FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

O4/29/2020 – GET THE SBA’S ANSWERS TO A LIST OF FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE PPP

Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance provided in this document as SBA’s interpretation of the CARES Act and of the Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules (“PPP Interim Final Rules”). The U.S. government will not challenge lender PPP actions 1 rulemaking in effect at the time.

Updated April 24, 2020

Financial Assistance FAQ

What documentation do I need for PPP loan forgiveness?
Caret

The Doty Group created a helpful PDF to show what documentation you need to apply for PPP loan forgiveness.

See PDF

When hiring or using temps will employers be able to ask COVID-19 questions to candidates who were laid off because of coronavirus? We have new hiring needs but postponing interviews until after Stay At Home Order is lifted - how can we protect our workplace and employees
Caret

The EEOC on March 19, 2020 provided additional guidance to employers with respect to workplace safety during the declared pandemic related to Coronavirus and COVID-19. The short answer is yes, employers are allowed to ask questions of employees who call in sick, provided that those questions are related to the pandemic itself. Employers are also allowed to take employee temperatures. That said, employers need to be prepared in both instances to know what to do with the information they receive so as not to violate employee privacy, ensure that all employees and applicants are being treated equally, how to properly administer the temperature reading, and more. Essentially, if employers are going to do this, they must be very careful, and be well prepared. More information can be found at https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/wysk/wysk_ada_rehabilitaion_act_coronavirus.cfm and https://www.eeoc.gov/facts/pandemic_flu.html.

Do you have to apply for the Paycheck Protection loan through your own bank?
Caret

Yes, assuming it is an SBA 7a lender.

Just a little confusion about EIDL $10k grant and PPP. Is it true that if one has applied for the $10k as well as the PPP, the $10k will be deducted from the PPP?
Caret

It will be reduced from the total amount that is available to be forgiven.

If the PPP payroll coverage is capped at $100k and we have some employees with 100k+ salaries, is it safe to assume we can count their salaries and cap that at $100k OR are they not able to be included at all?
Caret

Yes you can count them to the cap.

If funded for the Pierce County Disaster assistance, will this affect my funding from PPP or EIDL? Will they reduce their amount or disqualify me if I'm funded from a County Relief Fund?
Caret

The Pierce County Small Business Relief Loan will not affect the EIDL or PPP programs. Can’t be used for same expense though.

If my business is shut down, how should we handle payroll for employees while waiting for lenders to be able to start the loan process for the PPP?
Caret

If you receive a PPP loan, your loan payments are deferred for six months, although interest will accrue during this time. However if you retain your employees (or quickly rehire them before June 30, 2020) and maintain salary levels, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive part or all of the principal amount of the loan—depending on what you use it for. The SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that covers your first eight weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments. The SBA will not forgive a portion of the loan that you use for other expenses. If you are not able to retain or rehire all of your employees, or if you lower wages, the loan forgiveness amount decreases. The Treasury anticipates that borrowers must use 75% of the borrowed loan amount for payroll costs.

Is the application for the PPP different from the SBA EIDL?
Caret

Yes, the PPP is done through a 7a lender and has its own guidance and rules.

If you have Part Time Employees will their payroll be forgiven under the PPP? The documentation implies the payroll for only full-time employess will be forgiven.
Caret

In determining the number of employees, the SBA counts all individuals employed on a full-time, part-time, or other basis. This includes employees obtained from a temporary employee agency, professional employee organization, or leasing concern. Part-time and temporary employees are counted the same as full-time employees. If a concern has not been in business for 12 months, the SBA uses the average number of employees for each of the pay periods during which it has been in business.

While we wait for our loan how should I pay my employees and try to get compensated under the PPP?
Caret

Retroactive to February 15, 2020 to bring back employees who may have been laid-off from that time until funds are received.

How fast can you apply and how fast can you receive funds?
Caret

The PPP will take 3 to 4 weeks to get funding.

Do contractor cost count for the Payroll Protection loan?
Caret

For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: are wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
Caret

Yes you can count them to the cap.

For the PPP loan calculation, can we use $100K for each employee that makes more than $100K or do we have to exclude them entirely? Also, are there any restrictions to including owners or executives in the loan amount?
Caret

Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

What is the status of paying Pierce County Property Tax
Caret

Due date is pushed to June 1, 2020

Pierce County Council Adopts COVID-19 Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program is for businesses in unincorporated PC. What about small businesses in Gig Harbor proper?
Caret

It is only unincorporated. Options for you is the EIDL $10k application; also keep checking to see if your city starts a small business loan program.

Are non-profit businesses in Pierce County elgible for loans?
Caret

No, they are intended for small businesses only. Businesses applying for loans under this program must: be a business physically located in unincorporated Pierce County, have 10 or fewer employees (including business owner), be in operation for one or more years and demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in revenues attributable to the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do I apply for the Pierce County Loans for small businesses?
Caret

https://www.piercecountywa.gov/6770/Emergency-Small-Business-Relief-Loan-Pro

Will Non-Profits be able to apply for PPP and/or EIDL?
Caret

Yes, for 501c3’s but depending on your designation you will need to confirm; for instance, there are exclusions for 501c6’s.

Where do Business owners go to apply for the 10k Grants?
Caret

In the South Sound if you are wanting only a grant versus loan then your best option is the SBA’s Economic Injury Diesaster Load Advance Program. In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. This advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available following a successful application. This loan advance will not have to be repaid. https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans/coronavirus-relief-options/economic-injury-disaster-loan-emergency-advance

I received an EIDL – Can I still apply for PPP?
Caret

Yes, but the EIDL forgiveness will be accounted against the forgiveness on the PPP.

Prior to COVID-19, I had 23 employees: 2 full-time and 21 part-time. With Paycheck Protection under the CARES act, would I need to re-hire the 21 part-time employees or just maintain the full-time employees in order to qualify for loan forgiveness?
Caret

If you receive a PPP loan, your loan payments are deferred for six months, although interest will accrue during this time. However if you retain your employees (or quickly rehire them before June 30, 2020) and maintain salary levels, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will forgive part or all of the principal amount of the loan—depending on what you use it for. The SBA will forgive the portion of the loan that covers your first eight weeks of payroll, mortgage interest, rent, and utility payments. The SBA will not forgive a portion of the loan that you use for other expenses. If you are not able to retain or rehire all of your employees, or if you lower wages, the loan forgiveness amount decreases. The Treasury anticipates that borrowers must use 75% of the borrowed loan amount for payroll costs.

