APRIL 24, 2020
As expected, the House passed the supplemental $483 billion COVID-19 assistance package, which will provide an additional $321 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program. The package also includes $60 billion in additional SBA economic disaster loans for small businesses, $75 billion in emergency relief for hospitals and $25 billion for coronavirus testing. The President is expected to sign the package into law.

Applicants who already are working with a local lender and have completed the application process will keep their place in line and don’t have to refile, according to several local bank executives. However, you should touch base with your bank. This is still a first come, first served program. And the money will go fast, perhaps running out by the end of next week.
The Clock is ticking:
DOT appropriations run out in 159 days. The FAA reauthorization expires in 1,255 days. Highway and transit policy is up for renewal in 159 days. 

Support a robust infrastructure agenda to promote economic recovery

ACECL member action is requested to engage US House and Senate lawmakers to support an economic recovery agenda that includes significant and sustainable investments in the nation’s critical infrastructure and regulatory reforms to move projects forward expeditiously.

While Congress needs to act to address near-term priorities to keep businesses afloat, ACEC and stakeholder allies are urging lawmakers to begin action on longer-term measures that will kick start the economy and sustain growth in the coming years. ACEC supports an agenda that includes a long-term reauthorization of the FAST Act with sustainable and growing revenues, passage of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) to authorize new Corps of Engineers water projects and more funding and financing mechanisms to support water and wastewater projects, and measures to support energy markets, vertical projects, and other priorities in the built environment. 

This is very easy to do. I have already sent one on behalf of ACECL but your individual support is requested. Just click on the link above, enter your email and zip code to get to the registration page. After you enter that, a version of the letter that you can edit (if you want to) for each of your two senators and one congressman will show on the screen. After you edit each one (or not), just click send! Thanks for your assistance.
ACEC submitted the letter below to DHS earlier this week making recommendations for more specific references to engineering services in future updates to guidance on essential infrastructure projects and related positions.  
Governor Edwards is expected Monday to release guidance on the first phase of lifting the shelter-in-place restrictions.
Due to its As of April 18, Louisiana’s Unemployment trust fund could cover 16 more weeks of unemployment claims, which is longer than other states with a comparable amount of claims.
Louisiana to distribute 45% of $1.8B in CARES Act funds to local government. Keep in mind these funds are not supposed to be used to plug shortfalls indirectly caused by COVID19, although there is hope alternative guidance may change that.
Complimentary ACEC Webinars to Guide Your Firm through the Coronavirus Pandemic
As part of ACEC’s outreach to Member Firms during the coronavirus pandemic, the Council will host live webinars over the coming weeks.
There is no cost to participate. Interested participants need only register and they will receive access instructions.
Monday, April 27th, 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM EST 
Presenters: Diana Strassmaier, CPA, Aldrich Advisors, and Scott Hursh, CPA, Stambaugh Ness, Inc.
Wednesday, April 29th, 3:30-4:30 PM EST
Friday, May 1st, 3:30-4:30 PM EST
Thursday, May 7th, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM EST
Presenter: Geordie Aitken, Aitken Leadership Group
Friday, May 8th, 1:30-2:30 PM EST
Presenter: Greg Powell, Managing Director, Investment Banking FMI Capital Advisors, Inc.
Wednesday, May 13th, 3:30-4:30 PM EST
Thursday, May 14th, 3:30-4:30 PM EST
Week 5 national ACEC Survey Results:
  •  84 percent applied for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP); 74 percent were approved.
  • Of those that applied and were approved, 70 percent have received the funds in their bank account
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of firms think business will return to normal within six months, another 35 percent think it will take one or two years. One-fifth (21 percent) are either not sure or don’t think things will ever be the same.
  • To shore up their finances firms are freezing non-essential purchases (50 percent), speeding up collections (38 percent) and freezing salary/pay increases (30 percent).
  • 8 percent report working on new projects directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic response
  • 12 percent report having business areas that are overperforming.
  • 36 percent say they will re-open their office(s) when they feel it is safe to do so, regardless of what their governor says.
  • 41 percent say they are working on a plan to ensure worker safety.
  • Nearly half of firms (49 percent) say they will restrict or prohibit domestic travel for training/events/conferences after stay-at-home orders are lifted.
A bit of humor as we end the week: