Information for Small Businesses

Information for Small Businesses

Small businesses are the true engine of the American economy. As our community and nation continue to respond to COVID-19, we must make every effort to help businesses survive so  they are ready to reopen their doors when  the time comes, and so that those who are out of work as a result of this virus have a job to return to once they are healthy again.

Please use the following resources to learn about the programs that may assist your small business and do not hesitate to contact my office with any questions.  

To stay up-to-date on my work in the district and Washington, be sure to follow me on Facebook and Twitter. You can also subscribe to my periodic eNewsletter by clicking here.

CDC Guidelines on Reopening:

The CDC has issued guidance on safely reopening, including for: schoolscamps and youth programsworkplaceschildcare centerstransitrestaurants and bars.

Resources for Farmers

If you are a farmer that has been impacted by COVID-19, learn more about assistance available to you through the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Local Resources 
Click here to visit resources compiled by the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce.  

Click here to visit resources compiled by the York County Economic Alliance, including their sourcing web  portal for manufacturers who wish to support frontline employees by manufacturing critical PPE. 

Paycheck Protection Program

Under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, Paycheck Protection Loans will be provided through the Small Business Administration’s 7(a) program to cover payroll costs and other specified business expenses for qualifying employers.

These loans will be available with maximum loan amounts limited to $10 million or 2.5 times average monthly payroll based on the previous year’s payroll.

You can apply for these loans through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating. Click here to view the application form via the SBA’s website. The program deadline has been extended to August 8, 2020. 

Paycheck Protection Loans may be used to cover:

  • Payroll costs, including salaries, commissions, the continuation of healthcare benefits during periods of sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums
  • Payments of interest on mortgage obligations, not including any payments or prepayments on the principal of a mortgage loan
  • Rent, including rent under a lease agreement
  • Interest on any other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020

Qualifying businesses include:

  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees
  • 501(c)3 Non-Profit organizations with fewer than 500 employees
  • Sole proprietorships
  • Independent contractors
  • Self-employed individuals

*Small businesses in the food and hospitality industry with less than $500 million gross receipts may be eligible at the store location if the store employs fewer than 500 people. Assistance will extend down to the store location for franchisees whose franchisor is listed in the SBA’s National Franchise Directory.

Loan Forgiveness: Businesses that participate in the Paycheck Protection Program and maintain payroll continuity from February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 may request forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program loan used for qualifying expenses over an 8-week period.

For the purposes of the Paycheck Protection Program, payroll continuity is defined by payroll headcount. Borrowers must verify payroll continuity with participating lenders through documentation.

Loan forgiveness will be reduced proportionally for any reduction in employees retained compared to the previous year, as well as for the reduction in pay of any employee beyond 25% of their compensation in the previous year. Borrowers that re-hire workers that have been previously laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.

For other FAQs concerning the Paycheck Protection Program, click here for guidance from the Department of Treasury.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program

Under the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020, the coronavirus was deemed a disaster under the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.  This change made economic injury from the coronavirus an eligible EIDL expense.

The SBA’s EIDL Program provides small businesses and non-profit organizations with working capital loans of up to $2 million to help overcome temporary loss of revenue.  The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, or other bills that can’t be paid because of the COVID-19 outbreak.  The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere and the interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.  The maximum term is 30 years.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, included a provision allowing small business owners the opportunity to receive up to a $10,000 advance on an Economic Injury Disaster Loan for emergency capital.  This advance should be available to a business owner within 3-days of the request.

SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza has approved a statewide disaster declaration for PA. Eligible small businesses may now apply for SBA EIDL online at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela.

Please review the fact sheet with important information about the declaration and EIDL requirements at the SBA website by clicking here. Businesses can take advantage of free assistance offered by SBA’s network of Resource Partners for help with preparing their loan applications. They may visit www.sba.gov/local-assistance to find local help. 

Application Filing Deadline: December 21, 2020 

For further information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov. 

 Expanded Unemployment Compensation in the CARES Act

The CARES Act Workers who otherwise would be ineligible for unemployment compensation, like self-employed individuals and independent contractors, are now temporarily eligible.

These benefits are administered individually by each state, to visit Pennsylvania’s Unemployment Compensation website click here: uc.pa.gov.

For additional questions regarding unemployment compensation, please contact your state legislator. You can find their contact information by clicking here.

IRS Tax Filings and Tax Relief

Treasury and IRS Guidance on Extending Tax Filings Due to COVID-19 Outbreak

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest, regardless of the amount owed. This deferment applies to all taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax.

New Temporary Paid Sick Leave & Family and Medical Leave Guidelines

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the following leave requirements will take effect on April 2, 2020 and expire on December 31, 2020:

Paid Sick Leave

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, private employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide the following sick leave options:

  • 2 weeks paid sick leave at an employee’s regular rate of pay (capped at $511/day and $5,110 total) for a full-time employee who:
    • Is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine related to COVID-19.
    • Has been advised by a health provider to self-quarantine.
    • Is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis.
  • 2 weeks paid sick leave at 2/3 of an employee’s regular rate of pay (capped at $200/day and $2,000 total) for a full-time employee who:
    • Is caring for an individual who is subject to a qualifying quarantine or self-quarantine.
    • Is caring for a child whose school or care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19.

Employers offering these options will receive a 100% refundable payroll tax credit for required sick leave wages, as well as qualifying health care expenses.

*For part-time employees, the duration of paid leave is based on the average number of hours worked by the employee each week.

*Exemptions are available for employers with fewer than 50 employees subject to rule-making by the Department of Labor.

Emergency Family and Medical Leave

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, private employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide the following emergency family and medical leave option:

  • 10 weeks paid family and medical leave at 2/3 of an employee’s regular rate of pay (capped at $200/day and $10,000 total) for a full-time employee who is unable to work because their child’s school or child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency.

Employers offering this option will receive a 100% payroll tax credit (refundable, as needed) for required emergency family and medical leave wages, as well as qualifying health care expenses.

*For part-time employees, the duration of paid leave is based on the average number of hours worked by the employee each week.

*Exemptions are available for employers with fewer than 50 employees subject to rule-making by the Department of Labor.

Additional information on paid leave provisions can be found at: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320

Workplace Guidance for Businesses and Employers

The President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 30 Days to Slow the Spread

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:

Below are recommended strategies for employers to use now. In-depth guidance is available on the CDC’s Guidance for Businesses and Employers web page:

  • Actively encourage sick employees to stay home
  • Separate sick employees
  • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
  • Perform routine environmental cleaning
  • Advise employees before traveling to take certain steps
  • Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each country to which you will travel.