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March 25, 2020UPDATED/NEW Resources, Including Grants

March 25, 2020
UPDATED/NEW Resources, Including Grants
´╗┐and Loans for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
 
The Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber will continue to work to identify critical resources for our membership during this uncertain time. The Chamber urges our members to follow the appropriate recommendations, executive orders and precautionary actions to protect your organization and talent from this and any other respiratory illness. Additionally, it is critical to support our local small businesses who have been impacted. Order takeout or delivery from restaurants, shop small businesses online or by phone, support those who are impacted within our event and health/fitness industries, and do what you can to keep our local economy strong.
 
Please review the following message for more information and follow the SWCRC on Facebook for updates.
 
NEW: DETAILS ON THE MICHIGAN STAY HOME, STAY SAFE EXECUTIVE ORDER
 
Governor Whitmer has issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe Order for the State of Michigan to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect on March 24, at 12:01 a.m. and stays into effect until April 13 at 11:59 p.m.
 
We understand that there are many questions from businesses concerning what qualifies as an "essential service." The State's guidance of FAQs linked HERE is a resource, along with the Executive Order itself. 
 
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released official guidance from the President regarding the Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19.
Please review the list of essential services and workers HERE and refer to the Governor's Executive Order for guidance.
 
 
NEW: TCF, WAYNE COUNTY COMMIT $6 MILLION TO NEW LOW-INTEREST (0-2%) LOAN FUND FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
 
TCF Financial Corp. and Wayne County are committing at least $3 million each to a new low-interest loan fund for small businesses in Wayne County to borrow money as soon as next week to sustain their operations during the coronavirus-related shutdowns. Under the program being announced Wednesday, small businesses in Wayne County can apply for working capital loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 from Detroit-based TCF Bank that can be used for payroll, rent and utilities.
 
The criteria for the loans includes showing a 25 percent or more loss in revenue as a result of the economic upheaval from the coronavirus outbreak, said Gary Torgow, executive chairman of TCF Financial Corp.
 
The initial $6 million will be available for loans within a week of small-business owners applying and qualifying for a loan, Torgow said.
 
Interest rates for the loans will range from zero to 2 percent and will be interest-only for the first six months, County Executive Warren Evans said.
 
 
UPDATE: SENATE REACHES DEAL WITH THE WHITE HOUSE ON CARES ACT: WOULD PROVIDE RELIEF FOR BUSINESSES OF ALL SIZES, SELF EMPLOYED AND AMERICAN WORKERS
 
The U.S. Senate is working to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) to aid American workers and businesses of all sizes who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of this message, the bill includes:
 
  • Financial assistance to Americans with direct checks to households in the middle class and in lower income levels, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said. Previously, Republicans said this would amount to $1,200 to most American adults, among other payments.
  • An extended unemployment insurance program for laid-off workers that will allow for four months of "full pay," according to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, rather than the usual three months for most. It will also raise the maximum unemployment insurance benefit by $600 per week. It will apply to traditional workers for small and large businesses as well as those who are self-employed and workers in the gig economy.
  • More than $150 billion for the health care system, including funding for hospitals, research, treatment and the Strategic National Stockpile to raise supplies of ventilators, masks and other equipment. Of that, $100 billion will go to hospitals and the health system and $1 billion to the Indian Health Service.
  • $150 billion to state and local governments to address spending shortages related to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • $350 billion for small businesses impacted by the pandemic in the form of loans; some of those loans could be forgiven.
 
Following Senate approval, the bill will now be taken up by the U.S. House of Representatives. The SWCRC will provide more information to our members as it becomes available.
 
UPDATED: SBA DISASTER ASSISTANCE LOANS NOW AVAILABLE TO MICHIGAN BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS
 
Upcoming Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application Training:
An Overview of Applying
 
March 26: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Join by phone
Toll number: +1 (202) 765-1264
Conference ID: 73097173
 
March 26: 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Join by phone
Toll number: +1 (202) 765-1264
Conference ID: 789054999
 
*More sessions to be announced. Follow the SWCRC on Facebook for updates.
 
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved her request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. Small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 seeking loan funding to help with operational expenses will need to apply for loan funding ONLINE. The official link to access the loan application is located HERE.
 
