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Mayor's Office

Posted on: March 18, 2020

City Allocating Up To $1 Million to Help Economic Victims of COVID-19

Mayor Allen Joines announcing COVID-19 contribution fund match

NEWS RELEASE
Office of the Mayor
March 18, 2020

The city will contribute up to $1 million to match contributions to the new COVID-19 Response Fund for Forsyth County that community leaders announced today to support residents economically impacted by the COVID-19 virus. The city will match contributions to the fund dollar for dollar.

Mayor Allen Joines and officials with the United Way of Forsyth County, the Winston-Salem Foundation and Forsyth County announced the fund at a news conference today and said that $600,000 already has been pledged toward the fund, including $100,000 from both the United Way and the Winston-Salem Foundation; pledges from HanesBrands, Wells Fargo, Wake Forest Baptist Health, Reynolds American; and some large donations from individuals who wish to remain anonymous.

"I feel confident that we’re going to get above $2 million," counting the city’s contribution, Joines said. The fund is accepting donations of any amount from city residents. Residents can contribute by going to a new website set up for the fund, COVID19Forsyth.org.

The fund will be administered by the United Way and the Winston-Salem Foundation. Scott Wierman, the president of the Winston-Salem Foundation, said money in the fund will be made available to existing agencies "working with communities who are disproportionately impacted by coronavirus and the economic consequences of the outbreak."

Wierman noted that the community’s established relief agencies have policies and procedures in place for vetting requests for assistance. “Marshalling additional resources to expand what they are already doing seems to be the most efficient way to distribute assistance,” he said.

Agencies will be able to apply for money from the fund on March 27. Individuals who want to apply for assistance should call 211 or go to NC211.org.

The city’s matching funds are being pulled together from unallocated bond money for economic development that voters approved in 2014 and 2018. Joines said he polled members of the City Council, who agreed that this is an acceptable use of the bond funds because, ”we are working to maintain the economic vitality of this community.”

More information about the fund is available on the Winston-Salem Foundation’s website, WSFoundation.org, and at COVID19Forsyth.org.

For the latest news about the city’s response to the COVID-19 virus and information about the status of city operations, go to CityofWS.org and click on the link at the top of the page.

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