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  • ** CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION **

    At ChamberWest we are working to keep businesses informed of best practices when it comes to how to brace for the COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic that has now hit Utah.  Below are some helpful tips on how to help your business and employees be prepared and to stay as healthy as possible. 

    Below you will find several links to helpful information.  As new information comes available, we will be updating them as we get them.  Please let us know how your business is doing and what you are experiencing out there in our Chamber. 

     


    State of Utah Business Resources

    Stay up to date on what's happening in Utah and what the State of Utah recommendations are to help us effectively respond to the COVID-19 virus.  If you're worried about whether you may have COVID-19, please call the Utah Coronavirus Information Line at 1-800-456-7707.  This website has resources that businesses can find and use to keep their employees safe and the doors open.


    The Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development has resources available to help businesses as well.  They also shared the following message with us for business.

    Dear Community Partners,

     

    In partnership with Utah's congressional delegation, the state emergency management division, and the Utah Governor's Office, we are pleased to announce that all 29 counties in Utah are now eligible to apply for low-interest loans through the Small Business Administration.

     

    While we recognize this loan program will not solve all of our economic challenges, it will serve as an effective tool for businesses affected by COVID-19.  Additionally, Governor Herbert convened an economic council to discuss additional strategies to support local businesses.  More information and recommendations will be forthcoming.

     

    The terms of the SBA loans are as follows:

    • 3.75% interest rate for small businesses
    • 2.75% interest rate for non-profits
    • Repayment terms of up to 30 years

    To apply for SBA loans, please click the following link: [https://business.utah.gov/business-services/]

     

    Thank you for strength and resiliency during these challenging times.

    Ryan Starks

    Managing Director of Business Services

    Utah Governor's Office of Economic Development

    60 E South Temple, 3rd Floor, Salt Lake City, UT  84111

    Managing Director of Business Services 


     

    Click here to access the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

    Need step-by-step guidance on filing for a small business or self-employed emergency loan? Click here to access the U.S. Chamber's new Small Business Loan Guide & Checklist. It will help you determine: "Am I eligible? What will lenders ask? How much can I borrow? And will this loan be forgiven?"

    Hope that you and your family are safe and healthy during this time and beyond.


    Download here the White House Press Release: FACTSHEET COVID-19 RESOURCES


    Download here information regarding the SBA Disaster Assistance in Response to Coronavirus.


     

    Download here the Three Step Process to apply for a SBA Disaster Loan.


     

    Coronavirus Utah businesses: How Utah leaders plan to help workers, businesses during coronavirus restrictions

    SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News)- With the coronavirus spreading across Utah, health leaders are asking people to limit gatherings and stay home, if possible. The social-distancing mandate and virus is slowing business for some and temporarily closing down others leaving many wondering how they will ...


    Senator Mike Lee's office released the following message and additional resource information to the Utah business community:

    “Utah is home to great people, great communities, and great businesses.  During this unprecedented time, it is essential that we come together as neighbors and as a state to ensure we are taking care of those in need.  My office stands ready to help those who need assistance dealing with the federal government.  As we combat this epidemic, I have instructed my staff to proactively share information and flag federal resources that become available in order to benefit Utah.” – US Senator Mike Lee

     Senator Lee, Robert Axson, and I want to be sure that Utah businesses have the information and resources they need to help their businesses in this unprecedented time.  We have compiled information we have received from different Federal Agencies.  In addition, if there is information that you, a client or a member may need, please do not hesitate to reach out.  Senator Lee, and our entire staff, stand here ready to help anyway we can. 

    FEMA (Sent to Senator Lee on Friday, March 13th, 2020)

     Today, President Trump declared a nationwide emergency pursuant to Sec. 501(b) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. 5121-5207 (the “Stafford Act”). This increases federal support to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in its role as the lead federal agency for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic response. As a result of the President’s decisive, unprecedented action, FEMA is directed to assist state, local, tribal, territorial governments and other eligible entities with the health and safety actions they take on behalf of the American public. Today’s declaration does not make direct financial assistance available to individuals.

     The emergency declaration does not change measures authorized under other federal statutes and HHS remains the lead federal agency directing the federal response to COVID-19.  FEMA actions will be in support of HHS and in coordination with state, tribal and territorial governments. Eligible emergency protective measures taken at the direction or guidance of public health officials in response to this emergency, and not supported by the authorities of another federal agency, will be reimbursed strictly under the FEMA Public Assistance program. FEMA assistance will be provided at a 75 percent Federal cost share. Reimbursable activities typically include emergency protective measures such as the activation of State Emergency Operations Centers, National Guard costs, law enforcement and other measures necessary to protect public health and safety.

