Updated guidelines for workplace safety, unemployment insurance, etc. during COVID-19

Updated guidelines for workplace safety, unemployment insurance, etc. during COVID-19

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has resources to help employers and workers prepare for and respond to coronavirus in the workplace.

WAGE, HOURS, LEAVE

The Wage and Hour Division of the DOL is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act. For more info, click here.

 

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FLEXIBILITY 

NOTE: Check with your state’s unemployment insurance program here regarding the rules in your state.

The Employment and Training Administration announced new guidance outlining state flexibilities in administering their unemployment insurance programs to assist Americans affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Under the guidance, federal law permits significant flexibility for states to amend their laws to provide unemployment insurance benefits in multiple scenarios related to COVID-19. For example, federal law allows states to pay benefits where:

  • An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
  • An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
  • An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.

In addition, federal law does not require an employee to quit in order to receive benefits due to the impact of COVID-19.

For more info on the new guidance, click here.

Learn how to file for unemployment insurance benefits on this webpage.

For more Coronavirus resources via the Department of Labor – click here.

Your barbershop may be eligible for a Crisis Relief Loan

Your barbershop may be eligible for a Crisis Relief Loan

The Capital Good Fund (CGF) is a U.S. Treasury-certified nonprofit geared towards combating poverty by providing small loans + personalized financial coaching for residents of Rhode Island, Florida, Massachusetts, Illinois and Delaware.

If you or your business is located within one of those states, you may be eligible for a CGF Crisis Relief Loan…

      • This loan ranges from $300 – $1500
      • 15 month term w/ special 90-day deferment pay period
      • 5% APR
      • Uses include (but are not limited to) paying utilities, covering medical bills, paying rent, and purchasing groceries.

For more information, visit their webpage here.

UPDATED: Available support for barbershops in Canada

UPDATED: Available support for barbershops in Canada

Canada is also taking measures to support local business during these difficult times. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC) to provide more than $10 billion of additional support, largely targeted to small and medium-sized businesses.

We’ve compiled some resources + tools for our Northern business partners.

Apply for Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB)

Receive payment of $2,000 for a 4-week period (the same as $500 a week) for up to 16 weeks through CERB.

To be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

    • Reside in Canada
    • 15+ years old when you apply
    • You have stopped or will stop working due to reasons related to COVID-19
    • You’ve not quit your job voluntarily
    • You earned a minimum of $5,000 income in the last 12 months or in 2019 from one or more of the following sources:
        • employment income
        • self-employment income
        • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave

NOTE: For at least 14 days in a row for the period you are applying for, you will not receive:

      • employment income
      • self-employment income
      • provincial or federal benefits related to maternity or paternity leave

After you apply, you should get your payment in 3 business days if you signed up for direct deposit. If you haven’t, you should get it in about 10 business days.

For more info on CERB, click here.

 

Canadian Emergency Wage Subsidy 

For businesses, the government has announced the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy. This would provide a 75-per-cent wage subsidy to eligible employers for up to 12 weeks, retroactive to March 15, 2020.

        • 75 per cent of the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week; and
        • the amount of remuneration paid, up to a maximum benefit of $847 per week or 75 per cent of the employee’s pre-crisis weekly remuneration, whichever is less.

**NOTE: Employers are not eligible to claim the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy for remuneration paid to an employee in a week that falls within a 4-week period for which the employee is eligible for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit.**

For more info on the Wage Subsidy, check out this page.

 

Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

For individuals…

      • Income support is available, more info here.
      • Flexibility is being extended to taxpayers, read more here.
      • The tax return filing due date will be deferred until June 1, 2020.

For businesses…

  • Resources + tips for helping businesses keep their employees here.
  • Info on tax flexibility for filing businesses here.

NOTE: The Canada Revenue Agency will allow all taxpayers to defer, until after August 31, 2020. No interest or penalties will accumulate on these amounts during this period. 

      • Canada Revenue Agency will recognize electronic signatures as having met the signature requirements.
      • This provision applies to authorization forms T183 or T183CORP.
      • Ensure businesses have access to credit (more info on the program here).

More detailed info can be found here.

 

Additional links:

Key resources for small business owners in Canada following COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 Small Business Help Centre, which includes additional information on…

  • Business Continuity 
  • EI & Employee Income
  • Employee Management 
  • Fraud and business security 
  • Health & Safety
  • Employee Travel 

 

UPDATED: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – what it is & how to apply

UPDATED: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – what it is & how to apply

Our friends at the Wefunder blog have broken down everything you need to know about the Paycheck Protection Program – apply today and, if approved, get a loan as soon as April 3rd!

