COVID 19 Updates

DECEMBER 23 - WHAT'S COMING FROM RELIEF PACKAGE

Information on the new Federal COVID relief bill is trickling out.  Here’s some points I thought you might find helpful. I got this summary from our friends at the MD Department of Commerce.

 Changes to the PPP loan in the new relief package – discussed during a U.S. Chamber webinar this afternoon.

  1. Allowable expenses have been expanded.  Was just payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities. Now it includes cloud computing, back end systems, supplier goods needed to run the business, retrofit equipment (i.e. outdoor heaters for outdoor dining), losses due to COVID-19.

2.  The same 60/40 rule applies- 60% of PPP money used for payroll costs. 40% for other expenses.

  1. This expanded allowable expense list applies to “old” PPP and new PPP loans.
  2. Those who have already gotten a PPPL can get a 2nd, but there are conditions – ask your bank. Must have exhausted all funds from the first loan. Must demonstrate at least a 25% drop in business due to COVID-19. Must have less than 300 employees.

 

  1. The loan forgiveness timeframe has changed – The covered period is now flexible.  It is from the date you receive the loan (money) to 8 weeks OR up to 24 weeks (you decide the time frame between 8-24 weeks).

 

  1. Are PPP loans taxable – NO.  AND the IRS can’t limit your deductions for PPP expense items.

 

  1. If your loan application was denied the first time, you are welcome to apply again.

 

  1. 501c6 (and 501c3) orgs can apply for a PPP loan.

 

  1. If a business applied for the Employee Tax Credit, you can now also apply for a PPP loan.

 The Maximum amount of PPP loan is $2 million dollars per biz.

1.  For NAICS 72 businesses (food/hospitality) the avg monthly payroll calculations is 3.5 times (instead of 2.5 times).

2.   Live Venue Grant - $15 billion.  Must demonstrate a drop in revenue due to COVID-19, or up to 45% of your 2019 receipts.  Can apply for up to $10 million dollars per biz. Can NOT apply for a PPPL and Live Venue grant.  Bars with entertainment don’t qualify. Theaters and museums do. Those who depend on sales of tickets as a main source of revenue.

3.  The Employee Tax Credit has expanded. Jan 1 2021- to June 30 2021. 70% of wages, up to $10k of employee’s salary (so $7000 per employee), per quarter. So $7kx2 = $14k per employee.  Old limit was up to 100 employees. New limit is less than 500 employees. *Before the end of this year, businesses can apply for the employee tax credit for up to $5k per employee – this is a refundable tax credit.  You cannot claim the same employee wages for PPP and Employee tax credit however.

4.  EIDL – reopening with $20 billion. It includes the same (up to) $10k grant.  If you applied before and only got $2k, you can apply again to get the additional $8k.  New – the grant amount (up to $10k) will NOT be deducted from your PPPL forgiveness.

5.  Next steps – Once the relief package is signed by all, the SBA has 10 days and will go to work on creating/updating forms. The banks will use these forms. You apply for a PPP loan at your bank (same as last time).  The EIDL application will appear on the www.SBA.gov  website once it is ready.

Q. If I received a PPPL but then closed my business, can I apply for a 2nd loan to pay off the debt? 

A. Not likely as the PPP loan is generally not used to pay off debt.

 Q. If I received a grant from my county or state, or some other source, does that count as revenue when applying for a PPP loan? 

A. Unknown at this time. Stay tuned for further clarification to come.

 Q. If my PPP loan is less than $150k is it automatically forgiven?

A. NO – you must still apply for forgiveness.  You will use a much simpler 1-gage application however. Work with your bank on this.

 Unemployment – the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) has been extended through March 14th.  This is an additional $300 a week for those on unemployment.

 Independent contractors can apply for a PPP loan. 

 Rental Assistance - $25 billion set aside to help those behind on rent.  This money will go to the states and be distributed by them.

 SBA 7A loan – For those who have gotten a new loan recently AND for those who get a new 7A loan, the SBA will pay your first 6 months of payments.  It was called 6 months of forbearance.  Clarification needed on whether these 6 months are forgiven or tacked on to the end of your loan. Big difference! Find more info here: www.sba.gov

 Resources for additional information

www.SBA.gov  (Great source for PPPL, EIDL, 7A loans and other small business information, tools/resources)

 New Small Business Guide: from the U.S. Chamber: https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-small-business-covid-19-emergency-loans

Disclaimer Reminder – Please talk with your accountant and/or bank to verify or confirm any/all of these points shared. Please also understand that many details are still being worked out and additional changes may (likely) come in the weeks ahead

PREVIOUS UPDATE DECEMBER 22 - NEW RELIEF PACKAGE (MORE PPP)

A new $900 billion federal economic relief bill will probably become law within a day or two. The new bill includes another round of Paycheck Protection Program loans/grants. This excerpt from a Forbes magazine article sums it up best, the entire article can be seen here. https://www.forbes.com/sites/allbusiness/2020/12/21/new-relief-package-provides-new-ppp-funding-for-small-businesses/?sh=5acf413d3092

How small businesses will benefit from new relief package

In addition to the tax fix, the new bill provides the following aid to small businesses:

Funds for businesses that received the first round of PPP funds but can qualify for another bite at the apple if they can show significant losses in 2020 over 2019

Funds earmarked for non-profits and news outlets that weren’t eligible in the first round $15 billion for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions

ACTION ITEM:

To prepare for your PPP application gather the information below, this information was needed in the first round and it is reasonable to predict that it will be needed in the second round.

