Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss predictions for what’s next in stimulus, including: what’s worked in the past for small and medium sized businesses, the previous five rounds of legislation, federal unemployment benefits, what businesses need for round six, and more.
Employment expert discusses what small businesses can do when the funds run out
Congress resumed yesterday and later this week it is expected that Mitch McConnell will begin negotiations of a new stimulus package of $1.3 trillion under the Heroes Act.
“McConnell says the stimulus needs to be approved by Congress by August. If it is not approved by the time the Senate returns in August, businesses may not get any relief next month, which could be the final straw for many struggling businesses,” says Rob Wilson, employment expert and President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm with locations across the country.
A recent Goldman Sachs survey showed that most small businesses who received funds via the Paycheck Protection Program will run out of money by August.
“Eighty-four percent of small businesses are going to be out of PPP funds by the first week of next month,” says Wilson. “And only 16 percent of those businesses believe that they will be able to make payroll with their existing funds unless another round of loans is provided.”
Wilson says that the Goldman Sachs survey further reveals that most small businesses say that they have not been able to regain their customer base.
Employment expert shares what employers need to know
With the new measures that Gov. J.B. Pritzker just released for Illinois’s reopening, many employers are scratching their heads as they consider the complicated, multi-tiered plan which dictates their economic future.
“The governor’s plan is structured across 11 different regions with three industry-specific tiers,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “These tiers detail numerous criteria that need to be met in order for the reopening to continue. If mitigations occur, such as sustained hospital admissions, sustained positive cases, or decreased capacity of hospital beds, we will see regions and industries shut down once again.”
Wilson says that while this plan was built to make reopening as safe as possible, it is causing confusion for employers who don’t have a clear idea of how they can move forward and whether they can require employees to return to work.
“Right now, we are in a ‘watch and wait’ phase, with many people still afraid to return to work,” says Wilson. “We are encouraging our clients to send out comprehensive surveys to their staff to help them identify people who do want to return to work and under what circumstances. Some employees may be high-risk or live with someone who is high-risk, such as their spouse or child or elderly family member. In these cases, returning to work may not be advisable.”
Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss legal updates from across the country for July 1st, including: hands-free driving laws, updated overtime rules in Washington, minimum wage increases across multiple states and municipalities, the Chicago Fair Workweek Ordinance with predictive scheduling, and more.
Join Employco USA to learn about the LATEST UPDATES to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) following the enactment of the Flexibility Act and revised forgiveness applications.
During this FREE webinar, we’ll:
- Summarize the updated regulations and instructions released on June 5th and June 17th
- Learn the differences available between the 8-week and 24-week forgiveness periods
- Discuss the new options to setup your measurement period for payroll and non-payroll costs
- Review the new EZ Forgiveness application
- Examine the new wage limits if the 24-week option is selected
- Provide details on how to calculate a FT vs FTE employee
- Discuss tips to maximize the forgiveness, and talk about the rules for the portion of the loan that is not forgiven
- Review how the forgiveness evaluation limits owners’ compensation
You’ll also be able to get some clarity on human resource issues including unemployment and payroll. Employco provides HR and payroll solutions to businesses across the country.
There will be a brief presentation to begin the session, but most of the time will be dedicated to answering your specific questions!
You’ll be able to join us at 11:00am CT on Friday, June 26th from your computer, tablet, or smartphone (you can also dial-in):
You can also use our registration form to submit questions you’d like to see answered/covered during the webinar.
Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss reopening the workplace; from performing a building walkthrough to identifying hazards and how to address them, optimizing your HVAC filtration system, following CDC recommendations, conducting an employee survey, limiting staff back at one time, having a plan in place if someone shows symptoms, and more.
June 18, 2020 (UPDATE)
On June 16th, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the Treasury Department released a new set of forgiveness application forms and instructions to help borrowers navigate the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan program. The documents incorporate the changes made through the PPP Flexibility Act passed on June 5th.
Revised PPP Loan Forgiveness Application and Instructions:
EZ PPP Loan Forgiveness Application and Instructions:
The EZ form can be used if the borrower:
- Is self-employed with no employees; or
- Did not reduce employee pay by more than 25%; and did not reduce the number or hours of employees; or
- Did not reduce employee pay by more than 25%; and experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19
Employment trends expert discusses crucial ruling & what employers need to know
Just in time for Pride Month, the Supreme Court has made the landmark decision to extend new protections to LGBTQIA workers. Today, the Supreme Court made changes to federal civil rights law to include additional protections to gay, lesbian and transgender workers, providing pushback to previous attempts that sought to limit the scope of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
“The Supreme Court ruling is being celebrated as an important step in creating a more supportive and safer workplace for millions of LGBT Americans,” says Rob Wilson, employment expert and President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm with locations across the country.
Wilson says the new ruling is important as previous research has shown many employers have both implicit and explicit bias against transgender workers.
“A recent survey led by the DC Office of Human Rights found that 48 percent of employers showed bias against hiring a transgender individual, even if the applicant was more highly qualified than others. And, nearly 90% of transgender individuals report workplace harassment, says Wilson. “And other research has shown that employers and coworkers can be hostile towards gay or lesbian workers.”
June 05, 2020 (UPDATE)
Earlier today, President Donald Trump signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Flexibility Act of 2020, which provides borrowers with greater flexibility in spending PPP funds without compromising forgiveness eligibility.
The act, which passed with a bipartisan vote, makes the following amendments to the PPP to provide relief to borrowers:
- Covered period extension – Extends the covered period during which borrowers must spend the PPP funds to be eligible for forgiveness from 8 weeks to 24 weeks.
- Loan repayment terms – Extends the minimum loan term for unforgiven PPP loans from 2 years to 5 years.
- Payroll costs vs. nonpayroll costs – Reduces the forgiveness portion of PPP funds that must be spent on payroll costs from 75% to 60%, and raises the nonpayroll cost limitation from 25% to 40%.
- Payroll tax deferment – Permits borrowers to defer payroll taxes without being penalized while still remaining eligible for loan forgiveness.
June 02, 2020 (UPDATE)
On Friday, May 29, 2020, Governor Pritzker signed an Executive Order that directs Illinois employers to follow the new Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Phase 3 guidelines as part of their reopening process. Although the wording of the order could be interpreted to require companies follow all of the guidelines, we are awaiting additional guidance to determine which aspects are required or recommended.
The guidelines are separated by industry. Click the following links to access each industry’s guidelines:
Summary of Key Minimum Guidelines for Offices to Reopen
- All employees should complete health and safety training related to COVID-19 when initially returning to work. Resources to design a training are posted on the DCEO Restore Illinois guidelines website.
- Employers should make temperature checks available for employees and encourage their use. Employers should post information about the symptoms of COVID-19 in order to allow employees to self-assess whether they have any symptoms and should consider going home.