Resources for Creators of Digital Entertainment Content and Technology during the Coronavirus Crisis
Updated September 28th 2020
Our thanks to everyone in our community for rallying and supporting in whatever way you have been able!
We are living through a remarkable moment of history, one that, rarely, affects most of the global populous at the same time. It is worrying, but, this too shall pass and at some point we will get back to something approaching the normality we knew a few short months ago!
If there is anything that team UDEN can do to help you through this crisis, please don't hesitate to reach out.
Below are a handful of links* that we hope members of our community will find helpful during this time of crisis. If you have others that you have found to be useful, please add them as a comment, below, or post them on the UDEN blogs here.
Utah Status - going the wrong way
The end of September marked Utah's worst week for new cases, making it the fourth-worst hot spot per capita in the USA according to data compiled by the New York Times, showing states where cases are high and getting higher (behind North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin). According to Utah health officials, 15 - 24-year-olds are driving this increase in numbers in Utah (almost one-third of the total) as high-schools and universities returned in-person during the past month.
As the trend of new cases moves upwards again, there are renewed calls for mask wearing in public, a move that has thus far been resisted by the Governor, preferring to leave that call to local authorities.
A color-coded health guidance system has been developed by the State of Utah to guide health behaviors for individuals and businesses. As of the end of September, Salt Lake City was still in 'orange' joined by Provo City and Orem City, while more of the state moved back up to 'yellow', with the rest in 'green' status.
Each level of the dial is guided by a rigorous measurement system which can be different by each region, county, city, or community. The plan was that we moved from red, to orange, yellow and eventually green - but as we have discovered as the state opens up for business, some areas are needing to revert back. So the status of your county may well change on a week-to-week basis. Find the current state of your country here: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/utahs-health-guidance-system/#map.
Latest news and resources for the state - including latest on directives about re-opening of business - can be found here: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/.
As of the end of September, Utah County and Provo City have mask mandates, joining Salt Lake County, Summit County, Logan, Grand County (including Zion, Arches and Canyonlands national parks) and Springdale.
We're not making a political point, we just ask kindly and politely that you wear a mask when you are in proximity to others. Not to deny you of your freedoms, but help your community flatten the spread of this disease by taking this one small measure. It seems likely the disease will be among us for the foreseeable future, and masks - with social distancing and hand-washing - will help us all in this community get back to some sort of normal faster.
If you don't like the idea of looking like you're preparing for surgery, why not have fun with it and find a mask that reflects you? Online you can find masks and kerchiefs that are stylish, funny, colorful, ones with animal faces, flags, beards, films and videogames. Check out some of these ideas - https://www.etsy.com/market/face_mask.
Thank you for playing your part.
Struggling to pay rent? The Utah Housing Assistance Program can help renters who are unable to pay their rent and utilities due to circumstances related to COVID-19. Here: https://rentrelief.utah.gov/
You may be eligible to file for unemployment in a number of circumstances arising from the Coronavirus pandemic, such as:
- your are furloughed from work but expect to return to your job at some point in the future;
- you are self-quarantined without pay but expect to return to work;
- you are still working but hours have been reduced;
- your employer let you go as they reduce the workforce;
More details from Utah Workforce Services here: https://jobs.utah.gov/covid19/uifaqemployees.pdf
Utah Film Commission - local film and TV resources - https://film.utah.gov/blog/covid19-resources/
IGDA - videogame developer resources - https://igda.org/resources/covid-19-resources/
How to transition from working from home to being a remote studio - http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2020-03-30-how-to-become-a-remote-games-studio
If you want to connect with local people that are in your industry - THINK LOCAL. Check out the Upcoming Events page on the UDEN website and support your fellow industry workers. If you are hosting an event - yes! Even a virtual one - that might be of interest to UDEN members, post it on the upcoming events page - it’s free!
If you are looking for a skilled contractor, whether that be a programmer, artist, producer, VFX editor, sound composer, or anything - HIRE LOCAL. Look at the UDEN Resources Directory of digital entertainment creators in Utah and see if you can find what you need there. It's organized by category to make it easier to find what you are looking for. If you are looking for new clients, make sure to add yourself to this UDEN resources directory. It’s free!
You can make a difference. Together we make the difference.