Fully Forgiven

Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs,interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of theforgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for sixmonths. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenderswill charge small businesses any fees.

Before You Apply be Prepared with these Items:

  1. 2019 IRS Quarterly 940, 941 or 944 payroll tax reports.
  2. Last 12 months of Payroll Reports beginning with your latest payroll date.
    1. Payroll report must show the following for the time period above:
      1. Gross wages for each employee, including the officer(s) if paid W-2 wages.
      2. Paid time off for each employee.
      3. Vacation pay for each employee.
      4. Family medical leave pay for each employee.
      5. State and Local taxes assessed on the employee’s compensation for each employee.
  3. 1099s for 2019 for independent contractors that would otherwise be an employee of your business.
    1. Do NOT include 1099s for services.
  4. Documentation showing total of all health insurance premiums paid by the Company under a group health plan.
    1. Include all employees and the company owners.
  5. Document the sum of all retirement plan funding that was paid by the Company (do not include funding of employee deferrals from paychecks).
    1. Include all employees, including company owners.
    2. 401K plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRAs.


PREVIOUS NOVEMBER 9 - HOLD ON WASH CO GRANT RELIEF FOR RESTAURANTS

“HAGERSTOWN, MD (November 9, 2020) – The Washington County Department of Business Development announces application submittals for the Direct Relief for Restaurants Grant will be placed on hold effective immediately. A large volume of applications have been received and are projected to expend available funds.

The Department of Business Development will be reviewing all applications that were received on or before 4:00 p.m. on Monday, November 9, 2020. The Department of Business Development appreciates the response from the restaurant industry in Washington County.

 

For questions, please email riseup@washco-md.net.”



PREVIOUS UPDATE NOVEMBER 4 - FUNDING RELIEF FOR TOURISM NONPROFITS

Tourism nonprofits such as museums, cultural attractions, zoos, aquariums, etc. whose mission and work substantially contributes to the economic development and now economic recovery, will be eligible to apply. See details using the link below:

https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/MarylandStrongEconomicRecoveryInitiative/TourismNonprofits.aspx


PREVIOUS NOVEMBER 3 - REFLIEF FUNDING FOR PERFORMING ARTS VENUES/THEATERS/MOVIES

I just was made aware of this grant fund for performance venues and theaters.  Below is a summary.  Just follow the link for the rest of the program.

This is much needed relief for these venues, I hope you can take advantage of it.

Department of Housing and Community Development’s MD Strong Economic Recovery Initiative: 

ENTERTAINMENT VENUES will be for the state’s nonprofit and for-profit live music and performance venues as well as independently-owned local movie theaters whose primary mission and work substantially contributes to the economic development and now economic recovery of Maryland communities through employment, visitor driven events, programs and performances. 

This pertains only to the funding allocation for MD-SERI Entertainment Venues and provides a preview of the application which is projected to be available online. TBD – MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON 

https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/MarylandStrongEconomicRecoveryInitiative/EntertainmentVenues.aspx


PREVIOUS NOVEMBER 3 - ADDITIONAL INFO RELIEF FUNDING FOR RESTAURANT

The latest Maryland relief package has money specifically for restaurants. How that money is distributed is the subject of this morning’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. The agenda for today’s meeting is linked here; https://www.washco-md.net/wp-content/uploads/bocc201103a.pdf. This agenda will give you a sneak preview of the application process (Page 18). The grants are available for up to $20,000 and will open tomorrow at 8:00 am.

This is a first-come first-served format so please use this sneak preview to prepare for an early submission on Wednesday.   

The excerpt below is from the State of Maryland announcement, $50M is the State wide pool of funds.

$50M: Direct Relief for Restaurants 


The governor’s initiative will provide direct grant relief to qualifying restaurants across the state. Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades

PREVIOUS OCTOBER 27 - RELIEF FUNDING FOR RESTAURANTS

We do not have the guidance for how to apply for the funds that were announced at Governor Hogan’s press conference last week. I think we will know next week. We do know that you will apply through the County like you did for the Rise-Up Grant. I have been told the process will be simple. Look at the criteria below and prepare for the application in advance, the funds can be used for a variety of initiatives.  

Washington County received $1,352,000.00 from this $50,000,000.00 fund

$50 Million Restaurant Relief Fund

First, Maryland is launching a new $50 million grant program to provide direct relief to restaurants across

Maryland. These grants can be used for working capital, such as rent, payroll, and job training, purchase

of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining, such as tents, heaters, warmers, and carts,

infrastructure improvements, such as HVAC system upgrades, technology to support carryout and

delivery, purchase of PPE and disposable food containers or utensils, sanitation services, and any other

costs that are permitted under a COVID-19 restaurant assistance program that your jurisdiction may

already be operating.


