Many business owners and entrepreneurs are asking themselves if they will have a business post-COVID-19. Many are suffering with the turmoil of potentially losing their businesses as isolation and quarantine extends, and dealing with the anxiety that's attached to everything they've built.
Are you experiencing this? It's okay if you are. I understand that hearing about COVID-19 everywhere you go and on every channel you turn on can be overwhelming. Therefore, to help ease your burden, here are some quick resources to help you strategize for your company's future.
The Care's Act - The Coronovirus Stimulus Bill
Some key benefits to this Bill include the following:
Direct Payments to Citizens: The bill provides that stimulus payments will be provided to low-and middle-income Americas. It provides that individuals can get $1,200 and married couples get $2,400- $500 per child younger than 17 years old. Payments will be phased out with people who make an adjusted gross income $75,000 ($150,000 for couples). If you make $99,000 (or $198,000) you will not receive a payment. You will want to contact your State Revenue Department and IRS for further guidance on how to apply.
Expanded Unemployment Benefits: The Bill expands unemployment insurance (UI) from three to four months and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600/week. Under this expansion, part-time, self-employed and gig economy workers now have access to UI benefits. Contact your state's employment security department. If you are an employer and provides such benefits, you will receive a tax credit.
SBA Loans: We'll discuss this separately at the end.
Human Services: If you run an non-profit organization, there is $1 billion contributed to the Community Services Block Grant to help local community-based organizations that provide a wide range of social services and emergency assistance for those with the highest need. The government has also provided $900 million for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which helps families to manage their home energy bills and minor energy-related home repairs.
The Small Business Administration: Provides Loans to support Small Business Owners.
Key loans are as follows:
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available for small business, small agricultural cooperatives, and most private nonprofit organizations. You must employ less than 500 employees and can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations.
There are three other loans: the home and personal property loans, the business physical disaster loans, and the military reservists economic injury loans. Either of them can be combined with the EIDL loan but only up to $2 million in support will be provided. See the breakdown of these other loans here.
Requirements as a business owner during a crisis is hard enough, but you also must ensure that you are providing proper benefits to your employees per federal rules. One rule to take note of is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
Under the Act, small businesses with fewer than 500 employees who are covered by this rule must provide paid leave for employees affected by COVID-19 if those employees are unable to work or telework. Basically, the employer can do this in two ways:
Two-weeks (80 hours) of paid sick time at the employee's full regular rate, subject to dollar caps (reduced to 2/3rd pay if the leave if the employee is sick, or family member quarantined or a child's school is closed or whose childcare provider is unavailable to because of COVID-19).
Ten additional weeks of FMLA leave but for those who must stay home to care for a child whose child's schools is closed; and the 10 weeks will be paid at 2/3rds to the employee's regular rate of pay which is subject to dollar caps.
A new loan that may also be forgiven to help you make payroll and keep your business moving through this crisis is called the Paycheck Protection Program. This program is designed to assist businesses in making payroll.
Join me on April 8, 2020 at 1p CST to discuss this program and whether you qualify.
This article is a service of SL DeBarros Law Firm, LLC. We offer a wide array of business legal services and can help you make the wisest business choices throughout life and in the event of your death. We also offer a Business Protection Start-Up Session or a Business Audit for an ongoing business, which includes a review of all the legal, financial, and tax systems you need for your business. Call us today to schedule.