UPDATES: COVID-19 INFORMATION ON SUPPLY CHAIN, RELIEF EFFORTS FOR BUSINESS, WORKPLACE & EMPLOYEE GUIDANCE
On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) a pandemic. On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in the US in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Economic relief efforts intended to avoid a market collapse are changing every day so please check back regularly for updates.
July 14, 2020
States Respond to COVID surge with more restrictions
New guidance is now available for the airline industry
There is new guidance for the airline industry to provide recommendations on keeping passengers safe by minimizing the spread of COVID-19.
June 22, 2020
SBA and Treasury release revised applications for PPP
SBA and Treasury announced new EZ and revised full forgiveness applications for the Paycheck Protection Program. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
- Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
- Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
- Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19, and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
Dealers' Guide to New Forgiveness Applications
Public Health Officials Release Guidance on Face Coverings in Most Settings Outside the Home
Public officials across FWEDA territories have issued guidance to wear a face covering in high-risk settings and in public places, which include areas of dealerships open to the public or for workers who interact with customers in the field. Growers report they are closing their operations to the public in light of new face covering orders.
“Science shows that face coverings and masks work,” said Governor Gavin Newsom. “They are critical to keeping those who are around you safe, keeping businesses open and restarting our economy.” READ MORE >>
Face mask requirements by state:
AZ – Required for employees and customers of barbers and cosmetologists.
Recommended for businesses where service cannot be provided without physical distancing: employers should provide and require employees to wear masks.
Residents are recommended to wear cloth face coverings worn in public places where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
CA – Individuals must wear masks in several specified high-risk situations, including when engaged in work, whether at the workplace or performing work off-site, when (1) interacting in-person with any member of the public; (2) working in any space visited by members of the public, regardless of whether anyone from the public is present at the time; (3) working in any space where food is prepared or packaged for sale or distribution to others; (4) working in or walking through common areas, such as hallways, stairways, elevators, and parking facilities; (5) in any room or enclosed area where other people (except for members of the person’s own household or residence) are present when unable to physically distance.
Persons exempted from wearing a face covering due to a medical condition who are employed in a job involving regular contact with others should wear a non-restrictive alternative, such as a face shield with a drape on the bottom edge, as long as their condition permits it.
CO – Workers in critical businesses and reopening businesses in which workers interact in close proximity with other employees or with the public must (1) wear medical or non-medical cloth face coverings that cover the nose and mouth while working, except where doing so would inhibit that individual’s health; and (2) to the extent possible, wear gloves when in contact with customers or goods if gloves are provided to workers by their employer. Businesses have the discretion to bar entry to individuals not wearing a mask.
HI – All customers must wear a face covering while waiting to enter and while at an essential or designated business or operation. All employees of essential or designated businesses or operations who have any contact with customers or goods to be purchased must wear the cloth face covering recommended by the CDC while at their place of employment.
NV – All employers must require employees who interact with the public to wear face coverings.
Also required for the following employers: agriculture, appliance and furniture showrooms, auto dealerships, banks and financial services, personal care services, restaurants and food and drink establishments, general office operations, retail and consumer services, and transportation, couriers, and warehousing.
People should use an improvised face covering whenever they leave their residence to obtain any essential good or service.
UT – Individuals acting in the capacity of an employee of a business are required to wear a face covering when unable to maintain a distance of 6 feet from another individual. Face coverings are strongly recommended for all other individuals.
WY – Required for employees of reopening businesses. Required for personal care services employees and patrons.
Grocery store and retail personnel are recommended to follow CDC guidance regarding wearing face coverings while at work. Customers should be encouraged to wear face coverings while in the store.
Americans Support COVID-19 Aid to Farmers
AFBF Calls on Lawmakers to Help Farmers
New Cal OSHA regulations for outdoor agricultural operations during hours of darkness
On July 1 new Cal OSHA requirements regarding the operation of agricultural equipment between sunset and sunrise will go into effect. READ MORE >>
WEBINAR SERIES: Understanding Dealer Tools When Faced with Financial Stress
As dealers grapple with COVID-19 the likelihood of long-term strain on the dealership, dealers must consider the financial tools available to them. Dealers must take proactive steps to protect their financial interests. This webinar is FREE to FWEDA members. LEARN MORE >>
CDC Releases COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan
The CDC has released the Agricultural Employer Checklist for Creating a COVID-19 Assessment and Control Plan. This document is a companion piece to the recently released guidance for Agriculture Workers and Employers. Agricultural employers can use this checklist to create a COVID-19 assessment and control plan for applying specific preparation, prevention, and management measures to prevent and slow the spread of COVID-19. The checklist is divided into five sections: assessment, control plan, shared housing, transportation, and children. You can find the checklist here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/pdf/Agricultural-Employer-checklist.pdf.
June 8, 2020
PPP Flexibility Act signed into law
- Extends the covered period from eight to 24 weeks, ending no later than December 31, 2020. This is voluntary and offers flexibility for borrowers to spend the funds for full or almost full loan forgiveness.