PREVOUS UPDATE OCTOBER 23 - NEW STATE OF MARYLAND COVID RELIEF PACKAGE

The State of Maryland has announced an additional COVID-19 relief package. An excerpt from Governor Hogan’s press release appears below.  It demonstrates the potential to CVB member businesses. In the coming days the CVB will provide more details about eligibility and the application process:

The ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative’

Through the ‘Maryland Strong: Economic Recovery Initiative,’ Governor Hogan is doubling the state’s commitment to emergency economic relief to $500 million through a combination of new and existing programs.

$50M: Expansion of Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund

The governor’s initiative will provide a third installment of funding to the Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Fund, which awards grants of up to $10,000 to businesses of 50 or fewer employees. To date, the program has distributed more than 9,600 grants to small businesses across the state. This additional relief will clear the backlog of eligible applications and bring the program’s total funding to $145 million.

$50M: Direct Relief for Restaurants

The governor’s initiative will provide direct grant relief to qualifying restaurants across the state. Eligible uses of funds include:

  • Working capital, such as rent and purchase of equipment and services to expand outdoor dining through physical improvements including tents, heaters, warmers, and carts
  • Sanitization services
  • Purchase of PPE
  • Technology to support carryout and delivery
  • Infrastructure improvements, including HVAC system upgrades

The funding will be allocated through local jurisdictions and must be distributed no later than December 31, 2020.

$20M: Direct Relief for Main Street

The governor’s initiative will provide $20 million through the Department of Housing and Community Development to assist hard-hit businesses and local entertainment venues within Main Street Maryland organizations as well as the Baltimore Main Streets program.

$20M: Expansion of COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund

The governor’s initiative expands total funding to $30 million for the state’s COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which has helped small businesses with an average of 20 employees stay open and saved nearly 9,000 Maryland jobs. Grantees have used the average award size of $22,738 per business for such things as purchasing remote access equipment and software to promote teleworking, assisting with employee training and education, purchasing cleaning supplies and services to maintain an onsite workforce, and taking advantage of the Maryland Department of Labor’s Work Sharing Unemployment Insurance Program by supplementing employee income.

$5M: Expansion of Small and Minority Business Low-Interest Loans

The governor’s initiative doubles funding to $10 million for low-interest loans to small and minority businesses. Administered through the Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA), the program provides financing to businesses owned by economically and socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs. MSBDFA uses include working capital, supplies and materials, machinery and equipment acquisition, land acquisition, or real estate improvements.

$3M: Expansion of Arts Organization Funding

The governor’s initiative increases funding to $7 million for the Maryland State Arts Council’s (MSAC) Emergency Grant Program. In response to the COVID-19 State of Emergency, MSAC has created special grant opportunities that provide emergency funding to arts organizations and artists for losses sustained because of programming, operations, and events that have been modified or canceled.

$2M: Hometown Tourism Program

The governor’s initiative provides $2 million for local Destination Marketing Organizations to support hometown tourism efforts that promote local restaurants, attractions, and shops.

$100M: Emergency Rapid Response Fund for Small Businesses

The governor’s initiative sets aside $100 million that can be immediately deployed to areas where there is the greatest need as the pandemic continues to affect various sectors and as state and local governments wait for the federal government to take action on additional stimulus relief.

PREVIOUS UPDATE - OCTOBER 1 - CARES Act Funding Received - 2021 VISITOR GUIDE

The CVB received $210,000 in Federal Aid to boost Destination Marketing for Hagerstown and Washington County.  (See the Herald Mail Article for more details.)

There was concern if we would even be able to publish a 2021 Visitor Guide, but our marketing plan was approved by the BOCC which included the production of a Visitor Guide for Washington County.  CVB member businesses will be listed as usual, and ALL 2020 advertisers will have their ads renewed in the 2021 guide COMPLIMENTARY!


PREVIOUS UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2 - GOVERNOR PC - THEATERS, HOUSES OF WORSHIP

 “Maryland’s positivity rate has been under 5% for 68 consecutive days, and under 4% for 24 consecutive days. 15 of 24 jurisdictions have positivity rates below 3.5%. HOSPITALIZATIONS are down more than 77 percent from their peak. We have seen a nearly 30% decline in ICU levels since 7/25. Based on our improving health metrics, Maryland is taking its initial steps into Stage Three of COVID19 recovery.

“THEATERS: As of Friday 9/4 at 5pm, indoor theatres where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 100 people per auditorium—whichever is less.

“OUTDOOR VENUES. Outdoor venues where live performances occur or motion pictures are shown outdoors may open to the general public at 50% capacity, or 250 people max.

“RETAIL/RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENTS. Capacity for retail establishments and religious facilities may increase from 50 to 75 percent.

“SCHOOLS. The governor commends the State Board of Education for voting to require school systems that haven’t developed a plan for returning to in-person instruction until 2021 to reevaluate their reopening plans by the end of the first quarter.  

