COVID-19 Update 5/15/2020

 

Gov. Walz Eases Restrictions

On May 13th, the governor announced that Minnesota’s Stay-at-Home order would be allowed to expire on May 18th.  That order was replaced by a new order called “Stay Safe MN” that will go into effect May 18.

The “Stay Safe MN” order allows for social gatherings of less than 10 people and the reopening of stores, malls and other non-essential small businesses if those businesses can follow social distancing guidelines.

Walz said he expects to have a similar set of guidelines in place for bars, restaurants, salons and barbershops to allow those businesses to reopen June 1. That plan will be presented to the public no later than May 20.

 

More Help on the Way?

On May 12th, Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives released a proposal for the next phase of major COVID-19 relief legislation – the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act.

Following are notable provisions, among many, that may be relevant to the automotive industry:

  • The covered period for PPP loans would be extended to December 31, 2020;
  • PPP funds could be stretched over 24 weeks instead of the eight weeks originally passed in the CARES Act;
  • Businesses and organizations that receive PPP loans would be allowed to defer payroll tax payments; and
  • Coordination between the PPP and Employee Retention Tax Credit would be improved to “ensure borrowers can take advantage of both types of assistance.”

Elements of this package will obviously require reconciliation with the Republican-controlled Senate and White House.  We’ll keep you posted as negotiations progress.

 

PPP Fact Sheet Updated

On May 13th, the Department of Treasury issued another update to the fact sheet for the Payroll Protection program.  It can be found here.

Of note to AASP-MN members is the SBA’s statement that it would presume everyone who borrowed $2 million or less to have done so in good faith. This appears to be in response to recent warnings about applicants’ need to certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary. 

 

Additional Guidance from the CDC

The CDC has updated Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers. Click here for details.

Changes as of May 6, 2020, include:

  • Updated strategies and recommendations for employers responding to COVID-19, including those seeking to resume normal or phased business operations:
    • Conducting daily health checks
    • Conducting a hazard assessment of the workplace
    • Encouraging employees to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate
    • Implementing policies and practices for social distancing in the workplace
    • Improving the building ventilation system
  • A table outlining the engineering controls, administrative controls, and personal protective equipment (PPE) that employers may use to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace

 

Join the Conversation

Collision members, attend the BS Session on May 20th. 

Mechanical members, attend the Mech XChange on June 3rd.

Both programs are scheduled from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

 

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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