What the CARES Act Means to Pa. Small Businesses, Wolf Expands 'Stay-at-Home' to More Counties
With the federal CARES Act now law, what does that mean for Pennsylvania's small businesses?

As was reported previously in Capitol Buzz , Congressional leaders and the White House agreed to a massive, $2 trillion relief package for individuals and businesses to deal with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) passed last week amid strong bipartisan support, but some issues have arisen this week regarding its implementation and oversight .
Regard less of the current federal infighting, the CARES Act provides significant economic investment into the U.S. economy, including funding to help small businesses and nonprofits weather the economic storm caused by the COVID-19 epidemic . This investment specifically provides e ligible businesses and nonprofits with 500 employees or less access to “Paycheck Protection” loans that can be used to maintain payroll and facilities costs, among other things.

Members of the McNees Corporate and Tax Practice Group have been focused on the impacts of the CARES Act and specifically what it means for Pennsylvania's small and medium sized businesses. McNees attorneys Tim Finnerty, Nicole Kaylor, David Knoll and Benjamin Ward teamed up to provide a detailed summary about the Paycheck Protection Program and the loans provided under this new funding stream.
Click Here to Read the McNees Corporate and Tax Practice Group's Summary on the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Loans
According to the group, the PPP allows eligible businesses to receive a loan in the maximum amount of $10 million which can be used for payroll and benefits costs, insurance premiums, interest on mortgages, rent, utilities and interest on other debt obligations. Additionally, the loan could be forgiven and converted into a grant for borrowing employers who apply the entire loan to maintain payroll costs and/or to make other covered payments.

But who can apply for these loans? And what are the major details of the program? For that information, and so much more about the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program, check out this great detailed summary provided by the attorneys mentioned above .

And as always, McNees is here to help. For more information or assistance with this issue or others facing your company, contact the McNees Corporate and Tax Group .

Wolf expands "stay-at-home" order to seven more counties, bringing state total to 33 counties.

Gov. Tom Wolf added seven more counties to the state's "stay-at-home" order today, bringing the total number of counties under the guidelines to 33. The new counties include Lebanon, Franklin, Somerset, Lawrence, Cameron, Crawford and Forest counties.

To read the governor's updated proclamation, click here . To see the guidelines for affected counties, click here .
According to the Department of Health, as of this morning the Commonwealth has more than 750 new positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 statewide, bringing the state total of confirmed cases to 4,843. To date, 63 Pennsylvanians have died directly from complications from the virus. To date, there have been nearly 38,000 negative cases across the state.

In addition, Gov. Wolf announced yesterday that Pennsylvania's schools will remain closed indefinitely. The governor had previously extended the school closure until April 6.
Other News...
President Trump approves Wolf's request for major disaster declaration. Yesterday, Gov. Wolf petitioned the federal government to designate the Commonwealth as a major disaster area due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The White House agreed, and assigned Pennsylvania with this designation, which frees up federal money that could be used in the state to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Pa. Attorney General launches consumer protection effort amid COVID-19. Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced the creation of the PA Care Package, a consumer relief initiative aimed at battling the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is an extension of the recently-passed federal CARES Act, and will provide a process by which banks and other financial institutions can work directly with the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to begin to offer additional economic protections.

Amid high unemployment, Pa. food banks see significant increase in use. Food banks throughout the Commonwealth are reporting a significant jump in the amount of people utilizing their services since the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to furlough employees.

State System of Higher Education suspends on campus classes, activities until the summer. Pennsylvania’s 14 state-owned universities will continue their suspension of in-person classes through the summer. The State System has also canceled all in-person learning, including clinical rotations, internships, student teaching and field trips.
Unprecedented times, but McNees is here to help
The situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing by the hour. Capitol Buzz will do its best to keep our readers as up-to-date as possible as to local, state and federal actions relating to the virus.

As we have stated in previous editions, for those businesses seeking guidance or assistance on how to proceed during this unprecedented time, please contact the McNees Labor and Employment Practice Group , or for government relations assistance please contact the McNees Strategic Solutions Group (MSSG) .

For more information on what you can do to protect yourself and others, check out the CDC's coronavirus information page or visit www.health.pa.gov .

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