- Reduces the requirement for the covered loan amount to be used on payroll costs from 75 to 60 percent. Borrowers must spend 60 percent of the loan on payroll costs or none of the loan will be forgiven.
- Provides borrowers 24 weeks (no later than Dec. 31) to restore their workforce and wages to pre-pandemic levels for full loan forgiveness.
- Provides two provisions for borrowers to achieve full loan forgiveness should they not fully restore their workforce because they could not find qualified employees or were unable to restore operations to the Feb. 15, 2020, levels because of COVID-19 operating restrictions.
- Extends the repayment period from two to five years for loan principal, interest, and fees.
- Allows businesses that receive PPP forgiveness to defer payroll taxes.
FWEDA Cancels In-Person 2020 Leadership Series
FWEDA’s Leadership Series brought together Elite Military Members, Fortune 500 Executives and High Impact Entrepreneurs to provide dealership solutions using proven team building and leadership development strategies.
After careful consideration of the ongoing spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) overseas and in the United States, the FWEDA Board of Directors decided not to proceed with FWEDA's in-person 2020 Leadership Series scheduled June 9 in Salt Lake City, Utah and Sept. 22 in Fresno, California.
FWEDA is monitoring the coronavirus situation with the health, safety, and well-being of our members in mind. The rapidly escalating health concerns regarding the coronavirus and ongoing travel and other restrictions made it impossible for us to hold the meetings at this time.
We ask for your patience as we work diligently to address questions and provide additional information to our planned participants and guests. We encourage members to follow us at fweda.com for information and updates to support your business.
UPCOMING EVENTS: Please take a moment to complete this short survey so we can prepare accordingly for FWEDA’s Annual Convention Nov. 4 – 6, 2020 in Lake Las Vegas, Nevada and Nov. 8 – 12, 2021 in Monterey, California.
May 27, 2020
California Farm Bureau poll shows impacts to farm income due to COVID-19
Lost markets and lost off-farm income related to the COVID-19 pandemic have proven doubly difficult for many California farmers and ranchers, according to a survey by the California Farm Bureau Federation.
More than half of the farmers responding to the voluntary survey said they had lost customers or sales due to COVID-19, and nearly half said they or someone in their immediate family had lost off-farm income. CFBF and the Farm Employers Labor Service, a Farm Bureau affiliate, undertook the survey of Farm Bureau members and FELS Newsletter subscribers, clients and customers to quantify the impact of the crisis. The questions in the survey were intended to capture overall, macroeconomic impacts on farmers and ranchers generally, on farm employers and on the economic well-being of farm families.
The online survey form was available between April 7 and April 21, 2020. A total of 510 responses were received; not all respondents answered all questions, as the survey directed respondents to skip questions that were not relevant to their situation. READ MORE>>
OSHA updates guidance for Reportable Illness and Enforcement Plans
OSHA released revised guidance on May 19, 2020, which went into effect on May 26. Importantly, the new guidance changes the criteria for determining work-relatedness of reportable COVID-19 cases among employees and OSHA's enforcement plan. Dealers are encouraged to review the guidance.
Under OSHA's new record keeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and thus employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if:
- The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
- The case is work-related as defined by 29 CFR § 1904.5; and
- The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR §1904.7.
Legislators Push OSHA for Less Employer Flexibility in COVID-19 Response
EDA and other members of the Coalition for Workplace Safety (CWS Coalition), are opposing calls from some stakeholders and legislators for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ("OSHA") to issue an Emergency Temporary Standard ("ETS") in response to the coronavirus pandemic. Such a requirement is included in the "COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act of 2020" (H.R. 6559, included as Division L, Title Ill in H.R. 6800).
EDA and other members of the CWS Coalition maintain that OSHA should continue with its current approach of issuing industry-specific guidance based on the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ("CDC"). This approach provides a more flexible and effective solution rather than a rigid, one-size-fits-all standard.
OSHA released excerpts of its planned testimony for an upcoming House Education and Labor's Subcommittee on Workforce Protections hearing from acting OSHA head Loren Sweatt. Sweatt stated, "While extensive guidance is important as the rapidly changing dynamic of this pandemic continues, it is important to recognize OSHA also has existing standards that serve as the basis for its COVID-19 enforcement. Those standards include rules regarding respiratory protection, personal protective equipment (PPE), eye and face protection, sanitation, and hazard communication."
SBA has 60 days to decide PPP loan forgiveness upon receiving applications
The Small Business Administration released its interim final rules detailing the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness process, including lenders’ and borrowers’ responsibilities.
PPP loan rule forgiveness requires lenders to confirm they received the borrower certifications in the loan forgiveness application form and the borrower documentation required by the form. They must also confirm the borrower’s calculations on the forgiveness application. “Lenders are expected to perform a good-faith review, in a reasonable time, of the borrower’s calculations and supporting documents concerning amounts eligible for loan forgiveness,” SBA said, noting that “minimal review” of calculations based on a payroll processor’s report would suffice.
