Updated April 8, 2020
Guidance, Resources, Grants and Loans for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19
#SupportDownriver

The SWCRC is providing a review of important guidance, grants, loans, and more resources currently available to members of our Downriver business community who have been impacted by COVID-19. Please follow the SWCRC on Facebook as we provide more information. Be safe and healthy.
NEW: EXECUTIVE ORDER ISSUED RELATING TO EMPLOYEES UNABLE TO WORK AS A RESULT OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS OR EXPOSURE
Governor Whitmer has issued a new executive order prohibiting an employer from disciplining or discharging an employee who is unable to work due to exhibiting coronavirus symptoms or has been in close contact with someone with one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms as described within the executive order. The employee must remain home while experiencing these symptoms and for at least 3 days following the resolving of symptoms, or at least 7 days since experiencing the first symptom. For employees having been in close contact with an individual presenting symptoms, the employee must remain home for a period of 14 days or until receiving a negative COVID-19 test result. Paid sick leave and FMLA provisions under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act must be followed by employers. If an employee has exhausted all paid sick leave, unpaid sick leave is permitted under this executive order. There are industry exclusions to this policy. Specific guidance and instruction on when an employee is able to be called back to work for essential purposes are within the order. The order does not prohibit discipline if an employee is able to return back to work and refuses to do so under the guidance of the executive order. Especially for current operating essential businesses, this executive order should be reviewed and understood by employers.
NEW GUIDANCE: EMPLOYEE RETENTION TAX CREDIT GUIDE UNDER THE CARES ACT
The CARES Act created a new employee retention tax credit for employers who are closed, partially closed or experience significant revenue lose due to COVID-19. This new employee retention tax credit is designed to keep furloughed employees on the payroll with a 50% tax credit for the first $10,000 of compensation, including the employer portion of health benefits, for each eligible employee. Businesses who receive a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program are not qualified to take these tax credits. Here is a fact sheet on the new tax credits. Please contact your CPA for guidance.

SWCRC Member CPAs located  HERE .
APPLY NOW: FORGIVABLE SMALL BUSINESS PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOANS (Part of the Federal CARES Act)
A Full Summary of the CARES Act is Located in the Next Section.
Congress has passed bipartisan legislation to provide emergency relief to workers, families, small businesses and distressed industries known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). Within the CARES Act, the Paycheck Protection Program is a $350 Billion small business loan program, which can be forgivable up to 8 weeks of eligible operational expenses. Sources in Washington, DC are indicating that Congress is considering acting to add additional funding to this critical program.

New guidance regarding loan forgiveness: The government is now advising that because of high participation, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount of this loan may be for non-payroll costs. Eligible payroll expenses include: salary, wage, commission, or similar compensation; payment of cash tip or equivalent; payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for dismissal or separation; payment required for the provisions of group health care benefits, including insurance premiums; payment of any retirement benefit; payment of state or local tax assessed on the compensation of the employee.

The program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 2.5 months of operational expenses such as payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities and can be fully forgiven up to 8 weeks of expenses. Small businesses with 500 or fewer employees—including nonprofits, veterans organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors—are eligible. Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries. Businesses must submit their application with an SBA approved lending/banking institution (see the information sheet below). A full summary of the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program is located in the following section. The SWCRC encourages our members to review the following section carefully.

APPLY NOW WITH YOUR SBA APPROVED LENDER. A sample application is located below. Note that each lending institution will have a personalized application that will be submitted on their online portal. You should contact your current banking institution that you have a working relationship with and who is SBA approved. Note that there is a funding cap for the Paycheck Protection Program. Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships are eligible to apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. We encourage you to apply as quickly as you can with your SBA approved lender/banking institution . The deadline to apply is June 30, 2020, assuming funds are still available at that time.
CORONAVIRUS AID, RELIEF, AND ECONOMIC SECURITY ACT
(CARES ACT) SUMMARY
Small Businesses

