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New York Forward & COVID-19 Resources for Business

SBA Re-Opening Paycheck Protection Program to Small Lenders on Friday, January 15 and All Lenders on Tuesday, January 19

Lenders with $1 Billion or Less in Assets Will be Able to Submit First and Second Draw PPP Applications on Friday – Continuing Dedicated Access for Community-Based Lenders 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Treasury Department, will re-open the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with $1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15, 2021 at 9 a.m. EST. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19, 2021 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.

First Draw PPP Loans are for those borrowers who have not received a PPP loan before August 8, 2020. The first round of the PPP, which ran from March to August 2020, was a historic success helping 5.2 million small businesses keep 51 million American workers employed.

Second Draw PPP Loans are for eligible small businesses with 300 employees or less, that previously received a First Draw PPP Loan and will use or have used the full amount only for authorized uses, and that can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. The maximum amount of a Second Draw PPP loan is $2 million.

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan today announced the Ulster County virtual COVID-19 Vaccination Resource Center

New York State Phased Distribution of the Vaccine

IFR: Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as Amended by the Economic Aid Act

Empire State Development Announces “Raising The Bar” Restaurant Recovery Fund

More Than $3 Million in Grant Funding Available through Financial Support Led by Diageo North America and Supported by Coastal Pacific Wine & Spirits, and implemented by the National Development Council. Eligible Restaurants Can Receive up to $5,000 to Assist with COVID-19 Safety Measures.

SBA Assistance update: EIDL extended

SBA Assistance update: PPP Second Draw Loan Update

SBA Guidance on Accessing Capital for Minority, Underserved, Veteran and Women-Owned Business Concerns

COVID Legislation / Key Provisions for Employers

Mandatory FFCRA Leave Ends on December 31, 2020

There is no extension of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid sick leave/paid FMLA benefits. Employees are not entitled to additional FFCRA leave after December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, covered private-sector employers may voluntarily provide paid leave that otherwise would have qualified for FFCRA if the FFCRA had not expired, and if they do, they may take the tax credit associated with this leave. The tax credit may only be taken for leave through March 31, 2021. Learn More

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

An additional $284 billion is allocated for the PPP. In addition, PPP eligibility is expanded to include all nonprofits, including 501(c)(6) organizations, with some limitations based on employment (under 300) and lobbying activity (less than 15% of expenditures). Businesses that already received a PPP loan will be eligible to get a second one under the new terms. Some of the PPP funds will be set aside for the smallest businesses and community-based lenders and provides $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans grants for smaller businesses. A summary of the PPP provisions can be found here.

EIDL Grants

The new law reopens the $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Grant program. Priority for the full amount of the EIDL grant will be given to businesses with less than 300 employees, located in low-income neighborhoods, who have experienced a 30 percent reduction in gross receipts during any 8-week period between March 2, and December 31, 2020 compared to a comparable 8-week period before March 2. If you meet this description and received a grant that is less than $10,000 you can reapply to receive the difference.

Extension of the Employee Retention Tax Credit

The bill extends (through June 30, 2021) and expands the refundable Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), which was established in the CARES Act. The credit rate is increased from 50 percent to 70 percent of qualified wages; expands eligibility for the credit by reducing the required year-over year gross receipts decline from 50 percent to 20 percent and provides a safe harbor allowing employers to use prior quarter gross receipts to determine eligibility; increases the 100-employee delineation for determining the relevant qualified wage base to employers with 500 or fewer employees, and allows businesses with PPP loans to qualify, among other changes.

Health and Dependent Care Flexible Spending Arrangements

The bill allows taxpayers to rollover unused amounts in their health and dependent care flexible spending arrangements from 2020 to 2021 and from 2021 to 2022. This provision also permits employers to allow employees to make a 2021 mid-year prospective change in contribution amounts.

Employer-provided Student Loan Repayment

The CARES Act temporarily allowed employers to provide student loan repayment as a benefit to employees through December 31, 2020. Under this provision, an employer may contribute up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income. The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment.

