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COVID-19 Response Document

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https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Sections 3203 and 4510 of the Insurance Law are modified to extend the grace period for the payment of premiums and fees to 90 days for any life insurance policyholder or fraternal benefit society certificate holder, as those terms are used in such sections, facing a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;  

Sections 3203, 3219, and 3220 of the Insurance Law are modified to provide a life insurance policyholder or annuity contract holder or a certificate holder, as those terms are used in such sections, under a group policy or contract with 90 days to exercise rights or benefits under the applicable life insurance policy or annuity contract for any policyholder or contract holder or certificate holder under the group policy or contract who is unable timely to exercise rights or benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;

Section 1116 and Articles 34, 53, 54, and 55 of the Insurance Law and Sections 54 and 226 of the Workers’ Compensation Law are modified to impose a moratorium on an insurer canceling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing any insurance policy issued to an individual or small business, or, in the case of a group insurance policy, insuring certificate holders that are individuals or small businesses, for a period of 60 days, for any policyholder, or in the case of a group insurance policy, group policyholder or certificate holder, facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The foregoing relief shall also apply to the kinds of insurance set forth in paragraphs (16), (17), (20), (21), (24), (26), and (30) of Section 1113(a) of the Insurance Law.  For purposes of this Executive Order, a small business shall mean any business that is resident in this State, is independently owned and operated, and employs one hundred or fewer individuals;

City

New York City – 5 Boroughs


Repeal of Retail Laundry License

According to the record, The City Council took this action based on the recommendation of the Workplace Taskforce, of which the NCA was an active member.

On July 18, 2021, the City enacted Local Law 80 of 2021, which repeals the licensing requirement for retail laundries. This repeal goes into effect on December 31, 2021.

Beginning December 31, 2021, you will no longer need a Retail Laundry license from DCWP to operate your retail laundry business. Because the license is no longer required, DCWP will no longer accept new or renewal license applications.

NOTE: Industrial Laundry and Industrial Laundry Delivery businesses will continue to be licensed. The license repeal is only for Retail Laundries.

NEXT STEPS:

On December 31, 2021, your current Retail Laundry license will expire and you may take down DCWP’s license sign. You will not need to surrender or renew your Retail Laundry license.

Even though you will no longer need a license for your retail laundry, you will still be required to comply with other laws DCWP enforces, such as:

  • Your business’s bills, tickets, business cards, advertising and stationery must list your business name and address;
  • Every document (example: receipt, delivery ticket, invoice, statement, etc.) that contains charges to a consumer must accurately and clearly state each of the laundry charges, not just the total charge;
  • All vehicles used for delivery of laundry must include your business’s name, address, and telephone number in letters at least 2 inches in height;
  • You must post a price list where orders are placed or payments are made by consumers;
  • Your price list must contain a list of services offered, the minimum price charged for each service, and a description of any factors that may cause the price to be higher than the minimum. Your price list must not contain different prices for men and women for the same services;
  • If scales are used to weigh laundry on the premises, each scale must have a DCWP seal and must be inspected annually;
  • If your business offers self-service laundry machines to the general public:
  • an attendant must be on site from 8:00 P.M. until closing or 6:00 A.M. the following day, whichever is earlier; and
  • you must post a sign in a location that is clearly visible to consumers which states to whom complaints and claims for refunds must be made.


NY Hero Act, Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan

Protecting New York Workers from Airborne Diseases

On May 5, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York Health and Essential Rights Act (NY HERO Act) into law. The law mandates extensive new workplace health and safety protections in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of the NY HERO Act is to protect employees against exposure and disease during a future airborne infectious disease outbreak.

Under this new law, the New York State Department of Labor (NYS DOL), in consultation with the NYS Department of Health, has developed a new Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Standard, a Model Airborne Infectious Disease Exposure Prevention Plan, and various industry-specific model plans for the prevention of airborne infectious disease. Employers can choose to adopt the applicable policy template/plan provided by NYS DOL or establish an alternative plan that meets or exceeds the standard’s minimum requirements.

The airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plans must go into effect when an airborne infectious disease is designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health as a highly contagious communicable disease that presents a serious risk of harm to the public health. 

Currently, while employers must adopt plans as required by the law, as of the date of this writing no designation has been made and plans are not required to be in effect. 

The standard and model plans are available in English and will be available in Spanish in the coming days. Employers are required to provide a copy of the adopted airborne infectious disease exposure prevention plan and post the same in a visible and prominent location within each worksite.


Eviction Updates by State


Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance: 

https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html

List of Declared Disasters:

https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Declarations/Index

Online Application:

https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

Disaster Business Loan Application:

https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/pdfs/Business%20Loan%20Application%20(SBA%20Form%205).pdf

Disaster Home and Sole Proprietor Application:

https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/pdfs/Home%20or%20Sole%20Proprietor%20Loan%20Application%20(SBA%20Form%205C).pdf

U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN SUPPORTING INFORMATION

https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/pdfs/Economic%20Injury%20Disaster%20Loan%20Supporting%20Information%20(P-019).pdf

Additional Forms

A Disaster Assistance loan officer may request you to fill out the following additional forms:


Home Loans or Sole Proprietor Loans

Download corresponding forms below:

Mailing Instructions

All required documents listed below under Forms must be returned. All forms requiring signature must be signed and dated. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Processing and Disbursement Center

14925 Kingsport Rd.

Ft. Worth, TX 76155-2243

If you have any questions, please contact 1-800-659-2955 or (TTY) (800) 877-8339

Use this form to upload your disaster loan application.

the 100 most active SBA 7(a) lending banks 

https://www.sba.gov/article/2020/mar/02/100-most-active-sba-7a-lenders

State 

New York- Insurance 

NYS Executive Order 202.13   Re-Insurance Law Modifications 

Insurance Carriers must allow a 60 day grace period


https://www.governor.ny.gov/news/no-20213-continuing-temporary-suspension-and-modification-laws-relating-disaster-emergency

Sections 3203 and 4510 of the Insurance Law are modified to extend the grace period for the payment of premiums and fees to 90 days for any life insurance policyholder or fraternal benefit society certificate holder, as those terms are used in such sections, facing a financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;  

Sections 3203, 3219, and 3220 of the Insurance Law are modified to provide a life insurance policyholder or annuity contract holder or a certificate holder, as those terms are used in such sections, under a group policy or contract with 90 days to exercise rights or benefits under the applicable life insurance policy or annuity contract for any policyholder or contract holder or certificate holder under the group policy or contract who is unable timely to exercise rights or benefits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;

Section 1116 and Articles 34, 53, 54, and 55 of the Insurance Law and Sections 54 and 226 of the Workers’ Compensation Law are modified to impose a moratorium on an insurer canceling, non-renewing, or conditionally renewing any insurance policy issued to an individual or small business, or, in the case of a group insurance policy, insuring certificate holders that are individuals or small businesses, for a period of 60 days, for any policyholder, or in the case of a group insurance policy, group policyholder or certificate holder, facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The foregoing relief shall also apply to the kinds of insurance set forth in paragraphs (16), (17), (20), (21), (24), (26), and (30) of Section 1113(a) of the Insurance Law.  For purposes of this Executive Order, a small business shall mean any business that is resident in this State, is independently owned and operated, and employs one hundred or fewer individuals;


Small Business

Federal

CARES

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses who maintain their payroll during this emergency.

What will lenders be LOOKING FOR?

In evaluating eligibility, lenders are directed to consider whether the borrower was in operation before February 15, 2020, and had employees for whom they paid salaries and payroll taxes or paid independent contractors.

