Hopkins Co. officials talk social distancing, assistance for small businesses

Officials in Hopkins County are reminding the public to follow social distancing guidance and they’re encouraging small businesses suffering financially to seek assistance from the federal government.

Madisonville Mayor Kevin Cotton said updated numbers on confirmed COVID-19 cases were not available for their regular briefing Wednesday, but noted four people have died since the pandemic began and that Hopkins County has the third-most cases in Kentucky.

He says it’s crucial for residents to avoid crowds, to stay healthy at home and to use good hand washing practices to slow the spread of the virus.

Ray Hagerman is president of the Madisonville-Hopkins County Economic Development Corporation and says small businesses with less than 500 employees across the country can apply for an economic injury disaster loan on the Small Business Administration website or apply for a payroll protection program loan that’s backed up by the SBA through a local bank.

He says businesses will need to collect data on payroll, rent and utilities for the last 12 months or for calendar year 2019 to begin applying for the payroll protection program assistance.