I hope you and your family are still safe and healthy. Every year since I was elected in 2012, we have held an annual Town Hall meeting in Mauldin, Simpsonville and Fountain Inn with the delegation members that represent those areas. The great thing for me and the other delegation members is that Rep. Garry Smith does all the “behind the scenes” setup work throughout the Golden Strip. 

Due to COVID-19, this event became the Mauldin “Tele-Townhall” and it took place last Thursday. We had almost 2500 people join in for some portion of the hour-long call, which was moderated by County Councilman Dan Tripp. Congressman William Timmons joined us for the Federal perspective and response.  During the call, the audience was invited to answer a poll question categorizing their opinion on Gov. McMaster’s response to COVID-19. The vast majority gave Governor McMaster a favorable grade to this point, but there was also a strong lean towards getting back to work.

It looks like we have made that turn with the Governor’s opening of the Boat Ramps this past weekend. He just announced the lifting of his emergency order closing the beaches effective at noon tomorrow (local mayors and city councils can make their own decisions) and at 5:00 today, the emergency order on the retail stores he issued 4/3 is lifted. The link to the Governor’s Update is below. These obviously come with the understanding that we still need to continue practicing social distancing, continuously wash our hands, and in general – be responsible adults.

For those of you that are self-employed or 1099 workers, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA- Federal CARES Act), which covers the self-employed and others that might not otherwise qualify for standard unemployment insurance, should be available by the end of this week. Please see the attached links from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce. The first one is a 40 minute YouTube video that should answer all of your questions.

For businesses, the Payroll Protection Plan (PPP) that is designed to help you keep your employees employed, ran out of money fairly quick. Hopefully you are working with a SBA lender and will at least be in line for the second round if you didn’t get your money this time. 

I hope we are all starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel and understand now is not the time to slack up on being personally diligent. We have to continue to protect ourselves and others. You can’t win the game if you only play the first half to win. We are in the second half and have to continue winning!   

Please contact me or my assistant, Ja’vell Bynoe, at (803) 212-6148, if you need help navigating state government.  
Click here for Gov. McMaster’s COVID-19 Response 04/20/20 Update.
Click here for SCDEW Unemployment for the Self Employed video.
Click here for FAQ for the Self Employed
Click here for the Full SCDEW FAQ Sheet