WASHINGTON COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
IMPORTANT UPCOMING FREE WEBINARS
Thursday, April 2nd, 1:00 p.m.
New Financial Resources for Businesses Affected by COVID-19
Join SBDC Counselors as they discuss details about new emergency relief programs from the US Small Business Administration, the Maryland Department of Commerce, and more. This webinar may be conducted again at a later date and/or posted for review at your leisure.
Thursday, April 2nd, 1:00 p.m.
Understanding the CARES Act and Partnering with Local Banks
Presenters: Stephen McAllister, Executive Director, Eastern Region, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Kathleen Murphy, President and CEO of the Maryland Bankers Association. Stephen McAllister of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Kathleen Murphy of the Maryland Bankers Association will provide an overview of the CARES Act, review financial options and available resources from the SBA, and discuss how to partner with banks to receive needed funds.
Thursday, April 2nd, 2:00 p.m.
Employment Issues in the Face of COVID-19
Speakers: Stephanie K. Baron, Suzzanne W. Decker, Kirsten M. Eriksson, Kraig B. Long
Employers of all sizes are scrambling to address a host of employee-related issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the implementation of the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the ever-changing need for employee work hours in light of business closures. Over the past week alone, the Department of Labor has issued multiple versions of guidance, frequently asked questions and mandatory postings related to the FFCRA. In addition, the recent passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act—or CARES Act—further complicates matters by providing certain enhanced unemployment benefits and incentives for small businesses to retain employees. Please join our Miles & Stockbridge Labor & Employment principals Stephanie Baron, Suzzanne Decker, Kirsten Eriksson and Kraig Long as they provide insight and analysis on fast-breaking developments regarding emergency paid sick leave, FMLA expansion, unemployment benefits and much more. Don’t miss this opportunity to stay ahead of the curve on the influx of labor and employment issues spinning out of this unprecedented moment in time. Space is limited!
Friday, April 3rd, 11:00 a.m.
Economic Resources Available from the State of Maryland
Presenters: Representatives from the Maryland Department of Commerce and from the Maryland Department of Labor
Representatives from both the Maryland Department of Commerce and the Maryland Department of Labor will provide an overview of the state’s COVID-19 business relief programs, information and updates on applying for unemployment insurance, as well as existing programs and resources, as listed on the “Maryland Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Business” webpage
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act – The poster (found atwww.hagerstown.org/strongtogether) must be posted at your place of business (if accessible) or emailed to teleworking employees by today, Wednesday, April 1, 2020.
- Restaurant Employee Relief Fund – Guy Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Has Launched Relief Fund to Give $500 Checks to Restaurant Workers Affected by Coronavirus. Here’s how it works: Restaurant workers can apply for a grant paid for by the NRAEF fund starting Thursday, April 2, and will receive a one-time $500 check within three weeks to use toward housing, medical bills, student loans, groceries, and other expenses. The NRAEF stipulated that these grants would be administered on a “first-come, first-serve basis.” To apply or to donate visit: CLICK HERE
- The U.S. Treasury just posted to their website some additional clarity for borrowers as well as lenders around the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). This includes an application for the PPP. CLICK HERE – https://home.treasury.gov/cares
- One of the bigger questions in relation to the CARES Act programs is whether or not you need to file a new Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Application in order to be eligible for the $10,000 forgivable loan advance. The answer is that you need to file a new application and your two applications will then be merged. Please see the message below from the SBA. It was in my first update also, but the link to the new and improved SBA EIDL portal is here: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
LETTERS OF PERMISSION FOR TRAVEL TO ESSENTIAL BUSINESS
The Governor’s Executive Order includes a stay-at-home directive. This is not a shelter-in-place order since essential businesses, including compliant restaurants, may remain open. The general exceptions to the stay-at-home order are for traveling to and from your essential business or retrieving food or medicine. If you will be traveling in accordance with the Governor’s order, it is recommended that employers draft and print their own letters, on letterhead, containing:
- The name and address of the employee
- The name and address of the business
- The nature of the employee’s work
- Reasons why the employee’s work fits the definition of essential
- The signature and contact info of the employer
The MD DLLR Layoff Aversion Grant program is no longer taking applications at this time. The department is processing the applications they received and if funds remain, they will accept more.
Please pay attention to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, which is a modified SBA 7a loan with relaxed application requirements. This loan is also at least partially forgivable; eligible business expenses for two months after the loan-closing may be forgiven. The administration of this program will happen through SBA-approved lenders (local banks). It is important to note that not all banks are SBA-approved but that could change quickly. The program is also supposed to go live on Friday, although there are already rumors of a delay for the rollout. Businesses should start speaking with their bank about this program. There is a lot of guidance on this program on the internet, but the following link is also helpful: CLICK HERE