MARCH 17, 2020
"The most fortunate of us all in our journey through life frequently meet with calamities and misfortunes which greatly afflict us. To fortify our minds against the attacks of these calamities and misfortunes should be one of the principal studies and endeavors of our lives.”
Thomas Jefferson 

As the number of cases of COVID16 and related deaths continue to climb, we know that we have not yet reached the apex of the spread and things are likely to get worse before they get better. I pray you and your staff are safe and taking all necessary precautions to avoid the transmission of the virus. Please heed the recommendations of our national and state leaders. The more we comply with recommendations, the faster we can recover and resume regular routines.

Do know that ACECL is available to you and doing our very best to stay on top of emerging issues and provide timely responses to your questions. We want to support each of you both from a macro and a micro level.

We will continue daily communications as a means of sharing timely information. We are prepared to be here for the duration and adjust to the issues that will evolve as the crisis extends.

We welcome your comments, suggestions, questions and the like. While we may not have immediate answers we are keeping track of the issues and continuously seeking solutions.

ACEC is organizing several free webinars next week for ACEC firms. It is recommended that you identify someone in your firm to participate in order to get practical, helpful guidance related to these COVID19 topics:

  • Gibson Dunn (legal firm) presentation on What Employers Need to Know Related to COVID19
  • Business Continuity
  • Impacts of recent federal legislation
  • Economic Outlook
  • Round tables of small, medium and large firms discussing best practices related to: Cash Flow; How to Handle Furloughs; Work from Home/Remote Work Policies and more.

Specific dates and times to come.
The Senate this afternoon passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) - HR 6201 - . As I stated in my email yesterday there were some House amendments that made the bill better but ACEC and other Business Groups pushed for more consideration by the Senate for the cash flow issues caused by the mandatory paid leave provisions of the bill. While there is a full offset in tax credits for the cost of the paid leave, that is an after the fact credit and doesn't address the upfront costs. ACEC and ACECL communicated the concern last night to Senate leadership and the Louisiana delegation (see yesterday's email). At this point it does not appear any further changes were made to the bill as it was on a fast track to get to the President's desk.

A third aid package is expected to move quickly following action on HR 6201. This package will focus on additional assistance to individuals, small businesses and targeted industries (i.e. airlines, hospitality). This is where our requests for cash flow relief from the HR 6201 mandates can be addressed. Fast passage of HR 6201 hindered our ability to get this fully addressed.

There is some talk that there may also be an infrastructure investment component to this phase three package. The Chief of Staff for the key congressional committee has asked for recommendations from ACEC and other relevant organizations. There will likely be a collective letter of design and construction trade groups outlining support for this.

With a phase three economic recovery bill being considered imminently, join me in communicating with our congressional delegation the importance of an economic relief package and the important issues that must be considered to assist engineering firms. Included is a suggested message that can be tailored to include your own comments.
BR University Lakes Project Meeting Cancelled

University Lakes
Designer & Contractor Informational Meeting CANCELLED

The informational meeting previously scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2020, has been cancelled. To assure your ability to obtain the information that was to be shared at that meeting, the materials and presentation are being posted online for your reference. A notification email will be distributed when those materials are posted.

If you wish your information to be shared with others who are interested in this contracting opportunity in order to facilitate discussions regarding potential partnerships, etc. please be sure to register for this service at the link below. Anyone who does so prior to Friday, March 20, will have their information shared accordingly.

If your question is not addressed by the presentation and posted materials, please email your question to for further clarity. A set of FAQ's will be developed upon compilation of these questions to provide information on any trending topics of inquiry. This will also be posted to the link with the materials.

Representatives from the following types of firms are encouraged to review the materials, which will be posted at\lakes:

Landscape Design
Environmental Site Assessments


While it is early in the COVID19 event in terms of determining a direct economic loss, the Small Business Administration has created a Loan Program for businesses adversely impacted by COVID19. Louisiana is not currently a designated state but is expected to be added imminently.

As stated earlier, there is anticipated to be more federal financial relief for businesses economically impacted by the effects of COVID19. The SBA loan program is simply another resource.

The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million at 3.75% interest with a repayment stretch of up to 30 years depending upon ability to repay. This can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 

Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at: .

This blog site adds several articles and information every day relevant to engineering firms and COVID19.
Don't forget to let your clients know you are open for business and taking all precautions necessary to keep your employees safe. On your behalf, ACECL has communicated with major state and local public works clients to reiterate that the engineering community is ready, willing and able to deliver projects and that now, more than ever, the public should be continuing to support the economy by not delaying the progress of projects, processing invoices and issuing advertisements. At least one state DOT ( PA ) has halted projects so we will be vigilant in communicating with our public partners to avoid this occurring in Louisiana.

CPRA indicates to ACECL today that at this time they do not anticipate any interruptions and intend to continue advancing projects as planned so as to have as little impact to the economy as possible. If anything changes, they will be in touch. This is consistent with DOTD's comments as well as New Orleans.