Chamber News

April 03, 2020 Likes Comments

A stressful day for businesses (and bankers)

This is likely going to be a big, stressful day for so many businesses, nonprofits and bankers across this country.

That's because it's the first day businesses, nonprofits and sole proprietors can submit applications for the new federal $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and I don’t think there’s any way to sugarcoat this: This is not only hugely important. It’s also likely to be frustrating for anyone scrambling to complete an application.
 
Frustration will be felt at the banks and other financial institutions that are administering these loans too. Lenders large and small were still scrambling to get up to speed on the program yesterday, while the phones have been ringing off the hook from anxious applicants.
 
My advice: Be patient and kind to your banker today. They’ve been handed a very incomplete and still developing process.

PPP loans, unlike the SBA disaster loans folks were applying for last week, are processed through SBA lenders and are 100 percent guaranteed by SBA with forgivable features, meaning employers don’t have to pay back them back, under certain conditions.
 
I’ve been fielding a bushel of questions about PPP eligibility this week while also trying to unravel conflicting messages about whether or not businesses can apply for more than one SBA loan.
 
Finally, the folks at Massachusetts Office of Economic Development were able to get this for us from the SBA:
 
“Whether you’ve already received an EIDL unrelated to COVID-19 or you receive a COVID19 related EIDL and/or Emergency Grant between January 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, you may also apply for a PPP loan. If you ultimately receive a PPP loan or refinance an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the Emergency Economic Injury Grant Program would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP. However, you cannot use your EIDL for the same purpose as your PPP loan. For example, if you use your EIDL to cover payroll for certain workers in April, you cannot use PPP for payroll for those same workers in April, although you could use it for payroll in March or for different workers in April.”
Go here to learn more about all the SBA loan and debt relief options.
 
 
And really, be nice to your banker today.
 
Good Shepherd needs protective gear
 
For more than 40 years, Newton's Good Shepherd Community Care has been one of Greater Boston's most trusted health care organizations focusing on hospice and palliative care. While some hospices are refusing to admit symptomatic patients without a negative COVID test, Good Shepherd is not discriminating based on a COVID-related diagnosis.
 
But they need help. Specifically, they need gloves, gowns, goggles (any kind), N95 masks, surgical masks, sewn masks, elastic for masks, hand sanitizer, surface wipes, lab coats, face shields, shoe covers and medical caps of all types.
 
Donations of any of the above can be mailed or delivered curbside to Good Shepherd Community Care, 90 Wells Avenue, Newton, MA 02459 on Mon-Fri from 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. (Note this is the nonprofit’s administrative office, there are no patients on-site. For more information, email Info@GSCommunityCare.org or call (617) 969-6130.
 
Need health insurance?
 
Massachusetts Health Connector announced that uninsured residents can apply and get into coverage through April 25, 2020. Residents who need health insurance can call (877) MA-ENROLL ((877) 623-6765) to gain access to the enrollment period, or go to https://www.mahealthconnector.org/ to complete an application. You do not need a waiver from the Office of Patient Protection to enroll in coverage at this time.
 
Businesses interested in Health Connector medical and dental options for their employees should look here.
 
Meanwhile, the Department of Unemployment continuing its series of Virtual Town Halls, details are here.
 
IRS provides new guidance on family leave and tax credits
 
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released new guidance on tax credits authorized in the “phase two” COVID-19 bill to help small businesses offset the cost of new paid leave requirements. Click here to learn more about how to implement these policies.
 
Did you hear what Joe Kennedy said yesterday?
 
Finally, I had the privilege to be able to talk with Congressman Joe Kennedy III yesterday about PPP and other elements of the CARES act, the overall Covid-19 pandemic, as well as his hopes for our nation one we emerge from this crisis. You can view our conversation here.
 
Take good care,
Greg Reibman
President, Newton-Needham Regional Chamber
617-244-1688
 
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