Working from home
Our sector possibly has a higher proportion of people working from home than others given that so many are contractors or work for small businesses. Nevertheless, here are a couple of articles about successfully working from home and why it might become the new 'norm' for more people:
How do I use videoconferencing for keeping in touch with family on my tablet or phone? https://www.cnet.com/news/10-free-video-chat-apps-to-use-if-youre-social-distancing/
Using Skype - https://www.wikihow.com/Do-a-Video-Conference-in-Skype
Tips on managing a meeting via videoconferencing - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/25/technology/personaltech/online-video-meetings-etiquette-virus.html and https://www.forbes.com/sites/adriandearnell/2020/03/23/coronavirus-how-to-succeed-at-video-conferencing/#62e4efdc60b5
Testing in Utah - People can qualify for testing if they exhibit just one possible symptom of COVID-19, whether cough, fever or shortness of breath, including people who don't have insurance, details here: https://coronavirus.utah.gov/testing-locations/
If you are an employer looking for temporary workers with skills that our highly creative and technical UDEN community posses, please post them on the UDEN jobs board, here. Please mark them "Short Term".
It follows that if you have lost a job, or are furloughed and would like temporary work, please check the UDEN jobs board to see who may be posting, here.
Small Business Loans
If you missed out on the first round of assistance, there are still many more types of aid available through COVID-19 related funding programs:
- Salt Lake County Small Business Impact Grant - Round 2 (https://slco.org/covid-19/economy/grants).
- Up to $35,000 grant
- Eligibility includes: Less than 100 employees; any industry impacted by COVID-19; in operation prior to 1/1/2020; have received less than $35,000 in other CARES Act funding (PPP, EIDL, State ComRent); proof of financial loss.
- Shop in Utah Grant (https://business.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-impacted-businesses-grant-program/#faq)
- Up to $50,000 grant
- Eligibility includes: less than 250 employees; in operation before 3/1/2020; experience revenue decline because of COVID crisis; must offer a discount, coupon, or another offer with an estimated value to their customers of at least 50% of their grant amount.
- Commercial Rental Assistance Program (https://business.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-commercial-rental-assistance-program/#faq)
- Funds equivalent of 50% to 100% facility lease payments for two months, up to $15,000/location or up to $30,000 total if multiple locations.
- Eligibility includes: current commercial property lease in Utah; less than 100 employees; more than 30% of loss in gross monthly revenues; have not received funds from COVID-19 Agricultural Operations Grant Program.
- Safe in Utah Grant (https://business.utah.gov/utah-covid-19-ppe-support-grant-program/)
- For actual PPE expenses or $100 per FTE (full-time equivalent employee), up to $50,000.
- Eligibility includes: in operation prior to 3/1/2020; utah-based employees; revenue decline due to COVID crisis.E
- COVID-related EIDL funds are still available
- COVID-related PPP loan funds are still available to apply for until Aug 8 (https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/paycheck-protection-program)
- Apply through bank, credit union or other financial institution.
- Utah Earthquake-related EIDL program
And here: https://www.slopesserves.com/
Q&A with John Briggs, Incite Tax: SBA Loans Frequently Asked Questions Video
Summary of loans on offer: https://www.sba.gov/page/disaster-loan-applications
Here are a couple of links that I found useful for physical and mental health:
Children and Coronavirus
Cornonavirus news and resources
COVID-19 Case Count in Utah - https://coronavirus.utah.gov/case-counts/
University of Utah Healthcare - https://healthcare.utah.edu/coronavirus/
Intermountain Healthcare - https://intermountainhealthcare.org/covid19-coronavirus/
Domo - Status State by State - https://www.domo.com/covid19/geographics#compare-states
How you can help
Silicon Slopes - donate money, volunteer, give supplies, stay informed - https://www.slopesserves.com/
Donate personal protective equipment -
United Ways Response Fund - https://uw.org/covid19-community-fund/
Ty Burrell Downtown Food Service Workers Fund - https://downtownslc.org/TipYourServer
Support local business from your home: https://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/how-you-can-help-small-businesses-impacted-by-covid19/
Until we meet again -- please be safe, stay 6-feet apart, wash your hands, wear a mask, think about others, help others; together we'll get through this and all enjoy the bright tomorrow.
If you want to find out more about UDEN and our mission, see here.
-- THE VOLUNTEERS AT TEAM UDEN
* All links worked at time of publishing (September 28th 2020). In this fast changing situation these links may have changed. We apologize if you find any broken links or incorrect information. Please let us know. Thank you! **