COVID-19 Legislative Updates

April 1, 2020

Q&A on Paycheck Protection, SBA Loan Programs

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced its first round of guidance for the Paycheck Protection Program on March 31. Applications will open as early as April 3. To help companies navigate this process, FEDA’s auditing firm, Warady & Davis, has published a Q&A about the Paycheck Protection Program, the Small Business Administration Economic Injury Disaster Loan, and the application process for both on this webpage.

The Q&A covers several key questions, including when and where companies can apply, eligibility requirements, and what documents should be included in the application.
April 1, 2020

National Restaurant Association Reorganizes COVID-19 Resources, Shares Tax Credit Info

Redesigned Resource Page

The National Restaurant Association (NRA) has redesigned its COVID-19 Resources page to accommodate additional resources and improve user navigation. The association is using the page as a depository for restaurant-specific FAQs, public policy updates, advocacy actions, training tools, state resources, links to government and health care sites, webinars, and other information. The page is updated daily.

Employee Retention Tax Credit

The CARES Act provides an employee retention tax credit for employers facing closure during the coronavirus outbreak. Qualifying employers - whose operations were fully or partially suspended due to a coronavirus-related shutdown order, or who saw their gross receipts fall by more than 50 percent compared to the same quarter in 2019 - are eligible for a refundable payroll tax credit for 50 percent of the wages paid during between March 13, and Dec. 31, 2020.

The NRA has prepared a page with detailed information on what the CARES Act offers to restaurant owners and operators, and how they may apply for its benefits, including the employee retention tax credit. Please visit this page.

March 29, 2020

Essential Workers Update

From Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler Distributors

As we reported yesterday afternoon, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated their Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response.  This updated guidance reaffirms that wholesaler-distributor personnel as essential by continuing to list:

Employees of firms providing services that enable logistics operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use.” (emphasis added)

At the urging of NAW and others, CISA expanded the guidance to specifically include truck drivers and warehouse workers as essential workers:

“Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, roadside assistance workers, intermodal transportation personnel, and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).” (emphasis added)

Further, the officials with whom we have spoken have reaffirmed that they will not issue credentials to essential workers at the federal level.  The CISA guidance is meant to help state and local officials determine how to protect their communities while also ensuring the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure.  Ultimately state governors and local official guidance will vary based on state and region.  Therefore, we would encourage NAW members to review any state or local orders to determine whether their companies are deemed “essential.”

The National Governors Association (NGA) has created a COVID-19 resource page of state and territorial actions, which can be accessed at:

https://www.nga.org/coronavirus/#actions

Additionally, as we have previously reported, NAW wrote to the NGA and state governors urging them to create uniformity across the United States by adopting the CISA guidance into any stay at home orders or other actions to restrict the spread of COVID-19.  Click here to view the NAW letter to state governors.

NAW has created a template letter for you to provide to your drivers and employees that they can use to get to work and conduct work as employees of the critical infrastructure.  Please be aware that this letter is self-certifying and not an official federal document.  You should review any document that you provide to your employees with your own counsel.  Click here to see the letter.

It is important to note that CISA has expanded their list of essential workers, and this is of direct importance to wholesaler-distributors and their customers.  The below excerpts from the CISA Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response are meant to give NAW members a brief preview of how wholesaler-distributors and their operations are represented within the guidance.  It should be noted that any emphasis or bolding to the below excerpts was added by NAW.

Click here to review the memorandum in its entirety.

