LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Layoff Aversion Pilot program is keeping afloat around 60 small business by helping them pay some of its employees’ wages.
This program was developed by Workforce Connections, Southern Nevada’s Local Workforce Development Board.
It utilizes $344,000 of federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) funds provided by the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). There was also a one-time donation of $100,000 by Bank of Nevada.
Small businesses and nonprofits were identified to participate in the pilot using the collective expertise of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA), and these local chambers of commerce: Asian, Boulder City, Henderson, India, Laughlin, Latin, Mesquite, Urban and Vegas.
The pilot is a wage reimbursement program, in which:
- Employers are reimbursed up to 50% of a current employee’s wages from April 20, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
- Each employer can receive a maximum of $1,600 per individual employee, for up to five employees.
- No employer will receive more than $8,000 in total.
- Employers do not receive a lump sum check, rather the business will be reimbursed per payroll period after submitting proof of paid wages.
Each business selected to participate has less than fifty employees, is current on unemployment insurance (UI) taxes, and is in good standing with the Nevada Secretary of State and its local jurisdiction. The participating businesses proportionally represent the jurisdictions Workforce Connections serves.
Michelle Howard, owner of Flora Couture, is one of the employers that is part of this pilot program. She was nominated by the Henderson Chamber of Commerce and after submitting the paperwork it was required to be selected, she says is it has incredibly benefited her employees and her business.
“Having assistance from the Layoff Aversion Pilot will help us as a small business in ensuring that we are able to continue to grow into the second half of the year. It will also allow us to assure our staff that their jobs are not temporary, but that we will recover completely and live on to thrive, grow and give us hindsight beyond 2020. We are thankful to this pilot as it allows us to continue sharing happiness throughout the Las Vegas Valley”, said Howard.
Jaime, Cruz, executive director of Workforce Connections, shared that this program didn’t ask for a submittal of application because they knew there will only be able to help a certain number of small local businesses.
“Because the funding is limited, we knew this pilot could not help every business that deserves assistance. That is why we enlisted our local chambers and economic development partners to identify businesses where this type of funding could be maximized and distributed quickly,” said Cruz.
While is unclear if the Layoff Aversion Pilot program will receive any more funds, is recommended you contact your local chamber of commerce, since they have other programs that you could qualify for.