In this webinar we talk about how a business has values and what you, as a business owner, can do to shape and promote those values in order to build your brand.
As the nation mourns the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and cries out against the systemic racism that allowed it to happen, Anik’s Books stands in solidarity with all people demonstrating and fighting against the unjust system which continually allows for violence against vulnerable and marginalized American communities.
As the beneficiaries of centuries of imperial colonialism and white supremacy, we understand that we have no choice but to voice our outrage at the continued perpetration of systemic injustice; silence is not an option.
The murder of George Floyd was a gross miscarriage of justice. It, sadly, was not surprising. His murder is the result of the racist and white supremacist institutions which serve to brutalize, oppress, and dehumanize people of color.
Now is the time to empower and enfranchise black and POC communities as they fight for essential justice and reform at the institutional level. This struggle for justice is one we must all contribute towards – “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” There are many ways we can, and must, add our voices to the cries for justice and equality.
Seth has been actively participating in the local vigils and protests. As a white male, he feels it is imperative to listen to the grievances of those directly affected in order to be a better ally.
Anik is not so outgoing, so she has been unusually vocal on social media instead, doing what she can to gather more outspoken voices to affect the online dialogue.
Solidarity is important and vital, but those organizing and advocating for institutional reform also need us to put our money where our mouths are; Anik’s Books is contributing financially by donating to these two great organizations:
Black Visions Collective is a Minnesota based Black, Queer, and Trans led organization working to promote justice for African-Americans in the Twin Cities and the Nation.
Campaign Zero is working to develop and promote research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America. Their new initiative, #8CantWait, identified eight specific policies for police departments to implement in order to drastically reduce police killings.
There are many great advocacy and activist groups that will continue to advance these causes, with your financial support; join us in donating to these 2 organizations or tell us about the causes you choose to support!
These are just 3 ways in which we at Anik’s Books have chosen to stand up and make a difference. George Floyd was murdered and his killers are being brought to justice. Breonna Taylor was murdered and her case has been reopened. Cities are committing to reforming their police departments across the nation. All 50 states, and many countries around the world, have spoken up and we are being heard. There are as many ways to make your voice heard as there are voices, so we hope you will join us in crying out to make sure the systemic racism that plagues our nation does not get swept under the rug once again.
We would love to hear how you are adding your voice to make a change!
The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 makes a number of adjustments to the PPP aimed at assisting small businesses.
PPP Application Deadline
It is unclear if, but unlikely that the PPPFA will extend the time frame during which the SBA will accept PPP applications. Some members of Congress (including both ranking members on the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship) have issued a Letter of Congressional Intent stating that the PPPFA should not be interpreted as extending the application deadline.. The SBA and Treasury department are likely to issue further clarification confirming one way or the other. If you are still on the fence about whether to apply or not, it is likely that the deadline for applications will remain June 30th.
Extension of the Covered Period
Under the previous implementation of the PPP, loan forgiveness was limited to funds spent on eligible expenses during the eight-week period following the receipt of funds, referred to as the covered period. This has been extended to be the 24 week period following receipt of the funds, or until December 31st, 2020, whichever comes first.
Reducing the 75% Payroll Cost Floor
To be eligible for forgiveness, borrowers must now use 60% of their total PPP funds for Payroll Costs. This also clarifies a prior ambiguity, in that borrowers must spend at least 60% of the total loan amount on payroll costs to be eligible for forgiveness.
Expanding the Exemptions
The deadline for borrowers to return to pre-COVID employment levels has been extended from June 30th to December 31st. Employers will have two additional avenues available for exemptions if they experience a reduction in Full Time Equivalent employee count. The FTE exemption will be applied if the borrower can, in good faith, document:
“(i) an inability to rehire individuals who were employees of the eligible recipient on February 15, 2020; and
“(ii) an inability to hire similarly qualified employees for unfilled positions on or before December 31, 2020; or
“(B) is able to document an inability to return to the same level of business activity as such business was operating at before February 15, 2020, due to compliance with requirements established or guidance issued by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration during the period beginning on March 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020, related to the maintenance of standards for sanitation, social distancing, or any other worker or customer safety requirement related to COVID–19.
