IMPORTANT: COVID-19 Information for Small Business Owners
NEW YORK REOPENING:
Businesses - including those deemed essential - will be required to complete and implement a health and safety plan to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. A template to fulfill the requirement is available HERE.
Detailed guidance and reopening procedures for New York businesses are available at https://esd.ny.gov/nyforward.
On June 3, the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020. The bill now goes to the president to be signed into law. We’re giving folks more flexibility, so that we can get New York’s economy rolling again. This bipartisan legislation will:
- Allow loan forgiveness for expenses beyond the 8-week covered period to 24 weeks, helping small business owners who are unable to reopen their doors keep their workforce on the payroll.
- Increase the current limitation on the use of loan proceeds for nonpayroll expenses from 25 percent to 40 percent, allowing small business owners to use the funds for fixed costs like mortgages, rent, and utilities.
- Extend loan terms from two years to five years.
- Extend the PPP program from June 30 to December 31, 2020.
- Ensure full access to payroll tax deferment for businesses that utilize PPP loans.
NEED HELP GETTING A LOAN? Call my district office at (845-561-1259), the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) in Mid-Hudson (845-443-8058) or Westchester (845-356-6065) for assistance.
NOTE: The SBA has resumed accepting new Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications for all eligible small businesses and agricultural businesses.
As part of the Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act, Congress dedicated an additional $50 billion in funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and $10 billion in funding for EIDL Advances.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and EIDL Advances can be used to pay debts, payroll costs, accounts payable, or other costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small business applicants can request an EIDL Advance up to $10,000 - $1,000 per employee, up to 10 employees - through the EIDL application. The EIDL Advance won’t need to be repaid, and small businesses may still be granted an EIDL Advance even if they aren’t approved for a loan.
The SBA is continuing to process existing EIDL applications.
Eligible small businesses and agricultural businesses may apply for Economic Injury Disaster Loans HERE.
Employer not complying? You can complain
If an employer does not comply with laws around paid sick leave and work from home orders, employees can file a complaint with the department.
If you’re in one of the following situations at your workplace, you may want to consider filing a complaint with the Department of Labor:
You qualify for COVID-19 paid sick leave and your employer refuses to pay it
You are being directed to work at a non-essential business
Your employer has failed to pay your earned sick pay or paid time off
Your employer has failed to pay your earned wages or pay for all of the hours you worked
Your employer has threatened or fired you for reasons related to COVID-19
Your employer is forcing you to work when you are sick
You know about a business that is non-essential and is operating
Essential businesses include healthcare and veterinary services, transportation and utility infrastructure, food manufacturing and grocery stores, trash and recycling collection, funeral parlors and cemeteries, law enforcement and news media. You can file a complaint here.
What does it mean to be an essential or non-essential business?
The New York State Department of Economic Development, known as Empire State Development, outlined the rules for being designated as an essential business. Businesses that are essential include:
- Research and laboratory services
- Walk-in-care health facilities
- Veterinary and animal health services
- Elder care
- Medical wholesale and distribution
- Home health care workers or aides
- Doctor and dentist offices
- Nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
- Medical supplies and equipment providers
Infrastructure facilities such as utilities, public water and wastewater plants, telecommunications and data centers, airports, and transportation will also remain open.
Manufacturing facilities that produce food, chemicals, medical equipment & instruments, pharmaceuticals, safety and sanitary products, telecommunications microelectronics & semi-conductor, agriculture & farms, and paper products will remain open as well.
Businesses that are owned and operated by a single person are exempt for closure.
A number of retail operations are required to remain open to maintain a functioning society. Those include:
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
- Food & beverage stores
- Convenience stores
- Farmer's markets
- Hardware & building stores
The following list of industries and services will remain working:
- Trash and recycling collection
- Mail and shipping services
- Laundromats/dry cleaning
- Building cleaning and maintenance
- Child care services
- Auto repair
- Funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
- Storage for essential businesses
- Animal shelters or animal care or management
Banks, insurance, payroll, and insurance agencies will remain open. Homeless shelters and congregate care facilities, food banks, and human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients. Construction companies will also stay in operation, as well as electricians and plumbers. News organizations are also deemed essential and will remain open.
Essential Safety Agencies:
Services and agencies that exist to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses have been deemed essential as well.
Examples of those include:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Fire prevention and response
- Building code enforcement
- Emergency management and response
- General maintenance and automotive repair
- Disinfection organizations
Essential Support Businesses & Agencies:
Some agencies, businesses, and organizations exist to support government agency operations, and thus help to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
Businesses that provide logistics, technology support, child care programs and services, and government-owned or leased buildings will be deemed essential.