What is the difference between the EIDL vs. PPP loan options?
Caret

The big difference between the two programs is that the PPP loans are entirely forgivable if companies meet a specific set of requirements, while EIDL loans (except for the $10,000 grant) are not. The cap for PPP loans is also higher at $10 million per organization, while the EIDL loans cap out at $2 million.

Can a business apply for just the $10,000 grant only without additional EIDL?
Caret

Yes.

If I am applying for / received an Economic Injury Disaster Loan(EIDL), is my small business eligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)?
Caret

Borrowers can apply for both an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program loan. However, the Paycheck Protection Program loan funds and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan funds cannot be used for the same purpose. The Paycheck Protection Program loan must be used for payroll (minimum of 75% of the funds received) for it to be eligible for a forgivable loan and the remaining is used for different purposes. Borrowers who accept both loan funds should document the uses of the funds appropriately.

Will we need to submit paper copies in addition to the online application? The language in the "law" state 3 days from application submission for grant disbursement. How long will grant dispursment take?
Caret

The application for the EIDL Grant program is strictly online, you will not be asked for additional paperwork. The system has been overloaded and the estimated disbursement is estimated at 7 to 10 days.

What financial supports are available for independent consultants with zero employees who do not qualify for unemployment yet are facing over 50% reduction in contracts since the pandemic began?
Caret

For a sole proprietor or independent contractor: wages, commissions, income, or net earnings from self-employment, capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

How long is it expected to take for small businesses to receive their stimulus funds? Same question for the employees.
Caret

EIDL is estimated at 7 to 10 days, PPP is 3 to 4 weeks but the system is being overloaded, so would encourage you to apply soon. Unemployment claims have waived the traditional wait periods.

What is the difference between the SBA EIDL and a PPP Loan via a 7a lender? How do I figure out which is best for my business?
Caret

Select the loan program that best meets your individual business needs; however, you are not permitted to hold funds from both programs for the same purpose. The PPP loan has different terms from the EIDL loan. The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance provides up to $2 million loan per business and are long-term, low-interest rate at 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits and a maturity of up to 30 years. The application period for PPP loans runs through June 30, 2020, but the EIDL application period runs through December 2020. If you have working capital needs beyond what is provided by PPP, you can apply for additional assistance through the EIDL program. If you are applying for both, you can accept PPP first – then decide whether to close on your EIDL approved loan. An EIDL approved loan may be closed within 60 days, and the borrower can choose whether to close on the loan. The EIDL application period runs through Dec. 2020.

If you have already applied for the original SBA/EIDL disaster relief loan will it be automatically be reviewed for the new program created from the new legislation?
Caret

No, you will need to apply thru a 7a lender if you are thinking about the PPP loan program.

Can we apply for 7a, EIDL, AND PPP loans? Or does applying for and accepting one loan disqualify us from accepting another loan?
Caret

“The PPP Loan is via a 7a Lender, so that is one loan. Yes you can apply for both but the EIDL forgiveness will be accounted against the forgiveness on the PPP.

Is the SBA's EIDL and PPP relief programs the same as the CARES Act?
Caret

The CARES Act expanded the existing SBA EIDL program, the CARES Act adds a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to the SBA’s section 7(a) lending program. The PPP offers loans of up to $10 million for businesses to maintain payroll and related benefits, interest on mortgages and other debts, leases and utility payments. All of this adds up to tremendous opportunities for organizations to get the help they need

Can a business apply for PPP as well as the Emergency Small Business Relief Loan Program?
Caret

Yes

I own a salon that has 3 people who pay rent to me but are not “employees”. Which loan should I apply for? I am an LLC
Caret

Start with the SBA EIDL $10k, if you are in the City of Tacoma or Unincorporated, that will be good for you. Then the PPP – these funds will take longer to receive.

Is the property tax extension going to be the same for Kitsap, King, Pierce, and Thurston counties as well?
Caret

Pierce and King Counties have extended the property tax due dates to June 1, 2020, Kitsap and Thurston have not announced changes yet. These are determined by county so please check back with each jurisdiction as it might change.

HR & Employee Services FAQ

List the Sick Leave information and websites for assistance
Caret

As for the status of the federal paid sick leave, that went into effect on April 1, 2020 and remains until December 31, 2020. Employees are eligible for the 80 hours of paid sick leave if:
1) The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
2) Advised by health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns around COVID-19;
3) Employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking medical attention;
4) Caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in No. 1 and No. 2;
5) Caring for a child under 18 (or older with disabilities) because school/childcare has been closed because of a federal, state or local order, or care is unavailable due to COVID-19;
6) Has significantly similar symptoms as specified by Health & Human Services in partnership with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.
Please note: employees are entitled to 100% of their pay, up to $511/day or $5,110 aggregate, for No. 1-3; employees receive 2/3rds of their pay, up to $200/day or $2,000 aggregate for reasons No 4-6.
Also, employees who work part time are prorated the 80 hours of paid leave; those who work variable schedules are subject to a lookback period of 6 months.
Leave can be stacked with Washington State’s paid sick leave. The payroll tax credits employers receive for providing the paid leave can only be applied to the Federal sick time paid out.
Here is a link for reference: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/FFCRA-Employee_Paid_Leave_Requirements.pdf
Here is a link for reference regarding applying the payroll tax credits for employers: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs
The federal paid sick leave is not paid out at employment termination, nor is there any carryover at the end of the year. The benefit sunsets on December 31, 2020.

Why is the Federal Sick Leave limited to those affected by a quarantine/isolation order but not a Governor's shutdown order?
Caret

The shut down order is addressed by the expanded unemployment (additional benefits, greater eligibility, etc). The sick leave is for those who are ill/under direction of provider care for isolation, or care for a dependent. Current guidance from DOL is that the federal sick leave is not to be used for the Governor’s isolation order, that instead unemployment is to be used.

If you were unemployed before and ran out of unemployment before the pandemic what do they base your salary on and will you get the $600?
Caret

If an individual was unemployed and ran out of benefits, I am not sure if the federal extension of benefits would apply. Best bet would be to apply for it and see what happens. To apply you go through the ESD’s process.

