Good afternoon, .
In the face of the Coronavirus outbreak, I want you to know that we here at MMA have doubled down on our efforts to keep our members updated and well-informed in a constantly evolving situation. We have been in regular and direct contact with the Governor, officials in her Administration and legislative leaders, and are being regularly consulted by federal officials as actions are being taken to protect health and safety, as well as our economy. New developments of particular impact to manufacturing employers are below.
Unemployment Benefits Expanded to Coronavirus Cases
Today Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits, effective immediately and lasting until 4/14/20. The order includes:
MMA’s 3/13/20 webinar with the UIA provided an excellent refresher on unemployment programs that are available at this time: https://mimfg.org/Portals/0/Documents/GA/uia-mma-webinar-handout_200313.pdf. Please note that some of the slides may not be aligned with the Governor’s Executive Order.
COVID-19 is a Recordable Illness for MIOSHA Purposes
Federal OSHA has released brief guidance confirming that employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 for the purposes of the Recording and Reporting of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses standard if all of the following are met:
We have been in contact with MIOSHA Director Bart Pickleman who has indicated that his agency has requested and expects to receive further guidance from OSHA in the coming days.
Restaurants Are Closed but Manufacturers Are Not
Effective 3:00 p.m. today, 3/16/20, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued Executive Order 2020-9, which temporarily closes places of public accommodation including theaters, bars, and casinos, and limits restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders. These restrictions DO NOT APPLY TO INDUSTRIAL AND MANUFACTURING FACILIITIES.
Seasonal Truck Weight Restrictions Lifted
On Sunday, 3/15/20, The Michigan Department of Transportation issued an exemption from seasonal weight restrictions for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks. Direct assistance means transportation and other relief services provided by a motor carrier or its driver(s) to the immediate restoration of essential services, such as medical care, or essential supplies such as food, related to COVID-19 outbreaks during the emergency.
Administration Working to Secure Small Business Disaster Loans
Recently passed federal legislation expanded the Small Business Act’s definition of a disaster to include Coronavirus (COVID-19), which allows the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) to provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) under a Governor’s Certification Disaster Declaration.
The Whitmer Administration and has initiated the process needed to obtain the declaration. Once the declaration is granted, small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access low interest loans through the SBA.
In the interim, the State is encouraging small businesses that could benefit from SBA loans to start collecting the information they’ll need to complete and submit their application. Examples of information needed can be found here and to contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids.
We will continue our efforts to monitor and inform as we prioritize the health, safety and well-being of our members and employees in the face of the coronavirus situation. Please be sure to access information available on MMAs COVID-19 Resources page. And as always, please let me know if I or the MMA team can be of further assistance.