These funds are not meant to replace lost profit. The funds are designed to be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Please review the details and qualifications of this loan program HERE.
 
Small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access low-interest loans through the SBA, with an interest rate of 3.75% for businesses, and 2.75% for nonprofits. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
 
For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit.
 
 
 
UPDATED: FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT GUIDANCE RELEASED
 
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law by President Trump. The bill provides paid leave and FMLA benefits for employees of businesses and government organizations with fewer than 500 employees. The bill provides for reimbursement by way of refundable tax credits of leave expenses to businesses who meet the criteria.
 
The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued their first level of guidance on how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will affect employers and employees. In the text, the DOL makes it clear that they will be issuing further guidance and regulations related to the exemptions for employers with fewer than 50 employees, as well as health care providers—which will we share with you as soon as it becomes available.
 
The guidance—provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document—addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage, how small businesses can obtain an exemption, how to count hours for part-time employees, how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law, and more. 
 
 
MICHIGAN MEDC SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PROGRAM ANNOUNCED TO PROVIDE $20 MILLION IN GRANTS AND LOANS TO HARDEST HIT BUSINESSES
 
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program announced today authorizes the MEDC to provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce.
 
The qualifications limit GRANT funding to businesses with 50 employees or less, who need working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.
 
The qualifications limit LOAN funding to businesses with 100 employees or less, who need working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business. Companies must demonstrate that it cannot access capital through alternate sources.
 
More information on small business LOANS expected to be available no later than April 1 is located HERE.
 
More information on small business GRANTS expected to be available no later than April 1 is located HERE. 
 
The application and more information is expected to be available HERE no later than April 1. 
 
EMPLOYERS CONTEMPLATING POTENTIAL LAYOFFS
 
The State of Michigan and Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio have provided critical guidance to employers contemplating potential layoffs.
 
The SWCRC is recommending our members and employers if possible to consider temporary leave, rather than terminations. The State has also sent out a very important message urging the same. This notice also provides specific guidelines for employers placing talent on temporary unpaid leave.
 
 
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSURES:
 
Work Share Program – The Governor’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Executive Order expands the State’s Work Share program. With the plan, rather than being laid off, eligible employees work a reduced number of hours in the work week and receive a portion of weekly unemployment benefits. Employers are encouraged to implement the program that permits employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in regular business activity instead of laying off workers. More information and guidance about Work Share can be found HERE.
 
It’s important to note that the Executive Order (EO) now allows all employers to take advantage of the program, regardless of whether the employer’s reserve in the employer’s experience account as of the most recent computation date preceding the date of the employer’s application is a positive number.
 
Also, according to the Executive Order, there is no UI charge to the employer. "An employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations."
 
Unemployment Benefits – Eligibility has been expanded for those impacted by COVID-19 during this crises. Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found HERE.
 
Additional unemployment resources for employees can be found HERE.
 
 
PENALTY AND INTEREST WAIVED FOR 30 DAYS FOR MONTHLY MICHIGAN SALES, USE, AND WITHHOLDING TAX RETURNS DUE MARCH 20, 2020
 
The State of Michigan will be waiving penalty and interest on sales, use and withholding taxes for 30 days in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
 
 
 
ADDITIONAL MEDC CAPITAL RESOURCES
 
The MEDC is encouraging businesses and communities throughout the state to learn more about its wide range of tools aimed at assisting Michigan’s small- and medium-sized businesses. In particular, the MEDC Access to Capital programs can provide greater availability of working capital during times of growth, change or economic uncertainty.
 
To support businesses and communities during this unprecedented time, the organization will also be evaluating virtual matchmaking and other enhancements to programs such as its International Trade, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Pure Michigan Business Connect, PlanetM and Match on Main Street programs.
 
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website for additional information.
 
WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 HOTLINE
 
The Information Center has been partnering with Wayne County Health, Human Services and Veteran’s Services Department to provide the Wayne County COVID-19 Hotline (734) 287-7870.
 
The Information Center has been working with Wayne County to respond to needs for up-to-date and accurate information about COVID -19 and related important information from Wayne County for Wayne County residents and businesses.
 
 

 

 

 

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