The Latest for Small Pennsylvania Businesses on COVID-19: Construction, Outdoor Biz

Date: April 27, 2020

Updates on information that may help our members related to coronavirus

4/28 Gov Wolf announces May 1 reopening for golf courses, marinas, privately owned campgrounds, charted fishing trips

Starting Friday, May 1, golf courses, marinas, guided fishing trips and privately owned campgrounds may reopen statewide and are required to follow updated life-sustaining business guidance and FAQ issued by the Wolf Administration to include specifics for how these outdoor recreational industries can resume activities while prioritizing public health and safety. Campgrounds in state parks will remain closed through Thursday, May 14

Governor Wolf announces May 1 reopening for construction, contingent on certain requirements

4/27

CLICK HERE FOR GUIDANCE DOCUMENT 

As the construction industry prepares to resume work, the Wolf Administration today issued guidance for all construction businesses and employees to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

The guidance, developed from guidance created by the General Contractors Association of Pennsylvania, provides universal protocols for all construction activity, as well as specific additional guidance for residential, commercial and public construction projects.

All business and employees in the construction industry must adhere to the Secretary of Health’s order providing for business safety measures, which requires that every person present at a work site wear masks/face coverings unless they are unable for medical or safety reasons and requires that businesses establish protocols upon discovery that the business has been exposed to a person who is a probable or confirmed case of COVID-19.

All construction projects must maintain proper social distancing and provide hand washing and sanitizing stations for workers, as well as cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high risk transmission areas. Businesses must identify a “pandemic safety officer” for each project or work site, or, for large scale construction projects, for each contractor at the site.

Residential construction projects may not permit more than four individuals on the job site at any time, not including individuals who require temporary access to the site and are not directly engaged in the construction activity.

For non-residential or commercial projects, the number of individuals permitted on enclosed portions of a project varies depending on the size of the enclosed site. Commercial construction firms should also strongly consider establishing a written safety plan for each work location containing site specific details for the implementation of this guidance to be shared with all employees and implemented and enforced by the pandemic safety officer.

Contractors performing work at the direction of the commonwealth, municipalities or school districts should defer to those public entities to determine what projects may continue.

Local governments may elect to impose more stringent requirements than those contained in the guidance and in such instances, businesses must adhere to those more stringent requirements.

Local officials have been tasked with ensuring that construction businesses are aware that this guidance exists and notifying businesses that a complaint of noncompliance was received.

Businesses that have questions about whether this guidance applies to them may email the Department of Labor and Industry at [email protected].

4/2

Harrisburg, PA — Today, Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) Secretary Dennis Davin announced that the exemption application process for businesses created in response to Governor Tom Wolf and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine’s orders to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, will close on Friday, April 3, 2020 at 5:00 PM.

In addition to the Frequently Asked Questions, DCED offers guidance for other business types about operations that are authorized to continue. Helpful resources available include:

Businesses seeking further guidance and clarification from DCED can also contact its customer service resource account at [email protected]. To help businesses impacted by the COVID-19 public health crisis, funding information and resources are available on DCED’s Funding and Programs page.

 

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

4/1

On April 1, Governor Tom Wolf extended the state’s Stay at Home Order from 33 counties to the entire state to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Under the governor’s order, all individuals must STAY AT HOME except for certain essential activities and work to provide life-sustaining businesses.

Under the order, life-sustaining business activities are exempt. This includes all businesses considered life-sustaining under Governor Wolf’s previous order listed here: https://www.scribd.com/document/452553026/UPDATED-2-30pm-March-31-2020-Industry-Operation-Guidance 

Other exempt businesses include those that have been issued waivers from the Department of Community and Economic Development. Life-sustaining businesses continue to be permitted to maintain physical operations for the purpose of providing life-sustaining goods and services, while abiding by social distancing and other mitigation measures to ensure employee health and safety. Employees of life-sustaining businesses are permitted to travel to and from work.

3/27 Governor Wolf Extends Stay at Home Order to 9 more counties: 

Nine new counties include Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York

Governor Wolf’s Amended Order
Secretary of Health’s Amended Order
Stay at Home Guidance

As the state continues to seek relief to save lives and stop the spread of COVID-19, today Governor Tom Wolf and Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine revised their “Stay at Home” orders to include nine additional counties – Berks, Butler, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Luzerne, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York – bringing the state total to 19 counties under a stay-at-home order. This order takes effect at 8:00 PM Friday, March 27, 2020, and will continue until April 6, 2020.

The order now includes these 19 counties: Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Butler, Chester, Delaware, Erie, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia, Pike, Wayne, Westmoreland and York counties.

Individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following allowable individual activities and allowable essential travel:

  • Tasks essential to maintain health and safety, or the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets), such as obtaining medicine or medical supplies, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home
  • Getting necessary services or supplies for themselves, for their family or household members, or as part of volunteer efforts, or to deliver those services or supplies to others to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences
  • Engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking or running if they maintain social distancing
  • To perform work providing essential products and services at a life-sustaining business
  • To care for a family member or pet in another household
  • Any travel related to the provision of or access to the above-mentioned individual activities or life-sustaining business activities
  • Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons
  • Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services
  • Travel to return to a place of residence from an outside jurisdiction
  • Travel required by law enforcement or court order
  • Travel required for non-residents to return to their place of residence outside the commonwealth
  • Anyone performing life-sustaining travel does not need paperwork to prove the reason for travel.