An Extension of Expanded Unemployment Insurance

The bill extends two Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) unemployment programs for 11 weeks. Specifically, the bill provides $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021. The bill also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, with expanded coverage to the self-employed, gig workers, and others in non-traditional employment, and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides additional weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals who exhaust their regular state benefits. Additionally, the bill increases the maximum number of weeks an individual may claim benefits through the combination of regular state unemployment plus the PEUC program, or through the PUA program, to 50 weeks. The bill also provides an extra benefit of $100 per week for certain workers who have both wage and self-employment income but whose base UI benefit calculation does not take their self-employment into account.

Payroll Protection Program Tax Issues Clarified

The federal COVID legislation also includes provisions clarifying the tax treatment of expenses paid for with the proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan. The bill specifies that forgiven Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans will not be included in taxable income, and further clarifies that deductions are allowed for expenses paid with proceeds of a forgiven PPP loan, effective as of the date of enactment of the CARES Act and applicable to subsequent PPP loans. This same tax treatment also applies to EIDL grants and certain loans and loan repayment assistance. Earlier IRS guidance had established that expenses funded with PPP proceeds could not be deducted as business expenses. At this point, this treatment of PPP loan proceeds should flow through to state business and personal income tax returns of New York State taxpayers as well.

Guide to Small Businesses COVID-19 Federal Assistance

Coronavirus Stimulus Bill (December 2020)

CDC Summary of Guidance for Public Health Strategies to Address High Levels of Community Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and Related Deaths, December 2020

NY Forward COVID-19 Winter Plan

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW (updated Nov 12, 2020)

  • Effective November 13 at 10 p.m., bars, restaurants and gyms, as well as any State Liquor Authority-licensed establishment, must close in-person service from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. daily.
  • Effective November 13 at 10 p.m., indoor and outdoor gatherings at private residences will be limited to no more than 10 people.
  • New travel guidelines are in effect that allow out-of-state travelers to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
  • A new cluster action initiative is addressing COVID-19 hot spots that have cropped up across the state.
  • Go to New York's COVID Report Card hosted by the Department of Health to find COVID-19 positive case data for every school district in the state.
  • Movie theaters outside of New York City can reopen starting October 23 at 25% capacity with no more than 50 people allowed in front of each screen. Theaters can only open outside of New York City in counties that have COVID-19 positivity rates of less than 2% on a 14-day average and do not have any cluster zones.
  • Ski resorts can reopen with 50 percent indoor capacity and with strict health and safety protocols under state-issued guidance starting Friday, November 6.

New York State Liquor Authority Guidance On COVID-Related Closing Times

New York State Liquor Authority Guidance On Requirement that Licensees With On-Premises Service Privileges Serve Food With Alcoholic Beverages

Governor Cuomo Announces Gyms and Fitness Centers Can Reopen Starting August 24

COVID -19 Travel Advisory

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced new guidelines allowing travelers to New York to “test out” of the mandatory 14-day quarantine. Travelers from states that are contiguous with New York are exempt from the travel advisory; however covered travelers must continue to fill out the Traveler Health Form. Essential workers will continue to be exempt as well. The guidance also applies to international travelers coming from any CDC Level 2 or Level 3 Health Notice country. The new protocol is effective Wednesday, November 4.

NYS Department of Health Emergency Rule Addresses Social distancing Enforcement Measures

The NYS Department of Health has issued an emergency rule, effective Thursday June 9, 2020 that addresses the enforcement of several “social distancing” measures.

