In This Issue:
  • PPP Relaunched
  • COVID-19 Vaccine and the Construction Industry
  • Implications of 50-50 Senate and Closely Divided House
  • 2021 Custom Training
  • January-March 2021 Toolbox Talks
  • Safety Stand Down
  • Empire Chapter Resources
PPP Relaunched
This week, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) relaunched the reauthorized and refunded Paycheck Protection Program. For today and tomorrow, PPP loans will be available only to lenders targeting underserved communities. They will then be able to offer second loans to existing borrowers Wednesday, and then the PPP is expected to open widely a few days later, according to the SBA.

SBA released new applications for the program and the most up to date guidance is also below. Note that ABC continues to seek additional guidance for 501(c)(6) borrowers, and reiterated the need for additional guidance in a call on Friday with SBA and Treasury officials:

Updated First Draw Forms

Second Draw Forms

Guidance & Resources

For more information and updates, visit SBA.gov/PPP or Treasury.gov/CARES.
COVID-19 Vaccine and the Construction Industry
While New York and other states continue to make plans for a more efficient and expedited vaccination program, we've been getting many questions about where construction will fall. Is the industry still considered essential and does that then mean the workforce is eligible?

A committee of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued guidelines on Dec. 20 that suggest construction workers receive coronavirus vaccine shots in the program rollout's third phase, after they are provided in earlier stages to the elderly and to healthcare and other "frontline" essential workers. The third phase could start from February to late spring 2021 if the vaccination program goes smoothly. The guidelines, built on federal classifications for essential workers created earlier in the pandemic, are believed to cover all types of construction workers, regardless of project or trade.

We continue to work with the State to get additional clarification on where our workers will fall and when they can get the vaccine. Please continue to monitor the Merit Messenger for additional details.
Implications of 50-50 Senate and Closely Divided House
Many have wondered, now that the US Senate is tied 50-50, what might happen with appointments, legislation and committee assignments. It's a great question and thankfully something we have recently experienced. For an overview of the potential process and steps, please click HERE for an overview provided by the US Chamber of Commerce. After reading, if you have additional questions, please reach out to Brian Sampson or Tanner Schmidt.

Safety Stand Down
Join the ABC Construction COVID-19 Safety Stand-down on Jan. 14

As COVID-19 cases continue to spread across the country and local governments impose new stay-at-home orders, it is more important than ever to remind key officials that the construction industry continues to work in a safe and essential manner during this pandemic. To show we are staying safe on jobsites and reducing the spread of the coronavirus, ABC, the National Association of Home Builders and other construction organizations are hosting a COVID-19 Safety Stand Down from Jan. 11-15, with ABC members targeting Thursday, Jan. 14 for member activities.

There are three steps to hosting a stand-down:

  1. Prepare. Compile the information you will need for the stand-down. NAHB has developed detailed blueprints—in English and Spanish—for builders and trade contractors to conduct their COVID-19 safety stand-downs. Additional information can be found at abc.org/coronavirus.  
  2. Cover the basics. As COVID-19 cases surge, stress the importance of preventing the virus spread by encouraging workers to following basic infection prevention measures, such as wearing face coverings, maintaining a distance of six feet between workers at all times and cleaning and sanitizing frequently used tools, equipment and frequently touched surfaces on a regular basis.
  3. Hold your stand-down. Present the information to the workers, keeping it short and simple. The safety information can be distributed digitally (through email and/or text).

Learn more about how ABC members can prevent the spread of COVID-19 and safely hold a stand-down with ABC’s COVID-19 National Safety Stand Down Toolbox Talk document.  
ABC Empire Chapter Resources