To use the additional paid sick leave or paid FMLA, is there a form to submit or file with 941 payment? How do we properly access this program, other than deduct from 941 payments?
Caret

Here’s a guide from the IRS on how to apply the payroll tax credits if an employer pays out federal paid sick leave or expanded FMLA benefits: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs

Where can we find guidelines when we return to work - do's and don'ts for HR. Can we reach out to you or are they posted somewhere?
Caret

Both the CDC and OSHA have issued guidelines for this: here’s the CDC link https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

And OSHA: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf Guidelines for returning to work – the closest available would be found both with the CDC’s “what happens if you are sick” as there’s a “coming out of isolation” section, and with OSHAS employer’s guide. Links are:

Does Sick Leave cover a person who is a primary care giver for thier elderly/high risk parent?
Caret

The federal paid sick leave would cover this, for 2/3rds of one’s pay. The expanded FMLA as it is stated now does not – it is only for care of children younger than 18 or have physical/mental disabilities. State sick leave can be used, yes. Federal paid sick leave can be used if it’s for caring for an individual provided they are 1) subject to federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or 2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; OR if it is for caring for a child because school or childcare has been unavailable due to closure because of the pandemic. Employees are NOT eligible for the expanded FMLA because of care for an elderly/high-risk parent.

What do we need to know regarding federal and state sick leave:
Caret

State sick leave can be used, yes. Federal paid sick leave can be used if it’s for caring for an individual provided they are 1) subject to federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or 2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; OR if it is for caring for a child because school or childcare has been unavailable due to closure because of the pandemic. Employees are NOT eligible for the expanded FMLA because of care for an elderly/high-risk parent.

It was mentioned that a safety poster from FFCRA needs to be posted. I located and posted the Employee Rights poster, but do not see a Safety Poster. Can you verify that and provide a link to that?
Caret

This is the version for the Non-Federal employers:
https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/posters/FFCRA_Poster_WH1422_Non-Federal.pdf

A link to the posters: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Is paid WA State sick leave usability wait period reduced from 90 days for new hires during pandemic - same as Federal sick leave?
Caret

I have not seen a waiver on the 90 day period for Washington’s sick leave. They could use the Federal sick leave, but what I know they will have to wait to access the State leave. As it stands now, the eligibility for WA Paid Sick Leave has not changed and remains at 90 days.

Can you stack the additional paid sick leave with the paid FMLA if the quarantine period is longer than 80 hours?
Caret

You can stack the paid sick leave with the paid Federal sick leave. However, the FMLA is only for childcare — it is not available for someone recovering from COVID 19. They could stack their paid sick leave with the expanded FMLA IF it is for childcare. The paid FMLA can only be used for care of a child under 18 (or have mental/physical disabilities) related to the closure of school or childcare as it related to the pandemic. It cannot be used for the traditional uses of FMLA. That said, if the federal paid sick leave is taken for childcare, then yes, it can be stacked with the expanded FMLA, as the first 2 weeks of the FMLA leave are unpaid.

If an employee was out on a qualified reason prior to April 2nd, do they still qualify for the additional Paid Sick Leave or paid FMLA under this program?
Caret

The employee is only eligible for the emergency paid sick leave if they meet certain criteria – basically, that their illness/symptoms are related to COVID 19 or significantly similar to them as determined by HHS and the Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Treasury. Also they can use it to care for a child because school/childcare is not available. If they were already on leave, both leave acts are not applicable unless they meet these criteria.

The expanded FMLA is only for coverage of childcare. Not anything else. The federal paid sick leave is only for leave needing to be taken due to the pandemic. It cannot be used to extend the leave due to another condition, nor can it be taken for anything other than something related to COVID-19. The extended FMLA can ONLY be taken for care of a child under 18 (or with mental/physical disabilities) due to the closure of schools or childcare as it relates to the pandemic.

Do you have a link to websites to send out to our employees?
Caret

Links to websites:

Does the part time unemplyoment benefits apply to previous full time employees that there isn't enough work for? If so, is there any special process to apply for that?
Caret

Previous full time employees are eligible for part time unemployment benefits in WA state because their hours have been reduced. No special process, they just apply through ESD.

If a Small Business in Washington State has applied for Sharedwork some weeks ago and has not received confirmation of acceptance, does that mean they aren’t, or has the paperwork not caught up? Also, if the affected employees have been paid less unemployment because the company is not set up for Sharedwork, will the adjustment in unemployment benefits be made retroactive? And has a followup, if the employer has then applied for an SBA forgivable PPP loan, will that conflict with the Sharedwork program? And, will the federal $600/week additional unemployment benefit still apply to those on Sharedwork, who are receiving unemployment benefits?
Caret

Likely the ESD has not caught up with the paperwork, as they will inform you if a plan does not qualify for Shared Work. Similarly, unemployment benefits are retroactive to the application date. For PPP, the provision is that you have by June 30, as long as they were laid off after March 1. Also, it is actually an aggregate number, so not specific to individuals. The state’s ESD department is very backlogged, and so if an employer has not received confirmation of acceptance of their shared work program, it doesn’t mean that the plan is not accepted.

What I had heard in previous webinars and calls was that the first piece of legislation Congress passed called for all businesses to provide two weeks of paid sick leave to their employees. I believe there were some who suggested that rules were being written that might exclude small businesses from this requirement but to my knowledge nothing has been publicized about that. What is the status of the paid sick leave requirement? If we’ve already laid off employees, what’s required of us? If we’re fortunate to get any stimulus money either through the SBA emergency fund or from our local financial institution through the PPP, are we to apply those funds to help cover the sick leave when we’re told our employees can’t be at work? I need clarification about where the paid sick leave requirement stands.
Caret

Yes, small businesses, those with less than 50 employees, may receive an exemption from the FFCRA requirements. Exemptions come if a business can meet ONE of these:
a) Providing the leave would exceed the revenues of the business and cause the employer to cease operations at a minimal capacity; or
b) The absence of employee(s) would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capacities because of the specialized skill, knowledge and responsibilities; or
c) There are not sufficient workers to run at a minimal capacity if providing leave.
According to the DOL’s clarification, employers should not send any request or additional information to DOL for the exemption. “To elect this small business exemption, you should document why your business with fewer than 50 employees meets the criteria set forth by the Department, which will be addressed in more detail in forthcoming regulations.” https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

 

Will our employees on unemployment due to the Covid-19 receive the extra $600?
Caret

Yes, payments will start mid April and employees on unemployment due to COVID-19 will get the extra $600.

I have a question about the Unemployment for our employees. We have 4 people out and 3 of us still working as essiental employees for our Fuel dock. This extra $600 that is being talked about, does that go to all Unemployed people? We are just looking for clarification.
Caret

All laid off employees, at this point, will be eligible for the additional $600/week benefit from the federal unemployment program. To apply/access it, individuals simply apply for unemployment through the State. The federal check will likely come separately from the State’s unemployment benefit and will kick in mid-April.