The rule imposes strict requirements on businesses, employees, and customers regarding the wearing of face coverings:

  • Any person who is over age two and able to medically tolerate a face covering when in a public place and unable to maintain, or when not maintaining, social distance shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a mask or face-covering.
  • Any employee who is present in the workplace shall be provided and shall wear a mask or face-covering when in direct contact with customers or members of the public, or when unable to maintain social distance. Businesses must provide, at their expense, such face coverings for their employees.
  • Business operators and building owners, and those authorized on their behalf shall deny admittance to any person who fails to comply with this section and shall require or compel such persons’ removal. Provided, however, that this regulation shall be applied in a manner consistent with the federal American with Disabilities Act, New York State or New York City Human Rights Law, and any other applicable provision of law.
  • The emergency rule requires all businesses and not-for-profit entities to utilize, to the maximum extent possible, any telecommuting or work from home procedures that they can safely utilize – except as may otherwise be permitted by any Executive Order.

A violation of any provision of this rule is subject to all civil and criminal penalties as provided for by law. Individuals who violate the rule are subject to a maximum fine of $1,000 for each violation. For purposes of civil penalties, each day that there is a non-essential gathering or that a business operates in a manner inconsistent with the rule shall constitute a separate violation.

Phase Four Guidelines:

Ulster County and the Mid-Hudson Region have entered into Phase Four. Social gatherings of up to 50 people will be allowed and indoor religious gatherings will be allowed at up to 33% of the indoor site's capacity.

The following industries included in Phase Four are:

  • Higher Education
  • Low-Risk Outdoor Arts & Entertainment
  • Low-Risk Indoor Arts & Entertainment
  • Media Production
  • Professional Sports Competitions With No Fans

Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

Your reopening plan does NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval. You DO need to retain a copy of your plan on the premises of the business and affirm with NYS that you have done so. The Plan must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

Phase Two Guidelines:

Phase Two includes the following businesses:

  • Essential and Phase II In-Store Retail
  • Vehicle Sales, Leases, and Rentals
  • Retail Rental, Repair, and Cleaning
  • Hair Salons and Barbershops
  • Outdoor and Take-Out/Delivery Food Services
  • Real Estate Services
  • Offices
  • Commercial Building Management

Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

Your reopening plan does NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval. You DO need to retain a copy of your plan on the premises of the business and affirm with NYS that you have done so. The Plan must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

Phase Three Guidelines:

New York State has issued updated guidelines. Businesses affected include:

  • Restaurants / Food Services
  • Personal Care

Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

Your reopening plan does NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval. You DO need to retain a copy of your plan on the premises of the business and affirm with NYS that you have done so. The Plan must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

The Main Features of Phase Three are:

  • Limit indoor capacity of no more than 50% of maximum occupancy, exclusive of employees.
  • All indoor and outdoor tables with seating for customers must be separated by a minimum of 6 ft. in all directions.
  • Patrons must wear face coverings at all times, except while seated.
  • Ensure all staff wear face coverings at all times and that they practice hand hygiene and use bare hand barriers.
  • Affirm you have reviewed and understand the state issued industry guidelines, and that you will implement them (Phase Three)
  • Conspicuously post completed safety plans on site.

Personal Care
This guidance applies to non-hair-related personal care businesses and services, including tattoo and piercing facilities, appearance enhancement practitioners, massage therapy, spas, cosmetology, nail specialty, UV and non-UV tanning, or waxing.

New York State Liquor Authority Guidance on Outdoor Expansion of Licensed Premises in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak.

If a bar or restaurant does not currently have a license to serve alcohol outdoors, but wishes to begin outdoor service, they must submit an updated diagram and a short explanation of the proposed serving area to the SLA at temporaryalterations@sla.ny.gov. If a city, town, or village wishes to grant permission for a bar or restaurant within its jurisdiction to operate on municipal land adjacent to the business, they must complete this form.

Questions specific to Ulster County bar and restaurant reopening can be answered by visiting the State Liquor Authority website or by contacting Vincent Bradley, Commissioner of The New York State Liquor Authority at 518-474-3114 or emailing Licensing.Information@sla.ny.gov.

Phase One Guidelines:

  • Construction
  • Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
  • Retail - (Limited to curbside or in-store pickup or drop off)
  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade

Each reopening business must develop a written Safety Plan outlining how its workplace will prevent the spread of COVID-19. A business may fill out this template to fulfill the requirement, or may develop its own Safety Plan.