  • Paycheck Protection/Forgiveness For Small Business Loans for Keeping Employees: 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.
  • How much can a small business receive? Small businesses can receive their average monthly payroll expenses x 2.5. The “Paycheck Protection Program” would provide 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100 percent 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, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and our economy to recover quickly from this crisis. This proposal would be retroactive to February 15, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.
  • Eligibility: Small businesses as defined by SBA size standards (generally up to 500 employees, but up to 1,500 employees depending on the sector and certain sectors are based on revenue). Businesses in the Accommodation and Food Services Sector (NAICS Code 72) are eligible with up to 500 employees at each location. 501 (c)(3) non-profits with fewer than 500 employees. Sole proprietors, the self-employed, and independent contractors.
  • Regulatory Streamlining: SBA’s standard “no credit elsewhere” test is waived. Loan applications are available through SBA approved lenders. No personal guarantee or collateral required. Lenders defer fees, principal, and interest for no less than 6 months and no more than 1 year.
  • Small Business Contractors Also Get Protection: Federal agencies would be required to extend contract performance periods and promptly pay small business contractors impacted by COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • Changes to the current SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs):
  • Loans can be made based solely on credit scores.
  • Loans available to all non-profits, including 501(c )(6)s.
  • Loans below $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
  • Borrowers can receive $10,000 cash advances that ARE FORGIVEN if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments, or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.

Unemployment

  • Includes $250 Billion to Expand Unemployment Benefits: Provides economic relief and support for workers by making a significant investment in unemployment benefits.
  • Unemployment Benefits for More Americans: Makes sure self-employed and independent contractors can receive unemployment 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: Makes benefits more generous by adding 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.
  • Temporary Provisions: The expansion in unemployment benefits expires at the end of 2020.

Tax

  • Includes Tax Rebate Checks - The Senate bill also includes a one-time tax rebate check of $1,200 per individual and $500 per child for those with a valid social security number. 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.
  • Provides Another Option for Employers to Keep Connected to Their Employees. Employers of all sizes 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. This will help workers keep their jobs, help local businesses ride out this storm, and ensure that furloughed workers have jobs to return to.
  • 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.

Distressed Industries

  • Federal Tools to Provide Liquidity: $425 billion for loans, loan guarantees, and investments in support of facilities established by the Fed under 13(3) authority for purpose of providing liquidity to businesses, states, or municipalities through purchasing obligations or other interests directly from issuers of such obligations or other interests.
  • Loans for Major Industry: Direct lending to the following: $50 billion for passenger airlines, $8 billion for cargo airlines, and $17 billion for businesses critical to “maintaining national security.”

The SWCRC will provide more information on identified lenders as it becomes available.
INFORMATIONAL ONLY. APPLICATION PERIOD CLOSED APRIL 6: MEDC SMALL BUSINESS RELIEF PROVIDING GRANTS AND LOANS TO HARDEST HIT BUSINESSES - GRANTS UP TO $10K FOR WAYNE COUNTY SMALL BUSINESSES
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program authorized the MEDC to provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce.

In Wayne County, the program is administered by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation and the Wayne County Economic Development Department.

How the Michigan Small Business Relief Grant Process Works:
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program grants are administered in Wayne County by the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, which is responsible for reviewing applications of small businesses in their region and entering into agreements with eligible small businesses. The organization will establish a review committee that may include representatives from local workforce agencies, local SBDC representatives, business and non-profit leaders, among others. Grant funds will be disbursed by the organization. The qualifications limit grant funding to businesses with 50 employees or less, who need working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business.

How the Michigan Small Business Relief Loan Process Works:
The Michigan Small Business Relief Program loans are referred to the MEDC from the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation where it will be reviewed by a loan review committee including the Chief Business Development Officer and Senior Vice President of Business Development Projects. All loans made through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program will be approved through Michigan Strategic Fund delegated authority. Loans will be disbursed by the MEDC. The qualifications limit loan funding to businesses with 100 employees or less, who need working capital to support payroll expenses, rent, mortgage payments, utility expenses, or other similar expenses that occur in the ordinary course of business. Companies must demonstrate that it cannot access capital through alternate sources.

More information on small business LOANS is located HERE .