  • “Manufacturer workers for health manufacturing (including biotechnology companies), materials and parts suppliers, logistics and warehouse operators, distributors of medical equipment (including those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.”
  • “Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies, convenience stores, and other retail (including unattended and vending) that sells human food, animal/pet food and pet supply, and beverage products, including retail customer support service and information technology support staff necessary for online orders, pickup and delivery.”
  • “Workers who support sawmills and the manufacture and distribution of fiber and forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood and fiber products.”
  • Manufacturing and distribution of equipment, supplies, and parts necessary to maintain production, maintenance, restoration, and service at energy sector facilities (across all energy sector segments).”
  • “Retail fuel centers such as gas stations and truck stops, and the distribution systems that support them.”
  • “Employees supporting or enabling transportation functions, including truck drivers, bus drivers, dispatchers, maintenance and repair technicians, warehouse workers, truck stop and rest area workers, Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) employees, towing/recovery services, roadside assistance workers, intermodal transportation personnel, and workers who maintain and inspect infrastructure (including those that require cross-jurisdiction travel).”
  • Workers supporting the distribution of food, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs) and other medical materials, fuels, chemicals needed for water or water treatment and energy Maintenance and operation of essential highway infrastructure, including roads, bridges, and tunnels (e.g., traffic operations centers and moveable bridge operators).”
  • Employees of firms providing services, supplies, and equipment that enable warehouse and operations, including cooling, storing, packaging, and distributing products for wholesale or retail sale or use. Includes cold- and frozen-chain logistics for food and critical biologic products.”
  • Automotive repair, maintenance, and transportation equipment manufacturing and distribution facilities (including those who repair and maintain electric vehicle charging stations).”
  • Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations.
  • Warehouse operators, including vendors and support personnel critical for business continuity (including HVAC & electrical engineers; security personnel; and janitorial staff) and customer service for essential functions.”
  • “Workers necessary for the manufacturing of metals (including steel and aluminum), industrial minerals, semiconductors, materials and products needed for medical supply chains, and for supply chains associated with transportation, energy, communications, information technology, food and agriculture, chemical manufacturing, nuclear facilities, wood products, commodities used as fuel for power generation facilities, the operation of dams, water and wastewater treatment, processing and reprocessing of solid waste, emergency services, and the defense industrial base. Additionally, workers needed to maintain the continuity of these manufacturing functions and associated supply chains, and workers necessary to maintain a manufacturing operation in warm standby.”
  • Workers supporting ecommerce through distribution, warehouse, call center facilities, and other essential operational support functions.”
  • Workers in hardware and building materials stores, consumer electronics, technology and appliances retail, and related merchant wholesalers and distributors - with reduced staff to ensure continued operations.”
March 29, 2020

CARES Act Update

From Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler Distributors

Now that the CARES Act has been signed into law, our focus has turned to implementation of the law and, for our purposes, access to the business-focused provisions.  There are four sections of the law that are most relevant:  (1) the small business loan and grant programs, (2) Economic Stabilization Act (the “sustainability” fund) to provide access to loans to companies with more than 500 employees, (3) the business tax provisions, and (4) the family medical and sick leave mandates.   Related, there is a massive expansion of unemployment insurance that will be significant for those of you who have already had to reduce payroll and lay off some of your associates.  

This update is intended to briefly cover each of these areas primarily by providing you with the resources necessary to take advantage of the provisions most useful to your business.   There is an excellent analysis of the entire CARES Act prepared by the Nixon Peabody law firm, which you can access here:

https://www.nixonpeabody.com/en/ideas/articles/2020/03/27/stimulus-provides-relief-for-businesses-during-coronavirus-crisis?utm_medium=alert&utm_source=interaction&utm_campaign=cronavirus-stimulus-relief

Taking the issues above in order:

(1): Paycheck Protection Program for employers with 500 or fewer employees.  This is primarily a loan program for smaller businesses to be administered by the current Small Business Administration lending program with additional lenders to be quickly approved to participate.  In general, eligible small businesses may borrow 250% of their average monthly payroll up to a maximum of $10 million; part of all of the loan may be forgiven if the business meets certain conditions; the loan can be used to cover payroll and most usual operating expenses; an employer may not take our both a PPP loan and an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) for the same purpose.   

