COVID-19 Economic Impact

John Moore

It was a sunny and very breezy day, last Sunday, October 4th, as one small raft came into view on the Mississippi River. A man who is normally behind his desk or safely on solid ground in any other year, and his very small crew and mascot dog "Puppa", made a stop at the Kidd's dock on the banks of the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau. This wasn't his only destination.

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations says it’s working to issue Lost Wage Assistance benefit payments to unemployed workers.  Payments could go out later this week.

According to a news release, Missouri was granted initial federal funding for the LWA program and will pay eligible recipients an additional $300 per week retroactively to the week ending August 1, 2020.

Madison County will distribute $1.7 million to small businesses that were hit especially hard by stay-at-home orders earlier this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We were really targeting the food service establishments, short-term lodging establishments and maybe some other nonessential businesses,” said James Arnold, economic development coordinator at Madison County Community Development, which is distributing the money.

The main goal of the funding is to help small businesses cover existing or new costs that were caused by the pandemic, he said.

Federal money meant to help low-income families with food costs while kids were home from school this spring is reaching just 60% of Missouri’s eligible families.

The Pandemic Electronic Benefits Transfer is a $5.40 a day allocation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture that usually goes to high-poverty schools to feed their students. Instead this spring the P-EBT money was sent directly to families across the country as a one-time check of up to $302.

The Missouri House passed a $34 billion state budget on Wednesday that reflects the economic costs of COVID-19. 

House Budget Chair Cody Smith, R-Neosho, said the plan includes $146 million less compared to the state’s current budget. However, Smith said that Missouri is doing much better than most states during the virus outbreak.