Local & State Level Resources
- Announced March 20, 2020: In response to a request from Governor Henry McMaster for a disaster declaration, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for South Carolina small businesses suffering substantial economic injury resulting from COVID-19. The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of S.C.
Visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela for an application or call SBA's Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email email@example.com for more information. The deadline to return Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications is December 21, 2020.
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) – ES24 List Serve South Carolina Business and Industry may be added to the ES24 List Serve and receive the most up-to-date information regarding COVID-19. To be added to the list, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your company name, contact name(s), county, contact email address and phone number.
- South Carolina Emergency Management Division (SCEMD) – Virtual Business Emergency Operations Center – Specific resources for business and industry during emergencies and includes specific information on preparing your business for COVID-19.
- South Carolina Department of Commerce – COVID-19 Business Resource Center – One stop for business and industry information during the COVID-19 pandemic including links to information on unemployment benefits, business interruption insurance coverage and virtual health visits.
- South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance - COVID-19 Resources - information for companies and employees to assist in planning and responding as the COVID-19 situation develops.
- South Carolina Chamber of Commerce – COVID-19 Resources – Business and industry resources and guidelines available from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) and the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The SC Chamber is the state affiliate for the National Association of Manufacturers.
SC Department of Commerce has important information for businesses at https://sccommerce.com/doing-business-here/join-community/emergency-preparedness
- South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce- employers to assist with employer filing, COVID-19, and benefits available to employees who have been laid off.
Unemployment information and contacts to assist in mass filing:
- Link to overall information / portal to mass file for employees: https://dew.sc.gov/covid-hub
- Log in to file for employees: https://scuihub.dew.sc.gov/
- UI Tax phone number: 803-737-2400 (will need this if you don’t already have a SUITS account and want to mass file)
- Employer Filing Unit at 803-737-2532
- UI Hotline: 866-831-1724
- Employer Filing Tutorial: https://youtu.be/Zhnob-pYE8M
For Employees – Click on the links below to learn How To File A Claim:
Employees still need to establish an account and confirm their status weekly, even if employers file.
Video tutorials: https://dew.sc.gov/
Benefit information: Please share with your workers that layoff assistance information (available in English and Spanish) can be found online at https://scworks.org/employer/
Information will include:
- Unemployment Insurance Benefits & registration
- SC Works training and job search assistance
- South Carolina Economic Developer's Association (SCEDA) First Glance at the Stimulus Bill
Economic Development Administration (EDA)
EDA receives $1.5 billion in supplemental funding, directed to the Economic Adjustment Assistance account. The agency also receives surge hiring authority, to allow EDA to properly staff the agency during this crisis; a 2% carve out of the supplemental funds is directed toward ‘salaries and expenses’ to support the surge.
Community Development Fund (CDBG)
CDBG receives $5 billion in supplemental funding. $2 billion will be distributed according to the 2020 allocation formulas within 30 days. $1 billion will be distributed to states to combat the spread of COVID-19 within 45 days, in amounts determined by the Secretary of HUD based on best available data and need. The balance of the supplemental funding will be distributed to states based on a formula determined by the Secretary of HUD using best available data on COVID-19 and associated economic and housing disruptions.
USDA Rural Development (USDA-RD)
USDA-RD receives $145.5 million in funding; $20.5 million for the Rural Business-Cooperative Service that will make $1 billion in lending authority available, $100 million in grants for rural broadband service, $25 million in grants for distance learning and telemedicine.
Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP)
MEP receives $50 million to support MEP centers and waives the statutory cost-match requirement.
Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA)
MBDA receives $10 million in grant funding to support technical assistance to minority business development centers and minority chambers of commerce for counseling for minority business on available COVID-19 related resources.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
FEMA receives $45.4 billion for response and recovery, including $400 million for grants for fire/ems, emergency management, and food & shelter providers.
Department of the Interior (Interior)
Bureau of Indian Affairs receives $453 million, Bureau of Indian Education receives $69 million, Indian Health Services receives $1.032 billion, Office of Insular Affairs receives $55 million.
National Endowment for the Arts & Humanities (NEA)
NEA receives $150 million in total; $75 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and $75 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities; money will be used to assist state arts and humanities agencies and partners.
