COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Important Information:
For the most up to date information on Connecticut’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and resources visit ct.gov/coronavirus.
Posted May 1, 2020:
Posted April 24, 2020:
All of us at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy sincerely hope that you and your family are safe, healthy and coping with COVID-19 pandemic as well as can be expected in this challenging environment.
We want to take a moment to let you know that Updike, Kelly & Spellacy is prepared to support the legal needs of its clients during these unprecedented times.
We value our relationship with each of you and look forward to working closely with you to help navigate the uncharted waters that lie ahead in the next few months.
Please see attached Webinars from UKS Attorney Response Team:
UKS Panel Webinar: “Re-Opening Connecticut’s Economy”
April 28, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. (easy signup and link to Zoom meeting)
Landlord / Tenant Law – Re-opening Businesses and Offices/ Lease and Tenant
Employment Law - Re-hiring of Employees/How to Position Yourself for Forgiveness Under
the Paycheck Protection Program
Insurance and Contracts – Business Interruption Claims/Handling Breach of Contract
Actions and Potential Defenses
Taxes – Filing, Declaring Losses, Postponing Payment of Payroll and Property Taxes and
Saving Your Cash Reserves
UKS Panel Webinar: “Positioning Your Business for Success When Connecticut Re-Opens”
April 28, 2020 at 2:00 p.m -3:00 p.m. (easy signup and link to Zoom meeting)
This webinar will focus on practical considerations for getting back to business, including:
Employment Law – Return to Work Issues/Making Your Business Safety Compliant
Government Relief – Relief Certification, Fraud and The False Claims Act
Navigating The Intersection of SBA and CARES ACT Relief
Taxes – Filing, Declaring Losses, Deferring Payment of Payroll and Property Taxes, Saving Cash and Obtaining Forgiveness
Under the Payroll Protection Program
Two more UKS helpful alerts (see attached):
- Essential Workplace Guidelines
- Religious Gathering Guidelines - Weddings
Please let us know how we can help.
Be healthy and safe!
Posted April 24, 2020:
According to Bob Moss, CohnReznick’s National Director of Governmental Affairs, lawmakers are already looking ahead to the next legislative battle over a fifth coronavirus-related bill that could rival the size and scope of the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. One item that is expected to be included in the next package is funding for state and local governments, which Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) pushed for in the interim bill. Pelosi told media on Wednesday that funding would go to those on the front lines, including health care workers, first responders, and emergency services.
Posted April 22, 2020:
Posted April 20, 2020:
Posted April 17, 2020:
Paycheck Protection Program funding depleted; businesses await next steps from Congress
As expected, the $349 billion in funding allotted for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has run dry – just short of two weeks after its much-anticipated April 3 launch. The program is no longer accepting new applications or enrolling new lenders.
On April 16, the SBA reported that it had processed more than 1.6 million PPP loan applications exceeding $339 billion. Most approved borrowers, however, are still waiting to receive their loans. Last week, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin asked for an additional $250 billion for the PPP. However, Congress is currently at an impasse, as Democrats want $250 billion on top of this amount for hospitals, state and local governments, and food stamp recipients.
According to Bob Moss, CohnReznick’s National Director of Governmental Affairs, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has recently changed his position and may be willing to accept up to $600 billion in new funding for the two SBA supplemental programs – PPP and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. It is unknown at this point if Senate Democrats will accept this proposal under a unanimous consent request.
Moss assumes the funding battle will endure into next week in the Senate and, if there is no agreement to pass under unanimous consent, both chambers of Congress will need to return to Washington prior to their scheduled return on May 4.
CohnReznick will continue to stay on top of this issue and provide new information as it is received.
Posted April 14, 2020:
Coronavirus Emergency Funding Options for Small Businesses:
Federal and state government programs are targeting small businesses with emergency loans and grants designed to mitigate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
Many of those programs are part of the $2.2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, which provides economic relief to individuals, small businesses, and industries.