     We hope this is a good starting point.  As mentioned, if there is additional information needed, please do not hesitate to reach out.

     

    Below are some resources to help businesses during this time:

    Download the One-Sheet: Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Mid-Sized Business

    Download the One-Sheet: Families First Coronavirus Response Act - Small Businesses


     

     

     

    How the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) is prepared to help Small Business:

    SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business and can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. 

    These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

    Read the U.S. Small Business Administration News Release "SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Utah Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Download the Disaster Home Loan Application (SBA Form 5c) sole proprietor form

    Download the ELA0-Business Loan Application (SBA 5) form

    Download the Disaster Loan Assistance requirements

    https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

     


    The US State Department and the Department of Homeland Security also has information to help travelers who need to still travel internationally.

    State Department:

    For any Americans who may be traveling internationally, we want to make sure that they are registered with the State Department's STEP program.  The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program allows the US government to provide travelers with the latest information on travel to the United States.

    Here is the link to register: https://step.state.gov/step/

    Screenings for travelers coming back into the USA:

    Americans must come through one of the following 13 airports (the airlines will reroute passengers at no cost): Boston-Logan, Chicago O’Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Detroit Metropolitan, Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta, JFK, LAX, Miami, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle-Tacoma, and Washington-Dulles.

     

    Upon arrival, travelers will be asked about medical history, current condition, and local contact information.  They will then be told to continue home and home-quarantine (number of days not provided, assume 14).  This applies to anyone who traveled in most European countries anytime in the 14 days prior to arrival in the USA.

     

    https://www.dhs.gov/news/2020/03/13/department-homeland-security-outlines-new-process-americans-returning-certain

    USDA (at the moment, these resources are limited to Kane and San Juan Counties: 

    On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a primary agricultural disaster designation for counties in Arizona.  Under this disaster designation, producers in contiguous counties in Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah also qualify for benefits. 

     Additional information on USDA’s disaster assistance program, including county lists and maps, can be found at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov

     USDA Disaster Designation: Utah

     


    image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

    Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


    As information becomes available nationwide, you can keep an eye on what the CDC recommendations are.  Here you will find helpful tips, etc. on how to best prepare for and prevent the disease from spreading. 




    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce also has recommendations for businesses to follow.  You can find them here.

    Resources, Response, Impact.  With the U.S. reporting an increasing number of COVID-19 cases, it's important that businesses of all sizes and sectors continue to monitor the situation and are as prepared as possible.  Find the resources provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce here.


    Mark Thorne, CPA of Thorne & Associates shared the following information: 

    Dear Client

    Here is a summary of information, as of March 19, 2020, that is on the subject of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  If you have questions please call our office.

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act (Act text available here and technical explanation of the Act's tax credits available here). The President has signed the Families First Coronavirus Act (HR 6201, the "Act") intended to ease the economic consequences stemming from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak by providing family and medical leave, and sick leave, to employees and providing tax credits to employers and self-employeds providing the leave. The Act also affects employer-sponsored health plans. Here are details:

    • Family and medical leave. The Act includes the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) (Division C of the Act), which requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide both paid and unpaid public health emergency leave to certain employees through December 31, 2020. The emergency leave generally is available when an employee who has been employed for at least 30 days is unable to work or telework due to a need for leave to care for a son or daughter under age 18 because a school or place of care has been closed, or a childcare provider is unavailable, due to an emergency with respect to COVID-19 that is declared by a federal, state, or local authority. The first 10 days of leave may be unpaid and then paid leave is required, calculated based on an amount not less than two-thirds of an employee's regular rate of pay and the number of hours the employee would otherwise be normally scheduled to work, not to exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate. Certain exemptions and special rules apply, and a tax credit may be available (see below).
    • Emergency paid sick time. Under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA) (Division E of the Act), private employers with fewer than 500 employees, and public employers of any size, must provide 80 hours of paid sick time to full-time employees who are unable to work (or telework) for specified virus-related reasons. Part-time employees are entitled to sick time based on their average hours worked over a 2-week period. This amount is immediately available regardless of the employee's length of employment. The maximum amounts payable vary based on the reason for absence. Employees who are
      1. Subject to a quarantine or isolation order,
      2. Advised by a health provider to self-quarantine, or
      3. Experiencing symptoms and seeking diagnosis, must be compensated at their regular rate, up to a maximum of $511 per day ($5,110 total).