Application form available here. 

Note: the application deadline is June 30th 2020.

To calculate your PPL loan amount, click here

 

UPDATED INFO:

  • Small businesses and sole proprietors began applying on April 3.
  • Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning on April 10. 

 

  • While the program is open until June 30, 2020, the government is advising borrowers to apply as soon as possible given the loan cap on the program.

Payroll can be calculated as an average number over the previous 12 months. 2.5x monthly payroll is granted if you spend it on qualified expenses

Countable payroll expenses: salary (up to $100k for each person), wages, tips, commissions, employee benefits, payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees, payment for vacation and leave

Not countable payroll expenses: salary beyond $100k for each person, FICA, federal tax withholdings, and Independent Contractors

Your 2.5x monthly payroll “loan” is forgiven if you maintain/restore staffing and it’s used on approved expenses (75% needs to go to payroll). If you end up owing money back interest rate is 1%, no payments for 6 months (can be extended to 1 year), loan is mature at 2 years (this is new).

 

What is it?

$349 billion is being loaned to small businesses to cover their payroll. Most (if not all) of this loan will be forgiven if you do not lay off employees.

In other words, this is free money from the government to cover your payroll.

Do I qualify?
You are eligible if you have under 500 employees or are a “small business concern” (as defined by the SBA).

Each industry has different criteria for what a small business concern is. Having a venture capital investor who can control your startup might be disqualifying, unless the SBA changes the rules for what is considered an “affiliate” in their definition of a small business concern.  You can read more than you ever want to know about affiliation rules on the SBA’s web site here.

What is the maximum loan?

Take your average monthly payroll expense over the last 12 months (excluding the amount in excess of $100k for employees that make more) and multiply it by 2.5. That is the maximum loan you are eligible for.  However, it can’t exceed $10 million.

How do I apply?
Loans are made through the SBA 7(a) program. Over 800 SBA-approved lenders are expected to be able to distribute loans.

You can call your bank or find SBA-approved lenders in your area through SBA’s online Lender Match tool here.

That’s an aggressive timeline. We wouldn’t be surprised if there are delays. The SBA distributed $28 billion in 2019, and they are being asked to deploy over $400 billion in April.  Expect growing pains.

Do I need to personally guarantee the loan?
No.

Do I need collateral to get the loan?
No.

How can I use the money?
You can only use the money for payroll, health care, rent/mortgage/utilities, and interest on debt.

How much of the loan is forgiven?
The amount used for payroll (up to $100K for each employee), health insurance, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments in any 8 week period from February 15th through June 30th is forgiven, as long as you don’t lay anyone off.

The devil is in the details.  If you lay off people, it gets a little more complex (forgiveness is ratio of payroll reduction).  If you cut salaries of those who earn under $100K by more than 25%, less debt will also be forgiven.

If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30.

What is the interest rate and maturity date fo the amount that is not forgiven?
The legislation mandates that the interest rate cannot exceed 4% and the term not over 10 years.  SBA lenders may offer terms within those limits.

When is the application deadline?
June 30th, 2020

 

Still have questions? Visit here.

Protect your barbers with Apple’s new COVID-19 app

Protect your barbers with Apple’s new COVID-19 app

With all the news surrounding the pandemic, the formal public health policies often get lost in the noise. Apple has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and the White House Coronavirus Task Force to launch an app dedicated to protecting individuals and providing information on the virus itself.

The app/website will include up-to-date information on the outbreak, and allow users to ask questions surrounding…

    • COVID-19 symptoms
    • Risk factors and exposure
    • Social distancing/self-isolation policies, etc.

In turn, they will receive CDC recommendations on the next steps. This is an invaluable resource for individuals, especially those with limited health care plans.

You can download app right now at the App Store or by visiting apple.com/covid19.

 

UPDATE: Verizon to waive late fees for 2 months

You read that right, the telecommunications company is waiving late fees incurred by any small business or residential customers due to their economic circumstances related to COVID-19 for the next 60 days.

The company will also not terminate service to any customers who are unable to pay their bills due to COVID-19, and is adding an extra 15GB of data to all consumer and small business plans.

 

For more info, visit verizon.com.

The CARES Act: what you need to know!

The CARES Act: what you need to know!

(UPDATE) The CARES Act has been signed into law; in addition to helping individuals, it has a number of components aimed at helping small businesses survive + recover from the coronavirus outbreak.

