As we navigate this unprecedented new world we are living, Suttle & Stalnaker continues to monitor and stay abreast of legislative changes in regards to COVID-19 Coronavirus for those benefits that affect businesses. Below is a list of what you should be paying attention to for your business:
Payroll Protection Program
This has been in full gear this week, with application processes finally opening later in the week. Under this program, employers can access a loan based on their average payroll costs for 2.5 months. Then, if those funds are used in the 8 weeks after the date of the loan for payroll, rent, mortgage interest and utilities – in most instances – the loan will be forgiven. You also have to maintain a steady FTE factor for employees during that time as well.
Please contact us if you need help applying. We have developed a format that most banks are using. Additionally, you should contact your bank as well to make sure they are participating.
This is still an option for employees if you are forced to close your business or the average work week has decreased. WV broadened access to benefits and there is now a federal component to it as well. The website to start a claim is here.
Employee Health Insurance
It is important to check with your insurance provider to understand the status of your employees’ coverage if their employment status changes. We understand most insurers are waiving their “actively at work” requirements but check with yours to be sure.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave and/or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. Under the FFCRA, an employee qualifies for paid sick time if the employee is unable to work (or unable to telework) due to a need for leave as outlined below.
Generally, the Act provides that covered employers must provide to all employees:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor.
A covered employer must provide to employees that it has employed for at least 30 days:
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
Covered Employers: The paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to certain public employers, and private employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Covered employers qualify for dollar-for-dollar reimbursement through tax credits for all qualifying wages paid under the FFCRA. Qualifying wages are those paid to an employee who takes leave under the Act for a qualifying reason, up to the appropriate per diem and aggregate payment caps. Applicable tax credits also extend to amounts paid or incurred to maintain health insurance coverage.
Small Business Administration
The SBA has expanded its small business loan program for disaster recovery. The WV District office is holding electronic trainings on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program each day this week. Please contact Chris Lambert at if you would like more information.
Tax Deadline Extensions
As we have previously communicated to you, the deadline for filing and paying federal taxes typically due on 4/15 has been moved to 7/15. That includes payments for 2019 taxes as well as 1st quarter 2020 estimates. WV has extended the due date to 7/15 as well.
Of our border states, OH, KY, MD, and PA have also extended to 7/15. VA has extended payments until 6/1 to be penalty-free, but filings must still be made timely and interest will continue to accrue. We are continuing to monitor this situation for all states.
Ongoing pending legislation contains additional COVID-19 benefits that affect businesses. We are continuing to monitor the progress on that legislation and will be back with more details once we have them.