Small Business Owners Struggle With “Stay At Home” Order
March 28, 2020 – As small business owners continue to struggle with the state-wide “stay at home” Executive Order to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the NFIB team in Michigan has been working non-stop to provide assistance in understanding how the Order applies to specific businesses, trades, and industry segments.
Unfortunately, Governor Whitmer’s “Stay at Home” Executive Order does not provide the same level of clarity as the orders in other states, such as Ohio’ Illinois, and New York. The Governor’s office has also been slow to respond on questions from business owners and organizations. Here are some resources to help.
The Governor’s Executive Order 2020-21
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for Executive Order 2020-21 Note: Check in on this website frequently as more Q & A information is posted.
Federal CISA Guidance Referenced in the Governor’s Order
In addition to the Governor’s Executive Order, some local governments have piled on with their own requirements. Both Washtenaw and Oakland County are requiring employers to conduct employee screenings of critical essential workers. Small business owners should be aware that their own local county or city government may have additional requirements.
Federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus bill S. 3458 or COVID III
NFIB has also been working around the clock in Washington D.C. to be certain that the cost of the federal paid sick leave and expanded family leave mandates will be reimbursed. You should have already received an email with an invitation to the Monday, March 30th NFIB Webinar on the details of the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus bill, which will provide small business grants, forgivable loans, and tax relief. You can register for the webinar HERE. If you are unable to participate, the webinar will be recorded and a link to the recorded webinar will available afterward. Also, remember to check in often at the NFIB COVID-19 Resource Center HERE for the latest federal news and updates.
Note: Be aware that the recently passed CARES Act legislation includes loans may have better terms and conditions (including loan forgiveness for amounts used to meet payroll and other specific expenses) than SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). A loan under the CARES Act and SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan will not be allowed for the same purpose. Business owners may want to wait for more details on the CARES Act Loans before taking out an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan. More information on Michigan specific loan and grant programs for COVID-19 can be found HERE.
Unemployment Insurance Expansion
As Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits and eligibility are being expanded by both federal and state action, Michigan business owners and workers are struggling to determine the appropriate process to apply for benefits and the status of claims. There is also much confusion as to the UI changes and how they interact with mandated federal paid sick leave and expanded family leave under “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (H.R. 6201). Two important points need to be understood:
- An employee cannot collect UI benefits and mandated federal paid sick leave or family medical leave at the same time.
- If you pay your employees federal paid sick leave or family medical leave before April 1, 2020, you will not be eligible for reimbursement for those payments.
More on this can be found HERE.
Questions concerning the ability of Self-Employed individuals and Independent Contractor 1099 employees to collect unemployment benefits will be addressed on the Monday Webinar and will be included in follow-up information.
“Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (H.R. 6201) or COVID II
Questions on the federally mandated Paid Sick Leave and expanded Family Leave under the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (H.R. 6201) can be found at the Federal Department of Labor Guidance on the mandated employer sick leave and expanded family and medical leave and at the Federal Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for mandated employer sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. Note: Check in on this website frequently as more Q & A information is posted.
If you missed NFIB’s Senior Director of Government Relations Kevin Kuhlman on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal with Greta Brawner to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on small businesses across the country, including NFIB’s most recent coronavirus survey, legislative updates, and what NFIB is hearing from its members, you can view it HERE.
If you missed the NFIB Webinar on Friday, March 20th on NFIB COVID-19 Part II – Congressional and Legal Update for Small Businesses on “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” (H.R. 6201) you can view it HERE.
If you missed the Wednesday, March 25th NFIB Michigan Member Q & A with Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey you can listen to it HERE.
Tax Filing Deadlines Extended
The Governor has issued an executive order changing the April 15th, 2020 state and city income tax filing deadlines to July 15th, 2020.
The Internal Revenue Service has also 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. Taxpayers do not need to file any additional forms or call the IRS to qualify for this automatic federal tax filing and payment relief.
Stay tuned for more updates and information.