Most notably…

  • Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
          • A new lending program that allows businesses to borrow enough to cover monthly payroll costs for businesses for up to 2.5 months. If used for payroll, mortgage interest or other qualified expenses, these loans will be forgiven as long as the employer continues to employ its workers or rehires them when they reopen for business.
  • Business tax provisions
          • Employers can defer payment of the employer share payroll taxes.
  • Payments for individuals
          • It is anticipated those who make less than $75,000 a year will receive direct payments of $1,200 per individual ($2,400 joint return) plus $500 per child. This will phase out for incomes above $75,000 ($150,000 joint filings).
  • Unemployment assistance
          • If your business is closed because of coronavirus and your employees cannot work from home, or your employees are unable to work due to illness or the need to take care of someone who is ill with the virus, they can collect unemployment.

For more information on the CARES Act, visit the SBA COVID-19 page.

More info on IRS tax changes can be found here.

 

Your barbershop may be eligible for 10K from the government

The government is now awarding up to $10,000 in the form of a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster loan. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to the outbreak.

Eligible entities are those with less than 500 employees, and include the following:

  • 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations
    •  Veterans organizations
    • Certain tribal business concerns
    • Eligible self-employed individuals
    • Independent contractors
    • Sole proprietorships

Watch a YouTube tutorial on how to apply below:

Does my barbershop qualify for federal aid? (Updated)

Does my barbershop qualify for federal aid? (Updated)

If government mandated, COVID-19 related closures are negatively impacting your business, you may be eligible for federal support. Before you panic, we’ve compiled a list of resources where you can find more information.

~~~

The SBA is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Recent legislation (as of March 6) has enabled the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) to offer $7 billion in disaster assistance loans to small businesses impacted by the virus.

To find out whether or not your area has been officially declared a “Disaster” zone (potentially qualifying you + your business for support), reference this index here.

UPDATE: While the application requirements for an EIDL were originally more extensive, they’ve since simplified it, largely, to submitting gross revenues and your business’s COGS for the most recent year. More info here.

You can apply for a loan at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/, or call 1‐800‐659‐2955 for assistance.

 A week ago they were looking for extensive documentation including full 12 month P&L, monthly cashflows, listing of liabilities, etc… now it is largely submitting two numbers (gross revenues and COGS for the most recent year).

For more information regarding eligibility for…

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  • EDD For Business Owners
  • EDD For Business Employees 
  • Business Interruption Insurance 

Check out this this COVID-19 Relief page

 

For similar information, in addition to…

Check out the SBA page here.

***As of March 25, 2020, the Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program – SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses – has been expanded to apply to businesses negatively impacted by Coronavirus. For more information, click here.

To learn if your business qualifies for one of the many Federal Stimulus Aid Programs currently being developed, click here.

The Federal Stimulus Bill Key Points:

  1. Focus on companies with fewer than 500.
  2. Cover employee pay for 6 weeks.
  3. No personal guarantee on the loans.
  4. Waive proving that owner has applied elsewhere.
  5. Individuals, Sole Props and 1099 people are qualified.
  6. Interest rate will be no more than 4%
  7. Max loan to value will be based on average payroll, rent/lease cost per month TIMES 2.5 includes benefits, paid sick leave. Max 10 MM.
  8. No collateral or personal guarantees required.
  9. Verify that business was in existence prior to 2/15/20.
  10. Some portions of these loans can be converted to grants AKA forgiven.
  11. After the 8 weeks Government will look at expenses, expenditures and it will be dollar for dollar waiver on ability to keep employees. The dollar value will be reduced by # of employees terminated or income lowered.
  12. Employer payroll taxes can be deferred 50% for 1 year and the other 50% for 2 years.
  13. Business can request an immediate advance of $10,000 which will be available within 2 weeks and will not have a repayment.

 

Additionally, this page offers daily COVID-19 updates for small businesses, centralizing both national and local support options, including on-demand, free webinars.

 

 

UPDATED: UK resources for barbershops affected by Coronavirus

UPDATED: UK resources for barbershops affected by Coronavirus

If you’re a business owner in the UK, here are some helpful links.

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • deferring VAT and Income Tax payments
  • a Self-employment Income Support Scheme
  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality, leisure and nursery businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

For more information on eligibility, etc. – click here.

 

The FSB page for “advice and guidance for small businesses and the self-employed” in the wake of COVID-19, including news updates, tips, and webinars. Click here.

Small businesses in the UK to be boosted by bounce back loans…

  • UK Gov would back 100% of the loan, freeing the arranging banks to release funds with minimum fuss in what we believe will be quick online application. 
  • The loan will be up to 25% of business turnover with a £50k cap. Loans will be interest and repayment free for the first 12 months & we don’t envisage these loans being dependent on the companies ability to service debt into the future. 

More updates can be found at https://ihorizon.co.uk/covid-19