More information on small business GRANTS is located HERE.  
NEW & MANDATORY: UPDATE REQUIRED FOR FEDERAL LABOR LAW POSTERS
There is currently a mandatory update to federal posters in response to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. During the stay at home order, employers should post it in an intranet or email it to all employees. Once the order is lifted it must be posted through December 31. The Act goes into effect on April 1, 2020.
WEBINARS AND SEMINARS TO ASSIST THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY WITH NEW LAWS AND EXECUTIVE ORDERS
There are several webinars with our key partners at the SBA, SCORE, US Chamber, Michigan Chamber and more that are being made available to help our business community navigate business operations and the many new laws and executive orders coming out. Please follow the SWCRC on Facebook as we post these opportunities for Downriver entrepreneurs and job providers.

The Southern Wayne County Regional Chamber is very grateful for our friends and key partners at the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, who have now made all COVID-19 related resources available to our membership FREE OF CHARGE for the time being. In this crises we must all come together and we thank the Michigan Chamber for their tremendous leadership and partnership. Businesses will be required to create an account to login to these resources. Complimentary webinars are now available to our membership covering the following topics:

Sweatpants and Laptops: Dealing with Remote Work and Legal Concerns

What Employers Need to Know about Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Unemployment Benefits During COVID-19
MANDATORY: WAYNE COUNTY LOCAL HEALTH OFFICER ORDERS OPEN ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES TO DEVELOP AND IMPLEMENT DAILY SCREENING PROCEDURE
Non-childcare businesses and entities in the Wayne County Local Health Department jurisdiction remaining open under Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-21 must Develop and implement a daily screening procedure for all staff upon reporting to work sites. The Details of this order can be found by clicking the button below.
TCF, WAYNE COUNTY COMMIT FUNDING FOR OUT-COUNTY SMALL BUSINESSES WITH LOW-INTEREST (0-2%) LOAN FUND
TCF Financial Corp. and Wayne County are committing funding from their recently announced low-interest loan fund for Out-County small businesses to borrow money to sustain their operations during the coronavirus-related shutdowns. Under the program, small businesses in Wayne County can apply for working capital loans ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 from Detroit-based TCF Bank that can be used for payroll, rent and utilities.

The criteria for the loans includes showing a 25 percent or more loss in revenue as a result of the economic upheaval from the coronavirus outbreak, said Gary Torgow, executive chairman of TCF Financial Corp.

Interest rates for the loans will range from zero to 2 percent and will be interest-only for the first six months, County Executive Warren Evans said.
SBA ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER (EIDL) LOANS NOW AVAILABLE TO MICHIGAN BUSINESSES AND NONPROFITS
*Available seminars to help our members will be announced. Follow the SWCRC on Facebook for updates.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has approved her request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. Small businesses who have been impacted by COVID-19 seeking loan funding to help with operational expenses will need to apply for loan funding ONLINE . The official link to access the loan application is located HERE.

These funds are not meant to replace lost profit. The funds are designed to be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Please review the details and qualifications of this loan program HERE.

Small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access low-interest loans through the SBA, with an interest rate of 3.75% for businesses, and 2.75% for nonprofits. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.

For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit .

UPDATE: Changes to SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) :
• Loans can be made based solely on credit scores.
• Loans available to all non-profits, including 501(c )(6)s.
• Loans below $200,000 can be approved without a personal guarantee.
Upon applying for an "EIDL" loan, borrowers can request a $10,000 cash advance which can be forgiven if spent on paid leave, maintaining payroll, increased costs due to supply chain disruption, mortgage or lease payments, or repaying obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.
DETAILS ON THE MICHIGAN STAY HOME, STAY SAFE EXECUTIVE ORDER. WHAT IS AN ESSENTIAL BUSINESS?
Governor Whitmer has issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe Order for the State of Michigan to prevent the further spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect on March 24, at 12:01 a.m. and stays into effect until April 13 at 11:59 p.m. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released official guidance from the President regarding the Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19.

We understand that there are many questions from businesses concerning what qualifies as an "essential service." The State's guidance of FAQs linked  HERE  is a resource, along with the Executive Order itself. 

