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COVID-19 Situational Update

For the most up-to-date information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), please click here.

Nebraska DHHS COVID-19 Information Line is open 8am-8pm 7 days a week: 402-552-6645



Congressman Jeff Fortenberry

First District of Nebraska




March 27, 2020

Contact: James Crotty, (402) 570-2708

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Fort Report Column: Coronavirus––Your Questions and Answers

By Congressman Jeff Fortenberry 

The Cares Act just passed Congress to help individuals and families, small businesses, and our health care system overcome this pandemic.  Given the rapidly changing dynamic in our country around coronavirus, I put together the following list of answers to frequently asked questions about the new law.



Will I get financial help from the government?

Most Americans will get a check or direct deposit of $1200 per individual, or $2400 per married couple, with an additional $500 per child (for incomes below $75,000 per person or $150,000 per couple).

How soon will I get my money?

Payments will be sent out “as rapidly as possible.”  The Treasury Secretary expects the payments to start going out in three weeks.

Do I have to pay income tax on this check?


I am on Social Security.  Will I also get this payment in addition to my Social Security?


What about my IRA?

There is a temporary suspension of required minimum distribution rules for older Americans. You can also withdraw funds without penalty for coronavirus-related expenses.

I have lost my job.  Now what?

Unemployment benefits have been significantly expanded, including for the self-employed and independent contractors.

When are taxes due?

Tax filing and payment are delayed until July 15. 

Do I have other options besides unemployment benefits?

Yes.  One option is for your employer to take out a loan to pay your salary and benefits. 


How is the help for small business being delivered?

The main program is an SBA-guaranteed loan with deferred interest and payments, plus loan forgiveness for employee retention.   

How does the loan forgiveness component work?

This applies to businesses that keep their employees on the payroll from February 15th through the end of June.  The portion of the loan covering payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities is forgiven for an eight-week period.  There is flexibility for those employers who laid off workers and then re-hired them.

I am a business owner.  Does loan forgiveness apply to my salary?

Yes, within limits

Who is eligible?

Businesses with fewer than 500 employees and private non-profits – 501(c)(3)s.  Health care providers are also eligible, no matter how they are structured.

What is the loan limit?

Loans can be as high as $10 million.

How do I apply for these loans?

Go to your bank or credit union.  Your financial institution will primarily run the program, not the government.  However, the website has a lot of good information.

Are contractors and sole proprietors included?

Yes. You are eligible for the loan and the forgiveness portion of wages paid to yourself.

How long will the SBA loan review by my bank take?

Due to the unique nature of this situation, the lender can process, close, and service the loan without an SBA review. 

I am a farmer. How does an SBA loan help me?

The bill includes a number of small business provisions designed to help farmers stay in business. This includes a provision that allows farmers to work with their trusted farm credit institutions for the purposes of securing payroll tax loans, along with 1-year deferrals, 100% guarantees, and low rates.

I don’t want to take out a loan. Is there any other help I can get?

Yes.  Grants of up to $10,000 will be available to cover small-business operating costs.  The process will be announced shortly by the SBA.

What is the employee retention tax credit?

Employers can temporarily receive a 50% tax credit on wages up to $10,000 per employee for anyone kept on the payroll.  Employers are eligible if their business was closed due to government shutdown or if they suffered a revenue loss of at least 50%.

Are taxes delayed?

Yes. Payroll taxes are delayed until 2021. Tax filing and payment are delayed until July 15.

My credit score is not exactly stellar.  Can I still get a loan? 

These are exceptional times and making sure you and your business stay afloat should be the most important priority.  See your banker ASAP.

My business is doing fine right now, but I am worried about what will happen in the next weeks and months.  What should I do?

Go to your financial instituion.  Banks and credit unions are the primary portal through which loans will be released.  You don’t have to be idle right now.  The intention of the legislation is to keep you working.

I have not been in business for a year.  Can I still apply for the loan?  Can I use it to hire someone?