Small Business Administration
The Small Business Administration is receiving an enormous amount of funding and significant program adjustments to help small businesses weather and survive the crisis. A sample of the numbers includes:
- $349 billion for loan guarantees,
- $675 million for Small Business Administration salaries and expenses,
- $240 million for small business development centers and women’s business centers for technical assistance for businesses,
- $10 billion for emergency EIDL grants,
- $17 billion for loan subsidies,
- $100 billion for secondary market guarantee sales
Programmatic changes appear to be primarily channeled through the 7(a) loan program. Key provisions include:
Paycheck Protection Program
- Creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Helps small businesses, 501(c)(3)’s, 501(c)(19)’s, and 31(b)(2)(c)
- Limited to under 500 employees
- Includes independent contractors, sole proprietors and the self-employed
- Entities must have been operational by 2/15/20; had payroll, paid taxes
- Covered loan period is 2/25/20 through 6/30/20
- Maximum loan amount via 7(a) set to $10 million through 12/31/20
- 100% loan guarantee through 12/31/20
- Eligible expenses include payroll, insurance, rent, mortgage and utilities
- Borrower cannot apply/carry both PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for COVID-19, but can carry previous, non-COVID-19 EIDL and participate in PPP
- Borrow must good-faith certify that funds are needed for COVID-19 related purposes, the funds will be used to retain workers, and that their request is not duplicative with other SBA funds for the same purpose
- Waives borrower and lender fees
- Waives credit elsewhere requirements
- Waives collateral and personal guarantees
- Sets maximum interest rate of 4%
- No prepayment fees
- Defers payments on PPP loan for 6-12 months
- Delegates authority to all existing 7(a) lenders to expedite approvals/distributions
- Authorizes bank and non-bank lenders to participate in PPP program
- New lenders in program can only participate in PPP and not other 7(a) loans
- Amount spent by borrower in the first 8 weeks from loan origination may be forgiven; amount reduced proportionate to reductions in workforce as compared to previous year; if rehires made during 8 week period, no penalty in reflection of possible layoffs early in the 8 week period
- Allows inclusion of additional money paid to tipped workers
- Anything not forgiven or repaid by 12/31/20 will convert to a max 10 year loan at a max 4% interest rate; loan will remain 100% guaranteed
For a comprehensive overview of the Payroll Protection Program, CLICK HERE.
Emergency Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
- Eligibility expanded to include tribal businesses, cooperatives, ESOP’s, individual contractors, sole proprietors, and private non-profits with less than 500 employees
- Waives credit elsewhere requirement for advances and loans below $200,000
- Waives personal guarantee for advances and loans below $200,000
- Waives 1-year-in-business requirement for advances and loans below $200,000
- SBA has greater flexibility in determining borrower eligibility
- Entities eligible to apply for EIDL may request an advance in the form of an emergency grant of up to $10,000
- SBA must distribute EIDL emergency grant within 3 days
- Applicants are not required to repay emergency grant, even if they are ultimately denied EIDL
- Additional funding provided to Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) and Women’s Business Centers (WBCs)
- Match requirements for WBCs are waived for 3 months
- State Trade Expansion Program funds from FY ‘18 and FY ‘19 will be made available through FY ‘21
- Requires SBA to subsidize 6 months of payments on existing 7(a), 504, or microloans beginning with the next payment.
The stimulus bill offers considerable resources related to unemployment insurance. At present, this section includes final sticking points that are delaying passage of the bill.
- Creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for those not traditionally covered by unemployment insurance (UI), including the self-employed, independent contractors, or those with limited work history
- Provides an additional $600 per week in recipients of UI and PUA for up to 4 months
- Provides an additional 13 weeks of UI after state UI expires
- Federal government will cover 100% of the cost of the first week of UI if states waive the 1 week waiting period to begin benefits
- Federal government will reimburse states for 50% of the costs incurred through 12/31/20 of unemployment benefits for state agencies and non-profits
- Federal government will pay 100% for ‘short-time’ programs in states with exiting programs in law and 50% of costs for states that begin ‘short-time’ programs during the covered period
A series of tax credits to ease the burden of keeping staff on payroll.
- Employee retention benefit: 50% refundable payroll tax credit during COVID-19 crisis for businesses that either fully or partially shut down OR have a 50% decrease in receipts versus the same quarter in the previous year and continue to pay employees.
- Based on qualified wages paid to employees during crisis, tied to number of employees (100+ full time employees = wages paid when they are not providing services due to COVID-19 and less than 100 full time employees = wages paid regardless of business closure status)
- Covers up to $10,000 paid per employee, including benefits, for the period 3/13/20-12/31/20
- Payroll tax deferred, payments to be spread over 2 years
- Net operating losses (NOLs) modification: NOLs arising in FY’s ‘18, ‘19, and ‘20 can be carried back 5 years
- AMT credits available as refundable credits through 2021 can be claimed as a refund now
- Allowable deductible interest expenses are increased from 30% to 50% for 2019 and 2020.
The bill provides massive resources for economic stabilization primarily through the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.
- $500 billion for the Treasury Exchange Stabilization fund for loans, loan guarantees and other investments, including: $25 billion for air passenger carriers, $4 billion for air cargo; $17 billion for business important to national security; $454 billion for the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities to eligible businesses, states and municipalities
- Eligible entities must: have no alternative financing available, loans must be secured, loan terms must be less than 5 years, loan cannot be forgiven, no buy backs or dividend payments until the loan is repaid or 1 year from loan origination; must maintain 90% of 3/24/20 workforce until 9/30/20
- Any Federal Reserve lending must be broad-based, verification borrow is not insolvent, no other financing available, and loans cannot be forgiven.
Coronavirus Relief Fund
An injection of funding for states, tribes and local governments to combat the spread and aftermath of COVID-19
- Provides a $150 billion grant fund for states, to be distributed proportional to population size, with a minimum of $1.25 billion for states with the smallest populations.
- Funding is for state, local and tribal governments to use in response to COVID-19 crisis.
Cash payments to U.S. residents
- All U.S. residents with an adjusted gross income of up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for couples will receive a cash rebate of $1,200 (ind) or $2,400 (couples)
- Includes all taxpayers with work-eligible SSN, including those with low or no income
- Rebate amount decreases by $5 with for every $100 over the threshold, with individuals AGI over $99,000 completely phased out, $146,000 for head of household with at least 1 child phased out, and $198,000 for couples phased out.
- An additional $500 will be given for each child per household.
Process and Politics
Earlier this afternoon, the House passed the bill and now it is headed to President Trump's desk to be signed.
Supplemental IV and onward:
Speaker Pelosi and others have agreed on drafting a fourth and fifth supplemental – unclear what will be included yet. However, Leader McCarthy has said that drafting a fourth supplemental may be “premature”. Speaker Pelosi has indicated that she aims to have the next COVID-19 bill focus on infrastructure and recovery. Rep. DeFazio (Chair T&I) had said that he wants to put an infrastructure bill on the floor in May.
Supplemental II – Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201)
The Senate passed the bill 90-8 Wednesday afternoon and the President signed the bill into law that evening. Bill text here. Factsheet here. Bill section by section here. A summary of paid leave provisions, incorporating changes made by technical correction, is here.
Supplemental I – Coronavirus Supplemental
Signed by the President March 6. Text here, summary here.
The CARES Act established immediate relief for small businesses in crisis with the $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. It protects millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing funds for job retention and certain other expenses. For important details, see the links below:
The CARES Act also provides direct cash payments (stimulus checks) to Americans. To learn more, see the links below:
This week, the Treasury reversed its original notion, and typical non-filers, such as those on Social Security, will not need to file tax returns to receive stimulus checks.
For typical non-filers, use the IRS Free File Program.
National Level Resources
- National Association of Manufacturers – Coronavirus Resources – One-stop source of coronavirus resources for manufacturers.
- Department of Homeland Security – Business & Community Disaster Recovery – One stop for disaster recovery resources with multiple federal agencies and associated services.
- On March 23rd, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued updated guidance (Version 1.1) on Critical Infrastructure Industries, which adds industries that are supply chains to critical infrastructure industries to the list.
- Federal Stimulus Bill- The SC Chamber joined dozens of state chambers in a letter from the Council of State Chambers (COSC) to congressional leaders, urging the passage of legislation that will support the American economy and preserve jobs during this time of crisis. The letter asks Congress to pass legislation that will:
- Help businesses and nonprofits of all sizes and kinds improve their liquidity — so that they can support their employees — by delaying or suspending the remittance of all payroll taxes.
- Expand and streamline loan programs for as many businesses and nonprofits as possible, experiencing revenue loss as a result of the coronavirus and allow them to convert the loans to grants to the extent that they use the funds to pay their employees.
- Enable the creation of credit facilities to provide loans and loan guarantees to all employers negatively impacted by the coronavirus so that they can maintain operations and pay their employees.
The letter was delivered to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and is available here.
- CDC Updated Guidance for Businesses- On March 21st, the Centers for Disease Control issued updated guidance for businesses and employers related to the below items to help keep workers safe. The SC Chamber Team participates in weekly National Association of Manufacturers, and US Chamber calls to get the latest information from federal agencies and policymakers.
- Updated cleaning and disinfection guidance
- Updated best practices for conducting social distancing
- Updated strategies and recommendations that can be implemented now to respond to COVID-19
- EMPLOYER FILED UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS- SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) is encouraging impacted employers to consider filing on behalf of their employees to streamline the process for filing unemployment claims for all parties involved.
Employer Filed Claims are more convenient and eliminate the step of an employer having to verify a worker’s claim.
- Small Business Owner's Guide to CARE Act. Click here to download.
Working Remote / Remote Work / Working at Home
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