COVID-19 Help & Updates
We’re working with Retail Merchants Association and Retail Alliance to band together to propose legislative initiatives and government relief packages that are vital to keeping this important sector intact.
We need you to raise your voice in support of the restaurants, hotels, shops, and entertainment that you love by helping us to advocate for Retail Relief 2020. Right now, to make our community safer, these retailers have agreed to close their businesses. We need to all work together to make sure they can reopen them when this crisis is over.
- 15 April 2020
April 15, 2020
In just 24 hours, retail advocates have sent more than 3,360 messages to 394 lawmakers on Capitol Hill sharing 3 way Congress can help retailers now. It’s imperative that Congress hear the collective voice of retail right now as they craft the next wave of legislation to provide COVID-19 relief. It’s not too late to share this message with Congress today using NRF’s action link.
- Increase funding to loan and financial assistance programs that help retailers of all sizes retain employees and remain solvent.
- Extend the Payment Protection Program (PPP) so it covers the worst months of the economic slowdown.
- Allow businesses with closed locations to use loans for rents and utilities.
- 23 March 2020
We need everyone to contact their senators now! Tell them to put aside their differences and pass a bill that defends the economic health of the retail workforce and provides the maximum amount of liquidity for retailers to remain viable until the end of the crisis.
- 19 March 2020
Contact the Governor immediately and demand that action is taken NOW to help save Retail in Virginia.
Make sure to insert your personal story in order to have an even greater impact.
We need relief from state tax payments for a minimum of 6 months, expand the VEC to align with the Federal Stimulus program relating to a new Employment Compensation stimulus, unemployment rates for business remain at the level they were prior to COVID-19, a delay in remitting sales tax payments to the limit of the law, pause on all the burdensome legislation that was passed in the 2020 Session.
Without immediate action, the retail industry in Virginia is going to be devastated beyond belief.
QUICK LINKSRETAIL RELIEF DISCUSSION FORUM
This is a forum to discuss specific measures around protecting your employees, your customers, and, ultimately, your business during the Coronavirus outbreak.
UPDATES & ANNOUNCEMENTS
Clarity Regarding Enforcement of Executive Order 63
May 28, 2020
Governor Northam Offers Clarity Regarding Enforcement of Executive Order 63
During the Governor’s press conference today, he addressed the many concerns swirling around enforcement of his face covering mandate in all public places scheduled to take effect beginning tomorrow, May 29th.
The Governor and his general counselor stated that businesses and their employees are not to be the enforcers or put themselves in a harmful position. The Governor encouraged businesses to clearly post his mandate at the entrance for customers and that they do mandate employees to wear masks.
The guidelines and signage for businesses to print and post at the entrance to their business will be added to the Forward Virginia website and will be available in both English and Spanish.
UPDATE: EXECUTIVE ORDER 63
May 27, 2020
UPDATE: Virginia Retail Federation is working to obtain additional clarity from the administration regarding the enforcement of Executive Order 63. That information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.
Governor Northam has issued Executive Order 63, mandating that face covers be worn by employees and customers while inside effective Friday, May 29, 2020.
Executive Order 63 states that all patrons in the Commonwealth aged ten and over shall when entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time inside the settings listed below cover their mouth and nose with a face covering, as described and recommended by the CDC:
- Personal care and personal grooming businesses, including but not limited to, beauty salons, barbershops, spas, massage centers, tanning salons, tattoo shops, and any other location where personal care or personal grooming services are provided.
- All brick and mortar retail businesses, including both essential and non-essential brick and mortar retail businesses, as delineated in Amended Executive Order 61 and Amended Order of Public Health Emergency Three (2020).
- Food and beverage establishments, including but not limited to, restaurants, dining establishments, food courts, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, and farmers markets, when permitted to reopen for indoor dining.
- Entertainment or recreation businesses, including but not limited to, racetracks, historic horse racing facilities, theaters, performing arts centers, concert venues, museums, and other indoor entertainment centers, bowling alleys, skating rinks, arcades, amusement parks, trampoline parks, fairs, arts and craft facilities, aquariums, zoos, escape rooms, public and private social clubs, and all other places of indoor public amusement, once permitted to reopen to the public. Face coverings shall also be required when patrons are outdoors at these businesses if a distance of six feet from every other person cannot be maintained.
- Any other indoor place shared by groups of people who are in close proximity to each other.