Lenders will also ask you for a good faith certification that:

1. The uncertainty of current economic conditions makes the loan request necessary to support ongoing operations

2. The borrower will use the loan proceeds to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage, lease, and utility payments

3. Borrower does not have an application pending for a loan duplicative of the purpose and amounts applied for here

4. From Feb. 15, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, the borrower has not received a loan duplicative of the purpose and amounts applied for here (Note: There is an opportunity to fold emergency loans made between Jan. 31, 2020 and the date this loan program becomes available into a new loan)

If you are an independent contractor, sole proprietor, or self-employed individual, lenders will also be looking for certain documents (final requirements will be announced by the government) such as payroll tax filings, Forms 1099-MISC, and income and expenses from the sole proprietorship.

Revised PPP application form (4/2/2020)

https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/Paycheck-Protection-Program-Application-3-30-2020-v3.pdf

Revised PPP Loan Updated (6/2020)

As of Thursday morning, the Senate unanimously approved a new bill that makes PPP loans more flexible in how and when they’re used. The House passed its version last week. Now, the bill just needs to be signed by the president for it to become law.

The centerpiece of the CARES Act, the PPP, was intended to prop up small businesses like dry cleaners and help keep small business employees on the payroll. Loans can be for 2.5 times payroll costs, with no collateral. Most significantly, PPP loans can be forgiven, fully or in part, depending on if borrowers maintain headcounts and payrolls at pre-pandemic levels and use their loan for permitted expenses.  Many cleaners applied for, and some received this assistance

The money can be used for payroll (no more than $100,000 annual salary per employee) as well as benefits (including paid sick leave and insurance premiums) and taxes on compensation. The new bill passed by the Senate allows for up to 40% (rather than 25%) of the loan to be used to cover mortgage interest, rent, and utilities.

The new bill also expands the amount of time borrowers have to spend their loan and have them forgiven. Before, covered expenses had to be incurred over the eight weeks right after loan disbursement. Now, small business owners have 24 weeks. Also, they have until December 31, 2020 (instead of June 30) to rehire or restaff up to their pre-pandemic level.

Any portion of the loan that is not forgiven will carry an interest rate of 1.0% and is due to be paid back within five (instead of two) years. However, payments are deferred for the first six months. There’s no pre-payment penalty.


PPP Loan Forgiveness

Borrowers will have their loans forgiven if they use the money for designated expenses. Participants are eligible for loan forgiveness for the amounts spent on authorized expenses over 24 weeks after loan disbursement.

Total payments for payroll may be forgivable. Mortgage interest, rent, and utilities are also forgivable, up to 40% of the PPP loan. (Note that if your loan is forgiven, these expenses covered by the loan are not tax-deductible, the IRS recently stated in Notice 2020-32.)

To get the entire amount of the loan forgiven (assuming that at least 60% is spent on payroll and the rest on permitted expenses), you must meet two criteria. 

First, the full-time employee headcount cannot decline from average monthly levels during 2019 or during the past 12 months. If your business launched in the second half of 2019, you can use average headcounts from January 1, 2020, to February 29, 2020. If your business is seasonal, you can base your monthly averages on numbers from February 15, 2019, or March 1, 2019, to June 30, 2019.

Second, for loans to become full grants, employers cannot cut salaries or wages. If they do, the forgiven amount will be reduced. Employers who already let workers go (between February 15 and April 26, 2020) have until December 31 to restaff.

The SBA has released the application for PPP loan forgiveness. It is two pages, plus nine pages of instructions and worksheets.  Three big changes to note:

1.      Instead of having to use your loan to cover the eight weeks right after loan disbursement, borrowers can start with the first pay period after the loan disbursement. (So if you receive the loan on Thursday, and your next pay period starts on Sunday, you can start with that Sunday pay period.)

2.      Borrowers are not required to report all allowed non-payroll costs (i.e., rent, mortgage interest, and utilities) if they don’t want to include them in the forgiveness amount. Before, there was some confusion over this; the flexibility may help borrowers keep their non-payroll costs within the required percentage (25%).

