- Small Business Loans
- Other Business Types
- Labor Provisions
- Temporary Rule: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- What are the labor provisions related to the Federal Reserve loan facility and how do they apply?
- Businesses Developing Medical Countermeasures for COVID-19 Outbreak
- Resources NAM, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Labor, and SBA
Small Business Loans
What type of business loans will be made available to small businesses?
- To deal with the current cash flow shortage, businesses will be able to obtain loans and loan guarantees through the Small Business Administration, including SBA 7a Loans and Disaster Assistance Loans, to deal with payroll, operating expenses, mortgage/lease, group health plan costs, etc.
- Businesses can qualify for loan forgiveness, provided they meet certain conditions.
- Businesses should reach out to their bank or credit union to learn more on qualifying, uses of the money, and the conditions for forgiveness.
- The Small Business Association has additional in-depth resources on these programs.
- The Ways and Means Committee has another resource to explain H.R. 6021, the Families First Act, which has also been signed into law.
Will business loans be available to all size businesses?
- Most business loans and loan guarantees are focused on small businesses which are defined as fewer than 500 full-time employees. If you have multiple sites, businesses, that make up 500 employees the DOL guidance also explains when business entities should be treated as separate employers and when they should be aggregated as a single employer for purposes of determining their total number of employees.
- If you are a business owner with more than 500 employees please see these frequently updated resources provided by the Treasury Department or the Department of Labor.
I own a small business, what should I know?
- Please reach out to your bank or credit union to assess what options you have available. In addition to the resources in this email, consider visiting your states website, the IRS COVID website and local manufacturing associations as well as the Small Business Administration’s website.
What is the SBA Paycheck Protection Program?
- The Paycheck Protection Program is designed to help small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) impacted by the pandemic and economic downturn to cover payroll and other expenses. These small businesses may take out loans up to $10 million, and can cover employees making up to $100,000 per year.
- Loans may be forgiven if a firm uses the loan for payroll, interest payments on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The amount of the loan that can be forgiven will be reduced if the company does not rehire any employees or cuts the pay of employees by at least 25%.
Are Nonprofits eligible for SBA loans and grants?
- The final bill binds nonprofits to the SBA’s affiliation rules. The bill permits nonprofits to participate in SBA’s loan programs, provided they have 500 employees or less. If you are a nonprofit you are subject to the 500 employee cap and the affiliation rule. Therefore, these nonprofits and their affiliates are not eligible for SBA grants or loans, as they have more than the allowable 500 employees.
Other Business Types
Do non-profits qualify for any assistance during the downturn?
- Yes. 501c3 non-profits can qualify for small business loans and loan guarantees by the SBA to help them meet payroll, operating expenses, and mortgage/leasing costs. Check with your bank to find out what loans availability, qualifications, and conditions.
I am sole proprietorship, do I qualify for assistance?
- Yes. The SBA loans and loan guarantees can apply to LLCs, S-Corps, and Sole Proprietorship. Check with your bank to see if you qualify.
Are corporations getting a bailout? I think only small businesses should receive help.
- No. While the 2008 financial crisis sought to bail out companies who made bad business decisions, the 2020 CARES Act seeks to help companies who are critical to our economy that have been harmed since COVID-19’s outbreak. For example, the government is advising people to avoid flying on the airlines, which has hurt their business.
- Money going to large corporations are loans, loan guarantees, and credit availability to stabilize the markets and ensure credit and liquidity is available to borrow.
- Companies receive incentives to keep employees through this period. If a company is forced to lower employment, they lose access to some incentives.
Are businesses that employ more than 500 employees across multiple locations eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program at each individual location?
- A business is generally eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program if it is a for-profit business, 501c3, or 501c19 (veterans organization) non-profit with fewer than 500 employees. There are a few exceptions. Businesses in the accommodation and food service industry (assigned a North American Industry Classification System code beginning with 72) with more than one location, a business could also eligible at the store and location level if the store employs fewer than 500 workers. In other words, each store location could be eligible.
- If franchisors appear in the SBA’s National Franchise Directory, assistance will extend down to the franchisee at the store or location level.
Does the bill provide assistance to cruise lines, the owners and operators of small passenger vessels, or port facilities?
- In general, the CARES Act provides $454 billion to provide loans, loan guarantees, and other investments to assist eligible businesses. Eligible businesses are U.S. businesses whose losses result from the coronavirus, and U.S.-owned cruise lines, owners and operators of small passenger vessels, and port facilities are expected to qualify.