Much more detailed information on the small business provisions can be found in a fact sheet prepared by the Senate Small Business Committee here:

https://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/ac3081f6-14ae-4e6f-9197-172ede28badd/71AB6CB05A08E369E0D488A80B3874A5.faqs---paycheck-protection-program-faqs-for-small-businesses.pdf

The Seyfarth law firm is doing a webinar next week that you can register for at no cost here:
https://www.seyfarth.com/news-insights/webinar-accessing-small-business-stimulus-dollars-under-the-cares-act.html

And you can apply for loans now on the SBA website: 
https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

(2): Economic Stabilization Act (often referred to as the Sustainability Fund): This section of the law provides $500 billion for loans to businesses which are distressed and have not received relief from any other section of the law, including from the SBA program.  $46 billion of the fund is set aside for airlines, air cargo, and business related to national security; the remaining $454 billion will be used for direct loans and loan guarantees to businesses in other industries.   Of particular importance to many of you, the law recognizes the needs of employers with 500-to-10,000 employees, and the Treasury Department is directed to “endeavor to seek the implementation of” a loan program through the Federal Reserve for those companies.   There are a number of conditions attached to the loans under these programs, including barring recipient companies from (among other things)

  • Stock buy backs or payment of dividends
  • Laying off significant numbers of employees
  • Increasing most executive salaries
  • Off-shoring jobs
  • Abrogating collective bargaining agreements
  • Violating neutrality in union organizing campaigns

The Nixon Peabody analysis mentioned above has a very good summary of how this loan program will work and all the conditions required of employers who choose to participate in it.

(3): Business Tax Relief:  The law has several tax provisions designed to increase liquidity and cash flow for businesses, including deferral of tax payments and a temporary net operating loss carryback.  The McGuire Woods law firm has prepared a good summary of the tax provisions, which you can find here: 

https://news.mcguirewoods.net/15/1442/march-2020/business-tax-relief-in-the-cares-act.asp?sid=6718ac52-e2d2-459a-8528-68f8cd76ee2c

(4): Family/Medical Leave and Sick Leave Mandate:  The first COVID-19 relief bill, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) imposed family and sick leave mandates on employers with 500 or fewer employers; the CARES Act modified those mandates by putting caps on the amount employers would be required to pay.  Notably, the final bill did not include the significant expansion of these programs that was included in Speaker Pelosi’s bill, but we will almost certainly see a renewed effort to expand the program if/when COVID-19-4 is considered in Congress.

The Department of Labor has been issuing regulations to implement the new leave mandate, and we have provided links to those DoL publications in our previous updates.

Unemployment Insurance:   The CARES Act includes a massive expansion of UI, including increased benefits and extending coverage to employees not normally eligible.  A good summary of the UI and other employee benefit programs has been prepared by the Akin Gump law firm, which you can access here:

https://www.akingump.com/en/experience/industries/national-security/covid-19-resource-center/cares-act-summary-employees-unemployment-insurance-and-assistance-to-state-and-local-governments.html

An additional issue of note:  During negotiations on the CARE Act, significant oversight of the Economic Stabilization fund was imposed on the Administration.  This oversight included the appointment of an Inspector General to conduct audits of the loan program; the establishment of a Congressional Oversight Committee authorized to hold hearings, take testimony and secure information from Federal agencies involved in the loan program, and reports to Congress every 30 days.  The bill also requires the Secretary of the Treasury to publish the details of each transaction on its website within 72 hours of execution.

The Administration resisted much of that oversight during the negotiations, and its acceptance of the “guard rails” remains in question.  When the President signed the bill into law, he also issued a “Signing Statement” in which he argued that many of the oversight provisions violate the separation of powers and said that his Administration will not comply with some of those mandatory reporting and disclosure requirements. 

While it us unclear to what extent the oversight obligations in the law will be enforced, companies participating in the loan program should be aware of them.  They are summarized in the Nixon Peabody analysis linked-to above.   

One final note:  As we reported in our update yesterday, updated CISA guidelines were issued late yesterday afternoon.  They further strengthen that employees of wholesaler-distributors are essential and clarify that many of their customers are, as well.  We will have a detailed analysis out to you later today.

March 28, 2020

Updated: CISA’s Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers

From Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler Distributors

Today, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) updated their Memorandum on Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers During COVID-19 Response.  As more states issue their own stay at home orders or other actions to fight the spread of COVID-19, this guidance is meant to help state and local officials determine how to protect their communities while also ensuring the security and resiliency of critical infrastructure. 

After CISA released their first memorandum on critical infrastructure, NAW worked with the agency to ensure that wholesaler-distributors were adequately represented in any future guidance as they continue to deliver critical supplies across the nation during these uncertain times. 