Is the no disconnect electrical or gas also offered thru Lakeview Power and Light during this COVID-19 pandemic?
Caret

We have not heard they have stated that yet, please continue to check their website: https://lakeviewlight.com

If I decide to pay my employees while our sugaring studio has to be closed, would that delay their eligibility to file for unemployment?
Caret

Yes. If they are receiving full pay, they would not be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits.

Is the application for unemployement with State or federal?
Caret

Application is made with the State of WA. The State has been provided with Federal funding for the additional benefit but will administer the full program once set up to do so. They have indicated there is some delay in implementing.

 

What amedement did congress included in the coronavirus unemployement concerning people to have only social security to be qualified. Elimininating the nuances/ambiguity by the DHS.
Caret

We are not sure what this refers to. The recovery rebate does have a provision for those who have only received Social Security and did not have enough taxable income to necessitate the filing of a return.

Do I need to request standby for each employee that files for standby, and do I need to request a relief of benefit charges for each employee who filed for standby?
Caret

Under emergency rules, requests for standby can be made for up to 12 weeks by either worker or employer. Based on what is described on WA State ESD web site today, it appears you would need to file for relief for each employee for standard unemployment benefits. Additional benefits under the Federal CARES Act will not affect your rates.

I thought unemployment was a percentage of regular pay. I know the new bill gives $600 extra per week, but I did not think that it also gave full pay + $600. Can we confirm that? https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/calculate-your-benefit
Caret

The standard unemployment benefit can be calculated via the link that you have indicated. The additional $600 from the CARES Act is in addition to this benefit, until July 31, 2020.

Please describe the sick leave policies and changes related to Covid19.
Caret

We have a great piece that goes over many FAQs (https://image.hello.aleragroup.com/lib/fe3415717564047a761d76/m/1/600a497a-a852-44c7-811c-8147ea9f4c8d.pdf) that are probably on your mind.

For a great piece that also goes over what triggers a COVID-19 leave, please check out the following link: https://image.hello.aleragroup.com/lib/fe3415717564047a761d76/m/1/8ca79a4e-317a-4d5a-beeb-cd413a7ac66b.pdf or go to: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

What instructions should we give our employees when applying for Standby to increase their chances of being approved?
Caret

Indicate that they are on standby and expect to be recalled by their employer. The employer may also respond on the “Request for Separation Form” that is provided to an employee once they have filed for and are approved for unemployment benefits.

Do employers or employees apply for "Stand-By" unemployment? What can I as an employer do to help my employees in this transition?
Caret

Under emergency rules, requests for standby can be made for up to 12 weeks by either worker or employer.

How soon do approvals come through for businesses that have applied for SharedWork program?
Caret

Given the volume of activity for ESD, we do not have clarity on how long an approval may take. The best course of action would be to email or call: https://esd.wa.gov/SharedWork

Still looking for an update on the SharedWork Program through ESD. I have called and emailed to no response. Nothing on the website has been updated, no forms for employees to submit hours, no follow up instruction for employees or employers. My employees are getting nervous. Any advice?
Caret

Other than the State link, we do not have inside or updated information. https://esd.wa.gov/SharedWork

Is it possible to utilize both the Emergency Paid Leave program previously announced as well as the new Paycheck Protection Program?
Caret

We are not currently aware of any limitations from utilizing both programs, but new guidance is being released regularly. We recommend all available options be explored.

How can I apply to have my business be recognized as essential?
Caret

https://mil.wa.gov/business-re-entry-registration

We submitted the applcation for the SharedWork Program and have heard nothing back. . Are there any updates? Their is nothing on the ESD website?
Caret

The systems are overwhelmed. Your employees should file unemployment weekly regardless of getting final approval from ESD.

My staff is eligible for unemployment on April 1st. Should I have them file just in case we are not approved for PPP and if we do go ahead and are approved can we tell unemployment security not to process payments and we will pay them paychecks through the PPP program?
Caret

This question is best answered by WA State ESD. PPP loans may take some time for approval. Given the volume of claims, ESD likely would not be able to manage requests from employers since employees set up individual SAW accounts in order to access unemployment benefits. We suggest best to consult with ESD directly on this question.

 

Are the payments to citizens taxable? Will I receive a 1099 for taxes?
Caret

CARES Act Section 2201 – From what we understand, this does not count as taxable income, but please consult with your tax advisor. We expect more clarity on this question will become available.

Is there any fine print regarding the individual $1200 stipend that would require the person to refund part or all of that if their income in 2020 exceeds $75,000?
Caret

The amount of the stipend will be based on an individual’s 2019 taxes if they have been filed, or the 2018 taxes if the 2019 taxes have not yet been filed. Final regulations have not been released, but some of the commentary we have seen says that there will be no claw back of rebates for individuals who received a rebate based on income in 2019 or 2018, but who exceed the thresholds in 2020. You should consult with your tax consultant when it comes time to file your 2020 taxes. The section you are referring to would be in the CARES Act, https://files.taxfoundation.org/20200325223111/FINAL-FINAL-CARES-ACT.pdf

How long is it expected to take for employees to receive their stimulus funds?
Caret

The Internal Revenue Service will begin making about 60 million direct deposit payments in mid-April to the people who have bank account information on file with the agency, according to the analysis sent to lawmakers on Wednesday. Those payments will take about three weeks to process. The IRS then will begin putting paper checks in the mail in early May. The IRS will send approximately 100 million checks at a rate of 5 million per week, which could take 20 weeks, meaning the final round of payments may not go out until September. The checks will be issued in reverse “adjusted gross income” order—starting with people with the lowest income first.

Why were there changes overnight on the PPP loan? For instance payroll changed from 25% to 75%.
Caret

As rules and guideances are reviewed, there will be more changes, this is being implimented quickly so you will need to keep updated as much as you can.

Please clarify how to calculate the amount of payroll that can be forgiven on the new SBA PPP loan.
Caret

It is eight weeks of payroll plus rent or mortgage interest payments plus utility bills paid in the first eight weeks after being approved for your loan. But in order to get this amount, you must verify you did indeed pay those costs eligible for the forgiveness amount. You can apply to your lender for loan forgiveness eight weeks after getting approved for your loan, with the necessary documentation to prove you spent the loan proceeds on eight weeks of payroll, rent or mortgage interest and utilities. Your individual lender then has 60 days to verify and process loan forgiveness applications. If a business has maintained its employee headcount it had as of February 15, 2020, it will get the full forgiveness amount. If its headcount is less than that, its loan forgiveness will be reduced according to another formula. Independent contractors do not count for loan forgiveness calculation purposes (except when applying for themselves, of course).

