MASSIVE FORGIVABLE LOANS – AKA GRANTS – TO GET YOU THROUGH THE PASS
The CARES Act authorized $349 billion in loans, including a Paycheck Protection Program, which can be used to fund employee compensation; payments for vacation, parental, family, medical or sick leave; severance payments; group health care benefits and insurance premiums; retirement benefits; and state and local employment taxes. You can borrow up to 2.5 times your monthly operating costs.
Loans will be entirely forgiven if you keep all of your employees during the covered period or hire back (by June 30) furloughed employees. The amount that is forgiven changes according to the percentage decrease in your number of employees.
For more on the CARES Act
To get started in the process of a CARES Act/SBA loan, talk with your usual banker.
You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) at any lending institution that is approved to participate in the program through the existing U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) 7(a) lending program and additional lenders approved by the Department of Treasury. This could be the bank you already use, or a nearby bank. There are thousands of banks that already participate in the SBA’s lending programs, including numerous community banks. You do not have to visit any government institution to apply for the program. You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool. You can call your local Small Business Development Center or Women’s Business Center and they will provide free assistance and guide you to lenders.
YOUR NEW OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE FAMILY FIRST CORONAVIRUS RELIEF ACT
Even if you have never been subject to the Family Medical Leave Act, you probably are covered by the new Emergency Family Medical Leave Act and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act. They apply to all employers with fewer than 500 employees and take effect April 1, 2020. Download Q&A here In short, these two new laws (1) provide paid leave benefits for employees who must miss work for reasons related to COVID-19 and (2) provide paid sick leave for employees who are themselves sick due to COVID-19. The cost of both of these employee benefits ultimately will be reimbursed by the federal government, but those costs must be “advanced” by employers as they arise. There is guidance that employers who don’t have the cashflow to comply right now won’t be prosecuted for violations if they make a good faith effort to apply for funding from the government and pay it to their employees timely. There is a possibility that some employers with fewer than 50 employees may ultimately be exempted from the law, but at this time there is no guidance on that.
Right now, you need to provide your employees with notice of the laws. Download notice here Ordinarily that notice would go up on the wall, alongside other workplace notices, but if you have employees working remotely, this should go out via email or direct message in addition to posting in the office.