 New Theater Guidance/Best Practices can be found here:  https://commerce.maryland.gov/Documents/BusinessResource/Performances-Theaters-COVID-19-Best-Practices.pdf


PREVIOUS UPDATE JULY 21 - PPP FORGIVENESS WEBINAR

Register at this link for a step-by-step webinar on PPP on July 22: forgiveness http://pages.nfib.com/WBN-2020-07-22-NAT-Coronavirus-Weekly-Briefing-ABEW_LP-Register.html?utm_source=Webinars&utm_campaign=WBN-2020-07-22-NAT-Coronavirus-Weekly-Briefing-AB|EW|&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Invite01

PREVIOUS UPDATE JUNE 22 - MEETING WITH CVB STAFF

Now that most businesses are reopening, we wanted to touch base and see if you would like to schedule a personal one-on-one, virtual meeting with the CVB staff. 

We especially want to be accessible to you during this recovery and reopening stage. 

This would be a great opportunity for you to share information on what is new/different?  How are you implementing new directives? Do you have grant program questions?  What does your future look like? etc.  This conversation will also help us relay correct information when promoting your business. 

We would also be happy to share the CVB’s plan for the near future.

If you are interested in meeting via Zoom, please reply to this email with at least three (3) different dates and times you’d be available, and we will get something scheduled on our calendars.

PREVIOUS UPDATE JUNE 19 - PPP REVISED APPLICATION

The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Department of the Treasury posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness application on 6/17. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers who: 

◾ 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 #COVID19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%. 

➡️ View and download the EZ Forgiveness Application: https://lnkd.in/dx8HSVw 
➡️ View and download the Full Forgiveness Application: https://lnkd.in/eRc98c4 
➡️ Read the full announcement for more details: http://ow.ly/uxIr50Aagk4


PREVIUS UPDATE JUNE 12 - BEST PRACTICES TO SPECIFIC INDUSTRIES

Below is a “user-friendly” list to access of Best Practices for specific business industries. On June 10th, the Governor announced a variety of new businesses and activities could open beginning at 5pm today (Amended Executive Order). As the state gets back to business, business owners are urged to adhere to best practices that ensure the safety of your workers and customers alike. Through our collective efforts, Maryland’s business community will play a critical role in protecting our citizens and preventing another surge of COVID-19 infections. 

Best Practices: 

Follow these best practices for general businesses and your specific business industry. Note: Spanish translations appear in parenthesis.

 Recreation, Youth Programs, and Sporting Events Directives

Please adhere to the following orders and directives regarding community, recreational, leisure, cultural and sporting gatherings and events. View the latest directive for Swimming Pools and FAQs for Outdoor Youth Camps, Sports Programs, and Other Youth Programs from the Maryland Department of Health.

 All businesses are encouraged to review FAQs regarding face coverings (en español), and consult with resources available through the CDC. Ongoing mitigation guidance, as well as prevention and support resources are available on the CDC’s website. All Executive Orders still in effect must be complied with. See most up to date orders. Additional industry best practices coming soon


PREVIOUS UPDATE JUNE 9 - MONEY STILL AVAILABLE

To date, Washington County has received 310 Rise-Up Grant application and committed $3,000,000 in aide. The County has another $5,960,000 to help small businesses. If you did not apply, I encourage you to do so as soon as possible. The application process took me less than ½ hour after my documents were assembled. If you are confused about the process or need help developing a strategy to define your need, please contact me. I want to help you make this grant program part of the solution to the problems we are facing.  

Prepare these documents:

a. Income Statement and Balance Sheet for Year end 12/31/19
b. Profit and Loss Statement for March 2020 and each month after to date, AND the prior year comparative statement.
c. Previous Year Tax Return
d. Schedule C of personal tax returns for sole proprietors (if applicable)
e. IRS W9

Apply here:

Applications will be accepted from 8:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, June 15, 2020. www.washcorises.net.

PREVIOUS UPDATE JUNE 7 - PPP EXTENSION AND I-70 AND I-81 IMPROVEMENTS

On Friday, President Trump signed H.R. 7010, Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 into law and making the following amendments: 

  • Changing the forgiveness period for PPP loans from 8 weeks to 24 weeks
  • Extending the covered period for loans to December 31, 2020
  • Changing the restrictions limiting non-payroll expenses from 25% to 40%
  • Changing the loan maturity limit from 2 years to 5 years, and
  • Ensuring full access to payroll tax deferment

Regarding I-70 and I-81, if you are interested in hearing future improvements on these interstates, please join the virtual public meeting using access below on Thursday June 11, 2020; 5pm.

Join the WebEx meeting from here:

https://meetings.mbakercorp.com/orion/joinmeeting.do?MTID=574f4a0f08b9529e770b2e974f01f34a

Audio Connection: 571-209-6390 (Cisco WebEx)

Access Code: 997 374 859


PREVOUS UPDATE JUNE 4 - GOVERNOR HOGAN'S PHASE TWO OPENINGS

The Governor held another press conference today at 4pm and announced the start of Phase 2 of MD’s Reopening plan beginning Friday at 5pmThis includes:

  • Lifting of closure of non-essential businesses
    • This includes offices, all retail, manufacturing, I.T. companies, etc.
  • Personal businesses like Tanning, Nail Salons can open at 50% by appointment only (similar to hair salons)
  • Restaurants/Pubs remain unchanged – only outdoor, curbside, or carryout allowed at this time
  • Internal walkways in Malls still closed (only stores with outside access may open)
  • State government will start working in normal fashion (MVA phased reopening to customers by appt only, Phased opening of transit, phased opening of childcare as more people return to work)
  • All businesses should follow CDC guidelines in opening as well as guidance posted by MD
  • Still encouraging telework when able, limiting congestion of employees through staggered shifts, rotating schedules, etc.
  • Social distancing and wearing of masks when interacting with someone

PREVIOUS UPDATE JUNE 1 - WEBINAR FOR RECREATION AND RESTAURANTS

If you are interested in these webinars, you can logon and register minutes prior to the meeting. They are both Tuesday and cover Outdoor Recreation and Dining.

