Community Capital is one of 41 organizations nationwide to recieve a Technical Assistance Award from the U.S. Department of Treasury’s CDFI Fund. CDFIs – Community Development Financial institutions – are specialized organizations that respond to financial gaps in their local markets.Totaling $50,000, this grant will be used by Community Capital over the next two years to fund a variety of activities that will improve Community Capital’s ability to offer flexible and affordable financing and technical assistance to new and growing businesses that do not yet have access to traditional bank financing.Specific activities include: a tri-county market assessment for Orange, Lamoille, and Washington counties to identify unmet demand for alternative commercial financing, an internal organizational assessment conducted by CDFI industry leaders, board and staff training, strategic planning, and technology upgrades.Founded in 1995 as the Central Vermont Revolving Loan Fund, Community Capital has lent over $1.5 million in flexible and affordable loans to 58 micro and small businesses that are not yet able to qualify for a traditional bank loan. Almost half of those businesses have in turn benefited from over 1,000 hours of specialized post-loan business counseling, a unique program available only to borrowers of Community Capital.Other funding for Community Capital comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Vermont Community Development Program, and a variety of local bank and other private donations. For more information, contact Emily Kaminsky at 802-479-1053, ext. 263. Or, visit our website at www.cvcapital.org(link is external). Community Capital is a partner of Central Vermont Community Action Council.
Several US states including Oklahoma reported a surge in new coronavirus infections on Wednesday, days before a planned campaign rally for President Donald Trump in Tulsa that would be the nation’s largest indoor social gathering in three months.An uptick in coronavirus cases in many states over the past two weeks, along with rising COVID-19 hospitalizations, reflected a troubling national trend that has seen daily US infection numbers climbing after more than a month of declines.Oklahoma reported a record 259 new cases over the previous 24 hours, while Florida reported more than 2,600 new cases and Arizona more than 1,800 – the second-highest daily increases for those two states. Topics : In Arizona, where doctors, nurses and health administrators called for making face coverings mandatory statewide in public places, Governor Doug Ducey said he would let local officials decide whether to impose such rules and how to enforce them.”If you do go out, wear a mask. It’s the smart thing to do,” he said.Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego immediately tweeted that a vote on a proposed ordinance to require face masks outdoors in the nation’s fifth-largest city would go on the agenda for the city council’s next meeting.Texas reported 3,100 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, its biggest single-day tally yet, along with another all-time high for COVID-19 hospitalizations – nearly 2,800 patients. That marks the sixth straight day in which the number of patients currently admitted for the highly contagious respiratory virus has reached record numbers in Texas. While Texas has not reported how many of its hospitalized COVID-19 patients are admitted to intensive care units, 1,500 ICU beds are available statewide, a state website https://txdshs.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/ed483ecd702b4298ab01e8b9cafc8b83 said.The daily count of infections also hit a new benchmark in California, with more than 4,000 cases recorded statewide on Wednesday. Los Angeles County alone reported its largest daily increase, over 2,100 new cases, though several hundred were attributed to a backlog in test results released all at once.Trump’s political team, meanwhile, forged ahead with plans for a campaign rally on Saturday in Tulsa, his first such event since stay-at-home restrictions were imposed across much of the country in March to fight the coronavirus.Public health experts worry that assembling thousands of shouting, chanting people inside an arena – particularly if many aren’t wearing masks – could turn the rally into a coronavirus “super-spreader event.” Trump, in a Fox News interview on Wednesday, repeated an assertion he has made in the past that the coronavirus, with or without the advent of a vaccine or new effective treatment, is “fading away.””It’s going to fade away, but having a vaccine would be really nice, and that’s going to happen,” he added.Trump’s campaign advisers see the rally as a chance to rejuvenate his political base after a string of national and state opinion polls showed the president trailing Democratic rival Joe Biden.Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt said during a briefing on Wednesday that state officials were doing their utmost to ensure that the event is “safe as possible.”Oklahoma health officials recommend anyone attending the rally to get tested for the coronavirus before arriving, then to self-isolate afterward and get tested again. The health commissioner urged those at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – senior citizens and people with chronic underlying health conditions – to stay home.Biden accused Trump of “surrendering” to the coronavirus pandemic and failing to stay prepared for a resurgence that could put a US economic recovery at risk.Hospitals fillingIn most of the states where cases are spiking, COVID-19 hospitalizations are also rising or at record highs. Unlike increases in new infections, rising hospitalizations cannot simply be attributed to greater testing.In Arizona, 83% of intensive care beds are occupied, a record high, according to a state website https://azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/covid-19/dashboards/index.php. The outbreak has alarmed the hard-hit Navajo Nation. The Navajo reservation – overlapping parts of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico – reinstated a weekend-long curfew that closes even essential businesses like grocery stores and gas stations.In Florida, some of the increase has been linked to newly reopened bars, making for easy virus transmission. In one case, 16 friends who celebrated a birthday at a bar without wearing masks all tested positive, according to media reports.Texas has also pointed to bars as one cause of its current outbreak. In Oregon, over 200 new cases were tied to events at a single church.For the United States as a whole, more than 2.1 million people are known to have been infected to date, including 117,000 who have died from COVID-19, by far the most of any country in the world.