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Message from the CEO, Sean McConnell – April 17, 2020

By April 17, 2020 No Comments

To our valued business partners and clients,

Paycheck Protection Program: No More Funds 

When Congress passed the CARES Act, it authorized $349 billion in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses. Small business owners quickly applied, but many of them have now been left in limbo- their applications have been submitted but the program is out of the funding these small businesses so desperately need.

Today, the SBA released a report showing data on how many loans were approved and the geographic and industry make-up of the loans. That report can be found here. While it is a good thing that so many small businesses have been able to receive aid, we know that many more businesses need help.

Congress is considering a bill that will add more than $200 billion dollars to this program, but the Senate adjourned this week without completing action on the bill. MBA has sent a letter to Congress and we’re working with NAPEO, our trade association, to urge Congress to act at once to fund this program.

MBA is asking that you contact your Senators and Representative as well. We’ve drafted a sample letter you can use. Please fill in the blanks where appropriate and feel free to personalize the letter with your own company details. You can find contact information for each Senator here and Representative here.

Small business is the backbone of this economy, and the fate of so many small businesses depends on a PPP loan. It’s crucial that Congress act immediately. We hope you will join us in urging them to do so.

President Trump Issued Reopening Guidelines                                                 

President Trump issued his reopening guidelines for the country yesterday at his coronavirus news conference. The guidelines can be found here. Governors of each state will be making their own decisions on when and how to reopen. The President’s guidelines, though, continue to encourage employers to allow teleworking and maintain social distancing at work.

 FFCRA- Additional DOL FAQs       

The Department of Labor (DOL) has added additional FAQs about the new federal emergency paid sick leave and emergency FMLEA paid leave, which can be found here

Right now, there are 6 reasons an employee can take FFCRA leave: The first 5 revolve around care of self or care of others related to COVID-19. The 6th reason was for a “substantially similar condition.” In one of its new FAQs, the DOL states that there is currently no “substantially similar condition” to COVID-19 that would qualify an employee for FFCRA leave at this time: 

When am I eligible for paid sick leave based on a “substantially similar condition” specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services? 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has not yet identified any “substantially similar condition” that would allow an employee to take paid sick leave. If HHS does identify any such condition, the Department of Labor will issue guidance explaining when you may take paid sick leave on the basis of a “substantially similar condition.”

OSHA and EEOC New Coronavirus Resources 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has released a new coronavirus resource page for employers here. The webpage includes new guidance for retail employers and the manufacturing industry. It also includes OSHA’s recent memo regarding employer compliance during this pandemic, which can be found here

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has also released a new coronavirus resource page for employers here. The webpage includes guidance on employee medical exams, like temperature taking, and ADA compliance.

 Additional Resources

The coronavirus has created many issues for employers to navigate. You can find MBA’s updates on these issues by going here. MBA will continue to update you as the coronavirus pandemic continues to impact employers. 

We are actively monitoring applicable legislative and governmental actions. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to us at 727-563-1500.

Sincerely, 

Sean McConnell, CEO

  

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