Adjustments to Loan Maturity and the Deferral Period
The maturity period for new PPP loans will be, at minimum 5 years. For existing PPP loans, the PPPFA explicitly allows borrowers and lenders to mutually agree to modify existing terms to conform with the new minimum of 5 years.
The deferral period for interest on PPP loans has been extended to one year.
Employers who had PPP loans forgiven may now also seek deferral on 2020 payroll taxes, per the CARES act.
Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans
- EIDLs, made through the SBA, have been available for roughly two weeks now.
- They offer 3.75% interest rates. With repayment options for a period of up to 30 years, determined on a case-by-case basis.
- The Eligible Expenses are:
- Fixed Debts
- Accounts payable, and,
- Other bills which can’t be paid because of the coronavirus
- Apply here
Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan Grants
- Available to small businesses as well as sole proprietors, independent contractors, and a few other niche situations.
- An advance of up to $10,000 dollars within 3 days of applying
- Application for the grant is done while applying for the above EIDL here
- These will not need to be repaid, even if you don’t qualify for an EIDL
- The Eligible Expenses are:
- Providing paid sick leave to employees directly impacted by COVID-19
- Maintaining Payroll during disruptions and slowdowns
- Meeting increased costs to obtain materials due to interrupted supply chains
- Making rent or mortgage payments; and
- Repaying Obligations that cannot be met due to revenue losses.
- Can be rolled into Payment Protection Project Loans
Payment Protection Program
- Amount totaling 2.5x average monthly payroll
- Average monthly payroll will be:
- The average total monthly payments for the 12 months prior
- The average of total monthly payments for the 12 week period beginning on either 2/15/19 or 3/1/19 for seasonal employers
- The average of total monthly payments for the period of 1/1/20 to 2/29/20 for business not in business during 2/15/2019 to 6/30/2019
- The Eligible Expenses are:
- Payroll Costs
- Group Healthcare costs during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums
- Interest payments on mortgage obligations (not prepayments or principal payments)
- Rent (including rent under a lease agreement)
- Utilities; and
- Interest on any other debt obligations that were incurred before 2/15/2020
- An EIDL loan made after 1/31/2020 before PPP loans are made available may be refinanced into a PPP loan
- Loan money spent on payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, or utilities will be forgiven proportionally to
- The average number of full time employees from 2/15/2020 to 6/30/2020 compared to the same period in 2019, or;
- For seasonal employers the average number of full time employees from 2/15/2020 to 6/30/2020 compared to 2/15/2019 – 6/30/2019, or;
- The average number of full time employees from 2/15/2020 to 6/30/2020 compared to 1/1/2020 to 2/29/2020, or;
- The loan forgiveness can be calculated without consideration of a reduction of full time employees or wages if:
- A reduction in staff or wages occurred between 2/15/2020 and 4/26/2020 and by 6/30/2020 the reduction is eliminated
Subsidy for Certain 7(a) or Other Small Business Loans
- The SBA will cover all principal, interest, and associated fees of covered loans for the next six payments
- Contact your financial institution to see if your SBA loans qualify for this relief
- In addition to the six months of direct payments, Congress is recommending lenders provide payment deferments when appropriate
On Monday March 30, 2020 at 1:30 PM Anik’s Books will be hosting a webinar covering the resources that will be made available to small business by the CARES act and a Q&A to directly answer as many questions and concerns you may have that we can.
We expect the detailing of CARES act to take about 35-40 minutes with as much time as necessary addressing your concerns.
Please watch the recording for those who were unable to attend live.
Topic: Small Business Provisions in the CARES Act
Senator Cardin detailed the measures being taken in the upcoming relief bill to help small businesses on the Senate floor today.
There will be three major grant programs aimed at providing small businesses necessary relief.