Executive Order 63 also states that all employees of essential retail businesses permitted to open under Executive Order 61 or Executive Order 63 shall wear face coverings whenever working in customer facing areas.
Phase One: City of Richmond
Richmond City Mayor Levar Stoney held a press conference this morning announcing that the City of Richmond would be entering Phase I of the Governor's reopening guidelines beginning this Friday, May 29, 2020.
- View the full reopening guidelines for Virginia HERE
- Download a version of the guidelines for businesses HERE
- View a reopening checklist and local resource guide HERE
Executive Order 63: Requirement to Wear Face Covering While Inside Buildings
"All patrons in the Commonwealth aged ten and over shall when entering, exiting, traveling through, and spending time inside the settings listed below cover their mouth and nose with a face-covering."
SURVEY: Virginia Mandatory Face Coverings
May 26, 2020
We’d like to hear from you on how the face coverings mandate will impact your business.
Please take a few minutes to complete the brief survey with your feedback on this mandate.
Mandatory Face Coverings
May 26, 2020
During the Governor's press conference held today, May 26th, he announced that he has issued a statewide mandate requiring masks or similar face coverings that will go into effect this Friday, May 29th.
This means that businesses will be mandated to require all employees and customers to wear face coverings while inside, except while eating and drinking. The mandate will be enforced by the Virginia Department of Health, however, we do not know what that looks like at this time. We are waiting for more details on exactly how this will be enforced and will share those details once we receive them.
PHASE ONE: Reopening Virginia
May 9, 2020
During the Governor's press conference on Friday, May 8th, he announced the guidelines for Phase I of reopening Virginia beginning on May 15th.
Governor Northam announced that most non-essential retail businesses could open at 50% capacity while practicing the guidelines developed by his administration and the Covid-19 task force. Entertainment and public amusement facilities are to remain closed.
Please click here for the established guidelines.
These guidelines include guidance for all business sectors, mandatory requirements, best practices, considerations, and print resources.
Governor Ralph Northam: Phase One Virginia Re-Opening
May 4, 2020
Governor’s Press Conference:
The Governor announced today during his press conference that Virginia will reopen for business in phases. The first of three phases for reopening will begin Friday, May 15th. We are told by the administration that we will have the phase guidelines in writing to share with you all in the next couple of days. As soon as VRF has the official written guidelines, we will send those out by email and post them on our website.
Virginia Governor's Press Conference
April 24, 2020
Governor’s Press Conference:
Today, Governor Northam announced the first phase of his blueprint for re-opening the Virginia economy. The Governor made it clear that we will only move into Phase 1 once certain metrics are met. These metrics include seeing the percentage of positive tests and the number of hospitalizations both track downward for 14 days, hospital capacity must be in good shape, there must be a sustainable PPE supply, testing must be increased, and there must be contact tracing and isolation of individuals.
Only once these metrics are met, Virginia will move into Phase 1 which is described below.
- Some businesses re-open with strict safety restrictions
- Social distancing will continue
- Teleworking will continue to be recommended
- Face coverings will be recommended in public
To be clear, there has been no certain date announced for the re-opening of the Virginia Economy.
He would like to see this happen on May 8th (the new date for Executive Order 53) but made it clear that this will only happen IF the requirements of a 14-day decline in positive tests and hospitalizations, etc. are met. VRF continues to be the voice of retail and has been in constant communication with the administration about the best way to re-open for the retail industry and will continue those conversations as we move forward with this process.
The Governor also mentioned that there will be two sets of guidance issued at a later date with regard to reopening. There will be one that is overarching rules for business in general, and another guidance that is industry-specific guidance for businesses like restaurants and non-essential retail. Once we receive those guidance documents, we will share those with our membership as well.
To view the Governor’s press release from earlier today, please click here.
Reconvened Session: Virginia General Assembly
April 24, 2020
Reconvened Session took place earlier this week, where the General Assembly comes back to vote on the Governor’s Amendments to any legislation that passed during the 2020 general assembly session. You received our report last week on all amendments that the Governor made to legislation that impacts the retail industry. One of the main issues was that of Minimum Wage. Legislation passed in the 2020 Session to increase the Minimum Wage starting January 1, 2021, however, the Governor amended that legislation to delay the enactment until May 1, 2021. The General Assembly narrowly approved the Governor’s amendment during Reconvened Session, therefore the increase will now go into effect as of May 1, 2021.