3.      The SBA recognizes that some employees who have been let go may get new jobs, or some may be fired with cause. So now there is a safe harbor for these situations.

--  The SBA has a summary of loan terms here.  link address.....https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--Fact-Sheet.pdf 

If you were wary of applying for PPP money before due to the nebulous information regarding forgiveness, consult with your accountant about whether the new terms make it a more comfortable fit for your business.

To increase your likelihood of getting money in the new round of funding, you should line up a bank and apply right away. Applications have slowed down compared to the first round, but the program is first-come, first-served. The deadline is June 30.  


Small Business Continuity Fund

1. As of March 27th, applications are open for INTEREST-FREE LOANS through the Small Business Continuity Fund. Go to https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-small-business-continuity-loan-program

The Fund, a public-private partnership between Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, Tapestry, Inc.’s Coach Foundation and Pursuit, offers loans of up to $75,000 to small businesses in New York City as they deal with various challenges in response to the novel coronavirus. To qualify, businesses must:

• Be located within the five boroughs of New York City

• Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue

• Employ 99 employees or fewer in total across all locations • Demonstrate ability to repay the loan

• Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments

As part of the application, businesses will be required to demonstrate a revenue decrease by providing documentation such as: point-of-sales reports, bank statements, quarterly sales tax filings, 2019 tax returns, or CPA-certified profit & loss statements. Goldman Sachs Foundation will provide a grant to support technical assistance and capacity-building for the Small Business Continuity Fund.


The Employee Retention Grant Program

2. The Employee Retention Grant Program is available to help small businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19. Go to https://www1.nyc.gov/nycbusiness/article/nyc-employee-retention-grant-program

The City has launched the Employee Retention Grant Program to help retain employees as businesses face decreased revenue.

This program is available to New York City businesses with:

a. one to four employees and

b. can demonstrate at least a 25% decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19.

Eligible businesses will receive a grant covering up to 40% of their payroll for two months. Businesses can access up to $27,000.

Who Can Apply?

Businesses must:

  • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City

  • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue

  • Employ 1-4 employees in total across all locations

  • Have been in operation for at least 6 months

  • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgments

3. Northern Manhattan Emergency Recovery Fund

The Northern Manhattan Emergency Recovery Fund has received $2 million from Presbyterian Hospital for immediate relief to aid in the recovery and development of the community. The Fund will be administered by the Hispanic

 Federation. Go here for details https://hispanicfederation.org/nomafund/


For Employees

Federal

State 

City 


Things to Consider

Miscellaneous

The New York State ban on plastic bags has been postponed from April 1st toMay 15th Utilities have been ordered to not shut off service for gas, water, or electricity.

For NYC Employees

Verizon, Spectrum, and other cable providers' offer for free internet for households with school-age children. Verizon is also offering other learning tools and some premium TV channels offered to customers at no additional cost. Read the release: http://verizon.com/about/news/verizon-customers-learning-tools-premium-tv

Con Ed has halted all meter reading and installation of smart meters; stopped shutoffs of electric, natural gas or steam service due to non-payment resulting from the health crisis; waived new late-payment charges; and suspended the fee charged to a customer who is unable to grant access to their property. They WILL continue to shut off service when there is a safety issue. Customer service walk-in centers are shut. Residential customers can choose one of the alternate ways to pay their bill, including online at My Account, by mail with a check or money order, or by phone at 1-888-925-5016,

SNAP ASSISTANCE. The nonprofit expensify.org will reimburse SNAP participants $50 after they use their EBT card for approved purchases and submit a receipt. They are allocating these funds to help families in need to purchase essential groceries during the COVID-19 outbreak. There's no "catch" and the money is directly deposited into the participant's bank account. Employees should visit Expensify.org/hunger for more information.

Beginning Monday, March 23rd, free meals will be distributed at more than 400 sites across the city. Students may pick up three meals at one time. Find a location near you.

The New York State ban on plastic bags has been postponed from April 1st to May 15th 


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