Washington County Together We Rise Town Hall webinars on Tuesday June 2nd:

  • Webinar and Q&A on Recreation Activities (youth sports, youth camps, pools, etc.) – Tuesday June 2nd - 2pm to 2:45 p.m.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR RECREATION ACTIVITY TOWN HALL

  • Webinar and Q&A focused on Restaurants and their new outdoor dining option - Tuesday June 2nd – 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER FOR RESTAURANT TOWN HALL


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 27 - RISE UP BUSINESS GRANT - DOCUMENTS

In addition to the previous email regarding the County’s Rise Up Business Grant, if you want to be the first to apply, below are the materials you’ll need to have available.

Start assembling these documents and be ready to launch your application Monday morning:

a. Income Statement and Balance Sheet for Year end 12/31/19b. Profit and Loss Statement for March 2020 and each month after to date, AND the prior year comparative statement.c. Previous Year Tax Return
d. Schedule C of personal tax returns for sole proprietors (if applicable)


MAY 27 - RISE UP BUSINESS GRANT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

Here is a great opportunity for a local grant to help your tourism business:

RISE UP GRANTS AVAILABLE TO WASHINGTON COUNTY SMALL BUSINESSES

Applications will be accepted from 8:00 a.m. Monday, June 1, 2020 until 11:59 p.m. on Monday, June 15, 2020. Applications for the Rise Up Business Stabilization Grant must be made online at www.washcorises.net. The website also provides guidelines, application instructions, and answers to frequently asked questions.

Please note any financial information shared as part of this application will remain confidential, but the names of businesses receiving grants and the amount they receive is public information.

For questions regarding eligibility criteria or required documentation, please email riseupgrant@washco-md.net.


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 26 - BACK-TO-BUSINESS WEBSITE

The State of Maryland continues to update the Back to Business website with attractive reopening guideline one-pagers for certain industries.  Eventually, the 13 industries that had task-force workgroups will have information posted here.  It is a good site to be checking daily for new information!  https://open.maryland.gov/backtobusiness/  


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 17 - PPP LOAN FORGIVENESS APPLICATION

I you received a PPP loan and want it forgiven there is some record keeping and documentation involved. The PPP Loan Forgiveness Application is now on line. I have linked it here:  https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/3245-0407-SBA-Form-3508-PPP-Forgiveness-Application.pdf


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 15 - PPE RESOURCES AND WASHCORISES LINKS

The MD Personal Protection Equipment exchange might be a good resource for businesses as they open: https://dgs.maryland.gov/Pages/Procurement/Bidboards/EmergencyContracts.aspx

Also, if you missed the County’s Town Hall virtual meeting, you can go to www.washcorises.net to download the recorded presentation and other helpful tools.


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 13 - STAGE ONE - GOVERNOR HOGAN
Latest update in COVID response Interpretive Guidance and Gatherings

PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 13 - BACK-TO-BUSINESS TOOK KIT
I have provided a link here to County’s Back-to-Business tool kit:  https://www.washco-md.net/wp-content/uploads/TWR_Biz-Toolkit.pdf

PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 12 - TOP 10 THINGS TO DO TO REOPEN

This link will take you a TOP TEN list of things you can do to prepare to reopen your business.  https://www.washco-md.net/wp-content/uploads/Prepare-to-Reopen-list.pdf


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 8 - ROAD TO RECOVERY WEBSITE

The following website “Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery” will be very useful in the coming weeks, so you may want to save this link:  https://governor.maryland.gov/recovery/


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 7 - RESTAURANT PARTNERS

If you have not already joined the Washington County Take Out & Delivery Facebook page, please do!  The page has over 5,000 followers who are sitting home planning their next meal.  Post a picture of some yummy food to let people know you are open for take out, delivery or curbside pick up and your days/hours. We all want to support you!


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 6 - LODGING PARTNERS

We thought the following information might be of interest to you from the American Hotel and Lodging Association.  It is the “Safe Stay” - National Industry-Wide Cleaning and Safety Standards Released: 
https://mdlodging.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SafeStayReportMD050620.pdf


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 5 - RESTAURANT RELIEF

The Maryland Restaurant Relief Fund is offering up to $2,500 in grants to qualifying Maryland-based restaurants and bars in need of assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The fund is organized by OLD BAY and McCormick For Chefs and the CORECARES Foundation.https://corecares.org/maryland-restaurant-relief-fund/


PREVIOUS UPDATE MAY 4 - UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A 

If you are curious about changes in the State’s unemployment insurance rules  or having trouble applying for benefits this virtual meeting maybe helpful to you: https://web.hagerstown.org/events/Update-from-Secretary-Robinson-3167/details


PREVIOUS APRIL 23 - UNEMPLOYMENT RELIEF PROGRAMS

This information comes to me through my daily Emergency Support Function group.  CVB Members are encouraged to apply for these much needed relief benefits.