Does the bill provide any regulatory relief to the trucking industry?
- The CARES Act includes language requested by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to clarify state authority to issue special permits for increased truck weight. Under either a “major disaster” or “emergency,” states can issue special permits for heavier trucks to deliver relief supplies. This ensures the validity of state-issued special permits.
- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has posted additional Questions and Answers regarding implementation of certain provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The recently updated information begins with Question #38.
- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published guidance on preparing workplaces for COVID-19 here. Contacts for Regional OSHA Offices is available, and OSHA can be reached at 1-800-321-OSHA.
Temporary Rule: Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
- On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor announced new action regarding how American workers and employers will benefit from the protections and relief offered by the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The Department’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations pursuant to this new law, effective April 1, 2020. For more information, see https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/ffcra.
- FFCRA will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by reimbursing American private employers that have fewer than 500 employees with tax credits for the cost of providing employees with paid leave taken for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The legislation will ensure that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus, while at the same time reimbursing businesses.
What are the labor provisions related to the Federal Reserve loan facility and how do they apply?
- There are no mandatory union provisions for the $454 billion in emergency funding. The Secretary has wide authority to establish the best programs needed to support the economy.
What are the union provisions in the bill?
- There is a section in the bill instructing the Secretary to “endeavor to seek” to establish a mid-size business lending facility for direct lending as one of several facilities funded with that $454 billion.
- Two of the requirements for direct loan recipients under solely the mid-size business lending facility impose union-related restrictions. Those include not abrogating existing Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), and an agreement that the business will stay neutral in union organizing.
What do they do?
- The provisions restrict the business from abrogating an existing collective bargaining agreement and agreeing to stay neutral in any labor union formation.
Will businesses have to agree to these restrictions?
- The section only requires the Secretary to “endeavor to seek” to establish a direct loan program. The Secretary does not have to establish one.
- The bill text only requires a good faith certification by a business that it is meeting the requirements of the union provisions if one is established.
- There is no enforcement mechanism.
- It is also important to remember these provisions apply to only one option for how the $454 billion in funding will be distributed.
- The bill provides several ways for the Treasury to work with the Fed to get money to businesses outside of the union provisions.
What flexibility does the Secretary have to waive the provisions?
- The Secretary has maximum flexibility, discretion, and waiver authority. The point of the emergency lending is to give the Secretary maximum flexibility for helping our most distressed sectors of our economy.
- For example, the bill preserves the Secretary’s right to waive certain restrictions for the loan if it’s to “protect the interest of the Federal government.”
- The bill only requires a good faith effort for the Treasury Secretary to try to follow the terms and conditions, but it’s not a requirement.
- Treasury Secretary may not be able to follow it or might decide to structure midsize business support differently.
Are there other provisions in the bill that impact unions or union activity?
- Yes. Section 4025 of the bill prevents the government from requiring an air carrier to enter into collective bargaining agreement (CBA) negotiations to get a loan. It does not prevent an air carrier from entering CBA negotiations on its own.
Businesses Developing Medical Countermeasures for COVID-19 Outbreak
What resources are available for businesses that are developing medical countermeasures in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, such as vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics?
- It has been advised to reach out to the BARDA Coronawatch Meeting website, available here. BARDA is particularly interested in products and technologies that have progressed into or beyond non-clinical trials. Submission of materials does not guarantee a meeting or funding from BARDA.
How can businesses sell or donate medical supplies, equipment, or services as part of this response?
- FEMA launched a new website for companies looking to sell or donate medical supplies, equipment or services as part of the COVID-19 response.
- Additionally, email FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can companies import or produce medical products to help with the response?
- Send inquiries to FEMA at email@example.com. Please include as many details as possible about the request (e.g., manufacturer name, address, product, and model number) and contact information for the company, either an agent in the U.S. or the company itself.
Resources NAM, The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, FEMA, U.S. Dept. of Labor, and SBA
- The Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist takes a small business step-by-step through the process of preparing to file for a loan.
- This interactive map shows how much aid is available under the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses in each state.
- The Chamber’s web tracker shows how businesses of all sizes are stepping up efforts to combat COVID-19.
- The U.S. Chamber Foundation is publishing a live blog tracking the contri
- NAM (National Association of Manufacturers) COVID19 Response
- US Department of Labor COVID-19 and the American Workplace
- The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act - The-small-business-owner-s-guide-to-the-cares-act-final-.pdf