• COVID-19 INFORMATION & FEDERAL RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS - 

  • SBA, US Treasury set aside $10 billion for community development financial organizations
    The U.S. Small Business Administration and U.S. Treasury Department announced today that $10 billion of “Round 2” funding for the Paycheck Protection Program) has been set aside to be lent exclusively to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs). CDFIs work to expand economic opportunity in low-income communities by providing access to financial products and services for residents and businesses. Use this link to read the full Treasury Department notice.

    SBA provides new federal resources page for small businesses
    The US Small Business Administration is providing a concise, user-friendly website for small businesses to review all the federal funding programs available to them. Especially timely is a link to an online application for consideration of Payroll Protection Program Loan Forgiveness. Follow this link to the new SBA federal resource page for small businesses.

    ​OSHA announces new Susan Harwood training grant opportunities
    The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced the availability of $11.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grants for nonprofit organizations, including community and faith-based organizations, employer associations, and colleges and universities.
     
    The Harwood Training Grant program supports in-person, hands-on training for workers and employers in small businesses; industries with high injury, illness, and fatality rates; and vulnerable workers, who are underserved, have limited English proficiency, or are temporary workers. The grants fund training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards, including the coronavirus. Use this link for more information about Susan Harwood Training Grants.

    SBA/Treasury Department release Payroll Protection Plan Forgiveness guidelines 
    The US Small Business Administration and the Treasury Department have released information on how small businesses can apply for loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Program. The Loan Forgiveness Application explains how to calculate the forgiveness amount, determine eligible payroll and nonpayroll costs, document eligibility for loan forgiveness and apply the CARES Act’s safe harbor for remedying payroll or headcount reductions. Use this link to read more about SBA/Treasury PPP forgivenessYou can access the application form and instructions by using this link.

    ​SBA Updates PPP Frequently Asked Questions
    The Small Business Administration, in conjunction with the Treasury Department, has released new FAQs providing lenders and borrowers with guidance on issues relating to the Payroll Protection Program. You can access the full updated Payroll Protection Program FAQ using this link.

    Small Business Association, Treasury Department Update Payroll Protection Place FAQ’s
    The SBA and the Treasury Department have issued an update of their “Frequently Asked Questions” document. The document is intended to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program CARES Act. You can access the SBA FAQ sheet using this link.

    Treasury, Small Business Administration Update Payroll Protection Plan FAQ’s
    The US Treasury Department and the SBA have updated their PPP frequently asked questions to reflect changes in the program resulting from the latest congressionally passed COVID-19 stimulus package. Follow this link to view the full FAQ document.

    SBA restarts Payroll Protection, Economic Disaster Loan Programs
    Following a replenishment of funding courtesy of the latest Coronavirus response legislation, the Small Business Administration’s Payroll Protection and Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs are once again up and running. The funds are not expected to last long, however. Small businesses interested in these or other COVID-19 related SBA relief funds can use this link for details about all SBA programs.

    ​USDOL updates “Families First” Act FAQs
    The US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division has updated their “Frequently Asked Questions” page with new guidance for employers implementing the paid sick leave and paid family leave components of the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act. FAQ’s are broken down into broad categories that include definitions, eligibility, coverage and applications. Follow this link to access the FAQs.

    USDA announces new Coronavirus Program for US food producers
    The US Department of Agriculture has announced the launching of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program. This new USDA program will take several actions to assist farmers, ranchers, and consumers in response to the COVID-19 national emergency. The $19 billion COVID-19 relief program, which aims to maintain the integrity of the countries food supply chain to ensure every American continues to receive and have access to the food they need, will have two components. The first will direct $16 billion in aid to farmers and ranchers. The second part of the program calls for a $3 billion USDA purchase and distribution program. Read more about the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program here.

    ​US Department of Agriculture provides COVID 19 Resource Page for rural communities
    The USDA is providing a COVID 19 landing page providing information regarding programs that can be used to provide immediate and long-term assistance to rural communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs include support recovery efforts for rural residents, businesses and communities through technical, training, and management assistance; financial assistance; and state and local assistance. Use this link to access the USDA COVID 19 Federal Rural Resource Guide 

    OSHA issues guidance for retail employers/employees
    The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration is issuing a series of industry-specific alerts designed to help employers keep workers safe. The latest alert is targeted at retail employers and employees (e.g., pharmacies, supermarkets, and “big box” stores). Read the Retail Sector Alert here.

