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Tag Archive | "COVID-19 pandemic"

State applies for federal funding to provide additional $300 per week to unemployed


Governor reiterates calls on the president, Congress to work together on a longer-term recovery package to bolster unemployment benefits

LANSING, Mich.–The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) on Tuesday for funding that would provide an additional $300per week payment to Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits.

“Right now, there are an unprecedented number of Michiganders who have lost work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide some much-needed support for families that are struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills, but it’s a short term bandaid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “A robust Congressional recovery package that meets the scale of this crisis is what’s needed to help individuals who have lost work as a result of the pandemic get through this unprecedented time.”

The UIA estimates that under the program, about 910,000 Michiganders would receive at least $300 per week in supplemental benefits. The program allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to count as 25 percent matching funds required for participation. Eligible claimants will be paid benefits retroactive to August 1. It is unclear at this time how long funding for the program will last.

We look forward to receiving a response from FEMA in order to implement and distribute these additional funds to Michiganders as quickly as possible, said UIA Director Steve Gray. Michigan workers are advised to continue their bi-weekly certifications as they normally would and do not need to contact the UIA or make changes to their MiWAM account to receive these additional funds.

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How many times did you buy gas during COVID-19?


GasBuddy reveals Grand Rapids ranked fourth among U.S. cities that filled up the most in the midst of pandemic

BOSTON — On average a person in Dallas visited the pump nearly twice as often as one living in Las Vegas between March 1 to May 31, 2020. In the same time span, a person in Birmingham, Ala. bought 31 percent more gasoline than someone in Los Angeles.  

A lot can be learned about a city by looking at what’s happening at their gas stations. GasBuddy, the travel and navigation app that is used by more North American drivers to save money on gas, today shares how the top 50 most populous U.S. cities rank in fueling activities during a pandemic at the height of stay-at-home orders.   

Demand for fuel has been at record-lows across the nation since the COVID-19 outbreak. According to Pay with GasBuddy data between March 1 to May 31, American consumers made on average 2.8 fuel transactions per month, a drop from the usual 4.5 times per month prior to the outbreak. 

Cities that saw more frequent visits to the gas pump were clustered in the Great Lakes region, five out of the top 10, and Texas, three out of the top 10. While cities with the fewest fuel transactions were centered in California and the East Coast.  

Various factors play a role as to why there were more fueling activities in certain cities than others. 

VOLATILE GAS PRICES: The Great Lakes region saw some of the lowest gas prices in more than a decade. Each day brought a new “record-low” price enticing residents to make frequent visits to their local station to take advantage. This is further evident when looking at Chicago. Chicago saw the most transactions after Dallas, however, it didn’t make it to the top 10 as a city that purchased the most volume of gasoline. This signals that people were making frequent trips to the pump but purchasing small amounts. 

LOCAL ECONOMY: A city like Las Vegas has been ground zero for the American job crisis. With much of its economy dependent on the leisure and hospitality industry, it leaves very little activity in the city when there is no tourism. The same can be said about Detroit, also on the list of fewest fuel transactions, with the closing of its casinos in March.   

VARYING STAY-AT-HOME ORDERS: Texas had one of the shortest stay-at-home orders, while California had one the longest and strictest, which are reflected strongly in GasBuddy’s fuel transaction data. This played a role in whether people had places to go from commuting to work or visiting friends. 

To learn more about GasBuddy’s payments program, Pay with GasBuddy, contact press@gasbuddy.com.

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Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

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