Do deferrments of SBA loans apply to the 504 program as well?
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Yes, you are still eligible to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program even if you applied for or received an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. If your Economic Injury Disaster Loan was not used for payroll costs, it does not affect your eligibility for a Paycheck Protection Program loan. If your Economic Injury Disaster Loan was used for payroll costs, your Paycheck Protection Program loan must be used to refinance your Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The Paycheck Protection Program’s maximum loan amount is $10 million with a fixed 1% interest rate and maturity of two years. Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance provides up to $2 million loan per business and are long-term, low-interest rate at 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for non-profits and a maturity of up to 30 years. Any advance up to $10,000 on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount of the Paycheck Protection Program loan. For example, a borrower may obtain a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program and use those funds to pay for 8 weeks of payroll or employee retention. They may wish to then dedicate their entire EIDL funds towards working capital, notes payable and accounts payable that do not duplicate the funds provided through the Paycheck Protection Program. If the EIDL loan was used for payroll expenses, the borrower must refinance the EIDL loan with the PPP loan which carries a lower interest rate as well as a shorter maturity period.

Do you have a list of SBA 7a lenders in Tacoma/Pierce County that are participating in the SBA Paycheck Protection Program?
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Here is who we have heard from directly: Chamber Members – Banner Bank, Columbia Bank, First Financial Northwest Bank, Key Bank, Kitsap Bank, Sound Community Bank, Timberland Bank. Others we presume are but have not confirmed are: BofA, Chase, Umpqua, US Bank, Wells Fargo

The forgiveness reductions are eliminated if you reinstate your entire workforce by June 30th, is that correct? So I could keep some employee laid off, pay others, but still be forgiven if I hire everyone back by June 30th?
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Calculating which costs qualify for loan forgiveness is determined by a formula, designed to enable businesses to maintain payroll and retain employees without substantially reducing employee compensation: Forgivable portion (FP) = Payroll costs (PC) + any applicable mortgage interest payments (MIP) + any covered utility payment (UP), or: FP = PC + MIP + UP To be approved for loan forgiveness, businesses must contact their lender (either SBA or whomever is relevant) and submit an application including documentation verifying the number of employees on payroll and their compensation levels, along with all relevant documents showing payments on mortgage interest and utility payments. All current SBA 7(a) lenders are eligible lenders for PPP, and the U.S. Department of Treasury is responsible for authorizing new lenders.

As a small business owner, I'm also on my company payroll as an employee. Can my own salary, as an employee, be forgiven from an SBA loan?
Caret

Yes, but remember that payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.

Who will administer the rules re PPP forgiveness, the SBA bank?
Caret

Yes, but remember that payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee.
SBA will set guidance and rule making.

How long will it take to process your loan with the SBA?
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EIDL is estimated at 7 to 10 days, PPP is 3 to 4 weeks but the system is overloaded, so you are encouraged to apply ASAP.

Is the application for the SBA loan program through the SBA office, or do we contact our local business banker?
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The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) is thru the SBA website and the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) is thru local 7a Lenders.

Has SBA given any guidance to banks on how to handle business defaults due to COVID? Are banks still being directed to get all assets before asking for SBA to make the bank whole?
Caret

Guidance has been given, 7a lenders are starting to be able to loan on the PPP loans.

Can you get both a EIDL through the SBA as well as the PPP loan?
Caret

Yes, but the EIDL forgiveness will be counted against the forgiveness on the PPP.  If you receive funds from each loan type they must be used for different expenses.

Will my employment security premiums increase due to the claim(s) being filed?
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For the portion of unemployment benefits provided by Federal funding as part of the CARES ACT, rates will not go up. The same is true for employers who opt to use the Shared Work program. The standard unemployment benefit rate may be impacted. Please reference ESD explanation for standard unemployment rate determination here: https://esd.wa.gov/employer-taxes/tax-rate-faq

Unemployment benefits could be raised up to $600 per week per person, how is the amount determined? Some employees could make more than 100% of their typical paycheck. Why would an employee want to get rehired while their work is closed down if they make more on unemployment.
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Section 2104 of the CARES Act provides most individuals an emergency increase in unemployment insurance benefits of $600 per week in states that adopt it. It appears that this could increase benefits beyond what many workers were earning before becoming unemployed. This provision expires after July 31, 2020 but could be extended. More guidance is expected. https://aleragroup.com/news/legal-alert-congress-passes-the-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-act-cares-act-040120/

If we have an "Essential Business" and have employees that don't want to work, but are given the opportunity to work, do they still qualify for unemployment? Assume the employee is healthy and not deemed to be in an at-risk category, although they may claim the same to get the time off. Catch 22?
Caret

If they are able, healthy, and work is available in a business deemed as essential, they likely would not qualify for unemployment benefits unless they meet one of the categories under COVID-19 rules: https://esdorchardstorage.blob.core.windows.net/esdwa/Default/ESDWAGOV/newsroom/COVID-19/covid-19-scenarios-and-benefits.pdf. ESD is the ultimate decision maker and conditions will be a determining factor.

What percentage of pay does a worker get on unemployment? Can standby be longer than 8 weeks due to COVID-19 slow or shut down?
Caret

Section 2104 of the CARES Act provides most individuals an emergency increase in unemployment insurance benefits of $600 per week in states that adopt it. It appears that this could increase benefits beyond what many workers were earning before becoming unemployed. This provision expires after July 31, 2020 but could be extended. More guidance is expected (see response to question 4 above). Standard unemployment benefits are calculated as follows: https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/calculate-your-benefit, and are in addition to the benefit provided under the CARES Act as described above. Under current emergency rules, standby has been extended to up to 12 weeks.

Clarify Standby vs Lay Off for employers
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Standby is a temporary layoff an employer may get approved by the Washington ESD. Standby waives the job search requirements while workers are collecting unemployment benefits during the approved standby period. See more about Standby eligibility here: https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/temporary-layoff-standby-rules

Clarify the rules for Employer VS Employees for "Stand by"
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See information regarding Standby here: https://esd.wa.gov/about-employees/temporary-layoff-standby-rules

How can an employer verify if they are on Shared Work and that the employees are being accounted for?
Caret

https://esd.wa.gov/SharedWork/Employer-FAQ

How does partial unemployment work and is calculated?
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It is best to use the on line calculator. Partial unemployment will be dependent upon a number of factors, including how much the person is working in comparison to the standard unemployment benefit et al. https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/calculate-your-benefit. Additional benefits may be available thru Section 2104 of the CARES Act (see previous responses on this topic).

