Virtual Small Business Forum 3/31/20-hosted by the Washington County Library System
Jessica Miller, System Administrator for the Washington County Library System opened the session and welcomed small business owners and Senator Camera Bartolotta.
State Senator Camera Bartolotta
Things are in flux right now
Unemployment office is busy, apply online
Don’t apply twice, it will slow down your request
Small Business help
Apply for Small Business Association loans
Loans are first come, first served
Available if closed because of Stay at Home order
Wrote a letter to Governor Wolf asking him to reverse decision to close all construction
There are necessary projects that can get done
Confusing process to get waivers
Includes supply and distributors
PA Small Business Assistance
Has 12 months deferred payment but requires a balloon payment at the end
Senator Bartolotta- They are looking into the balloon payment issue
If anyone would like to follow up with Senator Bartolotta- private message the Washington County Library System for the contact information
Small Business and disaster loans
Gather a list of everything owed by the business
Requires a separate application for each loan
The amount of information right now is overwhelming
Information will be pushed out by Senator Bartolotta’s office as it becomes available
Her office is open, but not for walk in traffic-can contact with any concerns
Only applies if someone gets the virus at work
We went from having the lowest unemployment rate in history 2 weeks ago to the highest
Chamber of Commerce resources
Small Business Association Loans
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
Paycheck Protection Program
Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
Self-employed Federal CARES Update
The federal CARES Act will provide unemployment benefits to the self-employed, gig workers, and other individuals who previously were not eligible for unemployment. Special instructions will be provided to these individuals. At this time, you should NOT file a claim through the existing online system or phone number if you are not currently eligible for unemployment.
WORKERS' COMPENSATION (WC) BENEFITS
If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19 in your workplace, you may be eligible for Workers' Compensation (WC) by either:
Notifying your employer to file a typical "disease-as-injury" WC claim, which requires you to provide medical evidence that you were exposed to COVID-19 in the workplace
Notifying your employer to file an "occupational disease" WC claim, which requires you to show that COVID-19 is occurring more in your occupation/industry than in the general population
Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employee Paid Leave Rights
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The Department of Labor’s (Department) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020.
Generally, the Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Covered Employers: The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. Most employees of the federal government are covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act, which was not amended by this Act, and are therefore not covered by the expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA. However, federal employees covered by Title II of the Family and Medical Leave Act are covered by the paid sick leave provision.
Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.