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Preemployment card program helps boost financial inclusion: Director – Business

Preemployment card program helps boost financial inclusion: Director – Business

The government’s preemployment card program has prompted 728,000 underbanked people to board e-wallet platforms and create a bank account for the first time, hence aiding financial inclusion in the country, the program director has said.

Preemployment program executive director Denni P. Purbasari said that currently, there were 5.59 million preemployment card recipients across the country, from 36.6 million online registrants.

“Before joining the preemployment program, 13 percent [of the recipients] did not have an e-wallet or access to the bank, now they do. This 13 percent amounts to around 728,000 people,” Denni said during a press briefing on Wednesday.

She added that 76 percent of the recipients chose an e-wallet as their preferred means of receiving the incentive. Recent data also show that in total, there are around 4 million preemployment card recipients who have an e-wallet account.

Recently, the government added e-wallet DANA as one of its partners in disbursing preemployment cash assistance to participants, alongside other platforms such as GoPay, OVO and LinkAja.

“With the addition of DANA, we are giving the [preemployment card] recipients more e-wallet options to use as an incentive channel,” Denni said.

With an economy contracting 5.32 percent year-on-year (yoy) in the second quarter, the government is confronted with job losses nationwide.

Around 3.7 million individuals have lost their jobs so far this year due to the pandemic, according to data from the National Development Planning Agency (Bappenas), a number that is expected to hit around 10 million by the end of the year.

With a budget of Rp 20 trillion (US$1.3 billion), the preemployment card program is aimed at combining social assistance with upskilling for people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, including workers and small business owners. It offers monthly assistance of Rp 3.5 million for four months to cover training costs and

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Santa Rosa firm helps wildfire victims navigate battles with insurance companies

Santa Rosa firm helps wildfire victims navigate battles with insurance companies

Three years since the Tubbs fire, there have been some notable improvements for homeowners who are wrangling with their insurance carriers in the aftermath of a wildfire loss.

The state Legislature enacted some reforms, such as boosting rental living expenses from a maximum of two years to three years after a disaster while a homeowner waits for their home to be rebuilt. Last month, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation that required carriers to provide initial payments of at least 25% of their personal property that was destroyed without having the homeowner detail their entire inventory.

Yet there is still no solution for the most vexing problem of all: How to ensure that homeowners have sufficient coverage to rebuild their house and that they actually receive that amount?

In California, the onus is on the homeowner to ensure they have the right coverage amount to rebuild — a figure that only a local contractor would likely know. And most residents don’t reach out to a builder when pricing or updating their coverage.

That was proven after the 2017 wildfires when a survey by the consumer group United Policyholders found about two-thirds of those fire victims were underinsured — with some in pricey Fountaingrove facing a shortfall of more than $1 million. That number likely hasn’t changed much, said Amy Bach, executive director of the San Francisco-based consumer group. It is a cold reality that will soon be discovered by hundreds of homeowners in the wake of the Glass fire, which destroyed or damaged about 800 single-family homes.

“At this point, I’m convinced that insurers don’t want to solve the problem,” Bach said.

As the problem lingers, a Santa Rosa firm is attempting to help homeowners protect themselves. BW Builder Inc. assists homeowners in the aftermath of a fire by preparing detailed

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Creativity helps arts stay alive in pandemic

Creativity helps arts stay alive in pandemic

Larry R. Thompson
 |  President of Ringling College of Art and Design

In last month’s article, I shared my belief that creativity is the path that will lead us through this pandemic. In the coming months, I will highlight areas of life and the economy in which creativity is not only keeping us going, but also driving new ideas and new ways of doing things that may well remain as we emerge from this crisis.

As Clay Lord, vice president of Americans for the Arts, has said, “We know that there can be no recovery without creativity. On the other side of all of this, we cannot simply end up with the systems and structures that we had before.” 

Nationally, arts and culture is an integral part of our society, adding $877 billion to the annual economy, with 5.1 million American workers. The arts account for 4.5 percent of the annual GDP. As with so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has deeply impacted the creative arts.

According to a study done by USA Today, from April to July 2020, about 2.7 million jobs and $150 billion in revenue were already lost in this sector. Of course, the impact of the arts and culture to the Sarasota community is especially significant.

According to an American for the Arts study commissioned by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County, the nonprofit arts and cultural community in Sarasota generate $295 million in total economic activity and support 7,445 full-time equivalent jobs. Plus, the plethora of  arts and culture in this community separates Sarasota from other Florida beach towns.  

As brutal as the national numbers listed above are, the real losses are being felt by the communities in which individuals live. More than 100,0000 community theaters, art galleries, music venues, performance

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