Additionally, NAW wrote to the nation’s governors to urge them to adopt the CISA guidance as they continue to issue and update orders to protect their citizens. 

You can read the most updated guidance here:

https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA_Guidance_on_the_Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workforce_Version_2.0_1.pdf

March 28, 2020

Updated: Guidance on Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under FFCRA

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

The new guidance includes questions and answers addressing critical issues such as what documents employees can be required to submit to their employers to use paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave; whether workers can take paid sick leave intermittently while teleworking and whether workers whose employers closed before the effective date of the FFCRA can still get paid sick leave. 

This guidance adds to a growing list of compliance assistance materials published by WHD, including a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers, and an earlier Questions and Answers document.  Available are two new posters, one for federal workers  and one for all other employees , that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under this new law, Questions and Answers about posting requirements and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19 and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

For more information about the laws enforced by the WHD, call 866-4US-WAGE, or visit https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd

March 27, 2020

Stimulus Funding Update

From Tom Donohue, CEO

Today, our elected representatives came together in a powerful way to provide the much needed relief that American workers and businesses need and deserve during this unprecedented time. We applaud Congress and the administration for working together to enact the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on a strong, bipartisan basis. Securing these funds could make the difference between keeping a business up and running over the coming weeks or being forced to reduce salaries, lay off employees, or shutter businesses entirely.

No family and no business should go bankrupt because of the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.

The U.S. Chamber and our network of state and local chambers are now turning our focus to helping businesses of all sizes keep workers on their payrolls by securing available funds as quickly as possible. Specifically, we are focused on helping small businesses take the necessary steps to receive aid once lending facilities have been designated, and we are working to ensure that the Treasury and Federal Reserve act swiftly to create a robust lending facility to support loans to midsize and larger businesses with minimal regulatory red tape.

In the days, weeks, or months to come—however long it takes—we will work tirelessly with our partners in the public and private sector to stabilize the economy, restore commerce, rebuild supply chains, and eventually reinvigorate growth. Again and again, America has proven its resiliency, and we are confident that we can and will weather this storm together.

  • To help small businesses get the relief they need, the U.S. Chamber today released several resources to help them take advantage of new CARES Act loan programs, and to show how businesses are stepping up to fight the spread of the virus.
  • The Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist takes a small business step-by-step through the process of preparing to file for a loan.
  • This interactive map shows how much aid is available under the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses in each state.

Economic Snapshot

Daily update on the economic impact and new data directly from U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Curtis Dubay

Prior to COVID-19 shocking the global economy, the U.S. economy was thriving. Consumers were the primary driver of growth. Job and wage growth were strong and commensurately, so was spending.

The Bureau of Economic Analysis reported today that personal income grew 0.6% in February and spending grew 0.2%. Inflation grew only 0.1% so consumers’ real income rose smartly. These are good readings, especially since we were in the 11th year of what was the longest economic expansion in the post-World War II era.

Consumer sentiment reflected those conditions. It was consistently reaching record highs all the way through February when it was 101, which was in the range of the index’s all-time high.

Oh, how fast things have changed.

Today, the University of Michigan released its survey of Consumer Confidence for March. It shows a record drop of 11.9 points, down to 89.1. That is the fourth largest one-month decline in the last 50 years.


Undoubtedly, the precipitous fall in confidence will result in less spending by consumers. The question will be how quickly does confidence, and therefore spending, return closer to normal?

The index dropped 8.6 points from July of 2019 to August, but as the chart shows sentiment quickly recovered in the intervening months.

There was a similar steep drop and rapid recovery from December 2018 to January 2019 when there was turmoil in global financial markets.

Consumers can change their outlook quickly. Hopefully, we have a similar rebound going forward.  

The relief from Congress for families and businesses can hopefully serve to buoy consumers’ sentiment while the economy is in hibernation.

THREE READS

GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES

For more info, please visit the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses page.

 

 

 

March 27, 2020

NAW to Pence: Don't Bypass Distributors in Supply Chain

The Vice President
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. Vice President:

NAW continues to stand ready to assist the Administration as it addresses unprecedented challenges in responding to COVID-19. We particularly commend the President’s and your leadership on the March 17, 2020 call with executives of key members of our industry.