For small businesses mandated to close, do you recommend employees apply under the “standby” provision as we intend to re-open? And, and will their unemployment pay be retroactive to the date we had to close?
Caret

This is a good option, under emergency rules employees can remain on standby for up to 12 weeks. Employment Security makes the final decision on claim approval, and once the approval occurs, benefits begin on the date that application was made by the claimant under current emergency rules. (Under normal conditions, there is a one week waiting periord to be eligible.)

If employees are receiving unemployment pay are business owners still required to pay them their accrued Paid Sick Leave
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No, because they are not actively working.

Are businesses required to pay the employee their accrued Paid Sick Leave ONLY if the employee, their child/family member is affected by COVID-19? Or are they supposed to be paid their accrued state Paid Sick Leave because our business was shut down?
Caret

There are two situations where you would have to pay out the accrued Paid Sick Leave/PTO.
1. If you terminate the employee(s), then under Washington law you need to pay out accrued Sick Leave/PTO. If you are furloughing the employee(s), essentially where you are not terminating their employment but telling them to plan to bring them back as soon as you have work for them, then you do not have to pay out the accrued Sick Leave/PTO.
2. If the employee applies to use their accrued Sick Leave/PTO because they were sick or had reduced hours (prior to April 1), or they want to use their accrued Sick Leave/PTO to supplement their Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act of Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act benefits outlined in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was signed into law on March 17, and had these two new benefits effective April 1, 2020. “””

Our employer has laid off 10 and still counting employees due to declining of work, lack of work, and individual health concerns, some has not been with our company less than 1 – 12 months. Would they be qualify to apply for unemployment?
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https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment Please reference item “Step 1: Eligibliity”

Are very small businesses (50 employees) and with primarily an hourly /temporary work force (i.e. restaurants) also required to provide paid sick and family leave?
Caret

Private sector employers with 1 to 500 employees and all public sector employers (cities, municipalities, schools, etc.) are subject to the new Leave laws. Small employers with under 50 employees may be exempt from these laws if providing the benefits would jeopardize the viability of the business. Also on a case-by-case basis, most employees of a health care provider are not eligible for these new leave benefits. For more information see: https://aleragroup.com/news/legal-alert-what-employers-are-subject-to-the-families-first-coronavirus-response-act-ffcra-040120/ or go to: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions.

You had great information about the sick leave program and 80 hours to be paid for employees who are losing time from work due to self-quarentine, etc. but where on a website is this information?
Caret

There is a wonderful piece to reference from the Alera Group at: https://image.hello.aleragroup.com/lib/fe3415717564047a761d76/m/1/e61da8db-6cb7-4994-ad28-da68f741ecbb.pdf or go to: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

How do you find out if you are an essential service?
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Please refer to this resource to determine if you are an essential business under WA State guidelines: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business.

Regarding FFCRA & FML I operate a business with fewer than 50 employees. I have a FTE that needed to stop working beginning April 2 because her daycare closed and her partner cannot provide childcare after April 1 due to his employment switching to tele working. It is unclear when her daycare may re-open and she has found no other daycare taking new clients. I have chosen not to exempt from the FFCRA to provide a safety net for my employees. How Is Federal Emergency FML pay and hours treated with respect to federal withholding, FICA, L&I, ESD, retirement benefits? In other words, am I supposed to deduct and pay federal government for these emergency funds or WA state for hours not actually worked, but paid a wage? Are these hours exempt from 401K benefits or do I need to match if my employee does not change her contributions temporarily?
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Please follow the guidelines as described on the US DOL web site, including rate of pay, how to pay, etc. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave This would be treated as a typical payroll processing following the guidelines for amount of pay, etc.  However, you can apply for payroll tax credits. You must track time paid and should follow IRS guidance to claim these credits: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs

What is being done for people that lose their medical insurance due to being layoff
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If your business is COBRA eligible, your employees can either continue on with current benefits through COBRA. However, if your business is not a COBRA eligible company or if the employee finds the COBRA premiums too much, they can also look into individual benefits through the Washington State Exchange. The WA State Exchange is holding a special enrollment period for those who are uninsured. The original special enrollment period, that ran from March 10, 2020 through April 8, 2020, will now continue through May 8, 2020. Coverage will start May 1, 2020 for customers who enroll after April 8. For more details go to: https://www.wahbexchange.org/washington-healthplanfinder-extends-current-special-enrollment-period-gives-extra-month-for-uninsured-to-secure-health-coverage/

For non-profits who do not pay taxes, is there any reimbursement of paid leave to employees?
Caret

“There is good news for non-profits. The credit applies to federal employment taxes and not income taxes so tax-exempt employers are eligible. See the IRS FAQ’s here: https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs#basic Question Number 5 “”What employers may claim the tax credits?””

Communications & Marketing FAQ

Is there's a pandemic response template available for businesses to utilize and to modify?
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The International Association of Business Communicators has compiled a page of a resources helpful for communications during the COVID-19 crisis https://www.iabc.com/covid-19-resources/
Included is a Crisis Response Template. Although it is a template designed for any crisis, it will be very helpful creating communication points during our present circumstances as well. https://www.iabc.com/crisis-response-template/

For many new small business owners, this is the biggest crisis they’ve had to face. Their instinct might be to try creative marketing to engage with their customers to bolster sales. Social media seems to reinforce these asks. Are those misplaced efforts? If the goal is to still be in business in a couple months from now, what’s going to have the biggest impact?
Caret

Depending on the type of business, sales may be hard to come by at the moment. Staying in the target audience’s eye is never a bad thing and if paid advertising is out of the question, then using social media to stay engaged is an excellent idea. Engaging through social media can allow a business to generate trust, good will, and possibly a perception of expertise in their field.