Under the act, small businesses—companies with less than 500 employees—will receive $377 billion in aid, with the U.S. Small Business Administration administering $349 billion of that through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Here's a summary of the major federal programs:
- Paycheck Protection Program: SBA lenders began processing applications April 3 for this program, which provides small businesses with forgivable loans up to $10 million to cover payroll and certain other costs.
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants: The SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue. Small businesses are also eligible to apply for an EIDL advance of up to $10,000.
- Small Business Debt Relief Program: Covers six months payments on SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees. Also provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans.
- Employee Retention Credit: Refundable tax credit represents 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business is financially impacted by COVID-19. The credit is available to all employers regardless of size, including tax-exempt organizations, with two exceptions—state and local governments and employers that accept small business loans.
- Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020. The deferred payments are due in two equal installments—at the end of 2021 and the end of 2022.
The Paycheck Protection Program drew overwhelming demand from small businesses around the country when it launched April 3, with at least $5 billion in loans approved that day alone.
Moraima Gutierrez from the SBA's Connecticut told an April 1 conference call hosted by the Better Business Bureau that initial demand for the separate EIDL program crashed the agency's website.
"This morning, we were up to $26 million in loans approvals in Connecticut in the last week and a half," she said. "Things are working now and they're working better."
Posted April 7, 2020:
UPDIKE, KELLY & SPELLACY, P.C. (UKS) COVID-19 : RESOURCES AND ALERTS :
Attorney Bonnie Kumiega, shareholder at Updike, Kelly & Spellacy, P.C. shares the Response Team at UKS valuable resources and alerts during this COVID-19 Pandemic for our clients and the community: These and new alert updates are available at http://www.uks.com
- The CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act)
- The Impact of Coronavirus on Business, Employment and Construction Law Issues: An Overview
- COVID-19 Layoff and Termination FAQs
- Tax Alert: Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act
- Estate Planning Amidst the Coronavirus Outbreak
- Impact on Federal and Connecticut State Tas
- UKS COVID -19 Response Team
Posted April 1, 2020:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources
Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.
- Paycheck Protection Program
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance
- SBA Debt Relief
- SBA Express Bridge Loans
- Guidance for Businesses and Employers
- SBA Products and Resources
- Government Contracting
- Local Assistance
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.
Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.
Under this program:
- Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by 8 weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
- Loan payments will be deferred for six months.
- If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
Click here to learn more.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance
To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here.
In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000.
The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
SBA Debt Relief
The SBA Debt Relief program will provide a reprieve to small businesses as they overcome the challenges created by this health crisis.
Under this program:
- The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
- The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
SBA Express Bridge Loans
Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program allows small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 with less paperwork. These loans can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing and can be a term loans or used to bridge the gap while applying for a direct SBA Economic Injury Disaster loan. If a small business has an urgent need for cash while waiting for decision and disbursement on Economic Injury Disaster Loan, they may qualify for an SBA Express Disaster Bridge Loan.
- Up to $25,000
- Fast turnaround
- Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan
Find an Express Bridge Loan Lender by connecting with your local SBA District Office.
Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:
- Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- Preventing Stigma Related to COVID-19
- Share Facts about COVID-19
- CDC Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Web page
- Information on Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Prevention, Symptoms and FAQ
The following interim guidance may help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. The guidance also provides planning considerations if there are more widespread, community outbreaks of COVID-19.
To prevent stigma and discrimination in the workplace, use the guidance described below and on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page.
Below are recommended strategies for employers to use now. In-depth guidance is available on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page:
- Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
- Separate sick employees
- Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Perform routine environmental cleaning
- Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
- Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel. Specific travel information for travelers going to and returning from designated countries with risk of community spread of Coronavirus, and information for aircrew, can be found on the CDC website.
- Additional Measures in Response to Currently Occurring Sporadic Importations of the COVID-19:
- Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
- If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employees exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19 should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
Common Issues Small Businesses May Encounter:
- Capital Access – Incidents can strain a small business's financial capacity to make payroll, maintain inventory and respond to market fluctuations (both sudden drops and surges in demand). Businesses should prepare by exploring and testing their capital access options so they have what they need when they need it. See SBA’s capital access resources.
