West Virginia CARES Act grants to be available for small businesses; unemployment benefits extended


CHARLESTON — West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice announced Monday that applications will soon be available online for small businesses seeking to receive funding through the Governor’s West Virginia CARES Act Small Business Grant Program.

The Governor also announced, per WorkForce West Virginia, any worker who has exhausted their regular state unemployment and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits may now apply for Extended Benefits.

In terms of the grants, the initiative will provide $150 million of West Virginia’s CARES Act funding to qualifying businesses across the state. 

Any West Virginia-based small business, in existence on February 29, 2020, with 1-35 employees, will be able to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding per business.

Businesses planning to apply must first register as a vendor with the State. Guidelines for the grants and instructions on how to apply are available at Grants.wv.gov.

For those facing unemployment, workers who have exhausted their regular state unemployment and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits may now apply for Extended Benefits.

West Virginia’s most recent Insured Unemployment Rate passed 5 percent and exceeds 120 percent of the corresponding average rate in the prior two years, which requires the state to enter a 13-week Extended Benefit period.

“Under federal law, Extended Benefits offer up to an additional 13 weeks of benefits to workers who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of PEUC assistance,” said Scott Adkins, acting commissioner of WorkForce West Virginia. “We are now issuing written notifications to people who are eligible to apply for these Extended Benefits.”

Claimants who have exhausted their PEUC benefits by Sunday, July 5, 2020 do not need to wait on notification from WorkForce West Virginia to file for Extended Benefits. To apply, claimants should visit uc.workforcewv.org and click on the “Apply for Extended Benefits” button.

Under the Extended Benefits program, claimants will receive the same weekly benefit amount they got from regular unemployment compensation.

WorkForce West Virginia is also reminding all claimants that the additional $600 in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is scheduled to end July 25, 2020.

For more information about unemployment benefits, including federal pandemic relief programs provided by the CARES Act, visit www.workforcewv.org.

Applications for Extended Benefits are now available at WorkForceWV.org.

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