Legal Assistance FAQ

When hiring or using temps will employers be able to ask COVID-19 questions of candidates who were laid off because of coronavirus? We have new hiring needs but are postponing interviews until after Stay At Home Order is lifted - How can we protect our workplace and employees?
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The EEOC on March 19, 2020 provided additional guidance to employers with respect to workplace safety during the declared pandemic related to Coronavirus and COVID-19. The short answer is yes, employers are allowed to ask questions of employees who call in sick, provided that those questions are related to the pandemic itself. Employers are also allowed to take employee temperatures. That said, employers need to be prepared in both instances to know what to do with the information they receive so as not to violate employee privacy, ensure that all employees and applicants are being treated equally, how to properly administer the temperature reading, and more. Essentially, if employers are going to do this, they must be very careful, and be well prepared. More information can be found at:

I have a small clinic and both owners are paid via guaranteed payments not through payroll. Is our income counted as part of the forgivable loan amount? Is rent and utilities counted in the loan amount as part of the 2.5 x equation?
Caret

The income is a payroll cost.

We have employees who are on a base salary + commission of advertising sales. 80% of advertisers have ceased until further notice. Would those employees be eligable for PPP assistance?
Caret

The employer applies for the loan – not the employees. The purpose of PPP is to keep employees paid by the employer.

What does Forgiveable loan mean?
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The loan is not automatically forgiven. It may be forgiven (the borrower does not have to repay the loan) if certain terms are met.

Any issues related to inclusion of utilities and rent in the forgivable loans
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75% of the loan proceeds must be used for payroll. Up to 25% of the loan forgiveness amount may be used for certain non-payroll costs, including

  • costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums;
  • mortgage interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments or principal payments);
  • rent payments;
  •  utility payments;
  •  interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020; and/or
  • refinancing an SBA EIDL loan made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020. If you received an SBA EIDL loan from January 31, 2020 16 through April 3, 2020, you can apply for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was not used for payroll costs, it does not affect your eligibility for a PPP loan. If your EIDL loan was used for payroll costs, your PPP loan must be used to refinance your EIDL loan. Proceeds from any advance up to $10,000 on the EIDL loan will be deducted from the loan forgiveness amount on the PPP loan.
Can you go over the health care costs being included in the PPP?
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What qualifies as “payroll costs?” Payroll costs consist of compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees.

Leave payments are counted as a payroll cost for PPP payroll costs (there is a limitation if credit is allowed, but it does not apply because the leave is non-Coronavirus related). 75% of the loan proceeds must be used for payroll. However, forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease.
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The amount over $100,000 is excluded from the maximum loan amount calculation. The calculation and example is copied from the Final Rule.

  • How do I calculate the maximum amount I can borrow? The following methodology, which is one of the methodologies contained in the Act, will be most useful for many applicants.
    • Step 1: Aggregate payroll costs (defined in detail below in f.) from the last twelve months for employees whose principal place of residence is the United States.
    • Step 2: Subtract any compensation paid to an employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000 and/or any amounts paid to an independent contractor or sole proprietor in excess of $100,000 per year.
    • Step 3: Calculate average monthly payroll costs (divide the amount from Step 2 by 12).
    • Step 4: Multiply the average monthly payroll costs from Step 3 by 2.5.
    • Step 5: Add the outstanding amount of an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) made between January 31, 2020 and April 3, 2020, less the 9 amount of any “advance” under an EIDL COVID-19 loan (because it does not have to be repaid).

The examples below illustrate this methodology.

Example 1 – No employees make more than $100,000
Annual payroll: $120,000
Average monthly payroll: $10,000
Multiply by 2.5 = $25,000
Maximum loan amount is $25,000

Example 2 – Some employees make more than $100,000
Annual payroll: $1,500,000
Subtract compensation amounts in excess of an annual salary of $100,000: $1,200,000
Average monthly qualifying payroll: $100,000
Multiply by 2.5 = $250,000
Maximim loan amount is $250,000

Example 3 – No employees make more than $100,000, outstanding EIDL loan of $10,000. Annual payroll: $120,000
Average monthly payroll: $10,000
Multiply by 2.5 = $25,000
Add EIDL loan of $10,000 = $35,000
Maximum loan amount is $35,000 10

Example 4 – Some employees make more than $100,000, outstanding EIDL loan of $10,000 Annual payroll: $1,500,000
Subtract compensation amounts in excess of an annual salary of $100,000: $1,200,000
Average monthly qualifying payroll: $100,000
Multiply by 2.5 = $250,000
Add EIDL loan of $10,000 = $260,000
Maximum loan amount is $260,000

I have a question about the PPP loan forgiveness. I understand that all employees must stay on the payroll. In our case, we have one employee who is out on leave right now and for the next two months for a medical condition (non-Covid-19). His leave will be exhausted prior to returning to work and will need to take leave without pay. Will that count against us on loan forgiveness?
Caret

Leave payments are counted as a payroll cost for PPP payroll costs (there is a limitation if credit is allowed, but it does not apply because the leave is non-Coronavirus related).
75% of the loan proceeds must be used for payroll. However, forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines or if salaries and wages decrease.

 

What about 1099 contractors? Do they qualify for payroll coverage?
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1099 independent contractors do not count for purposes of calculating the maximum PPP loan amount or the amount that may be forgiven.

Do the payments my business makes to independent contractors count as payroll?
Caret

No, they do not.

Are contract workers who get 1099’d eligible for the CARES Act program for the Paycheck Protection Loan program?
Caret

They can apply for their own loans, but 1099 independent contractors do not count for purposes of calculating your maximum PPP loan amount or the amount that may be forgiven.

Does the forgiveness calculation take part-time employees into account? Or is it just based on whether or not you have reduced headcount for full-time employees?
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In determining the number of employees, the SBA counts all individuals employed on a full-time, part-time, or other basis. This includes employees obtained from a temporary employee agency, professional employee organization, or leasing concern. Part-time and temporary employees are counted the same as full-time employees. If a concern has not been in business for 12 months, the SBA uses the average number of employees for each of the pay periods during which it has been in business.

Is there any consideration in calculation for minimum wage increase from 2019 to 2020?
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The loan amount is based on prior payroll costs. You must use at least 75% of the loan proceeds for payroll costs.

Are S-Corp owners who have a W-2 but opt out for unemployment benefits eligible?
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If they are asking about the PPP, yes.

Is my business considered essential under the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in effect for a minimum of two weeks?
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Refer to this list of essential businesses: https://coronavirus.wa.gov/whats-open-and-closed/essential-business

Can these loans also be used to pay for temporary and contingent employees? In other words, to pay the staffing company for the employees they assign to a business?
Caret

Yes

We have just hired a new employee that was to replace one who was quitting for another job. She started after the Feb 15th date. Would her pay, if retained, not be elligible for forgiveness over that 8 week period then?
Caret

The aggregate payroll cost is the important factor in determining the maximum loan amount and loan forgiveness amount.