Can my bank delay my existing loan payments?



If I get coronavirus on the job, are my medical costs covered?

Yes.  Your medical care will be covered for coronavirus. 

If I become unemployed, what happens to my health insurance benefits?

Existing COBRA insurance rules still apply. 

Will the loans my employer uses to keep me employed also cover health insurance costs?


Should I get tested?

Testing is free.  Contact your medical provider or state and local health department on if, when, and how to get tested. 

Can my doctor treat me over the phone?

Yes.  The bill greatly expands the option of using telemedicine for health care treatment. 

Please note these answers are intended to provide basic clarity––some aspects of the law have additional requirements.  I hope you find this information helpful.  If you need anything, my staff and I are here for you.

Congressman Jeff Fortenberry is the Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations.





New - Simple Numbers

Call local newsletter

Simple Numbers:
1 in 5 Nebraska people that receive their Corona Virus Check next week is fortunate enough to not have any real pressing need.
Many of these people want and would help small businesses, but there is no obvious (and non offensive) to invest and support.
There is a better that 3 times benefit to the Community, for every dollar invested in the Survival of the Small Business Community.
Small Business Owners, with shuttered Doors need cash now - to retain critical employees, pay rent and cling to their customers.
With that in Mind: We Launched We need all Small Cass, Sarpy and Otoe Businesses to add their information here
We really Encourage all small businesses to get a Square acct - so the can offer Gift Cards ( Video ) and/or a PayPal Donate Acct
Gift Cards may seem unusual for a small mechanic or plumbing firm, but the idea is simple: Critical Cash injection now, wonderful goods and services later.
Any Business, with a Square, or PayPal acct - can offer it in their listing and the navigation of the site will change as the numbers, and kinds of businesses develop.
Bottom Line, is we need Businesses to Join Here - and Churches / Non Profit Organizations Here
Nebraska helping Nebraska - we do not have to wait for the Federal Government, lets just Get"R" Done!


Important Public Announcement

From The Board of Directors of The Lofte Community Theatre:

In an effort to do our part to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, The Lofte Community Theatre will be closed to the public until further notice. Only essential personnel will be allowed in the building during this time.

This means the following changes to our upcoming events and productions:

An Evening With Kaylynn Sahs on March 28 has been cancelled. The box office has contacted current ticket holders.
Our opening production, Office Hours, will not take place on April 17-19 and 23-26.
The rest of our season is being re-evaluated as this situation continues to evolve. 

We are greatly saddened to have to make these decisions but, the safety and well-being of the Community that is the heart of our theatre must come first.

We ask for your patience as we work through this difficult situation. We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation and make any additional adjustments as necessary.  Updates on this evolving situation will be made via email,, and social media.

We look forward to having the barn back open and having our Lofte Community together again. Thank you for your patience and understanding during this unprecedented time.



Egg postponed


SKM C36820033115031


Cass County VETS June 7 2020


CM theatre

Bring the family for a fun night of LIVE entertainment!  Come to dance or just sit back and enjoy the music!

All events cancelled until further notice

We jam the 2nd Sunday of each month, at 1:00, except in May when it's the 3rd Sunday.

Beginners are always welcome! Bring your instrument and a snack to share. Jam Sessions are FREE!

* * * * * * *

For updates call 1-800-480-8797, ext. 211 or drop us an email at

Cornhusker Country Music Theater, 211 Main St, Louisville, NE, is a nonprofit, 501 c 3, organization
Like us on Facebook @ Cornhusker Country Music Theater.







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Thank you form Nehawka Fire

We had our soup supper Last Saturday Night. It did go over well and we would like to thank everyone that showed up.

We would like to thank everyone for all your support!! Thank you for coming out Saturday evening. During the fundraiser members received years of service awards.

15 Years of Service:
Shane Adams
Leann Adams

10 Years of Service:
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Ann Fischer

5 Years of Service:
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Michael McIntire
Bob Sorenson
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