Expansion of Unemployment Insurance Benefits Under the New CARES Act

The federal government recently passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which includes an expansion of unemployment insurance benefits for Marylanders. Please read our CARES Act Frequently Asked Questions for more information about benefit eligibility, duration, and amounts.

On Friday, April 24, Labor will be launching a new, one-stop unemployment insurance application to allow Marylanders to file claims for all unemployment programs entirely online. This includes the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, and those who were previously required to file by phone like federal employees, members of the military, individuals who have worked in multiple states, and those who have worked for more than 3 employers in the last 18 months.

The Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor opted into providing ALL three of the expanded unemployment insurance programs offered through the provisions of the CARES Act. For More Information CLICK HERE

Starting Friday, April 24, those who are self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, or have insufficient work history will be able to apply online. To receive an e-mail with additional information and instructions once the new application is ready, please CLICK HERE and scroll to the “Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)” section halfway down the page.


PREVIOUS APRIL 17 UDPATE - TRAVEL SURVEY POSITIVE RESULTS

This is a very good and very brief travel survey follow-up article. The two best quotes are pasted below.  It tells me your CVB is doing the right thing now and Washington  County will have an advantage in the near future.

https://www.travelpulse.com/news/features/survey-shows-travelers-dreaming-about-travel-cautious-about-planning.html

One of the things that will change after the coronavirus outbreak is what travelers will want to do when travel restrictions are lifted. The BVK research found that “social distancing” activities will be most popular, including road trips, beach vacations, outdoor adventures, and remote/rural destinations. At least to start, big cities, festivals, cruises and group tours will be a harder sell.

About half of U.S. travelers (52 percent) said that they only want to see travel advertising that is addressing their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and 48 percent said that they feel it is insensitive for travel companies and destinations to advertise right now.

MARYLAND RUMOR CONTROL WEBSITE
https://govstatus.egov.com/md-coronavirus-rumor-control


PREVIOUS APRIL 15 UPDATE - GRANT FOR NONPROFITS

The Maryland Heritage Area Authority is pleased to share that the MHAA COVID-19 Emergency Operating Grants for Nonprofits are now open. 

Nonprofit heritage tourism organizations located within the boundaries of a certified heritage area that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis are eligible to apply for grants of up to $20,000.  Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with all applications received by the first of each month considered as a group. 

The first deadline is May 1. The link to submit an application is:  https://bit.ly/MHAACOVIDGrant  Here are the Guidelines


PREVIOUS APRIL 14 UPDATE - ROAD TO RECOVERY PLAN

This 4 phase plan to reopen the economy has a wide distribution and is gaining credibility. You will benefit from studying this document and beginning to prepare.

Ask yourself these questions. Can you open at 50% capacity? Can you accommodate smaller groups? Can you make transactions touchless? Can you enforce rules you put into place?
4 Phase Plan


PREVIOUS APRIL 14 UPDATE - EMPLOYEES WITH POSSIBLE COVID EXPOSURE

UPDATED INTERIM GUIDANCE FOR EMPLOYERS AND BUSINESSES ON MANAGEMENT OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS WITH POSSIBLE EXPOSURE TO COVID-19
Effective April 8, 2020, CDC has issued new guidance https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/critical-workers/implementing-safety-practices.html for the management of critical infrastructure workers who may have been exposed to COVID-19. The new guidance allows critical infrastructure workers to continue working after a potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community. Maryland Department of Health (MDH) is updating its guidance to Maryland employers to reflect the new recommendations.
Which businesses does this Guidance affect?
The updated Guidance applies to critical infrastructure workers (see guidance from the Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Governor’s Executive Orders, and Interpretive Guidance). Note that there are separate guidelines in place specifically for health care workers and child care workers, and this Guidance does not supersede or affect them.
What does the new Guidance do?
The new Guidance allows critical infrastructure workers to continue working following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic (symptom-free) and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.
What is a “potential exposure to COVID-19”?
A potential exposure means being a household contact or having close contact within 6 feet of an individual with confirmed or suspected COVID-19. The timeframe for having contact with an individual includes the period of time of 48 hours before the individual became symptomatic.
What does the Employer have to do if a critical infrastructure worker is to continue working?
 Pre-Screen: Employers should measure the employee’s temperature and assess symptoms prior to them starting work. Ideally, temperature checks should happen before the individual enters the facility.
 Disinfect and Clean Work Spaces: Clean and disinfect all areas such as offices, bathrooms, common areas, shared electronic equipment routinely.
What does an Employee with a potential exposure to COVID-19 have to do to continue working?
 Regular Monitoring: As long as the employee doesn’t have a temperature or symptoms, they should self-monitor under the supervision of the employer’s occupational health program.
 Wear a Mask: The employee should wear a face mask covering both the nose and mouth at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.
 Social Distance: The employee should maintain 6 feet and practice social distancing as work duties permit in the workplace.
What happens if the Employee becomes sick at work during the 14 days from last exposure?
If the employee becomes sick during the day, they should be sent home immediately. Surfaces in their workspace should be cleaned and disinfected. Information on persons who had contact with the ill employee during the time the employee had symptoms and 2 days prior to symptoms should be compiled. Others at the facility with close contact within 6 feet of the employee during this time would be considered exposed and should be advised accordingly.
What else should the Employer be doing at this time?
Employers who are operating should continue to follow all of the Executive Orders and guidance that has already been issued and is posted on the State Coronavirus website and on Maryland Business Express.
Is the Employer required to report on COVID-19 related employee illness to a public health agency under this Guidance?
Reporting to local or State health authorities is generally not required under this Guidance for most non-health care-related employers. Employers should check on the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health website and the Maryland Occupational Safety Health (MOSH) website regarding any updates on occupational health and safety reporting requirements. Employers who are regulated by other government agencies should also check with those agencies regarding additional requirements or guidance. Employers who have questions about the Guidance, or about preventing or responding to COVID-19 cases in their workplace, are encouraged to contact their local health department.