Update: T he U.S. Chamber was joined by Christopher Krebs, who serves as the first director of CISA to discuss the  guidance  that was issued and its impact on the business community. Please  click here  to access the recording.

Chamber members can contact CISA directly to ask questions on the guidance they issue and check to see whether they are included or not. Businesses could also ask for consideration to be included in CISA’s guidance as well. CISA’s email is: cisa.cat@cisa.dhs.gov.

Please review the list of essential services and workers  HERE  and also refer to the Governor's Executive Order for guidance.
FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT GUIDANCE RELEASED
NEW: Click HERE to obtain a complimentary recording from a recent webinar to assist job providers with navigating the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act. You will need to register for an account with the Michigan Chamber to access the recording.

NEW: Click HERE to download the "FFCRA Employee Rights" Poster.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law by President Trump. The bill provides paid leave and FMLA benefits for employees of businesses and government organizations with fewer than 500 employees. The bill provides for reimbursement by way of refundable tax credits of leave expenses to businesses who meet the criteria.

The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division issued their first level of guidance on how the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will affect employers and employees. In the text, the DOL makes it clear that they will be issuing further guidance and regulations related to the exemptions for employers with fewer than 50 employees, as well as health care providers—which will we share with you as soon as it becomes available.

The guidance—provided in a  Fact Sheet for Employees , a  Fact Sheet for Employers  and a  Questions and Answers  document—addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage, how small businesses can obtain an exemption, how to count hours for part-time employees, how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law, and more. 
EMPLOYERS CONTEMPLATING POTENTIAL LAYOFFS
The State of Michigan and Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio have provided critical guidance to employers contemplating potential layoffs.

The SWCRC is recommending our members and employers if possible to consider temporary leave, rather than terminations. The State has also sent out a very important message urging the same. This notice also provides specific guidelines for employers placing talent on temporary unpaid leave.
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE FOR EMPLOYEES AND EMPLOYERS IMPACTED BY COVID-19 AND EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSURES:
Work Share Program – The Governor’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Executive Order expands the State’s Work Share program. With the plan, rather than being laid off, eligible employees work a reduced number of hours in the work week and receive a portion of weekly unemployment benefits. Employers are encouraged to implement the program that permits employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in regular business activity instead of laying off workers. More information and guidance about Work Share can be found HERE.

It’s important to note that the Executive Order (EO) now allows all employers to take advantage of the program, regardless of whether the employer’s reserve in the employer’s experience account as of the most recent computation date preceding the date of the employer’s application is a positive number.

Unemployment Benefits – Eligibility has been expanded for those impacted by COVID-19 during this crises. Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can be found HERE.

Additional unemployment resources for employees can be found HERE.

UPDATE: The Governor issued Executive Order 2020-24, rescinding the original EO addressing unemployment insurance. The new order reaffirms the action of Executive Order 2020-10, and clarifies and strengthens its expansion of eligibility for unemployment benefits and cost-sharing with employers. A ccording to the Executive Order, there is no UI charged to the employer. " Any benefit paid to a claimant that is laid off or placed on a leave of absence must not be charged to the account of the employer(s) who otherwise would have been charged but instead must be charged to the Unemployment Insurance Agency’s non-chargeable account. Effective March 25, 2020 at 11:59 pm, the benefits conferred on employers by this section are not available to employers determined to have misclassified workers. "
PENALTY AND INTEREST WAIVED FOR 30 DAYS FOR MONTHLY MICHIGAN SALES, USE, AND WITHHOLDING TAX RETURNS DUE MARCH 20, 2020
The State of Michigan will be waiving penalty and interest on sales, use and withholding taxes for 30 days in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.
ADDITIONAL MEDC CAPITAL RESOURCES
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s  website  or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their  website  for additional information.
WAYNE COUNTY COVID-19 HOTLINE
The Information Center has been partnering with Wayne County Health, Human Services and Veteran’s Services Department to provide the Wayne County COVID-19 Hotline (734) 287-7870.

The Information Center has been working with Wayne County to respond to needs for up-to-date and accurate information about COVID -19 and related important information from Wayne County for Wayne County residents and businesses.