The first is $350B for companies with fewer than 500 employees
To trigger these, a business simply applies for a 7a loan through their financial institution. These loans will be 100% guaranteed by the federal government, all fees will be waived, and payments will not be required for a year. Importantly, all debt incurred by the business will be forgiven if they maintain or return their workforce to pre-pandemic levels. The amount of money available to a business will be 2.25 times their average monthly payroll before COVID.
The second is $10B in grants for emergency cash availability.
This will be to buffer companies’ liquidity in a timeline that is more urgent than the above program will cover. The funds can be an immediate cash advance on the above program and the SBA will have the capability to write checks up to $10K within 3 days of applying.
The third is $17B in relief for existing 7A and 504 loans.
Payments on existing 7a and 504 loans will not need to be made for 6 months. The Senator specifically used the word forgiven.
A tax credit, called the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), is also being implemented. A business is eligible for it by ringing back furloughed or laid-off employees. They will then receive a tax credit of 50% of the employee’s wage for a maximum of up to $10,000 as a credit. The ERTC is presented as an alternative to the payroll grants listed above. Businesses will have the freedom to choose the option that’s a better fit for them.
The Senator also said that self-employed, independent contractors and gig economy workers will be fully covered under both the small business and unemployment provisions of the bill.
You can watch the Senator’s speech here. (Note: you’ll need to link a television subscription with C-Span to watch the video)
The Senate is expected to vote on and pass this bill before the day is done, with the House following shortly after.
Today’s virtual townhall had a lot of great information for our community. We compiled the key takeaways here.
The Tahoe Chamber has a resource hub for COVID-19 found here.
The Chamber will continue to host virtual town halls as well as other virtual meetings with the different sectors of Tahoe’s economy.
Steve Teshara, CEO of Tahoe Chamber, encouraged everyone to complete their survey, here.
One of the most important pieces of information from the Town Hall this morning was that the Chamber is being contacted by representatives from our State and Federal Governments as relief and stimulus bills are being debated. The more they know about your business (by filling out their survey and contacting them directly) the better they can answer questions and get the help this community needs.
With shelter-in-place being declared and all possible health measures in place, focus by our city government is now shifting to helping business owners and employees.
The city council had an emergency session this afternoon to ratify Mayor Collin’s declaration of emergency for the city of South Lake Tahoe.
Claims are typically made about losses incurred by physical damages. As such, most policies will not cover economic damage incurred by the pandemic by default. Work is being down to lobby the State Insurance Commissioner to force policies to recognize damage caused by the pandemic.
Vacancy Clauses: If your business is closed for an indefinite amount of time due to this crisis you run the risk of nullifying or weakening your insurance policy by violating its vacancy clause. Consult your insurance broker and policy to find what steps need to be taken to maintain your insurance on your business assets.
Knowingly allowing a sick employee to continue working can open you up to serious liability at this time – tell your employees to stay home if they are sick!
Taxes and Fees
The City is looking into what measures can be taken to lower this burden on business owners
How the City will Communicate with Us
The City’s website will be updated. All of the council meetings are live-streamed and available as video on demand.
Mayor Collin will be doing interviews on Lake Tahoe TV.
City Emergency Declaration
The declaration allows the City to access state and federal funds.
The declaration also puts a moratorium on residential evictions for the duration of the emergency or May 31, whichever is sooner.
From today’s city council meeting: The city can potentially issue the same moratorium for commercial properties under the Governor’s executive order. However it wouldn’t be as straightforward to implement legally. The City Council wants to hear more about this and is willing to meet and potentially implement it in future sessions.
Expanded Police Response and Enforcement
A question was asked about increased patrols to protect empty businesses during the emergency, however the only answer was the police department is handling it.
Another question was asked if police enforcement or fines will be levied on businesses not complying with shelter in place directives. The city has not made a decision regarding that yet.
Restaurants staying open will be their own decision. The Chamber has a list of restaurants open here.
Talk to your insurance agent, your landlord, suppliers… everyone you do business with on a regular basis!
This was reiterated over and over. Each relationship will be personal and unique. It will be necessary to go advocate for yourself and your business to work with your regular business partners to find workable solutions through this crisis.