- Workforce Capacity – Incidents have just as much impact on your workers as they do your clientele. It’s critical to ensure they have the ability to fulfill their duties while protected.
- Inventory and Supply Chain Shortfalls – While the possibility could be remote, it is a prudent preparedness measure to ensure you have either adequate supplies of inventory for a sustained period and/or diversify your distributor sources in the event one supplier cannot meet an order request.
- Facility Remediation/Clean-up Costs – Depending on the incident, there may be a need to enhance the protection of customers and staff by increasing the frequency and intensity by which your business conducts cleaning of surfaces frequently touched by occupants and visitors. Check your maintenance contracts and supplies of cleaning materials to ensure they can meet increases in demand.
- Insurance Coverage Issues – Many businesses have business interruption insurance; Now is the time to contact your insurance agent to review your policy to understand precisely what you are and are not covered for in the event of an extended incident.
- Changing Market Demand – Depending on the incident, there may be access controls or movement restrictions established which can impede your customers from reaching your business. Additionally, there may be public concerns about public exposure to an incident and they may decide not to go to your business out of concern of exposing themselves to greater risk. SBA’s Resources Partners and District Offices have trained experts who can help you craft a plan specific to your situation to help navigate any rapid changes in demand.
- Marketing – It’s critical to communicate openly with your customers about the status of your operations, what protective measures you’ve implemented, and how they (as customers) will be protected when they visit your business. Promotions may also help incentivize customers who may be reluctant to patronize your business.
- Plan – As a business, bring your staff together and prepare a plan for what you will do if the incident worsens or improves. It’s also helpful to conduct a tabletop exercise to simulate potential scenarios and how your business management and staff might respond to the hypothetical scenario in the exercise. For examples of tabletop exercises, visit FEMA’s website at: https://www.fema.gov/emergency-planning-exercises
SBA Products and Resources
SBA is here to assist small businesses with accessing federal resources and navigating their own preparedness plans as described by the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers.
SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. When faced with a business need, use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
Access to Capital
SBA provides a number of loan resources for small businesses to utilize when operating their business. For more information on loans or how to connect with a lender, visit: https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.
- 7(a) program offers loan amounts up to $5,000,000 and is an all-inclusive loan program deployed by lending partners for eligible small businesses within the U.S. States and its territories. The uses of proceeds include: working capital; expansion/renovation; new construction; purchase of land or buildings; purchase of equipment, fixtures; lease-hold improvements; refinancing debt for compelling reasons; seasonal line of credit; inventory; or starting a business.
- Express loan program provides loans up to $350,000 for no more than 7 years with an option to revolve. There is a turnaround time of 36 hours for approval or denial of a completed application. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
- Community Advantage loan pilot program allows mission-based lenders to assist small businesses in underserved markets with a maximum loan size of $250,000. The uses of proceeds are the same as the standard 7(a) loan.
- 504 loan program is designed to foster economic development and job creation and/or retention. The eligible use of proceeds is limited to the acquisition or eligible refinance of fixed assets.
- Microloan program involves making loans through nonprofit lending organizations to underserved markets. Authorized use of loan proceeds includes working capital, supplies, machinery & equipment, and fixtures (does not include real estate). The maximum loan amount is $50,000 with the average loan size of $14,000.
SBA provides export loans to help small businesses achieve sales through exports and can help these businesses respond to opportunities and challenges associated with trade, such as COVID-19. The loans are available to U.S. small businesses that export directly overseas, or those that export indirectly by selling to a customer that then exports their products.
- Export Express loan program allows access to capital quickly for businesses that need financing up to $500,000. Businesses can apply for a line of credit or term note prior to finalizing an export sale or while pursuing opportunities overseas, such as identifying a new overseas customer should an export sale be lost due to COVID-19.
- Export Working Capital program enables small businesses to fulfill export orders and finance international sales by providing revolving lines of credit or transaction-based financing of up to $5 million. Businesses could use a loan to obtain or retain overseas customers by offering attractive payment terms.
