & Comparison
Confused by the new SBA emergency loan programs? The CARES Act provides funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, modifies the existing Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and provides immediate loan payment relief for current SBA 7(a) borrowers. The SBTDC’s SBA Emergency Loan Overview & Comparison publication provides an overview and comparison of the key components and eligibility requirements of these programs.
North Carolina Business Relief Resources – COVID-19 provided by The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC)
Golden LEAF deploys $15 million in funding to launch NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program
Funding will provide loans to help small businesses suffering economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The Golden LEAF Foundation announces $15 million in funding to launch a rapid recovery loan program in response to economic losses related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). Golden LEAF funding will support the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program by enabling loans to be made to eligible businesses for up to $50,000 with zero interest and no payments for six months. If not repaid in six months, the loan will automatically convert to a term loan.
NACo Releases Comprehensive Resource on Federal Funding Available to Counties and Other Information
Suggested Reads
Highlights of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Final FFCRA Regulations
Authored by: Diane Juffras
On Monday morning, April, 6, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued final regulations implementing the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (the Emergency FMLA Act”) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (the “Sick Leave Act”), both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This blog posts highlights the provisions of these new regulations likely to be of greatest interest to North Carolina government employers. It supplements and is intended to be used in conjunction with the Coates’ Canons blog posts How the Paid Sick Leave Provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Affect Government Employers and Which Tax and Retirement Deductions Must Be Taken from FFCRA Emergency Paid Leave? , both of which have been updated to take account of the final regulations. 
Enacting and Amending County and City Emergency Ordinances: What Rules Apply?
 Authored by: Norma Houston
As counties and cities continue their efforts to protect public health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis, some have discovered that their local emergency ordinances need updating. For jurisdictions that do not regularly face the threat of natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and winter ice storms, it is understandable that a local emergency ordinance might not be reviewed and updated as often as one which addresses matters more frequently considered such as zoning. Now, with COVID-19 impacting every jurisdiction in our state, some counties and cities are forced to exercise emergency powers they never envisioned needing. As city and county officials reach for their local emergency ordinances, some are discovering that their ordinances are out of date or don’t properly vest the appropriate city or county official with the full array of legal authorities granted under the State Emergency Management Act ( G.S. Chapter 166A ). What do to?
Visit Coates' Canons: NC Local Government Law 's blog for additional articles on interesting topics such as:
Remote Participation in Meetings and Hearings
CONTACT US

Lumber River Council of Governments | Phone: 910-618-5533 | Fax: 910-521-7556