Federal Phase 3 Stimulus Package Includes Help for Small Businesses and Nonprofit Organizations
There are some promising updates coming out of Washington. The final bill just passed, but here are some key provisions (we'll share more when we have updates!)

Small Business Provisions
  • Paycheck Protection: Forgiveness For Small Business Loans for Keeping Employees: Through the SBA’s existing 7(a) loan program, the bill creates a “paycheck protection program” for small employers, self-employed individuals, and “gig economy” workers, with $350 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The “Paycheck Protection Program” would provide 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If the employer maintains payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven. This proposal would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.
  • Flexibility with Disaster Loans: Businesses that have already taken advantage of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans will have the opportunity to “re-finance” those loans into the “paycheck protection program”. 
  • Debt Relief: For six months, SBA is required to pay all principal, interest and fees on all existing SBA loan products including 7(a), Community Advantage, 504, and Microloan programs for six months.
 
Tax Provisions
  • Money for American families. A one-time check of $1,200 per individual and $500 per child for those with a valid SSN. There are no earned income or tax liability requirements to receive these rebate checks. The full rebate amount is available for those with incomes at or below $75,000 for individuals, $112,500 for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples. The rebate amount phases out after those income levels. 
  • Loosens Rules on Retirement Accounts. A temporary pause for 2020 on the mandatory minimum distributions from retirement accounts allowing capital to stay invested instead of being forced to cash out. The bill also waives the 10% penalty on coronavirus-related early distributions from 401(k)s and IRAs, which applies to distributions up to $100,000 made at any time during 2020.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: Employers that face closure orders or suffer economic hardship due to the coronavirus crisis that continue to pay employees that are furloughed may be eligible for a 50% credit on up to $10,000 of wages paid to those employees. 
  • Delays Payroll Tax Payments for Employers: Employers would be able to delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022, leading to approximately $300 billion of extra cash flow for businesses.
  • Restores Supports for Businesses Suffering Losses: The bill also allows businesses to carry back losses from 2018, 2019, and 2020 to the previous 5 years, which will allow businesses access to immediate tax refunds.
  • Encourages Businesses to Invest in Improvements: The bill would fix cost recovery for investments in Qualified Improvement Properties, which will allow businesses that made these investments in 2018 and 2019 and receive tax refunds now.
 
Unemployment Provisions
  • Expanded Unemployment Benefits to Include Self-Employed, Independent Contractors, & Gig Workers: Temporarily expands unemployment benefits to cover the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, etc. during the public health emergency. The bill also includes support to state and local governments and nonprofits so they can pay unemployment to their employees.
  • More Money for a Longer Period for More Workers: Adds a $600/week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July. In addition, for those who need it, the bill provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow.
Additional Resources from the US Chamber to Help Small Businesses Navigate the Coronavirus Pandemic

CO—from the US Chamber -- has created a Coronavirus Small Business Guide to help you navigate the pandemic with new stories daily—including a detailed breakdown of f ederal stimulus aid programs , information about managing financial difficulties , keeping your team engaged , supporting and retaining your customers , and more. 
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How Much?
You may find it helpful for your business planning purposes to use this calculator from the Washington Post to estimate how big your stimulus check might be - or to share with your employees.
Do You Have Critical Supplies or Manufacturing Capacity to Support our Health Care System Needs During COVID-19?
Join Member eCornell for Valuable Webinars Next Week
COVID - 19 and the Hospitality Industry
March 30th, 12 p.m.

The COVID-19 crisis has been extraordinarily disruptive to the hospitality industry. Employers have had to slash expenses across the board and make major staffing cuts. Unfortunately, many of the individuals affected by layoffs and reduced work hours live paycheck to paycheck and do not have adequate health insurance. Making matters worse, the industry’s current struggles are likely just the tip of the iceberg. As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, many firms are struggling to develop HR plans and action steps for mitigating the negative consequences of this crisis.

On March 30th, a panel of industry and academic experts will address some of the most critical HR priorities and operational implications of the current health crisis.
Labor-Management Relations in the Midst of a Pandemic
March 31st, 12 p.m.

The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly forced closures and layoffs throughout the hospitality industry. This unprecedented and stressful situation presents a number of challenges for both workers and management. As the two sides work through key issues and potential solutions, a major unknown is whether conflict is inevitable or if the crisis will force the parties to work together.

On March 31st, at 12 p.m., Cornell University and the Center on Innovative Hospitality Labor and Employment Relations (CIHLER) will bring together leading practitioners and faculty experts to discuss the myriad labor relations challenges brought on by this historic global challenge.
Virtual Small Business Roundtable
Wednesday, April 1, 8 - 9:30 a.m.

In this time of uncertainty it is even more imperative that small businesses share creative solutions and come together to work through economic problems together. The Chamber is committed to supporting all of our members as best we can in this time of crisis, we hope you'll join us for this roundtable discussion to be moderated by Jennifer Tavares from the Chamber and Mary Stazi, CEO of The Computing Center.
Women in Business Roundtable
Virtual Happy Hour
Friday, April 3, 3-4:30 p.m.

Thanks to all who joined our Virtual Happy Hour last Friday!

For the next couple of months, we'll be holding our Women in Business Roundtable every other Friday.
Join us!
Local Mental Health Resources

The Chamber has been in touch with many of our members in these last few weeks, we recognize how difficult this time is for many of you. There's a lot of uncertainty facing us individually, and as a community - the only way to get through this is together. Please don't hesitate to reach out to any of the resources in the link below if you need to talk to someone.

If you can, check in (virtually) with your neighbors, friends, and family.
We're still working to keep our COVID-19 Resource page up to date with relevant information and useful resources. Something missing? Please email info@tompkinschamber.org with any suggestions!
Tompkins Chamber Announces Member Support Fund t hrough Chamber Foundation

The Chamber is providing critical support to our network and the community during this unprecedented crisis. In the coming weeks and months, engaging virtually with peers, receiving valuable information and resource updates, and sustaining the promotion and support of local businesses or organizations will be as important as ever. We are striving to make this information and services free of charge for those within our membership, and the broader community.

If you represent a business or organization that can support others weathering these circumstances by funding an additional program entry fee, or helping to subsidize their membership remaining active during the next six months, our community and organization could use your support.
Still have questions?

Here's an adorable, inquisitive kitten to make you feel better.

Seriously, though...we'll do our best to help you or make referrals to those who have the answers you need.

Just call the Chamber at 607-273-7080, or email us at info@tompkinschamber.org .

* A brief reminder that we are not doctors or legal experts - just your friendly local Chamber doing our best to keep you informed.*
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