PREVIOUS APRIL 9 UPDATE

What we knew about Bulk claims through the Unemployment Office has changed. The message below is copied and pasted from an email from the UI office. It is contrary to what I sent out earlier this week.

It was just determined that the bulk claim process that was initially communicated to employers to file on employees behalf has been misconstrued.  I apologize for any miscommunication. Below is the clarification:

When the business contacts Unemployment Insurance to file a bulk claim it ONLY satisfies the employer's part and unless other steps are taken on behalf of the employee, it does not satisfy the action required by the claimant, i.e. filing a claim and subsequent webcerts or telecerts.  Unless the employer is willing and able to have employees physically complete paper forms and mail them back in bulk, the other criteria is not being met for the claims process.  In this COVID-19 situation, that is unlikely because most businesses are experiencing immediate shutdown and not having physical contact with the employees.  Some smaller businesses may still want to handle the additional steps on behalf of their employees, but my assumption is that it is not the most convenient nor timely way to handle claims.  

The best process is still for businesses with 25 or more employees (see **note a few lines down) to initiate a bulk claim by emailing UI.BulkClaim@Maryland.gov or if that option is not possible, calling the employer dedicated phone line at 410-853-1700 between 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

The benefit to filing a bulk claim is it will eliminate the need for the employer to complete a Request for Separation Notice for each employee individually.

The best practice is to have employers email the bulk claim information; HOWEVER,  EMPLOYEES STILL SHOULD FILE A CLAIM ON THEIR OWN BEHALF AND SUBMIT THEIR SUBSEQUENT WEBCERT OR TELECERT WEEKLY THEREAFTER.

**Note: Another important change is that originally it was communicated that bulk claims were allowable for 5 or more dislocated employees; however it now states under the COVID-19 procedures, it is for 25 or more.

I have attached the forms for each bulk claim process for your convenience; however, here is the link to the FAQ information as well as the forms:   https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibulkclaimfaqs.shtml  

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I know I have miscommunicated this to many businesses as I am sure you have, but unfortunately, the process was not clearly defined until issues with claims being processed correctly were revealed.

Please update any communications and or materials/websites that you may have with the 25 or more employee information as well as the need for employees to still file individually to initiate their claim.

Also, in case some of you may not have the updated schedule to assist with managing the overwhelming amount of claims being filed I am pasting it below:

Please file your claim according to your last name as detailed below:

- If your last name starts with A - F, file your claim on Monday.

- If your last name starts with G - N, file your claim on Tuesday. 
- If your last name starts with O - Z, file your claim on Wednesday. 
- Claim filing is open to all last names by phone on Thursday and Friday and online Thursday through Sunday.
* Filing later in the week will not delay your payments or affect the date of your claim.
 

Hope this is helpful information and feel free to share with any other partners that may be communicating to business within our region and/or State of Maryland.



PREVIOUS APRIL 6 UPDATE

APPLY FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FOR YOURSELF, (OWNER OR WORKER)

CARES ACT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS EXPLAINED: https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uicaresfaqs.pdf

STATE OF MARYLAND UNEMPLOYMENT APPLICATION WITH DIRECTIONS: https://secure-2.dllr.state.md.us/NetClaims/Welcome.aspx


PREVIOUS APRIL 1 UPDATE

SMALL BUSINESS PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM

The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. 

Fully Forgiven

Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders will charge small businesses any fees.

Before You Apply be Prepared with these Items:

 2019 IRS Quarterly 940, 941 or 944 payroll tax reports.

  1. Last 12 months of Payroll Reports beginning with your latest payroll date.
    1. Payroll report must show the following for the time period above:
      1. Gross wages for each employee, including the officer(s) if paid W-2 wages.
      2. Paid time off for each employee.
      3. Vacation pay for each employee.
      4. Family medical leave pay for each employee.
      5. State and Local taxes assessed on the employee’s compensation for each employee.
  2. 1099s for 2019 for independent contractors that would otherwise be an employee of your business.
    1. Do NOT include 1099s for services.
  3. Documentation showing total of all health insurance premiums paid by the Company under a group health plan.
    1. Include all employees and the company owners.
  4. Document the sum of all retirement plan funding that was paid by the Company (do not include funding of employee deferrals from paychecks).
    1. Include all employees, including company owners.
    2. 401K plans, Simple IRA, SEP IRAs.

FULL INFORMATION: https://home.treasury.gov/coronavirus

SUMMARY: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP%20--%20Overview.pdf


PREVIOUS MARCH 29 UPDATE

The link below is the best guide that I have seen relating to the CARES Act, COVID19 disaster relief. It was written specifically for tourism related businesses. Please take advantage of the many programs the CARES Act offers you.  

 https://www.ustravel.org/sites/default/files/media_root/document/CARE-Act-Eligibility.pdf?utm_source=MagnetMail&utm_medium=email&utm_content=3%2E27%2E20%20CARES%20Act%20RD&utm_campaign=ust


PREVIOUS MARCH 26 UPDATE

Dan had been asked to join one of Washington County MD’s Emergency Support Function teams . An ESF is a FEMA emergency management tool. The ESFs provide the structure for coordinating Federal interagency support for a Federal response to an incident (COVID19). Emergency Support Functions (ESFs) is the grouping of governmental and certain private sector capabilities into an organizational structure to provide support, resources, program implementation, and services that are most likely needed to save lives, protect property and the environment, restore essential services and critical infrastructure, and help victims and communities return to normal following domestic incidents.

My ESF team reports on Business, Industry and Economic Stabilization. We have a daily briefing where we receive and report information that impacts Business, Industry, and Economic Stabilization.

Please email me (dan@visithagerstown.com) with some stories and facts about the impact of COVID19 on your business. Also tell me what you might need or like to see in the way of support or relief. I will take your message to the ESF group and we can help shape a response.  

Do you have resources that may be useful in the response to this emergency? Things like lodging, transportation (buses and vans), equipment (pumps, generators, etc.), and food preparation are all useful.

You can list these resources here and make them available for rent or leasing on a temporary basis for use by FEMA and their associated contractors and suppliers.

There are some instruction here:  https://mailchi.mp/medamd/covid-19-letter-from-commerce-secretary-schulz-2619125?e=003137a35a

The Request For Information where you list your resources is here:  https://emma.maryland.gov/page.aspx/en/bpm/process_manage_extranet/17615


PREVIOUS MARCH 23 UPDATE

Below please find some information and links that maybe helpful to you, including new grant, SBA relief loan, and outline for closing of non-essential businesses in Washington County.

Understand the Governor’s latest proclamation  Here is the Legal Council Interpretive Guide that details Governor Hogan’s Monday 3/23/2020 Proclamation.  https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/OLC-Interpretive-Guidance-COVID19-04.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0BeU3EAWQUtpYWpIRrcmzAevS8od68TdLXWrjPbfdYvcgpfGUuvbGRu6c

Temporarily Lease your Lodging Property to the Government  Governors, mayors and public health officials across the country are seeking hoteliers who are willing to enter into temporary leases for certain types of lodging properties at this time.  Do you want your hotel to be considered? Apply through this link. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdMFbxLD4rsltGfZzBJc0BJ9YyWTIwx0v_XNy9ie3yKtiI8kg/viewform

Apply for a US Small Business Disaster Relief Loan Maryland has received official designation for SBA assistance. Individual businesses can now apply directly to the SBA for low-interest loans through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Apply here. https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

Apply for a MD State Grant of up to $10,000

Maryland Small Business COVID-19 Emergency Relief Grant Fund - Offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Apply here. https://marylandcommerce.wufoo.com/forms/small-business-covid19-emergency-grant-relief-fund/


PREVIOUS MARCH 20 UPDATE

We hope you are all safe and well as we all work tirelessly to take stock of the impacts of COVID-19 on our hospitality community. Never in our history have we experienced such devastating and immediate impacts to our nation’s travel industry which is now having lasting effects here in Washington County and across our great state.

To alleviate some current stress on you and your business, the CVB would like to extend the current due date of your membership renewal to July 1, 2020.  We realize this maybe small, but also know every bit can help.

Our staff is continually working on plans and future marketing efforts.  Please stay in touch and let us know how we can help you during this time. 


PREVIOUS MARCH 20 UPDATE

Applications are now being accepted for Washington County.

According to the SBA, the loans will help alleviate financial strain and allow businesses to pay bills, payroll, and accounts payable, with long-term payments stretching up to 30 years. Small businesses and private non-profit organizations can apply directly to the SBA for financial assistance here.


PREVIOUS MARCH 19 UPDATE

Should you need information on unemployment insurance, below we have provided some links that maybe helpful to you and your employees, if layoffs occur:

(Employee Info)

The Maryland Unemployment Insurance (UI) program pays benefits to workers who have lost their job through no fault of their own and meet the program’s eligibility requirements. If you have become unemployed, you may file a claim on-line or by telephone. Get all the information you need through this link.  https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uibenefits.shtml

You can file your initial claim on-line through this link.  

https://secure-2.dllr.state.md.us/NetClaims/Welcome.aspx

(Employer Info)

If a business experiences a temporary or permanent layoff, Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance’s Bulk Claim Services can open unemployment insurance claims for all affected employees. Businesses should contact a Claims Representative by emailing  UI.BulkClaim@maryland.gov