Unemployment During Covid-19

Did you know that under the recently passed CARES Act, people who were not previously eligible for unemployment benefits likely are now? This includes those who are self-employed, part-time, those who are still working but had their hours cut, and those who lost hours due to being sick or caring for someone sick with Covid-19.
This guide was put together using personal experience to hopefully assist anyone who did not even know where to start in getting the assistance they need.

Why endorse me?

Why I’m seeking the endorsement from the voters of Island County?  The blessing of the people of Whidbey & Camano Islands means a great deal to me: I am one of you.  I was born here, raised here, and built my business here.  My wife is an Islander, and my kids, Gabriel and Moira, are third generation Islanders, the second generation of Reed’s born here.  This is where my idea of not needing politicians to COME to where we are, but need politicians that are FROM where we are, came from. 

I am a small business owner as well and have worked in nearly every field on Whidbey Island.  Whether that be a literal field, or figuratively speaking, I’ve been in every area of commerce that Whidbey Island has to offer.  I have even held jobs “on base,” working for Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR).  Currently, I run a land care business, started in 2008, just as the economy was building towards the epic crash.  I had no money or credit to brag about.  My family and I (wife, kids, and mother) all worked long hours and extra jobs to make it happen, and we made it work.  I have the experience and discipline to work and succeed with minimal resources.  It is the “Island Way.”

This most recent crisis has highlighted lessons I’ve learned over the years.  Stay informed.  Be prepared.  Never be afraid of hard work.  Most crucially, leave nobody behind.  We have witnessed great suffering due to inept leadership.  It’s scary, but it doesn’t need to be this way.  With my long-standing local networks, knowledge of Whidbey’s economy and demographics, and my background of climbing out of the depths of poverty, I’ve been able to help countless locals.  We’ve delivered PPE to Whidbey Health, given bags of groceries to local residents without work, all while being ineligible for benefits ourselves.  We’ve even repaired nebulizers for elderly folk, and my wife, manager, and business partner has used her education in biology and statistics to make valuable charts and reports on the spread of Covid-19.  I secured an “essential services” exemption from the State early on, enabling us to keep our doors open at my company through all of this.  We used our newfound exclusivity as a functional land management company not to enrich ourselves, but to hire service workers that have found themselves without work.  While not every person decides to stay on or is able to handle the extremely exhaustive work of landscaping and sanitation, we are still forming valuable bonds and opportunities to help one another in the future.  

I’ve learned that Island County’s resilience is strong, and that its residents are still willing to help their neighbors.  I want to keep this newly rediscovered love for our community and neighbors going for another four years, at least!  That, in a nutshell, is why I’m asking for the voters of Island County to join me.  I can keep Whidbey and Camano on the path of inclusiveness and progress.  Responsible progress.  

Thank you for your time.  My name is Christopher Lane Reed, an entrepreneur, family man, employer, and coach.  One of you.  Please join my coalition, #WeAreWhidbey, for Local, Loyal, Leadership.