Good afternoon, .

Just over three weeks into Michigan’s State of Emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, MMA continues our work to keep manufacturers well-informed and well-represented.

Governor Declares State of Disaster

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has acted to equip her Administration with the continued ability to address the devastation caused by COVID-19 by declaring a State of Disaster and asking the Legislature to extend the State of Emergency and Disaster by 70 days from the original state of emergency declaration issued on 3/10/20.

While the Emergency Management Act requires a concurrent resolution of the Legislature to extend an emergency declaration beyond 28 days, the Governor continues to have powers under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act but is recognizing the key role of the Legislature in combating this crisis.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, we were informed by the Whitmer Administration that the “Stay Home. Stay Safe.” Executive Order will remain in effect through 4/13/20. The Governor will reevaluate whether to extend the Order as that date approaches. We will, in the meantime, continue our work with the Administration in an attempt to carefully balance the safety of our employees and customers with the resumption of business activities.

PMBC Retooling Grants Available to Manufacturers for Covid-19

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s Pure Michigan Business Connect is providing grants of $10,000 to $150,000 to small manufacturers looking to retool and produce critical health and human service supplies in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. A total of $1 million in grants is available for purchase of equipment necessary to manufacture critical supplies, logistics and shipping costs of procuring necessary equipment, technology upgrades and other costs related to operationalizing new product lines.

Financial Assistance for Manufacturers

Financial relief for manufacturers is at the top of our mind and many of yours, as well. MMA has prepared a list of programs and opportunities at both the state and federal level to help your company weather the COVID-19 crisis:

Rules Released for Federal Mandated Sick Leave and Associated Tax Credits

The US Department of Labor has released regulations pursuant to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provide greater compliance details for employers on the Emergency Family Medical Leave Act Expansion and Emergency Paid Sick Leave provisions.

Of particular note are regulations that direct employers with fewer than 50 employees on how they may be exempt from some of the requirements of the Act. The exemption would apply only to the paid leave requirements for employees requesting leave to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable. An exemption is not available for the other qualifying leave reasons listed under the Act. The regulation details documentation that employees must provide when requesting leave, as well as recordkeeping requirements for employers. This excerpt prepared by MMA from the 124-page regulation highlights these sections of rule and discussion.

Additionally, the IRS has released guidance on the tax credits under the FFCRA.

Call Tomorrow on Federal CARES Act

MMA is partnering with Miller Canfield to host a conference call on Friday, 4/3/20, at 2:00 p.m. ET to discuss the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the new federal economic relief law which expands unemployment benefits, provides direct payments to households and offers tax relief and cash flow assistance to businesses. Miller Canfield has also provided this helpful Summary of Financial Assistance Available that will be referenced during the call.  If possible, please review in advance and email your questions for the speakers to MMA's Mike Johnston at johnston@mimfg.org

Attendees may dial-in with the following information:

  • 877-746-4263
  • Access Code 0284902#

About the Speakers

Jeffrey LaBine is a corporate partner in Miller Canfield's Ann Arbor and New York offices, concentrating primarily in mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and other corporate and securities laws matters. (see bio)

Richard Walawender is Co-Leader of the Miller Canfield’s Corporate Group, leading the firm’s Autonomous and Connected Vehicles practice team and playing an essential role in the firm’s International practice. He also served as a managing director of the firm from 2001 to 2003. (see bio)

Gary Glenn has more than 30 years of experience in a wide variety of transactions, representing publicly traded companies, family enterprises, developers, investors, manufacturers, distributors, inventors, colleges, foreign governments and individuals in his practice of tax law. (see bio)

Unemployment Expanded by CARES Act

The State of Michigan has entered into an agreement with the US Department of Labor to expand unemployment benefits as provided by the federal CARES Act.

In addition to expanding eligibility to individuals who have traditionally been ineligible like the self-employed and 1099-independent contractors, the agreement will increase weekly benefits for all claimants by an additional $600 per week for up to four months and extends benefit duration from 26 to 39 weeks.

Individuals who have already claimed benefits will not need to re-apply. Additional guidance will be released in the coming days. In the meantime, see MMA’s COVID-19 Resources for information.

Resources for Manufacturers

Stay updated and compliant with the many changes imposed over the last few weeks. Find these and other resources on MMA’s COVID-19 Resources:

The CDC has provided the National Association of Manufacturers guidance on manufacturing facility protocols in the face of COVID-19

Gallagher, a global leader in insurance, risk management & consulting services, has created a Pandemic Preparedness page to help you manage your risk and provide your employees with information to help minimize business interruption.

The Michigan Secretary of State has a helpful Q&A document for essential workers in need of drivers’ license and license plate renewals while Secretary of State offices are closed.

Please continue to reach out to the MMA team with questions.

Thank you.