BRYAN, Texas — On Tuesday, Cafe Eccell announced on social media that they're closing indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak, and they're not alone.
Businesses around the country are having to close their doors and send employees home for the time being.
Luckily, there are statewide resources to help.
“It’s very stressful when there’s so much unknown, especially when you lose your job in the middle of a whole bunch of things happening,” said Tom Wilkinson from Texas Workforce Solutions.
With the coronavirus causing business closures around the country, state and even locally, a lot of people sent home are wondering how they can provide for their families.
“If you were a server in a restaurant, and your restaurant is closing except for pickup, they don’t need a server in the restaurant. So you’re effectively laid off if your employer says ‘hey don’t come back’. So you’re entitled to employ for unemployment insurance benefits,” Wilkinson said.
Even when you’re not necessarily laid off, he said Texans can still get help.
“Whatever industry you're in, if your employer says ‘we’re gonna reduce your hours, you can apply for a partial unemployment insurance benefit. So it’s just to make up some of the wages that you’ve lost.”
“That’s where you list yourself as available to work. It’s an online matching system, you list what kind of jobs you’ve done or what kind of jobs you’d like to do, and they automatically send you notices of what’s available,” he said.
At the federal level, the government is working on a stimulus package to give $1,000 to every american adult until other government aid arrives, but in the Brazos Valley, Wilkinson feels folks should take things one day at a time.
“We all know that this is gonna be a stressful time, because we’re gonna have more people that are gonna be laid off than are hiring, but there are jobs. Don’t discourage. Maybe consider broadening what you're interested in doing. It may not be where you want to spend the rest of your life, but then again, it might be, so give it a try,” he said.
Wilkenson said there will likely be long phone waits when you call the 800 number, but if you stick it out and qualify for unemployment insurance, you’ll get a check about a week.