COVID-19 Update 3/15/2021

 

$1.9T COVID Stimulus Package

As you likely know by now, a sweeping $1.9 trillion COVID-19 stimulus package has been passed by Congress and signed by President Biden. 

The bill, titled the American Rescue Plan, includes another round of stimulus checks up to $1,400 for most Americans; extended, additional unemployment benefits for millions of Americans still out of work; and $350 billion in total aid to states, local governments, tribal governments and U.S. territories.

Although the bill includes another $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), it does not extend the PPP’s current March 31 expiration.  Interests continue to press Congress for a PPP extension and leaders of the House Small Business Committee have struck a bipartisan agreement to extend the PPP’s loan application deadline to May 31. The House will reportedly vote on the bill the week of March 15th.  Stay tuned…

 

Dials Turned Back in MN

Governor Walz has announced further easing of restrictions due to COVID-19.  They can be found here.

The really great news about this is that the AASP-MN Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference will be able to take place as an in-person event on May 20th!  Mark your calendars and watch your inboxes and mail for more information.

We can’t wait for everybody to get together again!

 

MN Taxation of PPP

Activity is underway at the State Capitol to conform state and federal tax treatment of PPP loans and other federal pandemic aid.  Currently, forgiven PPP loans are exempt from taxation by the feds but are treated as income by the state. 

A proposal has passed the Minnesota State Senate, but its quick passage is getting some pushback from the House and Governor.  The estimated cost to conform state and federal tax code on PPP loans is $438 million, with an additional $237 million price tag to exempt taxes on supplemental unemployment benefits received by individuals.

We’ll keep you posted on further developments.

 

The following info is courtesy of our friends at CHESS – Complete Environmental, Health & Safety Services.

 

Vaccinations

Minnesota recently published the list of priorities for COVID vaccinations. Employees who work in manufacturing are in Phase 1b — Tier 3. Those who work in transportation, including vehicle repair and maintenance, are in Phase 1c.

More information is available here.  

  • As of March 3, the MN Department of Health was estimating these workers would be eligible for their vaccines by May, although they are already ahead of schedule.
  • To receive updates on vaccine eligibility and availability, including notification when you are eligible, sign up for the COVID-19 Vaccine Connector.

  

COVID-19 Preparedness Plans

Your preparedness plan should be updated as new information is available. A template and other resources for business can be found here.   

Make sure your plan includes protocols for employees who have received the vaccination.  The MN Department of Health has provided some guidance. 

 

 

Note: This content and analysis is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice.  Please consult your legal and financial advisors for detailed information before taking any action.

Written by aasp@aaspmn.org

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