COVID-19 Update 6/19/2020

 

New, Simplified PPP Forgiveness Application Form

This week, the Small Business Administration announced the availability of a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application. 

In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, the SBA published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:

  • Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
  • Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
  • Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.

The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers.  Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 

Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period.  According to the agencies, these changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. 

 

Free Webinar:  PPP Loan Forgiveness – Time to Update Your Planning

CBIZ, AASP-MN’s preferred provider for all things insurance, is offering a free webinar on Wednesday, June 24th, from 1:00 – 2:30 pm CST.  The webinar will go over what you need to know to manage PPP loan forgiveness requirements and ensure maximum benefits, including:

  • How to fine-tune your data elements
  • Tax implications
  • Combining PPP loan forgiveness with other tax benefits of the CARES Act
  • Tips for loan forgiveness applications

Register here to attend.

 

Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Available Again

On June 15, the Small Business Administration announced that small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are able to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance is designed to provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.

This loan advance will not have to be repaid. Recipients do not have to be approved for a loan in order to receive the advance, but the amount of the loan advance will be deducted from total loan eligibility.

SBA will begin accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance applications on June 15.  Eligible small businesses may apply for the Loan Advance here.

Congress funded the EIDL grant initiative with $10 billion under the March CARES Act, but small business demand exhausted the funds, and the SBA suspended the program. Additional funding was approved during April’s House Resolution 266, but the SBA didn’t fully reopen the program until now.

 

Federal Reserve Board Expands Main Street Lending Program

Last week, the Federal Reserve announced that it is updating the terms of the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) to allow for more small and medium-sized business participation. It hopes to officially open the program shortly.

The changes include:

  • Lowering the minimum loan size for certain loans to $250,000 from $500,000;
  • Increasing the maximum loan size for all facilities;
  • Increasing the term of each loan option to five years, from four years;
  • Extending the repayment period for all loans by delaying principal payments for two years, rather than one; and
  • Raising the Reserve Bank’s participation to 95% for all loans.

The Federal Reserve designed Main Street to support small and medium-sized businesses that were unable to access the PPP or that require additional financial support after receiving a PPP loan.  Main Street loans are not forgivable.

If your business needs additional capital, the Alliance recommends that you contact your lender to discuss whether this program would benefit your business. Please note that the Paycheck Protection Program will no longer issue loans after June 30, so the MSLP will be one of the remaining COVID-19 loan options. 

 

Minnesota Legislative Update – New Funds Available

As the Special Session winds down, deals on some of the big-ticket items such as a bonding bill, police reform measures and how to distribute federal COVID-19 response funding to local units of government have remained elusive. But one Special Session piece of legislation that did pass and has already been signed by Governor Walz is a small business grant program to help businesses impacted by COVID-19.

The bill provides $60 million in grant funding which will be split evenly between the 7-county metro area and Greater Minnesota. The bill is aimed at small business assistance and is available only to businesses with 50 or fewer employees for grants up to $10,000 per business. There is a specific set aside for microbusinesses as well, defined as a business with 6 employees or less. Preference will be given to minority and women-owned businesses as well as to businesses that were explicitly shut down via an Executive Order from Governor Walz.

Demand is expected to outpace the supply of these funds, so after a 10-day application window there will be a lottery to determine grant recipients. The program will be administered by the Department of Employment and Economic Development.  The Alliance will continue to monitor and alert members when the application period begins.

 

I-CAR Announces Re-Start Plan for Live, Hands-On & Welding

On June 18, I-CAR® (the Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair) shared details of its safety guidelines and plans for re-starting its Hands-On Skills Development™, Welding Training & Certification™ and Live Courses, which have been paused during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a virtual announcement I-CAR CEO & President John Van Alstyne, together with Lori Barrington, I-CAR Associate Vice President, Delivery, detailed the organization’s commitment to providing a safe and healthy training experience for all students as well as I-CAR Instructors and Assessors. I-CAR temporarily paused in-person training in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Barrington shared three basic conditions that must be met to proceed with any I-CAR In-Shop training:

  • States must be open; currently all 50 states are open for in-person/student educational training courses. Any changes/updates related to individual state guidelines will utilize data from www.kff.org, a reporting source offered through the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on national health issues, and a non-partisan source of facts and analysis.
  • Customer/Student must be willing/comfortable with I-CAR Instructor/Assessor in their facility.
  • Instructor/Assessor must be willing and comfortable to deliver training in the facility and area of community.

I-CAR’s Scheduling Team continues to reschedule Welding and Hands-On Skills events that had been postponed due to COVID-19, in addition to beginning to schedule new customer requests in states, as they open, with new requests scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Check here for a class near you.

 

The Value of Wearing a Mask

Here’s an interesting article that references several scientific studies that demonstrate that wearing a mask does, indeed, reduce the rates of individual and community disease.

From “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or https://www.hermangroup.com. To sign up, visit https://www.HermanTrendAlert.com. The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.” 

 

OSHA Poster on Proper Respirator Use Now Available in Multiple Languages

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published the “Seven Steps to Correctly Wear a Respirator at Work” poster in 14 additional languages. Initially available in English and Spanish, the poster demonstrates and describes seven steps every worker should follow when putting on and taking off a respirator.

The steps include properly washing your hands before putting on and after removing the respirator, inspecting the respirator for damage, putting on and adjusting the respirator to achieve a proper seal, avoiding touching the respirator while wearing it, and removing and disposing of the respirator.

The poster is available for download in the following languages:

 

Talkin’ Shop

Two member roundtable Zoom calls are scheduled in July.  Join in the conversation!

  • Collision members, attend the BS Session on July 8, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Mechanical members, attend the Mech XChange on July 15, from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
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    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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