    Federal Reserve releases $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economyThe Federal Reserve announced today that it is taking additional action to provide up to $2.3 trillion in loans to support the economy. This funding will assist employers of all sizes and is intended to bolster the ability of state and local governments to deliver critical services during the coronavirus pandemic.
    Actions taken today by the Federal Reserve include:
    • Bolstering the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by supplying liquidity to participating financial institutions through term financing backed by PPP loans to small businesses. The PPP provides loans to small businesses so that they can keep their workers on the payroll.
    • Ensuring credit flows to small and mid-sized businesses with the purchase of up to $600 billion in loans through the Main Street Lending Program.
    • Increasing the flow of credit to households and businesses through capital markets, by expanding the size and scope of the Primary and Secondary Market Corporate Credit Facilities
    • Helping state and local governments manage cash flow stresses caused by the coronavirus pandemic by establishing a Municipal Liquidity Facility that will offer up to $500 billion in lending to states and municipalities.
    Read the Federal Reserve News Release here.

    Treasury Department, SBA Provide Payroll Protection Program FAQs
    The Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury have created a “Frequently Asked Questions” document to address borrower and lender questions concerning the implementation of the Paycheck Protection Program.

    Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance provided in this document as SBA’s interpretation of the CARES Act and of the Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rule and the U.S. government will not challenge lender PPP actions that conform to this guidance, and to the PPP Interim Final Rule and any subsequent rulemaking in effect at the time. Read FAQs Here.

    Small Business Administration “Landing Site” for Small Business COVID 19 Assistance
    The SBA has four “products” to help small businesses hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow this link to their website for more information on the Payroll Protection Plan, Economic Injury Disaster Loan advances, SBA Express Bridge Loans and SBA Debt Relief.

    US Department of Labor publishes Federal Unemployment Benefits Guidelines
    The U.S. Department of Labor has published an Unemployment Insurance Program Letter providing guidance to states for implementation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Under PUA, individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation and are unable to continue working as a result of COVID-19, such as self-employed workers and independent contractors are eligible for PUA benefits. This provision is contained in Section 2102 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act enacted on March 27, 2020.

    Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19
    The CDC has also updated information for essential employers on best practices for preparing workplaces to slow the spread of COVID-19. The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA) has also offered guidelines for preparing the workplace for COVID-19. This will also be the subject of BIA’s Wednesday Webinar, Preventing & Responding to COVID-19 in the Workplace.

    US DOL Provides Recorded Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    The US Department of Labor has released a recorded webinar for employers impacted by the Families First Act. Use this link to access the Webinar: Webinar: The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Department has also uploaded copies of the slides used in the webinar: Webinar Slides (PDF).
     
    Small Business Administration issues Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules
    The SBA released today Interim Final Rules for implementing the Paycheck Protection Program, one of the economic stimulus efforts included in the CARES Act. This new program for small employers is intended to provide federal short term loans that will allow employers to keep there workers working. BIA is hosting a webinar on the program Monday, April 6 at 1:00 p.m. The webinar is free, but advance registration is required. Register online using this link.
     
    US Labor Department Updates FAQs for “Families First” Act
    The US Department of Labor has updated and added to their Frequently Asked Questions about “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” for employers seeking guidance on new paid family leave and paid sick time provisions of the act.

    Keeping Workers Employed: The Small Business “Paycheck Protection Program”
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocates $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the “Paycheck Protection Program,” the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward. Guidelines for the program are being drafted and should be finalized within the week. Once up and running loans will be processed through SBA Preferred lenders.
     
    The US Chamber of Commerce has provided a Small Business Guide and Checklist which provides information about what businesses qualify, how much can be borrowed, and whether loans can be forgiven.

    Treasury Department Issues Guidance, Forms for Payroll Protection Program
    The US Treasury has issued guidance and forms for financial institutions and businesses wanting to apply for the Payroll Protection Program. Included in the CARES Act passed and signed into law last Friday, this program is designed to give employers hit hard by COVID- 19 federal funding needed keep their employees at work. Documents provided by the Treasury include: an overview of the program, an information sheet for lenders, an application form for borrowers, and an information sheet for borrowers.