- International Trade loan program helps small businesses engaged in international trade to retool or expand to better compete and react to changing business conditions. It can also help exporting firms to expand their sales to new markets or to re-shore operations back to the U.S.
SBA is focused on assisting with the continuity of operations for small business contracting programs and small businesses with federal contracts. For more information on federal contracting, visit https://www.sba.gov/federal-contracting/contracting-guide
- 8(a) Business Development program serves to help provide a level playing field for small businesses owned by socially and economically disadvantaged people or entities, and the government limits competition for certain contracts to businesses that participate. The 8(a) program offer and acceptance process is available nationwide, and the SBA continues to work with federal agencies to ensure maximum practicable opportunity to small businesses. 8(a) program participants should stay in touch with their Business Opportunity Specialist (BOS).
- HUBZone program offers eligibility assistance every Thursday from 2:00-3:00 p.m. ET at 1-202-765-1264; access code 63068189#. Members of the HUBZone team answer questions to help firms navigate the certification process. For specific questions regarding an application, please contact the HUBZone Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Women-owned Small Business firms who have questions, please visit www.sba.gov/wosbready or write to email@example.com.
If a situation occurs that will prevent small businesses with government contracts from successfully performing their contract, they should reach out to their contracting officer and seek to obtain extensions before they receive cure notices or threats of termination. The SBA’s Procurement Center Representatives can assist affected small businesses to engage with their contracting officer. Use the Procurement Center Representative Directory to connect with the representative nearest you.
SBA works with a number of local partners to counsel, mentor, and train small businesses. The SBA has 68 District Offices, as well as support provided by its Resource Partners, such as SCORE offices, Women’s Business Centers, Small Business Development Centers and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. When faced with a business need, use the SBA’s Local Assistance Directory to locate the office nearest you.
Click here for Information about Disaster Loan Use
Click here for information about the Department of Revenue Services extending deadlines for filing and payments associated with certain state business tax returns.
Click here for Information about Unemployment Assistance
Click here for the most up to date Information about COVID-19 aka Coronavirus
Medical and Non-Medical Volunteers Needed
The current COVID-19 public health emergency is creating a labor crisis for health care facilities and nonprofits across the state that serve vulnerable people on the frontlines. Medical and non-medical volunteers are needed to help health care facilities and community providers continue to provide crucial services.
Connecticut's hospitals, nursing homes and medical facilities are in need of medical volunteers. Governor Ned Lamont is urging anyone with experience in healthcare to register on the CTResponds! volunteer registry.
CTResponds! is the State of Connecticut’s web-based medical volunteer management system. This system helps to maintain a registry of volunteers’ skills and credentials available within the state, and helps communities match available resources to an emergency event.
Medical volunteers can register HERE.
Frontline nonprofits – particularly food banks/pantries, meal delivery services, and homeless shelters – are seeing a marked increase in demand for their services.
CT Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (CT VOAD), United Way of Connecticut, and the Office of the Governor have created a Disaster Assistance and Response Technology (DART) volunteer database – “CT DART”.
This data base allows nonprofits to register their needs; volunteers to sign up; and matches to be made between the two to source new labor to support the frontline nonprofits through this crisis.
Non-Medical volunteers can register HERE.
You should not volunteer if you are at risk or compromised
If you are immunocompromised, over 60, are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or live with or care for someone in any of those categories, you should avoid being in public – including for volunteer efforts. Please stay safe, stay home.
Learn more about Connecticut’s Volunteer Needs: https://portal.ct.gov/Coronavirus/Information-For/Volunteers
About 2-1-1 Connecticut
2-1-1 Connecticut is a free health and human service information and referral service, with a continuously updated database of more than 4,000 agencies and 40,000 programs and services. Free, confidential assistance is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year online at 211ct.org and over the phone by dialing 2-1-1. 2-1-1 Connecticut has organizational accreditations from the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), and the contact center is certified by the American Association of Suicidology for crisis intervention.