PPP Loan: New Guidance
April 24, 2020
As you may already be aware, Congress passed, and the President has signed, the latest stimulus that infused additional funds into the Payroll Protection Program. Anyone that is seeking a loan through this program and has not already filled out their application with a lender, is advised to do so as soon as possible. There is a strong likelihood that these funds will run out again, due to the high demand.
- You can find the new guidance document issued by SBA with regard to the PPP by clicking here.
US Chamber of Commerce Foundation: Small Business Loans (3-20 Employees)
The US Chamber of Commerce Foundation is offering The Save Small Business Fund, a grantmaking initiative offering short-term relief for small employers in the United States and its territories.
SEE IF YOUR BUSINESS QUALIFIES
Northam orders recreational businesses to remain closed until May 8
April 15, 2020
Executive order 53 extended two additional weeks, now it will expire May 8th, rather than April 23rd.
- You can view Executive Order 53, by clicking here.
Executive order 55, Stay at Home Order, remains in effect until June 10th.
- You can find executive order 55, by clicking here.
Summary of Governor Northam’s Actions on 2020 Bills
April 15, 2020
Below is Summary of Governor Northam’s Actions on Bills from our 2020 Session Wrap-Up:
HB 395 Minimum Wage Increase – Governor’s Amendment delays effective date to 5-1-2021
SB 7 Minimum Wage Increase – Governor’s Amendment delays effective date to 5-1-2021
Felony Threshold for Larceny:
HB 995 Grand larceny; increases threshold amount – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 788 Grand larceny; increases threshold amount – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 631 Abandoned and stolen shopping carts; local regulation – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
Plastic Bag Tax:
HB 534 Disposable plastic bag; local tax – Signed by Governor and effective 1-1-21
SB 11 Disposable plastic bag; local tax – Signed by Governor and effective 1-1-21
HB 46 Workers' compensation; employer to notify employee of intent – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 55 Worker cooperatives; established as a category of cooperative associations – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 617 Workers' compensation; repetitive motion injuries – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
Employer Mandates/Private Cause of Action:
HB 108 Legal holidays; Election Day – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 330 Employment; covenants not to compete, low-wage employees, civil penalty – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 622 Limiting employees' sharing of wage information; prohibited, civil penalty – Amended by Governor
HB 624 Human Rights, Division of; requirements for equal pay irrespective of sex – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 689 Wage payment statements; statement of earnings – Signed by Governor and effective 3-10-20
HB 798 Employment; prohibited retaliatory action – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 827 Virginia Human Rights Act; discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1049 Prohibited discrimination; sexual orientation and gender identity – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1147 Epinephrine required in certain public places – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 480 Employment; covenants not to compete, definition of low-wage employees, civil penalty Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 530 Possession and administration of epinephrine; restaurant employee – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 548 Unemployment compensation – Amended by Governor
SB 601 Legal holidays; Election Day – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 712 Virginia Human Rights Act; discrimination on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 868 Discrimination; prohibited in public accommodations, etc., causes of action – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 533 Expanded polystyrene food service containers; prohibition on dispensing, civil penalty – Signed by Governor, but must be re-enacted during 2021 Session
HB 1154 Litter taxes; increases annual amount of tax – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1354 Plastic Pollution Prevention Advisory Council; established – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 590 Advanced recycling; incentives in income tax, sales tax, and machinery and tools tax – Signed by Governor
HB 486 Henry and Pittsylvania Counties and City of Danville; additional sales and use tax – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 785 Local taxing authority – Amended by Governor
HB 888 Sales tax exemption; gun safes – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1262 Transient occupancy tax; certain counties – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 107 Transient occupancy tax; removes July 1, 2021, sunset date from Arlington County, etc – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 224 Gloucester County; additional sales and use tax, appropriations to incorporated towns – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 268 Retail Sales and Use Tax; exemption for certain gun safes – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 588 Tax authority of localities; parity between cities and counties – Amended by Governor
SB 943 Mecklenburg County; additional sales and use tax, appropriations to incorporated towns – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
Nonpayment of Wages/ Worker Misclassification:
HB 123 Nonpayment of wage; private action, liability for payment of wages due under construction contracts – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 336 Nonpayment of wages; investigations – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 337 Nonpayment of wages; discriminatory actions prohibited – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 984 Misclassification of workers; cause of action – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1199 Employee misclassification; retaliatory actions prohibited, civil penalty – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1407 Misclassification of employees as independent contractors; Department of Taxation to investigate –
