• 91°

Coronavirus is taking a heavy toll

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on our nation and on the 5th District. Christine and I are heartbroken by the incredible loss of life this virus has caused.

Tens of thousands of Americans are unemployed and experiencing hardship. I will continue to be a resource for you as we confront this challenging time.

I have been working in Congress to supply my 5th District constituents with tools and resources to help them confront the difficulties and challenges we face.

Thursday, May 28, the House passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. It provides more time for small businesses to use their Paycheck Protection Program funds while also giving businesses more choices in how to use the loans. This legislation will help keep more of our small businesses open and workers employed.

Farmers in the 5th district are eligible to apply for the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). This program was created as part of the CARES Act and will provide federal funds to farmers through $16 billion in direct payments. Our farmers are essential in making sure our nation is safe and secure. I am grateful to the farmers of the 5th District who have created jobs and kept Americans fed.

Throughout the pandemic I have held telephone town halls. These town halls have been a great way for me to hear directly from you, my constituents. They also allow me to update you on resources that are available to you. These guests have included Dr. Costi Sifri from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Small Business Association Virginia Director Carl Knoblock, Virginia USDA Executive Director Nivin Elgohary and Congressman Steve Chabot.

Another provision of the CARES Act created Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which gives unemployment insurance for people who are self-employed or work in the gig economy. For more information on how this program is being deployed in Virginia, visit https://www.vec.virginia.gov/html/pua.html.

If you need help with a federal agency, please contact my Charlottesville Office at (434) 973-9631. At this time, all Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC, including the National Zoo, are temporarily closed to the public. Additionally, tours of the White House, US Capitol, FBI, and Library of Congress have been suspended to help contain the outbreak and prevent community spread.

Denver Riggleman represents Charlotte in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached by visiting https://riggleman.house.gov/ or by phone at (434) 973-9631.