For the PPP, what if the owners were taking a Draw instead of a W-2? Will their money be eligible to be forgiven under the PPP?
Caret

Yes, they are part of payroll costs.

It pays for 8 weeks of payroll however with the FMLA employers are required to pay 12 weeks sick leave to those effected from COVID-19. Are employers responsible for the last 4 weeks?
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The 12-week leave requirement consists of two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave. This is an important distinction because qualification for the 2 weeks and 10 week are different, as is the calculation of pay during those times.

The 10-weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave applies only when an employee is unable to work (or telework) because they are caring for a child whose school or place of care is closed (or the child care provider is unavailable) for reasons related to COVID-19. Employees taking leave for this reason are to be paid at 2/3 their regular rate (or 2/3 the applicable minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to $200 per day and $12,000 in the aggregate (over a 12-week period, which includes two weeks of paid sick leave followed by up to 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave). For a good explanation of the qualifications and pay calculations, see https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-employer-paid-leave#_ftn1

Employers may take dollar-for-dollar tax credits for qualifying wages paid. Note that for purposes of calculating the PPP loan amount and forgiveness, sick and family leave payments for which a credit is allowed cannot be included in “payroll costs.”

Hardship waivers are available if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.

Does average payroll include all taxes and benefits? What about medical insurance coverage costs?
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Payroll costs consist of compensation to employees (whose principal place of residence is the United States) in the form of salary, wages, commissions, or similar compensation; cash tips or the equivalent (based on employer records of past tips or, in the absence of such records, a reasonable, good-faith employer estimate of such tips); payment for vacation, parental, family, medical, or sick leave; allowance for separation or dismissal; payment for the provision of employee benefits consisting of group health care coverage, including insurance premiums, and retirement; payment of state and local taxes assessed on compensation of employees.

We can bring all of our employees back on payroll for the PPP, but once the 8 weeks of the loan end, we will not be able to afford to keep them ALL on payroll. We will have to ramp up business again and that will take time. Do we just layoff staff again at that time?
Caret

There is flexibility in the timing of the 8-week period – consider using those funds to ramp back up.

If you lay people off , put them on furlough or put them on standby- do they need to use their sick leave or vacation leave before they apply for unemployment?
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Employees are not required to use sick, vacation, or PTO before they apply for unemployment.

Is there any talk of changing bankruptcy laws for businesses that ultimately fail due to COVID? Most small businesses offer personal collateral, such as homes, to secure their SBA loan. These would be foreclosed on by the lending bank IAW current SBA loan agreements
Caret

The bankruptcy code was recently amended (prior to the pandemic). I have not heard any discussions about changing the bankruptcy laws related to COVID-19. However, there is a new program to provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans. The SBA will cover loan payments on certain loans for 6 months. See https://chambermaster.blob.core.windows.net/userfiles/UserFiles/chambers/1361/File/Wesite_Documents/The-Small-Business-Owners-Guide-to-the-CARES-Act.pdf

If we as a business defer payments, how will that affect one's credit?
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It depends on the type credit or loan and your lender. For example, there is a new program to provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans. The SBA will cover loan payments on certain loans for 6 months. See https://chambermaster.blob.core.windows.net/userfiles/UserFiles/chambers/1361/File/Wesite_Documents/The-Small-Business-Owners-Guide-to-the-CARES-Act.pdf Generally, close communication with your lender or supplier is better than not communicating with them.

Suspension of evictions means the shift of financial exposure from the tenants to the property owners. How, exactly, will that work and what does that look like?
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While this issue has been raised, no solution for landlords exists yet other than part of the PPP funds to businesses may be used to pay commercial rent. This may be addressed in future federal or state legislation.

If the part time workers are furloughed but continue to receive healthcare benefits, will that affect their unemployment benefit eligibility?
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If they otherwise qualify, it may reduce the amount of their benefit.

We are looking at needing to reduce hours but trying to maintain our employees health insurance. Our insurance contract has a minimum of 30 hours a week for employees to be eligible for health insurance. How does unemployment or the SharedWork program affect our ability to keep staff on our company health insurance?
Caret

Layoffs generally qualify employees for COBRA coverage, and you could pay all or part of the COBRA premium.

Under the SharedWork program, fringe benefits (if offered before the SharedWork plan is established) must be maintained and may be reduced only if the same reductions exist for other employees who are not participating in the SharedWork. Qualification for coverage depends on the policy language (it is usually an average minimum hours worked by employees) and the carrier. It is worth a call with your broker/carrier to determine coverage (even if you pay the premiums, the employee might not be covered if not eligible).

If I have hourly employees I am not paying because our business is currently closed, do I need to do something besides notify them there are no hours, like formally notify them they are laid off? Or furloughed?
Caret

No.

My business is located in WA, but I have a full-time employee who works remotely in a different state. They do not seem to be offering the same employment retention policies as WA state such as Standby or Partial Employment unemployment benefits. What options do I have?
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The Washington Employment Security Department’s website indicates that to be eligible for unemployment benefits in Washington, wages must have been earned in Washington. However, it is a federal program administered by the states and benefits should be available in the other state. https://esd.wa.gov/unemployment/basic-eligibility-requirements

Depending on the circumstances and nature of work, one of the options you might have is to continue to employ the person at full wage and apply for a forgivable loan through the PPP.

Are there any protections for undocumented workers who can not normally apply for unemployment?
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Unknown. https://www.informedimmigrant.com/guides/coronavirus/#

I live in Clark County, Washington but my small business is based out of Oregon. It's licensed in both Oregon /Washington. Do I use my home address when applying or my business address?
Caret

If the business is based on Oregon, and it is a business loan, use the business address where employees are employed.

Which is the best loan for a self-employed person?
Caret

You should consider the nature of your business and the economics of each loan. PPP forgivable loans are available for self-employed persons.

Other FAQ

Who do I contact if I am interested in manufacturing PPE's?
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Here are links to WA State programs seeking manufacturers to make/supply PPEs Manufacturers Needed for COVID19 Response WA State Emergency Request for COVID19 PPE supplies WA State Washington State Department of Commerce Portal. https://coronavirus.wa.gov/how-you-can-help

Manufacturers Needed for COVID19 Response WA State

Emergency Request for COVID19 PPE supplies WA State

Washington State Department of Commerce Portal. https://coronavirus.wa.gov/how-you-can-help