Financial Resources during COVID-19 pandemic - University of Houston
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COVID-19 Communications

COVID-19 financial and other resources for students

Unemployment benefits

Students who lose full- or part-time jobs and file for unemployment insurance will receive $600 per week from the federal government for up to four months in addition to a maximum benefit of $521 per week from the state of Texas.

Additionally, Part time, contractors and gig workers are now eligible for aid through the Federal CARES Act. Click here for more information.

Workers must meet these three qualifications:

  1. ineligible for any other state or federal unemployment benefits
  2. unemployed, partially unemployed, or cannot work due to the COVID-19 public health emergency
  3. cannot telework or receive paid leave. This includes workers like those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers, and those who do not have sufficient work history to qualify for regular benefits.

If you have lost a job, you can file for unemployment insurance through the Texas Workforce Commission. TWC is experiencing an increase in call volumes and hold times. They highly recommended using their online claim portal, Unemployment Benefits Services (UBS).

SBA PPP loan information for non-profit organizations

Small Business Loans available to artists and non-profits and can be forgivable but only for certain expenses. In all cases, having previous year’s financials in order is a huge help in obtaining this critical support.

SBA application

The SBA posted a sample application for seeking a PPP loan, along with instructions for completing and submitting the application. The application may not be submitted to banks until this Friday, April 3. However, given that loans will be given on a first come, first served basis until the funds are spent, it is important that organizations move quickly to have the application and required documentation in place. The SBA has significantly simplified the process and estimates that the application, including gathering of information, will take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Organizations will apply through any existing SBA 7(a) lenders or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Organizations should consult with their current banking institution as to whether it is participating in the program, or use this list to identify an approved lender.

Other external resources

Houston Arts Alliance / City of Houston Disaster Recovery
SBA economic assistance opportunities
Federal Student Aid
City of Houston, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs
Independent Sector
  • Toolkit that helps individuals, small nonprofits, and large nonprofits understand how to access the benefits available
Fresh Arts (Houston)
Jewish Federations of North America
NewSchools Venture Fund

Suggested next steps for non-profit organizations

  • Review the resources provided above.
  • Check to see if the bank your organization currently works with is participating in the program, or identify a lending institution on this approved list.
  • Refer to the sample calculation document to calculate your payroll costs, which will help you estimate your total loan request.
  • Gather internal decision makers (C-suite, board members, finance team, etc.) to review governance process and reach consensus on the decision to apply for a loan.
  • Complete the sample application for submission to lender on Friday, April 3.

Upcoming webinars (as of March 31; these may be recorded and archived)

Informational resources: sources of data to better inform decisions and actions

Center for Systems Science and Engineering, Johns Hopkins University: interactive map and data exploration, plus other pieces of highly useful public health information

United States federal COVID-19 / coronavirus information webpage (CDC / White House / FEMA): includes latest public health advisories

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

Our World in Data

National Institutes of Health: includes latest research information on COVID-19

State of Texas Health and Human Services: daily tracking of COVID-19, similar to the Johns Hopkins link above, at the state level. Link is updated around 11:45am each day; hospitals are using the data.

Harris County Public Health