Your commitment to ensuring that the distribution industry can effectively assist in the recovery efforts was fully and clearly demonstrated in the CISA Guidelines designating distribution company employees as essential.

Our members are likewise fully committed to helping America’s industry return to full operation.

Many of them are participating in White House led Task Force Groups.

Several companies have expressed to us serious concern about the efficiency and effectiveness of the apparent approach for getting critical products to where they are needed. Rather than engaging established supply chains, the direction appears to be to create a process where manufacturers are asked to send product directly to the end-user. While this approach may seem to have significant appeal, it is superficial. In practice, ignoring existing private sector distribution networks is unworkable and will slow the delivery of products significantly.

The commercial supply chain relies on warehouses, transport and delivery resources directed and managed by companies who have deep relationships with private, public and government facilities now in need of a range of products and commodities. Facilities rely on these integrated systems to determine where product is needed, specifically where it is delivered and when it must be replenished. Each distributor knows the individuals responsible at a facility and are best able to respond to changing challenges. Mandating that a manufacturer, distant from the facility in need, may work in the abstract, but is highly unlikely to result in products being delivered when and where they are needed.

There is a reason that some $6 trillion dollars of goods and commodities move through wholesale distribution channels each year. It is because this is the most efficient way of moving product from where it is made to where it is needed.

NAW urges that during this critical time, the efficiencies of those who best know distribution be relied upon to expedite and assure delivery of critical product.

We are willing to discuss this further with members of your team as you deem it helpful.

Sincerely,
Dirk Van Dongen
President & CEO

March 26, 2020

Coronavirus Daily Briefing

From the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Today’s Top Take
Daily intelligence brief directly from Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley

Tomorrow, we expect the House to pass and the President to sign into law the Phase 3 coronavirus relief package. With his signature, the race will be on to implementation. At the Chamber we will be focused on two critical next steps:

  • For America’s small businesses – including the self-employed and independent contractors – the most important thing to be on the lookout for are announcements regarding which lenders will be authorized to lend the new Small Business Paycheck Protection Loans.
  • For larger employers, we will be on the lookout for an announcement out of the Federal Reserve and Treasury Department regarding the new credit facilities that are likely to be set up to support lending to businesses.

We will provide U.S. Chamber members with real-time information on these developments as they occur.

In addition, the conversation will also quickly turn to the next legislative package. The 880-page Phase 3 package includes almost everything Republicans and Democrats could easily come to agreement on. Given that it is not at all clear what major provisions would drive the next package, we shouldn’t assume a Phase 4 package is guaranteed. Another reason to be is that cautious, we are already seeing lawmakers add to their Phase 4 priority list policies that they were advocating long before anyone had heard of the coronavirus, but for which they couldn’t garner bipartisan support. As the Chamber, we will remain laser-focused on policies that can improve the current crisis and make sure needed legislation doesn’t become a vehicle for anti-business, anti-American enterprise policy.

CHAMBER IN ACTION
The latest news, actions, and announcements from the U.S. Chamber

  • Early this morning the Senate passed the coronavirus relief bill. U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley joined Bloomberg Radio today to discuss how it will help businesses recover. “We believe that this is a sufficient size to stabilize the liquidity crisis that we have in American businesses today,” Bradley said. “We had a strong economy when we began this year, and the fundamentals remain there, and if we can simply bridge this period where businesses don’t have any revenue and can resume normal operations when public health officials tell us that it’s okay to do so, I think we’ll be in a good position.”
  • International cooperation is as important as ever. Today, the U.S. Chamber hosted a call with American Chambers of Commerce (AmChams) from over 40 countries. “Business is critical in dealing with the coronavirus,” U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Head of International Affairs Myron Brilliant said. “We have to be a participant in encouraging policies that demonstrate innovation and assist the private sector's efforts to get critical medical equipment and supplies to market.”
  • The U.S. Chamber today released the Transatlantic Economy 2020 report, illustrating the importance of continued cooperation between the United States and the European Union, especially in this time of crisis. The report finds the transatlantic economy supports 16 million jobs and generates more than $5.6 trillion in commercial sales a year.