Your reopening plan does NOT need to be submitted to a state agency for approval. You DO need to retain a copy of your plan on the premises of the business and affirm with NYS that you have done so. The Plan must be made available to the New York State Department of Health (DOH) or local health or safety authorities in the event of an inspection.

UPDATED Determination of Essential Businesses

An update to the Executive Order: NYS ESD continues to UPDATE new guidance outlines regarding businesses which are now considered essential. This guidance is subject to change as the State adapts its response to combating COVID-19.

Mayor Steven T. Noble is pleased to announce that the City of Kingston will be instituting a Dining and Retail Outdoor Expansion Program across the City. The program is intended to utilize public areas to create more physical space for outdoor dining and open-air shopping, and in some cases may temporarily close select streets to vehicular traffic.

A short survey for residents and participating business owners opened last week, and has helped to inform this program. To request specific areas for outdoor operations, businesses who wish to participate and will require use of parking stalls, street access or other common public space, must contact the Mayor’s office at rverspoor@kingston-ny.gov or 845-334-3902. Participating businesses will then be sent the City of Kingston’s guidelines and resources packet. This packet will be a step by step guide on how to quickly utilize the sidewalk, parklet or city street to assist your business.

After a review of the required documentation and proposed site plan, the City will provide approval to businesses to operate outdoors through the end of October, pursuant to permission granted from NYS and the State Liquor Authority. Approvals will be processed as received with the expectation that the new, expanded outdoor dining opportunities will be available by the end of next week.

“When we have a sense of how many restaurants and shops are going to participate, and how much space they will need, we will inform the public of potential parking restrictions, possible road closures along with days and times,” said Mayor Noble. “The City of Kingston’s Restaurant and Retail Outdoor Expansion program will help ensure businesses have every resource to operate successfully during the COVID-19 economic recovery. I also think it will be a fun experience and will create more ways to reengage with family, friends and our City this summer.”

The Mid-Hudson region is in Phase 2 of re-opening, which allows for outdoor dining while following COVID-19 guidelines issued by New York State. Any restaurant with a pre-existing permit to operate outdoor dining on its own property does not have to register with the Mayor’s office, as long as the establishment meets all of the guidelines from the New York State Department of Health and the Phase 2 re-opening guidelines.

County Executive Ryan Announces New Resilience Economic Initiative to Recover, Reopen, and Realign Ulster County’s Economy

County Executive Ryan’s Ulster County Resilience Economic initiative will support Ulster County businesses and workers through the crisis and ensure we emerge stronger on the other side. The initiative includes three main lines of effort: Recover, Reopen, and Realign.

Recover

  • Work with the Ulster County Recovery Taskforce to ensure a coordinated and compassionate response to the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19 on all workers and families
  • Ulster County Office of Economic Development and the Ulster County Economic Development Alliance (UCEDA) to help businesses navigate federal and state recovery resources
  • Ulster County businesses have already received over $50 million in federal loans

Reopen

  • Industry-specific working groups tasked with helping businesses develop and implement reopen protocols by sector
  • Business mentors to help guide businesses through the process of reopening planning, provide technical assistance for business model adjustment, and deliver any other needed support
  • Ulster County Office of Employment and Training to lead effort to support job seekers and businesses looking to rebuild their workforce

Realign

  • Convene joint meetings of the UCEDA and Workforce Development Board to identify key workforce development needs
  • Ulster 2040 recommendations for county-led investments in targeted growth industries
  • Seek to work closely with the IDA to re-energize Ulster’s economy

As businesses across Ulster County and the Mid-Hudson Region are now re-opening, the NYS Health Department is mandating that businesses post appropriate signage, reminding personnel to adhere to proper hygiene, social distancing rules, appropriate use of PPE and cleaning and disinfecting protocols. Chamber Member FASTSIGNS is offering the signs posted below to any business in our region.

