Saturday, June 15, 2024

Covid-19 resource roundup: Wilmington-area small businesses, childcare, health, info [Free read]

Wilmington and the surrounding area is facing a public health and economic crisis like no other in recent history. (Port City Daily photo/Johanna F. Still)

WILMINGTON — Preventative measures to slow the spread of Covid-19 have radically disrupted people’s everyday routines and have already put a strain on their finances.

While many are hoping for a federal stimulus and bailout to alleviate the pressure, there are more immediately accessible resources in Southeastern North Carolina.

Have a resource you’d like to add or one you’re looking for? Let us know at

Childcare for ‘necessary service’ workers

According to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the NC Department of Public Instruction, child care options are now available for the children of essential workers, which includes first responders, hospital staff, front-line healthcare providers, nursing and adult group home staff, child care program staff, food service staff and others.

For information call: 1-888-600-1685 or visit the website.

Therapeutic resources for children

Trillium resources announced Friday afternoon several resources for children dealing with the psychological impact of social disruptions resulting from Covid-19.

Symptoms of these disruptions can include:

  • Excessive crying and irritation
  • Returning to behaviors they have outgrown (e.g., toileting accidents or bedwetting)
  • Unhealthy eating or sleeping habits
  • Irritability and “acting out” behaviors
  • Avoidance of activities enjoyed in the past
  • Unexplained headaches or body pain
  • Use of alcohol, tobacco, or other drugs

In an effort to help support children and families, Trillium Health Resources has created a list of services that are available for children who experience difficulty coping during this time and may not have access to school-based services. Some examples include:

  • Telephonic therapy for school-aged children: available from clinicians who formerly provided school-based therapy; conversations take place over phone lines or through a video chat online once approved by the state. Please call our 24-Hour Access to Care Line at 1-877-685-2415 for help setting up an appointment.
  • Mobile Crisis Services: Teams are made up of experienced clinical staff well-trained in crisis prevention and stabilization techniques. When a person experiences a behavioral health crisis, a member of the Mobile Crisis Team will respond and meet the person wherever it may be–at home, at school, at work or in the community and by telephone to help de-escalate the crisis. Please call our 24-Hour Access to Care Line at 1-877-685-2415 to request the Mobile Crisis Team.
  • Crisis CHAT: A platform operated by Integrated Family Services, this offers emotional support, crisis intervention, and suicide prevention services to individuals within our catchment area. All crisis chat specialists are trained in crisis intervention.

Unemployment benefits

After Governor Cooper shuttered large portions of the restaurant and bar industry, the state’s unemployment office was inundated with phone calls. The Department of Commerce acknowledged this, and notes that currently the best and fastest way for employees to apply for benefits and for employers to get information is through the website.

Cooper took several steps to relax restrictions on unemployment benefits and to cushion the blow on employers. Further changes are likely to come, either from the General Assembly or from Congressional legislation.

Public health questions

Earlier this week, New Hanover County stood up a call center staffed with public health nurses to answer questions about potential symptoms and help connect residents with flu testing — a prerequisite for Covid-19 testing. The call center will be able to send public health workers into the community to facilitate testing starting Monday. Currently, the center is only operating phone service (not email, for the time being).

Call center details

  • Phone Number: (910) 798-6800
  • Hours of operation: Monday-Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Brunswick County also has call line and email hotline:

Small business loans

The local office for Small Business Administration loans is located in Wilmington, managed by Don Spray. The office covers North Carolina from I-95 to the coast. Contact by phone: 910-398-0746

Businesses can register for an economic injury loan by calling 1-800-659-2955.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at  Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email  for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call (800) 877-8339. For complete details on SBA, visit


The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services has also established public health call line dedicated to Covid-19 that is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Individuals can call to speak with a public health professional at any time at 1-866-462-3821.

New Hanover and Brunswick counties encourage everyone to access the most up-to-date and verified information from the county, NCDHHS, and CDC. The following websites from these organizations are the best resources for information on the novel coronavirus:

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