The following operations are exempt:

  • Life-sustaining business activities
  • Health care or medical services providers
  • Access to life-sustaining services for low-income residents, including food banks
  • Access to child care services for employees of life-sustaining businesses that remain open as follows: child care facilities operating under the Department of Human Services, Office of Child Development and Early Learning waiver process; group and family child care operating in a residence; and part-day school age programs operating under an exemption from the March 19, 2020 business closure Orders
  • News media
  • Law enforcement
  • The federal government
  • Religious institutions

Individuals experiencing homelessness are not subject to this order but are strongly urged to find shelter and government agencies are urged to take steps needed to provide shelter for those individuals.

International students, foster youth, and any other students who would otherwise experience displacement or homelessness as a result of campus closures are exempt and may remain in campus housing.

At this time, law enforcement will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement. To report a noncompliant business, contact your local law enforcement agency’s non-emergency number or the nearest Pennsylvania State Police station. Please do not call 911 or the Department of Community and Economic Development to file reports. Law enforcement officers should refer to Business Closure Order Enforcement Guidance available online.

Read Governor Wolf’s original order here or view on Scribd. Read Governor Wolf’s amended order here or view on Scribd.

Read Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s original order here or view on Scribd. Read Secretary of Health Dr. Rachel Levine’s amended order here or view on Scribd.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19, Pennsylvanians should visit: https://www.pa.gov/guides/responding-to-covid-19/.

3/21 from the PA Department of Revenue:

Pennsylvania Extends Personal Income Tax Return Filing Deadline to July 15, 2020

The Department of Revenue today announced the deadline for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns is extended to July 15, 2020. This means taxpayers will have an additional 90 days to file from the original deadline of April 15. The Internal Revenue Service also extended the federal filing deadline to July 15, 2020.

The Department of Revenue will also waive penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15, 2020. This extension applies to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, and estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.

Although the filing deadline has been extended, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so. This will enable the department to continue to process returns as commonwealth offices are closed. Additionally, if you are expecting a refund from the commonwealth, filing electronically will help avoid a delay in the release of your refund.  

Reach the Department of Revenue Online

With the Department of Revenue’s call centers closed due to the mitigation efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers to use its Online Customer Service Center, available at revenue-pa.custhelp.com. You can use this resource to electronically submit a question to a department representative. The department representative will be able to respond through a secure, electronic process that is similar to receiving an email. Additionally, the Online Customer Service Center includes thousands of answers to common tax-related questions.

For more information, visit www.revenue.pa.gov, where you can find free tax forms and instructions. You can also visit the epartment’s pages on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn for additional information.

 

This announcement came from the PA Department of Revenue on 3/20

To assist the business community as the commonwealth responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Revenue is waiving penalties for businesses that are required to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments by the deadline of Friday, March 20.

Additionally, for April sales tax payments, the department is waiving the AST prepayment requirement and asking businesses to simply remit the sales tax that they have collected in March.

Visit the Department of Revenue’s page on Accelerated Sales Tax Prepayments for more information on how to calculate your prepayments.

All businesses are encouraged to remit online using e-TIDES, the department’s online tax system for businesses. Find the REV-819 on the department’s website for a schedule of return and prepayment due dates. You can also  visit the department’s Online Customer Service Center to find answers to common tax questions or submit a question to the department.

3/21 from the PA Department of Revenue:

Pennsylvania Extends Personal Income Tax Return Filing Deadline to July 15, 2020

The Department of Revenue today announced the deadline for taxpayers to file their 2019 Pennsylvania personal income tax returns is extended to July 15, 2020. This means taxpayers will have an additional 90 days to file from the original deadline of April 15. The Internal Revenue Service also extended the federal filing deadline to July 15, 2020.

The Department of Revenue will also waive penalties and interest on 2019 personal income tax payments through the new deadline of July 15, 2020. This extension applies to both final 2019 tax returns and payments, and estimated payments for the first and second quarters of 2020.

Although the filing deadline has been extended, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so. This will enable the department to continue to process returns as commonwealth offices are closed. Additionally, if you are expecting a refund from the commonwealth, filing electronically will help avoid a delay in the release of your refund.  

Reach the Department of Revenue Online

With the Department of Revenue’s call centers closed due to the mitigation efforts to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Department of Revenue is encouraging taxpayers to use its Online Customer Service Center, available at revenue-pa.custhelp.com. You can use this resource to electronically submit a question to a department representative. The department representative will be able to respond through a secure, electronic process that is similar to receiving an email. Additionally, the Online Customer Service Center includes thousands of answers to common tax-related questions.

For more information, visit www.revenue.pa.gov, where you can find free tax forms and instructions. You can also visit the epartment’s pages on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for additional information.

 

This announcement came from the PA Department of Revenue on 3/20

To assist the business community as the commonwealth responds to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Department of Revenue is waiving penalties for businesses that are required to make Accelerated Sales Tax (AST) prepayments by the deadline of Friday, March 20.

Additionally, for April sales tax payments, the department is waiving the AST prepayment requirement and asking businesses to simply remit the sales tax that they have collected in March.

Visit the Department of Revenue’s page on Accelerated Sales Tax Prepayments for more information on how to calculate your prepayments.

All businesses are encouraged to remit online using e-TIDES, the department’s online tax system for businesses. Find the REV-819 on the department’s website for a schedule of return and prepayment due dates. You can also  visit the department’s Online Customer Service Center to find answers to common tax questions or submit a question to the department.

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