Businesses and Workplaces - Plan, Prepare and Respond

Guidance to plan, prepare, and respond to COVID-19 for businesses and in the workplace.

Governor Cuomo also announced the members of the regional control rooms that will monitor regional metrics during the reopening process. These regional control rooms will monitor the hospitalization rate, death rate, number of new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, testing and contact tracing within its region during reopening and alert the state if the region's metrics no longer meet the reopening guidelines and adjust the reopening plan for that region accordingly. Members of the Hudson Valley Regional Council include:

HUDSON VALLEY

  • Regional Captain: Mike Hein, former Ulster County Executive
  • Jonathan Drapkin, President/CEO of Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress
  • Tom Carey, AFL-CIO Westchester-Putnam Central Labor President
  • Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro
  • Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan
  • Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek
  • Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell
  • Orange County Executive Steven Neuhaus
  • Westchester County Executive George Latimer
  • Rockland County Executive Ed Day
  • City of Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano

Small Business Guidance Loan Resources

Health and government officials are working together to maintain the safety, security, and health of the American people. Small businesses are encouraged to do their part to keep their employees, customers, and themselves healthy.

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Application

Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE)

Chambers and businesses need to prepare for the impacts of COVID-19 transmission in the United States. Learn more about implementing a series of actions that minimize impact on local communities and support the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) containment strategy.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

As part of an end-of-year pandemic relief package, Congress has passed several changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and created a “Second Draw” PPP for small businesses who have exhausted their initial loan. Other changes impact eligibility for initial PPP loans, the loan forgiveness process, and the tax treatment of PPP loans.

Congress has also made changes to other programs – including Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL Program), the Employee Retention Tax Credit, a Venue Grant program, and SBA loan programs –that will benefit small businesses. Here’s everything small business owners need to know now:

Small Business Development Center (NYSBDC)

The impacts of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on society and business activities are difficult to assess and are changing daily. Small businesses need to be resilient and prepared to manage the challenges of the coming weeks and months. Click on the below button for guidance and resources to help business owners adapting to an unpredictable situation.

Central Hudson is pleased to offer our Back to Business funding program in coordination with our banking partners. We are committing up to $1 million in economic development support to provide local small businesses with grants to help pay down new working capital loans taken with participating local banks. In addition to the Back to Business program, we also have a new limited time commercial LED lighting and high-efficiency refrigeration program for small businesses, funding conversions up to $10,000 and most installation can be provided at no cost to the business.

Back to Business Funding Program

Energy Efficiency Program for Small Businesses

New York Forward Loan Fund

New York Forward Loan Fund (NYFLF) is a new economic recovery loan program aimed at supporting New York State small businesses, nonprofits and small landlords as they reopen after the COVID-19 outbreak and NYS on PAUSE.

NYFLF targets the state’s small businesses with 20 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) employees (90% of all businesses), nonprofits and small landlords that have seen sharp reduction in rental income. The NYFLF is specifically timed to support businesses and organizations as they proceed to reopen and have upfront expenses to comply with guidelines (e.g., inventory, marketing, refitting for new social distancing guidelines) under the New York Forward Plan.

IRS Information for Small Businesses

IRS FAQs for COVID-19 Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses.

Requirement of Face Coverings

Interim Guidance on Executive Order 202.16 Requiring Face Coverings for Public and Private Employees Interacting with the Public During the COVID-19 Outbreak

Essential businesses, as well as state and local government agencies and authorities, must procure, fashion, or otherwise obtain face coverings and provide such coverings to employees who directly interact with the public during the course of their work at no-cost to the employee.

Ulster County Government

Get local information, news updates and community resources from the Ulster County Government.

From the Office of NYS Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill

Click on the below buttons to access Resource Guides and Frequently Asked Questions regarding Health Insurance, Unemployment Insurance, Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Bill and Immigration Issues from the office of Assemblyman Kevin A. Cahill.

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