Signed by Governor and effective 1-1-21
SB 49 Nonpayment of wages; investigations – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 429 Child support; withholding from income of an independent contractor – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 662 Employee misclassification; retaliatory actions prohibited, civil penalty – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 744 Misclassification of employees as independent contractors; Department of Taxation to investigate – Signed by Governor and effective 1-1-20
SB 838 Nonpayment of wages; private action; liability for payment of wages due – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 894 Misclassification of workers; cause of action – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 868 Electric utilities; right to shop – Signed by Governor, but must be re-enacted in 2021 Session
HB 889 Electric utilities; retail competition – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1526 Virginia Clean Economy Act – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1664 Electric utilities; offshore wind development, facilities located in federal waters – Amended by Governor
SB 94 Virginia Energy Plan; relating to the Commonwealth Energy Policy – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 851 Electric utility regulation; environmental goals – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 860 Electric utilities; offshore wind development – Amended by Governor
SB 998 Offshore wind generation facilities; development of facilities – Amended by Governor
HB 390 Alcoholic beverage control; license and fee reform – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 923 Alcoholic beverage control; possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages by interdicted persons – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 1088 Alcoholic beverage control; walking tour permit – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 181 Alcoholic beverage control; commercial lifestyle center – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 389 Alcoholic beverage control; license and fee reform – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 395 Alcoholic beverage control; residency requirement for licensure – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 497 Alcoholic beverage control; mixed beverage restaurant license; mini bottles – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
SB 833 Alcoholic beverage control; cocktail supply shop license – Signed by Governor and effective 7-1-20
HB 119 Milk; definition, misbranding product, prohibition – Vetoed by Governor
Updates from Federal Reserve, OSHA, VA Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services
April 10, 2020
Please see below for this week's updates from the Federal Reserve, OSHA, Department of Treasury, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, as well as the latest from Governor Northam regarding restaurant relief.
Federal Reserve Announcement
Yesterday, the Federal Reserve issued a statement announcing an additional $2.3 Trillion dollars in lending to enhance lender’s liquidity. The Federal Reserve stated that they hope that this will “Bolster the effectiveness of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by supplying liquidity to participating financial institutions through term financing backed by PPP loans to small businesses. The PPP provides loans to small businesses so that they can keep their workers on the payroll. The Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) will extend credit to eligible financial institutions that originate PPP loans, taking the loans as collateral at face value.”
To view the full announcement click here.
It is important to note that this does not provide additional money to the PPP. That must be accomplished through legislative action. Yesterday, Senator McConnell attempted a voice vote to add an additional $250 Billion dollars to the PPP, however, they did not achieve unanimous consent for the voice vote, therefore, it has stalled in the Senate until at least Monday when the Senate is next in Session.
OSHA Guidance for Retail Workers
OSHA has released a one-page guidance document for workplace safety during the COVID-19 Pandemic. That document can be found here.
The full 35-page Guidance Document Can be found here.
Department of Treasury FAQ on Paycheck Program Loans
An updated FAQ page on the PPP Loan process was issued by the Department of Treasury and can be found here.
Additional Resources for Small Businesses with Regard to the CARES Act
- Top-line Overview of the Program
- Additional Information for Lenders
- Additional Information for Borrowers
- Borrower Application Form (Updated 4/2/20)
- Lender Application Form
- New Lender Application Form (Federally Insured Depository Institutions, Federally Insured Credit Unions, Farm Credit System Institutions)
- Interim Final Rule
- Interim Final Rule on Affiliation
- Applicable Affiliation Rules
- Find An eligible lender
Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Guidance
The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services' guidance for grocery and retail food stores regarding COVID-19 can be found here.
Governor Northam Announces Additional Relief for Restaurants
Northam authorized Virginia ABC to defer annual fees for licenses and permits up for renewal through June.
In addition, he directed ABC to allow establishments with mixed beverage licenses to sell mixed beverages through takeout or delivery. To find the full press release click here.
Updates from NRF, FDA
April 7, 2020
The National Retail Federation has provided several new resources for Retailers over the last few days. One of the most helpful ones is the link to their webinar on Small Business Loans which can be found here. We know that the process for applying for these loans has been very frustrating, but we are hopeful that things will begin run more smoothly over the next several days.
Additional information provided by the NRF in their latest memo:
Assistance for Small Businesses
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, veterans’ organizations and tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
- For a top-line overview of the program click HERE.
- If you’re a lender, more information can be found HERE.