    SBA Offers “One Stop Shopping” Page for Payroll Protection Program, Emergency Loans and More
    The Small Business Administration is making it easier for employers to get the financial help they need to sustain business operations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. There are many new programs available through the SBA as a result of the recently enacted CARES Act. Follow this link to an SBA page that provides the latest information for all SBA financial programs available to employers, including the Payroll Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advances, SBA Debt Relief and more.

    US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division Issues Guidance for Paid Leave
    The US Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division has released new guidance for implementing paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The document provides clarification for employers required to provide paid sick time and paid family leave under the new federal act. Follow this link to access the new rules.

    Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Urges Vigilance Against COVID-19 Related Scams
    The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is warning people to beware of a slew of COVID-19 related scams. Their website is reminding individuals to be particularly cautious when accepting offers of help and to use trusted delivery services for supplies and food. “Money Smart” for Older Adults Resource Guide, is now available for download.

    Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship releases Small Business Owners Guide to CARES Act
    The Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has released a Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act. This document provides timely information and links for small businesses wanting more information about the Paycheck Protection Act, SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Grants and Small Business Debt Relief program.

    SBA Chart compares three CARES Act programs for businesses
    The SBA has provided a comparison chart for three SBA programs flowing from the Cares Act, the Paycheck Protection Program. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), and EIDL Emergency Grants.

    Small Business Administration offers small business federal disaster loans
    The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal loans for working capital to New Hampshire small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19. The Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million are intended to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Applicants can apply online.
     
    Export-Import Bank Delivers Flexibility and Liquidity for Manufacturers
    The Export/Import Bank is implementing temporary measures to inject liquidity into the market and provide maximum flexibility for exporters and suppliers. You can find more information about these measures here, which include temporary bridge financing, progress delivery payment financing, supply chain finance guarantees and working capital guarantee expansion. These new temporary measures are being added to previous Ex/Im Bank COVID-19 related assistance for manufacturers who export.
     
    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides contacts for manufacturers
    FEMA has released an information document for manufacturers gearing up to provide COVID-19 related personal protective equipment products. They also have a FEMA COVID-19 website with information including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, best practices and more.

    New US Department of Labor Guidance on implementing Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    The US Department of Labor has issued new guidance for employers and employees providing information related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act passed and signed into law last week. New links include a “Fact Sheet for Employees” and a “Frequently Asked Questions” website.
     
    US Department of Labor giving 30-day limited stay of enforcement for “Families First” Act
    The US Department of labor has announced that they will not bring any enforcement actions against public or private employers for violations of the Act occurring within 30 days of the enactment of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, (i.e. March 18 through April 17, 2020), provided that the employer has made reasonable, good faith efforts to comply with the Act. Use this link for more information and definitions for “reasonable” and “in good faith.”
     
    After April 17, 2020, the limited stay of enforcement will be lifted, and the Department will fully enforce violations of the Act, as appropriate and consistent with the law.
     
    IRS extends tax filing, payment deadline to July 15th, 2020
    The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have extended tax filing and payment deadlines for individuals and businesses in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. The IRS urges taxpayers who are owed a refund to file as quickly as possible.
     
    The IRS has also established a special section focused on steps to help businesses and individual taxpayers affected by the coronavirus. 
     
     IRS, Federal Department of Labor provide COVID-19 related employer guidance
    U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor have outlined how small and medium sized employers covered by the provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can begin to take advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees.

    Equal Employment Opportunity Commission offers employer guidance for COVID-19
    The EEOC is providing employers with relevant information on interacting with employees during the state of emergency created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics include how much information an employer can request for employees calling in sick; whether employers can require sick employees stay at home; whether employers who are hiring can screen potential new employees for symptoms related to COVID-19, and much more. 
    The following links are provided to employers seeking more information on best practices for responding to Coronavirus:
     
    US Chamber Coronavirus Information Page
    https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/coronavirus
    Center for Disease Control – Guidance for Business
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/guidance-business-response.html
    OSHA Guidance for Employers
    https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/covid-19/
    US Department of Labor
    • COVID – 19 Fair Labor and Standards Act
    https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/flsa/pandemic
    • COVID – 19 Family Medical Leave Act
    https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic
    NH Department of Health & Human Services
    https://www.nh.gov/covid19/
    NH Bankers Association
    Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources
    NH Small Business Development Center
    SBDC COVID-19 Assistance Page
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