WASHINGTON APPROVED ADDITIONAL FUNDING FOR THE EIDL AND PPP
“The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30AM EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower. This will ensure that SBA has properly coded the system to account for changes made by the legislation."
“We encourage all approved lenders to process loan applications previously submitted by eligible borrowers and disburse funds expeditiously. All eligible borrowers who need these funds should work with an approved lender to apply. Borrowers should carefully review PPP regulations and guidance and the certifications required to obtain a loan.”
 
These programs have been re-funded so they will open again April 27 MONDAY for new applications. This is what we have to date on whether you should re-file: We have been verbally told that if you applied to the SBA for the EIDL and got a number, you should not have to refile again. If you applied for a PPP and did not get the loan yet, you should call your lender and confirm that your application is still pending.
 
A few points that continue to be an issue:
1. Your 8 weeks that you have to spend the money begin when you get the money. You cannot wait until your business re-opens. Well, technically you can wait to use the money until you re-open but you may not get the loan forgiven 100%.
 
2. You have to hire back or keep on the books the same number of FULL TIME EQUIVALENTS that you had on Feb 15. They do NOT have to be the same employees. HOWEVER, you have to ask your employees that you laid off FIRST to come back to work before you hire a new employee.
 
3. It is really important that you ask your employees to come back to work in a certified letter to their home address. If they refuse to come back, or don’t answer a text message or call, you leave yourself open to future labor issues. Send them a letter that is certified telling when you expect them back to work.
 
4. If your employees refuse to return to work (because they are making more money being on unemployment with the $600 payments) you ethically should report them to unemployment by sending an email to the Department of Labor at:   DOL.MeritRating@ct.gov  . However, you are not legally required to do so.
 
5. Employees furloughed, laid off during the crisis do NOT go against your annual unemployment insurance rates. 
 
6. You can re-hire your employees if your business is considered “non-essential” or if you are closed to the public because of the pandemic. You can have your employees do work at your place of business as long as they follow social distancing rules and you follow the safe workplace rules:   SAFE WORKPLACE RULES .
 
7. If you don’t have things for them to do, it is acceptable to keep them on the payroll for the 8 weeks of the loan/grant and have them work or stay at home.
 
8. You can pay your employees additional wages when you re-hire them if you choose to. You can re-hire someone you normally pay $15 per hour at $20 per hour, for example, if you are asking them to do different things.
 
9. If you are having difficulty re-hiring your employees because they don’t want to return, you can absolutely hire your wife, husband, child, cousin, bff to help you do legitimate work at or for your business. You can re-hire your regular employees at a different time if you want.
 
10.   BEST ADVICE:  if you hear or see any information that is different than this, I recommend you get a second opinion from the SBA or SBDC. Getting information, in some cases, from your bank that is different than this, should encourage you to email Greg Lewis, SBDC at  Gregory.v.lewis@uconn.edu  for a free consultation. I have seen information from attorneys, banks, business leaders, legislators that conflict. Get a second opinion from the SBDC or the WBDC, who are both SBA partners.  J
 
11. Please call us at 860-423-6389 if you have any questions or just need to vent.
 
BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE-SHARE INFO AND BEST IDEAS
Every Tuesday at 10:00 AM we have a virtual roundtable where business owners and leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, non-profits come together and talk. Human to human contact is the best but we also share ideas, stories, who got a loan, what problems did they encounter, how do I reopen, do I need ……. Join us. Register on our website WindhamChamber.com.
 
RESTRICTIONS COULD BEGIN TO BE LIFTED IN JUNE
Life may start to return to normal in Connecticut in June  with the beginning of the loosening of restrictions on businesses and gatherings  that were put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. That’s according to Indra Nooyi, the former PepsiCo CEO who is advising Lamont on a reopening strategy. “I suspect that loosening in tranches, again very carefully in small steps so that our testing can keep pace with the loosening, will start sometime in June and then keep progressing through the end of the year,” she said Thursday. Nooyi said her group is looking at a variety of options including reopening businesses in segments by industry or geography, though Lamont has favored a statewide process rather than a county-by-county approach. Info here:
 
GOVERNOR SIGNS NEW EXECUTIVE ORDER SAYING TO ENJOY THE NICE WEEKEND
Ok, so that is a lie, but the Windham Region Chamber, if we ruled the universe, would have made such an executive order!!!! We hope you are all doing well, enjoying the company of family and pets, getting some much needed Vitamin D sunshine, and are staying healthy.  :) Until Monday...
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