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE.
- The application for borrowers can be found HERE.
Paycheck Protection Program Resources
FDA Updated Social Distancing Guidance for Food Retail Establishments
FDA has provided updated recommendations to employers on maintaining social distancing among employees in food retail establishments and on whether employees should wear face coverings to prevent exposure to COVID-19. The information is found in the “Questions & Answers for Industry” section of FDA’s Food Safety & the Coronavirus Disease 2019 resource page.
NOW OPEN: SBA Paycheck Protection Program Applications
April 3, 2020
As of Friday, April 3, the Small Business Administration has opened up the Paycheck Protection Program loan applications. The application can be downloaded here.
A few things to note:
- Please be patient with banks as they only just received guidance on processing the loans late Thursday night.
- The biggest change is that 1099 wages are now excluded from calculations.
- For additional guidance in understanding the Paycheck Protection Program vs the Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan: LIVE April 3
April 1, 2020
- Overview of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
- Sample Application Form
The SBA has provided a sample Application Form so that you can begin to gather the information you will need for Friday, April 3.
- PPP Borrower Fact Sheet by Village Bank
- PPP Guide for Small Businesses by the US Chamber of Commerce
PPP Loan - vs - Economic Injury Disaster Loan
April 1, 2020
It is important to remember that you should consult your local lender to determine which loan, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan or the Paycheck Protection Program Loan is best for your business.
- Overview of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) provided by the SBA
More insights on EIDL from Village Bank, open PDF.
- SIDE BY SIDE COMPARISON
Here is a side by side comparison of the PPP and the EIDL provided by the National Federation of Independent Business.
Paycheck Protection Program Loan: Guide & Checklist
March 31, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.
Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
CARES Act: The Small Business Owner’s Guide
March 31, 2020
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now.
Governor Northam Issues Stay at Home Order Via Executive Order 55
March 30, 2020 | 3:30 pm
Governor Ralph Northam just issued a Stay at Home Oder through Executive Order 55. As of now, this order does not impact what businesses may or may not remain open. Those were outlined in Executive Order 53 and can be found here.
This order will impact our members in the sense that the Social Distancing Guidelines will be more stringently enforced, including the 10 patron limit in non-essential retail.
It is important to note that this Order runs from now until June 10, 2020.
To find the full press release, click here.
To find Executive Order 55, click here.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HB 6201) responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers.
Summary of CARES Act as Passed the US Senate
Friday, March 27: The House of Representatives has passed the CARES Act by voice vote and President Trump has indicated he will quickly sign the bill.
Below is a summary of the CARES Act as it Passed the US Senate. The Bill still must pass the House and be signed by the President before it becomes law. The US House is scheduled to vote on the CARES Act tomorrow, March 27th, and we do not expect to see much if anything changes with regard to the legislation. We will also send out a final summary once it passes the House and is signed by the President.
Summary of Key Provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
March 25, 2020
Small Business “Paycheck Protection Program”
- Provides $350 billion to support loans through a new Paycheck Protection Program for:
- Small employers with 500 employees or fewer, as well as those that meet the current Small Business Administration (SBA) size standards;
- Restaurant and hospitality businesses with fewer than 500 employees per location;
- Self-employed individuals and “gig economy” individuals; and
- Certain nonprofits, including 501(c)(3) organizations and 501(c)(19) veteran organizations, and tribal business concerns with under 500 employees
- The size of the loans would equal 250 percent of an employer’s average monthly payroll. The maximum loan amount would be $10 million.
- Covered payroll costs include salary, wages and payment of cash tips (up to an annual rate of pay of $100,000); employee group health care benefits, including insurance premiums; retirement contributions; and covered leave.
- Cost of participation in the program would be reduced for both borrowers and lenders by providing fee waivers, an automatic deferment of payments for one year, and no prepayment penalties.
- Loans would be available immediately through more than 800 existing SBA-certified lenders, including banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions, and SBA would be required to streamline the process to bring additional lenders into the program.
- The Treasury Secretary would be authorized to expedite the addition of new lenders and make further enhancements to quickly expedite delivery of capital to small employers.
- Increases the maximum loan amount for SBA Express loans from $350,000 to $1 million. Express loans provide borrowers with revolving lines of credit for working capital purposes.
Click here to view a full summary of CARES Act.
FAQ page on Executive Order 53
- FAQ page for Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53.
- Virginia Department of Health’s Guidance Document on Governor Northam’s Executive Order 53 as it relates to Restaurants.
Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan
SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance for each affected small business. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses and offer repayment plans up to 30 years. The governor needs to declare an economic injury disaster to get this moving in Virginia, which is expected within the week.
Information for Food Establishments Regarding COVID-19: Restrictions on Public Gatherings and Social Distancing
In an effort to provide guidance to food establishments on how to operate in adherence to guidelines for protecting public health, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) provides the following key requirements and recommendations.
Update on Virginia's Income Tax Payment Deadlines
Governor Ralph Northam requested that the Department of Taxation extend the due date for certain Virginia income tax payments to June 1, 2020 in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis. The relevant filing deadlines will remain the same. The full bulletin provides additional information regarding this extension and penalty waiver program.
To view the full Tax Bulletin, click here.
DOL Guidance on Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Paid Leave)
The Department of Labor just published information that gives a small amount of guidance with regard to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was just enacted. This Act will take effect on April 1, 2020, and applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. Below you will find links to the Guidance issued by the DOL. There is a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and a Questions and Answers link. This guidance is only the first round of information that will be coming from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
- To view the full release from the Department of Labor, click here.
- Fact Sheet for Employers, click here.
- Fact Sheet for Employees, click here.
- Questions and Answers, click here.
Webinar: Applying for SBA Disaster Loans - Economic Injury Disaster Loans
Henrico Approves Temporary Freeze on Penalties, Interest for Major Taxes
In response to the challenges presented by COVID-19, the Henrico County Board of Supervisors adopted an emergency ordinance enacting temporary relief from penalties and interest on several major taxes. Now through August, Henrico businesses will not be charged with any penalties or interest on meals and hotel tax payments. In addition, for the next 60 days after the June 5 due date, there will be no penalties or interest on machinery and tools, commercial and residential real estate, and personal property taxes for residents and businesses.
WEBINARS: COVID-19 Help & Legal Updates
Dominion Payroll is providing webinars and legal help on topics like FMLA & COVID-19 Legislation.
Webinar Schedule • Legal Updates • Downloadable Templates • Reliable Resources
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: Paid Leave
The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.
TEMPORARY RESTRICTIONS ON RESTAURANTS, RECREATIONAL, ENTERTAINMENT, GATHERINGS, NON-ESSENTIAL RETAIL BUSINESSES:
EFFECTIVE: 11:59 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020, until 11:59 p.m., Thursday, April 23, 2020
City of Richmond Meals Tax Amnesty
The City of Richmond has unrolled an amnesty program for restaurants “for all penalties and interest on most local taxes due between March 13 and June 30,” including payment on the city’s meals tax normally due to the city on the 20th of every month. The restaurants would still owe the city their March meals tax payment, but removing late fees would allow restaurants to pay the amount down the road without penalties so they can use their existing capital to pay staff and bills in the immediate future.
Suspension of Utility Disconnection
In response to an emergency petition the State Corporation Commission has blocked electric, gas, and water companies from disconnecting service for the next 60 days (as of March 18).
A ban on gatherings of 10 people or more, given signs of community spread. Gov. Ralph Northam’s administration issued an emergency order allowing law enforcement agencies to enforce the ban inside restaurants, gyms and theaters. Full order can be found here.
Gov. Ralph Northam said Tuesday that he has directed the commissioner of the Virginia Employment Commission to waive the one-week waiting period for people to receive unemployment benefits as well as the normal requirement that those receiving unemployment benefits must conduct two job searches a week.
In addition, the governor’s office said Virginians may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if:
- their employer needs to “temporarily slow or cease operations due to the coronavirus outbreak”;
- they have been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and are not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer; or
- they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer
Status: Actively accepting applications
MORE INFO: http://www.vec.virginia.gov/node/11699
Economic Stimulus Package
The Treasury Department will be asking Congress for $500 billion in direct payouts for taxpayers as part of a $1 trillion stimulus package. The two rounds of direct payments to taxpayers, each a total of $250 billion, would be sent on April 6 and then the second round would be sent on May 18, according to the proposal. They would be tiered payments, with the amounts based on income level and family size, the proposal says. Both payments would be for the same amount. The Treasury is also asking for $50 billion for the airline industry, a small business interruption loan program of $300 billion, and $150 billion for other distressed sectors, the proposal said.
Status: We expect the Senate and House to have their own proposals as well, so the final package is still unclear. See below for a more in-depth summary of this bill.