MPL General Counsel Corner – More Updates on the CARES Act; Local Relief Plan for PA Small Businesses; Miscellaneous Items
Information is constantly flowing in and we are working together as a team to try and get the most important points in front. See the latest updates below:
Stimulus Package – The third relief legislation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, a $2 trillion stimulus package titled the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act (“CARES”) is just not in draft form. It still has to be officially approved and signed into law. We are currently reviewing summaries of the various sections. Once CARES is final, and proper analysis has been performed, we will provide summarized updates as they apply to our area. For the time being, some of the highlights include:
- $350 billion would be made available in loans for small businesses with less than 500 employees.
- Pay Check Protection Program
- 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency.
- The borrower shall have a portion of their loan forgiven in the amount equal to payroll support, employee salaries, leaves, rent and utility payments between the covered period of February 15, 2020 and ending on June 30, 2020.
- Eligible borrowers must make a good faith certification that the loan is necessary due to the uncertainty of current economic conditions caused by COVID-19; they will use the funds as intended; and are not receiving duplicative funds for the same uses from another SBA program.
- Includes sole-proprietors, independent contractors, and other self-employed individuals as eligible for loans.
- Pay Check Protection Program
- Recovery Rebate for American Households
- All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 married), who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work eligible social security number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate. Families are eligible for an additional $500 per child.
- $150 billion Available in State and Local Stimulus Funds.
- “State Stabilization Fund,” which would assist state governments with looming revenue shortfalls during the pandemic.
- Emergency Increase in Unemployment Compensation Benefits
- Provides an additional $600 per week payment to each recipient of unemployment insurance or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for up to four months. An addition to the state program.
- Establishes a $500 billion lending fund for industries and cities.
- $130 billion would be allocated to hospitals that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Local Economic Relief – In Governor Wolf’s press conference today, he described relief for Pennsylvania businesses through $60M of funds provided by the PA Industrial Development Authority (PIDA) Conronavirus Relief. PIDA is making emergency relief loans up to $100,000 available to qualifying small businesses with 100 or fewer employees at a 0% interest rate for a term of 3 years. The new program is called the COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program (CWCA) and is meant for PA businesses to be able to keep their doors open during the shutdown.
This program is currently live as of the governor’s press conference. All loan applications must be submitted a Certified Economic Development Organization (CEDO). To find the correct CEDO, please use this website: www.dced.pa.gov/cedo. For those in York County, the appropriate CEDO is the York County Economic Development Corporation (see their website here). To review additional information about the CWCA program, you can access CWCA program website maintained by DCED.
- New York State Bar Association program for Employer/Employee Covid 19 issues: The NYSBA presented a continuing legal education program today which included some helpful information on Employer/Employee issues related to Covid-19. The below questions and answers may be helpful for our clients with NY operations
- What if an employee tests positive for Covid-19? No single answer can answer this question. First, the employer should follow CDC precautions to ensure a safe workplace which may include shutdown to sanitize the exposed operations. The employer should also notify your local or state health officials so they can do tracing and notify other potentially exposed persons. Because the state and county health officials are currently struggling to keep up with notifications, the employer should also ask the employee who they have been in close contact (within 6 feet) with at work within the last 72 hours. Anyone identified as being within close contact should be notified by letter or email that they have been in close contact with someone at work (kept anonymous unless the employee consents to reveal their name) and should be tested and quarantine themselves until test results come back. Other employees should be notified generally there has been a case at the employer’s place of business and that anyone in close contact has been notified individually. No further precautions are immediately necessary with the employees who were not in close contact with the positive employee. The New York State Department of Health has issued guidance with examples on what constitutes close contact. A copy of that guidance is linked here.
- What if an employee is worried about getting stopped driving to work at a life-sustaining business? We can provide a form letter for you to put on your letterhead that you can provide to employees identifying the employee as an employee of a life-sustaining business that may stay open under the various executive orders. The letter would identify the essential nature of the business and provide an HR contact person for questions or verification. (MPL’S ATTORNEY’S CAN HELP DRAFT A LETTER FOR YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS)
- Bill Gates – a soothsayer? Bill Gates did a TED talk about the very issue we are faced with today……in 2015…..the video is at the following link: https://youtu.be/6Af6b_wyiwI
Please see all of our updates at the following link: https://mpl-law.com/resource-center/
As always, please don’t hesitate to email myself or anyone in our office with any questions or comments. Also, please feel free to forward our updates to others.
Keep moving forward! We will get back to normal.