‘Spirit of Giving’ Southern Indiana restaurant donates Sunday sales to struggling small businesses impacted by COVID-19 Tuesday, Apr 7 2020 

"I just hope that out of the spirit of giving, we can try to save as many as we can."

        

Economic recovery program to help businesses, nonprofits find relief during pandemic Tuesday, Apr 7 2020 

Floyd County commissioners say they hope to bring aid as businesses are forced to close

        

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens move online to sell, show off flowers Saturday, Apr 4 2020 

Yew Dell is closed to the public right now, but visitors can instead head to their social media accounts to see the beautiful blooms.

        

Meijer to limit number of shoppers in stores due to coronavirus outbreak Saturday, Apr 4 2020 

The retailer is asking customers to limit number of shoppers per trip adhering to social distancing guidelines.

        

Louisville mayor announces loan program to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19 outbreak Tuesday, Mar 31 2020 

Businesses with 10 employees or less would qualify for up to $25,000 at no interest for 12 months.

        

Commercial sanitation business booms in wake of COVID-19 outbreak Monday, Mar 30 2020 

While many businesses are struggling during the public health crisis, others in the business of decontamination are booming.

        

Louisville Call Centers Change Policies, Allow Some Remote Work Tuesday, Mar 24 2020 

Some employees at Chewy and Spectrum’s Louisville-based call centers will be allowed to work from home, in an effort to create social distance between the remaining employees. 

Both companies have been the subject of complaints filed to city health officials, and scrutiny in the media, including KyCIR

While call centers have not been ordered to close in Kentucky, Gov. Andy Beshear said he would take further action if the employers didn’t find a way to comply with social distancing guidelines. 

In a series of emails obtained by KyCIR, senior leadership at Chewy, the online pet supply retailer, stressed that the “health and safety of all Chewtopians is our top priority.” 

As such, the company has created a temporary paid leave policy that includes 100% paid time off for the first seven days of an illness and allows employees to be paid up to 60% of their base pay for longer absences.

Employees are being given supplies and sent to work from home in stages “if the nature of their roles allow,” the email said. Over 200 employees are already working remotely, and seats are being reassigned to add space between staffers that remain.

Additionally, all hourly Louisville call center employees are receiving a temporary raise of $1.50 an hour, through May 2, the email said.

In a statement, Diane Pelkey, the vice president of communications and PR for Chewy, said “the health, safety, and well-being of our team continues to be our top priority when servicing pet parents who are relying on us during this time to deliver their pet essentials.”

Pelkey say the company has worked “quickly and diligently” to adapt company policies to the changing situation, including “new and enhanced health benefits and flexible work policies, including work from home for a considerable portion of our pharmacy techs, increasing sanitation procedures in accordance with CDC guidelines, and social distancing.”

Spectrum, the internet and cable company, has given Louisville call center employees an additional three weeks paid leave for coronavirus-related needs, and has implemented a partial remote work policy, according to a letter sent from the executive vice president for customer operations and obtained by KyCIR.

“In response to the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in, for the next few weeks and maybe months, we will be enabling Remote Work options for a portion of our front-line agents,” the letter read. “This is being done to allow for greater social distancing in our centers.”

Remote work is being prioritized for those “at higher-risk from a health standpoint,” and then the option will be made available to employees based on tenure, performance, home infrastructure and agreement to the terms of a remote work assignment, the letter said. 

Employees will be sent home in waves over multiple weeks. 

In a statement, Spectrum said “continuing to maintain our operations, while applying the latest CDC guidelines, ensures we provide these vital communications which help flatten the curve and protect the country. We are reviewing our business and employee continuity plans daily, and will adjust accordingly.” 

The post Louisville Call Centers Change Policies, Allow Some Remote Work appeared first on Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.

U of L campus bookstore closes to the public Monday, Mar 23 2020 

By Eli Hughes–

The University of Louisville bookstore will be closed to the public starting March 24 until further notice in line with Gov. Andy Beshear’s decision to close nonessential retail stores to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Staff will remain in the store to process online orders, but by March 30 only managers will be working in-store.

Andrea Herrera, store manager for the campus bookstore, said that it is unclear when the bookstore will reopen. “It depends on what the governor says,” Herrera said.

Students who need to return their rental textbooks will be able to do so by mail with free shipping. However, students who want to sell their textbooks back to the bookstore will not be able to do so through the mail.

Sarah Harvey, textbook manager, said that textbook buyback will depend on if the bookstore is able to open to the public at the end of the semester.

Harvey also said that the bookstore is doing its best to support the campus community at this time.

“We are here to help students and faculty during this very difficult time,” Harvey said. “We are all in this together.”

More information about ordering textbooks online and returning rental books can be found on the bookstore’s website.

Photo by Joseph Garcia // The Louisville Cardinal

The post U of L campus bookstore closes to the public appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

List | These businesses are hiring due to the coronavirus outbreak Monday, Mar 23 2020 

Kroger, Walmart, Domino's, Amazon, and Papa John's are all hiring amid the coronavirus outbreak.

        

U of L in the midst of a hiring freeze during COVID-19 crisis Friday, Mar 20 2020 

By Matthew Keck —

Amid all of the craziness surrounding the COVID-19 virus, the University of Louisville has placed a faculty hiring freeze in place.

U of L spokesman John Karman confirmed this. “All hiring is paused except for special circumstances,” he said.

This hiring freeze was set in place for two reasons: The economic impact felt from the COVID-19 crisis and U of L is expecting enrollment in the fall to go down. Arts & Sciences Dean David Owen said that they will be preparing and planning for the consequences of both possibilities.

Any prospect where letters of offer have been sent will not be affected by this freeze. The freeze applies to term lines, including new ones, along with on-going lines that are being vacated or filled.

In addition, all hiring of staff will be suspended immediately and is subject to the review of Dean Owen. “I know that we are already running below necessary staffing levels, but I will have to balance the desperate need for adequate staffing with the increasingly dire budget forecasts,” he said in an email.

There is no set timeline for how long this hiring freeze will be in place.

“How long this is in effect depends on how long the pandemic affects us and what the budgetary impact ends up being,” said Dean Owen.

File Photo // The Louisville Cardinal 

The post U of L in the midst of a hiring freeze during COVID-19 crisis appeared first on The Louisville Cardinal.

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