SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - While our local leaders deal with the coronavirus response on the ground, representatives in Sacramento are trying to bring more resources to help the response on the Central Coast.
Genelle Padilla sat down with Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham to address a wide ranging list of issues including what's being done to address equipment shortages in our area.
Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham: "We’re seeing a health crisis first and foremost. We’re going to get through that. I think the worst is yet to come for us locally. We are steadily increasing our medical supply and our healthcare supply. We’ve got over 250 retired healthcare workers that are going to come back and help out handle the surge. At the same time we need to be addressing the economic crisis that people are facing because of business closures and slow down in the economy. I think we are making strides on both fronts, and my hope is by this summer, life will generally have gone back to normal and we can start making up for lost time."
Genelle Padilla: "Can you talk a little more about the relief for small business owners?"
Cunningham: "There is going to be $350 billion set aside for small businesses so they can apply for low interest loans. Some of those loans can be used to protect your payroll so if you’re able to keep employees on the payroll and not lay them off, you can qualify for a loan that is entirely forgivable with no interest. My office, in addition to Congressman Carbajal’s office, we're trying to get as many of our constituents as we can to apply for those loans as a stopgap measure so they can get through these next couple of months where things are going to be pretty tough."
Padilla: "What are you saying to the public in regards to concerns; fear and anxiety are rising across the board, even though there are these measures in place. What’s your message to the public?"
Cunningham: "I think that social distancing is going to help slow the curve. We need to have the resources in place and we’re catching up. Suffer through this era where we’re sheltered at home. And the sooner we get through the crisis, the sooner the economic recovery is going to be ."
Watch the extended interview with Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham