Program Extended To Pay Small Business Employees During Quarantine
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – More financial help is now available to Utah businesses impacted by the pandemic after the Small Business Quarantined Employee Grant program received an additional $5 million in federal CARES and state funding.
This program helps businesses continue paying employees who have to stay home after being diagnosed with COVID-19 or isolating because of exposure to the virus.
“(The program) provides reimbursement to small business employers who pay employees to stay home during quarantine or isolation for a maximum of 40 hours per week for a period of up to two calendar weeks,” officials said.
To qualify, businesses must:
- Have fewer than 50 employees in Utah.
- One or more employees receiving notice that the employee must quarantine or isolate due to a positive COVID-19 test or exposure to someone who has tested positive.
- Continued to pay out regular wages to an employee(s) while the employee was in quarantine/isolation.
Since it started in October, the state has already granted $2.4 million through the program.
“That’s a lot to a small business,” said Eric Olsen with the Utah Labor Commission. “We’ve had some businesses that have had multiple employees. Somebody came to work. Didn’t know they had it. They had to quarantine everybody. So they were able to qualify for the grant.”
This is especially helpful to businesses that don’t offer paid sick time and is seen as a way to slow the spread of the virus in workplaces.
The goal is to take the stress off the company and the worker so they can follow health safety protocols and not worry about how they’re going to get paid.
Close to 2,000 grants have already been approved, and Utah Labor Commission officials said they’ve tried to make the application process as easy and simple as possible.
The application process can be found here. Officials said grants will be awarded based on available funds and disbursed on a qualifying first-come, first-served basis.
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