Lord CPA’s Response to COVID-19

It is no doubt that we are in unprecedented times for both businesses and individuals. Due to the unprecedented nature of this extraordinary event that is impacting all of our lives it is important that relevant, reliable, and timely information is being communicated. Most of the information I will be sharing is applicable to all unless I indicate specific states where certain rules apply. With that in mind here is information that I would like to share with you:

Unemployment and Layoffs

It is extremely important during times where mass, temporary layoffs are likely to utilize resources from your state’s unemployment agency. For employers this means taking extra steps to ensure that your staff is aware of the unemployment process and any additional information that you need to provide in order to make the process as smooth as can be under the circumstances.

  • For Michigan Employers – It is of utmost importance, whether you actually lay anyone off or not, to request a Registration and Seeking Work Waiver. The state has made it faster and easier to do this. Details can be found at this link

  • For Ohio Employers It is of utmost importance to share a specific layoff code with your employees to expedite the processing of their benefits. You can find the press release from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services at this link

For anyone seeking unemployment benefits from anywhere, please use online resources to prevent to much social contact. There are a lot of resources available to get free or heavily discounted internet during this time. And many public locations, like libraries, that are otherwise closed or keeping their WiFi on so people can still access the internet from outside of these buildings.

Any unemployment claims made due to executive orders from the COVID-19 outbreak will not be charged to employers accounts and will not increase the unemployment insurance tax rate.

SBA Lending

The next major area of relief for small businesses is the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This program offers small businesses and non-profits low-interest loans up to $2 million for working capital and other damages from COVID-19. Payment terms can be up to 30 years. Here is a current list of states that are eligible for these loans. You can research eligible areas and apply for these loans at this link.

Currently, Ohio and Michigan are not part of the program but I would anticipate both states will be eligible soon.

MEDC Grants and Loans

Starting April 1st, 2020, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be issuing $20 million in grants and loans to provide small businesses in this time of need. Grants up to $10,000 will be available for certain businesses that have been affected by executive orders that have either closed a business down or has reduced their ability to serve their customers. Low interest loans up to $200,000 will be available for similar businesses. Details about availability are available at this link

CDC Guidelines

With how easily COVID-19 spreads the CDC has issued a lot of guidance on how to mitigate the spread of the disease. All small businesses should review these guidelines and ensure that they are communicating with their staff and customers the steps they are taking to make sure the guidelines are being met.You can find the guidance by the CDC at this link

Suggestions for Small Business

This disruption is going to be very difficult for a lot of small businesses out there. Cash flow is of critical importance at this time. If you feel like you may be facing cash shortages be sure to maintain contact with your banker and your vendors about any delays in payments or deposits. If you have created cash flow forecasts be sure to update them with a few different scenarios, one being a worst case scenario to know how long you can make it with the cash and resources you have now. Engage and promote your community’s efforts to not only prevent the spread of the disease but also to support the businesses that have been affected by shutdowns. Most importantly be safe.

This list is not exhaustive and I plan to do my best to keep apprised of the ever changing rules and situations facing the small business community. If you or any business needs assistance please do not hesitate to email me at corey.lord@lordcpas.com with questions.

Cheers and stay safe!