    Employees caring for an individual described in category (1), (2), or (3), caring for a son or daughter whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable, or experiencing a "substantially similar condition" specified by the government must receive two-thirds of their regular rate, up to a maximum of $200 per day ($2,000 total). Employers cannot require employees to find a replacement worker or use other sick leave before this sick time. Employers may exclude health care providers and emergency responders, and the DOL can issue regulations exempting businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The sick leave mandate takes effect not later than 15 days after March 18, 2020 (the date of the Act's enactment) and expires December 31, 2020.

    • Employer tax credits. The Act provides tax credits to employers to cover wages paid to employees while they are taking time off under the EPSLA and EMFLEA. (Act Sec. 7001; Act Sec. 7003) The credits have three components:
    1.  
      1. The EPSLA credit for each employee is equal to the lesser of the amount of his leave pay or either
        1. $511 per day while the employee is receiving paid sick leave to care for themselves, or
        2. $200 if the sick leave is to care for a family member or child whose school is closed.

    An additional limit applies to the number of days per employee: the excess of 10 days over the aggregate number of days taken into account for all preceding calendar quarters. (Act Sec. 7001(b))

      1. The EMFLEA credit for each employee is the amount of his leave pay limited to $200 per day with a maximum of $10,000. (Act Sec. 7003(b)(1))
    1. The amount of the EPSLA and EMFLEA credits are increased by the portion of the employer's "qualified health plan expenses" that are properly allocable to qualified sick leave wages or qualified family and medical leave wages. Qualified health plan expenses means amounts paid or incurred by the employer to provide and maintain a group health plan (as defined in Code Sec. 5000(b)(1)), but only to the extent that such amounts are excluded from the gross income of employees by reason of Code Sec. 106(a). (Act Sec. 7001(d); Act Sec. 7003(d))
    2. In addition, the credits allowed to employers for wages paid under the EPSLA and EFMFLEA are increased by the amount of the tax imposed by Code Sec. 3111(b) (the 1.45% hospital insurance portion of FICA) on qualified sick leave wages, or qualified family leave wages, for which credit is allowed under Act Sec. 7001 or Act Sec. 7003. (Act Sec. 7005(b))

    The credits are refundable to the extent they exceed the employer's payroll tax. (Act Sec. 7001(b)(4); Act Sec. 7003(b)(3))

    Employers don't receive the credit if they're also receiving the credit for paid family and medical leave in Code Sec. 45S. (Act Sec. 7001(e); Act Sec. 7003(e))

    The EPSLA and EMFLEA credits may also be taken against the employer's railroad retirement tax. (Act Sec. 7001(a); Act Sec. 7003(a))

    These rules apply only to wages paid with respect to the period beginning on a date selected by the Secretary of the Treasury which is during the 15-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of the Act (March 18, 2020), and ending on December 31, 2020. (Act Sec. 7001(g); Act Sec. 7003(g))

    • Comparable credits for self-employeds. The Act also provides for similar refundable credits against the self-employment tax. It covers 100% of a self-employed individual's sick-leave equivalent amount, or 67% of the individual's sick-leave equivalent amount if they are taking care of a sick family member, or taking care of a child following the child's school closing for up to 10 days. The sick-leave equivalent amount is the lesser of average daily self-employment income or either
      1. $511/day to care for the self-employed individual or
      2. $200/day to care for a sick family member or child following a school closing, paid under the EPSLA. (Act Sec. 7002)

    Self-employed individuals can also receive a credit for as many as 50 days multiplied by the lesser of $200 or 67% of their average self-employment income paid under the EMFLEA. (Act Sec. 7004)

    These rules apply only to days occurring during the period beginning on a date selected by the Secretary of the Treasury, which is during the 15-day period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act (March 18, 2020), and ending on December 31, 2020. (Act Sec. 7002 and Act Sec. 7004)

    • Employer FICA exclusion. Wages paid under the EPSLA and EFMFLEA are not considered wages under Code Sec. 3111(a) (employer tax - old age, survivors and disability insurance portion of FICA; 6.2%) or under Code Sec. 3221(a) (employer's railroad retirement tax). (Act Sec. 7005(a))

     

     

    Mark Thorne, CPA

    Thorne & Associates, CPAs

    233 East 3900 South

    Salt Lake City, UT  84107

    (801) 262-2986 ext 304

     
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