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The Shaping Our Appalachian Region (SOAR) organization has launched a website at,, to disseminate information regarding the COVID-19 virus in the local area, but also to provide resources for those living in the area as the response to the virus goes forward.

Some of the information being provided in real time on the website includes:

• Information from local, state and federal public health agencies. The organization has an epidemiologist from the CDC assigned to its office and has had personnel assigned to its office since 2013.

Resources for:

• Small Businesses — Access to SBA Disaster Loans and support agencies such as the Kentucky Small Business Development Center, Southeast Kentucky Economic Development Corporation, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, Kentucky Highlands Investment Corporation, etc.

• Employees — Information on assistance and how to file unemployment insurance claims, Kentucky SkillsU (GED Testing), Kentucky Community and Technical College System, SNAP Benefits, etc.

• E-Learning — Parents and guardians are now teachers. The site provides a variety of free e-learning resources to help parents and students during this time.

• Families — This is everything from virtual dance lessons, zoo trips, museum visits, and even field trips.

• Mental Health — The stressors of life coupled with the uncertainty of this virus is tough on all of us. There is hope and there is help.

• Small Business Impact Survey — The organization has launched a survey specifically geared towards small business and is working to gather this information to share with stakeholders and partners at the state and federal levels.

For more information, visit the website at,

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