Reader’s Choice Final Voting Extended Through May 31

Due to the crush of the pandemic disrupting every business, including The Reader’s ability to reach its audience and to focus on anything but COVID-19 coverage, we are extending final voting for Readers’ Choice Best of the Big O! and we will be pushing back the Readers’ Choice issue. Check out our near daily coverage news coverage and now daily Reed Moore newsletter at The Reader, our team is doing some outstanding work.

So as we start to emerge from lockdown, remember your favorite local businesses by voting today!


Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

On this American holiday inspired by our Latino community, let’s remember those workers that form the backbone of so many of our industries, many of them on the front lines of service during this pandemic.

The Latino market in Omaha continues to lead our demographic growth with a 33% increase in Omaha Public Schools enrollment in the last decade. A 2012 report from the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s Office of Latino and Latin American Studies pegs Latino purchasing power in the Omaha metro area at $1.4 billion

Also being Giving Tuesday, you can support our Latino community in a lot of ways, particularly with contributions to community institutions like One World Community Health CentersLatino Center of the Midlands (fka Chicano Awareness Center), El Museo Latino and Heartland Workers Center.


Soft Opens in Nebraska

Nebraska’s Stay Home and Stay Healthy campaign, part of the state’s original Directed Health Measure (DHM) to address COVID-19, expired last Friday and was replaced with a new DHM through May 31. Highlights include:

  • Restaurant dining rooms are limited to 50 percent of maximum occupancy rating at a time. Restaurant In-Room Dining Reopening Guidelines Guía de Reapertura de Restaurantes Tipo Comedor 

  • Beauty and nail salons, barber shops, massage therapy services and tattoo studios can open while maintaining the 10-person rule with employees and customers wearing masks.

  • Childcare facilities will be permitted to have up to 15 children per room/space, an increase of five over the current requirements.

  • All other businesses currently ordered to close must remain closed until May 31, or until the orders are amended, including bars, gentlemen’s clubs, bottle clubs, indoor movie theatres, and indoor theatres.

  • Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other places of worship can resume services, weddings and funerals beginning May 4. Each household must meet a minimum of six feet of separation. Guidelines for the Conduct of Faith-Based Services Including Weddings and Funerals Held in Houses of Worship 

  • Previously, Governor Ricketts announced hospitals can resume elective surgeries on May 4 if hospitals meet certain capacity requirements. Dental offices, eye care clinics and veterinary clinics can also reopen.

Workers and business owners are mostly treating the opening very cautiously.


PPP Calculator

As the second round of the Payroll Protection Program funding gets allocated, a lot of employers are navigating the loan forgiveness portion of the program. Based on current Small Business Administration guidance, which we know will change, the forgiveness amount appears to be based on total payroll during the 8-week period after receiving the PPP funds, factored by the total number of full-time equivalent employees by month compared to earlier this year (January and February 2020) or Feb. 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019. National payroll services provider Paychex has a handy calculator for estimating forgiveness amounts.