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

https://youtu.be/nQUeWLrVCww

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.

Insurance

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.