    “America’s economic relationship with Europe is a key driver of our shared prosperity,” said U.S. Chamber Senior Vice President for European Affairs Marjorie Chorlins. “We face a global emergency as impacts of the coronavirus are felt by businesses, workers, and the global economy overall. Increased tariffs on medical supplies or ‘buy American’ requirements which interrupt the supply chain could hinder trade and investment flows and need to be avoided.”

ECONOMIC SNAPSHOT
Daily update on the economic impact and new data directly from U.S. Chamber Chief Economist Curtis Dubay

We knew that today’s unemployment insurance claims number was going to be large. But even though we expected it to be big, I don’t think anyone was anticipating it was going to be this big. New unemployment insurance claims for the week ending March 21 were 3.3 million.

For reference, claims for the week ending March 14 were 282,000. So this week’s increase was 3.1 million.

Previously, the highest number of claims ever recorded in one week was 695,000 in October of 1982. This week’s claims were almost 500% bigger. We are in unchartered territory for sure.

The surprisingly large number is causing some to revise down even further their estimates for the economy’s contraction in the second quarter (which hasn’t even started yet).
For instance, JP Morgan just updated their forecast for the second quarter to -25%. Capital Economics had already called for -40%. Truly astonishing.

It’s hard to believe but next week’s unemployment claims could be even larger. Restricting commerce to fight COVID-19 has resulted in severe economic pain. And that is why federal policy action to support families and businesses during this period is so critical.

SPECIAL REPORT: WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE BRIEFING

The White House Coronavirus Task Force held a press briefing this evening. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Earlier today, President Trump spoke virtually with G20 leaders. The U.S. is working with them to coordinate responses to the virus, and they discussed the importance of information and data sharing.
  • President Trump also spoke with the nation’s governors this morning. He highlighted some provisions in the Phase 3 package, including SBA loans, loan forgiveness, direct cash payments for those earning less than $99,000 per year, and expanded unemployment benefits.
  • The resident also noted he sent a letter to governors on Thursday that his administration is working to publish new guidelines for state and local governments to use when making decisions about maintaining, increasing, or relaxing social distancing and other mitigation measures for the epidemic.

THREE READS

GUIDANCE AND RESOURCES
We will update and add to the links below as new guidance and resources become available

For more info, please visit the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses page.

WE ARE WITH YOU.
And we will get through this together. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is committed to helping you respond to the coronavirus so you can support your employees, customers, members, and communities. We will continue working every day to help you weather this storm and emerge even stronger—just as we have at other challenging times in our nation’s history.

Visit uschamber.com/Coronavirus for more information.
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March 26, 2020

Update on COVID-19 Emergency Stimulus Bill

From Jade West, National Association of Wholesaler Distributors

Policy analysts in Washington continue to digest and analyze the 880-page COVID rescue package, but until the bill is passed by the House and signed by the President, none of the Federal agencies involved can begin providing guidance to business on how to access the new programs.  The House is expected to vote tomorrow not by unanimous consent as was previously hoped, but by voice vote.  Neither procedure requires all Members of the House be present, but a voice vote is a less certain procedural outcome as only a handful of Members can gum up the works. 

As of this writing, the Speaker and Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy are both supporting the legislation and working their Party caucuses to ensure passage.  But one Representative, Republican Tom Massie of Kentucky, has announced opposition to the bill and raised the question of whether a quorum will actually be present to vote tomorrow.  If he chooses to press the issue, he might be able to force the Speaker and Republican Leader to ask enough of their colleagues to return to DC to ensure a quorum.  That action would not keep the bill from passing but would simply delay the vote until more Members get back to DC.  Since all he could accomplish is a delay in the vote, in addition to infuriating his colleagues by putting them at greater health risk by forcing them to travel and convene in the Capitol, the odds are he will be persuaded to allow the vote to occur as planned tomorrow.

In a Politico story earlier today Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that he and other Cabinet Secretaries have been told by the President to move “at breakneck speed” to implement the provisions of the rescue package.  I’ve included that article below in this email.

We will of course get information out to you as quickly as we can get it on the agency guidance.

In the interim, Deloitte prepared a detailed summary of the bill which is a good reference document. 

Click here to read their summary.