PPP loan program available today, UI updates expected soon
Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program were made available today, and businesses are advised to be patient, as some U.S. banking institutions have said they are still working through the program details provided by the U.S. Treasury. Some lenders may not roll out the PPP loans until they receive more clear guidance. The much-awaited loan program provides eight weeks of cash flow and will be forgiven if businesses use those funds to keep workers employed.

For more information on current lending opportunities, see Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program details below.

System updates and guidance for applying for the new Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Insurance Compensation or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (programs that provide unemployment insurance to those who previously did not qualify; self-employed, contract workers, those who have exhausted their benefits) are expected next week. Those who qualify will not be able to apply for benefits until then.
Guidance for businesses interested
in applying for Payroll Protection Program

This free webinar will feature the Denver Metro Chamber, SBDC and Colorado Lending Source, a Small Business Administration-approved lender, for an in-depth guide to the loan application process for the federal Payroll Protection Program.

Noon, April 6
Archive of similar recorded webinars
  • Cutbacks or layoffs? What employers need to know: April 6
  • Summary of unemployment programs and CARES ACT provisions: March 27
  • CARES Impact on Small Business: April 2
  • CARES ACT and HR questions with Employer's Council attorney Tina Harkness: April 1

For access to these webinars and more, visit: https://northwestsbdc.org/covid-19/

JOIN SBDC FOR WEEKLY UPDATE CALLS AT 1 P.M. EVERY FRIDAY

NEXT UP: Relief programs for agricultural producers
Unemployment tops 4.4%, experts say that worst is still to come
Total nonfarm payroll employment fell by 701,000 in March, and the unemployment rate rose to 4.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
The changes in these measures reflect the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and efforts to contain it.

Employment in leisure and hospitality fell by 459,000, mainly in food services and drinking places. Notable declines also occurred in health care and social assistance, professional and business services, retail trade, and construction.

Note that the March survey reference periods predated many coronavirus-related business and school closures that occurred in the second half of the month.

State and Federal recovery programs, loan opportunities
CARES
The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed March 27 and was signed into law and includes:
  • Direct payments to individuals
  • Keeping Americans Paid and Employed
  • Payroll tax credits
  • Protections against foreclosures and evictions
  • Charitable contributions credit
  • Consumer protections
  • Student loan payments suspended


NOTE: The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment asks that those eligible for expanded unemployment benefits to be patient. They are waiting for federal guidance and have to update their systems to reflect the changes.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans
  • Appropriate for businesses that need immediate cash inflow
  • For funds not tied to employee retention
  • May be spent over a term longer than 8 weeks
  • Can include a $10,000 grant per applicant
  • Up to $2 million
  • May cover financial obligations and operating expenses that would have been met had the disaster not occurred

Process: Businesses must fill out the application for an emergency advance. This application is short, asking businesses only for the gross revenue and expenses for the prior 12 months and number of employees.
SBA will use those numbers to calculate both the loan advance and maximum loan amount and contact the borrower to see whether they'd like to pursue a larger loan or just accept the advance, which does not have to be repaid.

FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS ACT
The Families First Coronavirus Act was signed into law March 18, the second of several acts meant to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19. Highlights include:
  • Adds $600 a week to the amount received through unemployment
  • Expands unemployment benefits to those who are self-employed, independent contractors, those who have exhausted their benefits, those unable and unavailable for work due to COVID-19 impacts and those who don't meet standard unemployment income requirements.
  • Requires employers to provide paid sick leave in specific instances
  • Expands the Family Medical Leave Act to become a paid benefit and include reasons related to COVID-19.


Paycheck Protection Program
  • Appropriate for businesses seeking to retain or re-hire employees (If a business has laid off staff, they need to bring some or all back by 6/30/2020 for loan forgiveness
  • Can be converted to a grant or forgiven if used for allowed expenses (need to be spent within 8 weeks of origination date)
  • Up to $10 million available per business, calculated by multiplying average monthly payroll costs by 2.5
  • May cover payroll, healthcare, insurance premiums, rent, utilities, interest on mortgage or other existing debt.


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding is available through SBA 7(a) lenders.

Contact your local lender today to find out if they're an approved lender and to apply.
Small Business Debt Relief Program

This program provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law. The Federal Government is working diligently on developing the application process for these loans and we will let individuals know that information when it is released and applications are open.

Other aid  
  • A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 crisis. 
  • Temporary increases to the amount of interest expense businesses are allowed to deduct on their tax returns to 50% of taxable income for 2019 and 2020. 
  • Allowances to employers and self-employed individuals to defer payments of the employer share of the Social Security tax.  
Updated resources
Colorado Workforce Centers available for support
Steamboat Springs:
970-879-3075
Meeker:
970-878-4211
Craig:
970.824.3246
Current community business hours and closures
Colorado Department
of Labor & Employment
Christina Oxley,
Regional Business Services Coordinator
Previous Employer Updates: