FORESTRY 411
GOVERNOR ISSUES SAFER AT HOME ORDER FOR FLORIDA
Governor Ron DeSantis has issued a Safer at Home order for all of Florida.

The order went into effect  today at 12:01 AM  and will last for at least thirty days.  Read the order here.

The order states that  all persons in Florida shall  limit their movements  and  personal interactions  outside of  their home to  only those  neces sary  to  obtain or  provide  essential services or  conduct  essential activities.

The Florida Forestry Association worked with the Governor's Office before the order was put in place to ensure that forestry would be included as an essential service. As requested, the order refers to the listing of essential services provided by the Department of Homeland Security's  Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce, v. 2 (March 28, 2020) ,  which includes forestry as follows:

"Workers who support sawmills and the manufacture and distribution of fiber and forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood and fiber products."

Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried has provided a suggested letter that can be personalized and given to employees for use in facilitating their travel to and from work and other duties as assigned. 



Individual counties across Florida had previously instituted their own orders. In a separate executive order issued Thursday, Gov. DeSantis said that the state order supercedes any county orders.

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM OPENS TODAY
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses.

Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

Small businesses and sole proprietors can begin applying on April 3. Independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply beginning on April 10. The program is open through June 30, but potential applicants are encouraged to act quickly because of the program's loan cap.

The administration has released initial guidelines. Read them here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has issued a comprehensive guide to help small businesses and self-employed individuals check eligibility and prepare to file for a loan. Read it here.


More resources:

REMINDERS:
DOT TRUCK WEIGHT ORDER INCLUDES FORESTRY
The Florida Department of Transportation announced the suspension of truck weights up to 95,000 pounds for divisible loads on any vehicles transporting emergency equipment, services, supplies, and necessary agricultural commodities for the purpose of COVID-19 Public Health emergency response. We were successful in our efforts to expand the order and timber is now included as a necessary ag commodity.


IRS, TREASURY EXTEND TAX DEADLINE
The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has extended the federal income tax filing due date from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.

Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.



COVID-19 RESOURCE PAGE
The Association has created a COVID-19 resource page on our website as a means of keeping the information you need at your fingertips.

In these disruptive times, it is especially important to stay updated and to follow the guidance of local, state, and federal agencies. We have compiled information on applicable legislation, regulations, and programs at all levels, as well as other resources we think will be helpful. The page will be updated continually.

EFRP FILING DEADLINE APRIL 30
While global focus has shifted to the coronavirus pandemic, the Association's efforts to help those impacted by Hurricane Michael continue.

If you are included in that group, please be aware that the sign-up deadline for the Emergency Forest Restoration Program (EFRP) is April 30, 2020.

EFRP payments help the owners of non-industrial private forests restore forest health damaged by natural disasters.

SUNNY HILLS LOG A LOAD FOR KIDS GOLF TOURNAMENT POSTPONED
The 2020 Sunny Hills Log A Load For Kids golf tournament originally scheduled for May 5th has been postponed. We will keep you updated when a new date is announced.

Many thanks to all who host, sponsor and participate in Log A Load events. They make a difference to the children and their families who benefit from the programs made possible by the funds they raise.

Since joining the Log A Load campaign efforts in 1995, Florida loggers and friends have raised over $2 million for CMN affiliated hospitals in Florida.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS

April 28, 2020
10 AM
Executive Committee Meeting


June 3-4, 2020
Master Logger 2-Day Training
Gateway College
Lake City, FL


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