“If the lender identifies errors in the borrower’s calculation or material lack of substantiation in the borrower’s supporting documents, the lender should work with the borrower to remedy the issue,” SBA added. The rules do not require the lender to “independently verify the borrower’s reported information if the borrower submits documentation supporting its request for loan forgiveness and attests that it accurately verified the payments for eligible costs.”
Lenders must report their decisions on forgiveness applications to SBA within 60 days of receiving a complete application and must provide supporting documentation for their decisions. The rule on the forgiveness process includes details on several technical questions related to employee status, payroll calculations and forgiveness-eligible non-payroll expenses.
Read the rule on the loan forgiveness process.
Read the rule on lender and borrower responsibilities.
Essential workers guidelines updated with references to employee safety, pandemic plans
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which executes the Secretary of Homeland Security’s authorities to secure critical infrastructure, issued an update to Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce: Ensuring Community and National Resilience in COVID-19 Response Version 3.1, expanding references to the health, safety and welfare of essential workers, and emphasizing the importance of pandemic plans to businesses. READ MORE>>
WEBINAR RECORDING: Understanding the Payment Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application
EDA and FWEDA trusted Accounting Partners at HBK teamed up to give dealers an overview of the application and related SBA guidance. The webinar slides and recording are available here.
WEBINAR RECORDING: Strategies for Equipment Dealer success during Covid-19
On 5/19 FWEDA partner KENECT joined hundreds of equipment dealers and a panel of experts for a LIVE discussion and Q&A on how your dealership can survive and thrive during COVID-19. If you missed this important dealer event, you can view the recording online now.
UPCOMING EDA WEBINAR SERIES: Dealer Financial Preparedness in the Wake of Covid-19
EDA hosts a three-part series on financial preparedness for equipment dealers. Look for registration details next week. The three-part series will cover a range of helpful topics. These webinars are FREE to EDA members. READ MORE >>
May 15, 2020
Safe harbor deadline to repay PPP loan extended to May 18
For dealers who plan to repay Paycheck Protection Program loans, the Treasury extended the deadline from May 14 to May 18, 2020. See FAQ #47 for details. The Treasury released guidance (FAQ #46) on how SBA will review a borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of a dealer’s PPP loan request. This guidance relates to the dealer certifying that “current economic uncertainty” made the PPP loan “necessary to support the [dealer’s] ongoing operations.” For details see Frequently Asked Questions.
May 13, 2020
FEMA offers free Starter Kit for Workshop on Restarting Operations
FEMA has developed an Exercise Starter Kit with sample documents for dealer businesses to conduct their own planning workshop to navigate the complexities of returning to full operations during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. The Exercise Starter Kit includes a sample facilitator guide and conduct slides that are designed to be adapted and customized for your own needs. READ MORE>>
FMCSA extends exemption to June 2020
The Federal Motor Safety Carrier Administration today continued an extension of its emergency declaration exemption for FMCSRs through June 14, 2020. The emergency declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and persons, and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers engaged in the transport of essential supplies, equipment and persons. READ MORE >>
U.S Chamber releases state-by-state reopening Guidance
The U.S. Chamber released a State-by-State Business Reopening Guidance map that tracks the differences across each state and provides the latest guidance and information for America’s employers. As they continue to evaluate and make recommendations for how the business community can begin to return to work, they are seeking information on industry-specific guidance and best practices for industries as well.
Last week Governor Ducey Provided Updates On COVID-19, Guidance For Businesses via this short video.
Visit our Coronavirus Resources page to see the latest update by county regarding COVID-19 impact: “COVID-19 Updates by County”
Gov. Polis extended the executive order declaring a disaster emergency due to the presence of COVID-19 in Colorado.
Gov. David Ige signed a 6th supplementary emergency proclamation (PDF) extending the stay-at-home order across the state through May 31. Social distancing requirements remain in place across the state through the end of May. LEARN MORE >>
On May 8th, Nevada provided updated Industry-Specific Guidance Released for Phase 1 Reopening in Nevada: LEARN MORE >>
Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued an Executive Order that formally places the state of Utah under “moderate risk” protocols for COVID-19 beginning on May 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. Detailed guidelines are provided in the updated Utah Leads Together Plan, and apply to individuals and businesses. LEARN MORE >>
Governor Mark Gordon has signed a proclamation convening a special session of the Wyoming Legislature to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor and Legislature have worked on a small number of bills that amend and create programs for the purpose of helping businesses and residents impacted by the COVID-19 emergency. LEARN MORE >>
Be sure to follow our COVID-19 resources page for detailed information.
Interest free “loan”: deferral of employment tax deposits
To help support the United States economy, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act on March 27, 2020. In the CARES Act are numerous provisions for the benefit of businesses and individuals alike to dampen the adverse effects of the virus on our country. One of the provisions both large and small dealers can take advantage of is the deferral of the employer portion of Social Security taxes. READ MORE >>
Colorado Sales Tax Return Deadline for March, April, and Q1 2020 is May 20th
This is a reminder for sales tax filers who delayed filing and payment of sales taxes originally due on or before April 20, 2020. All returns must be filed, and taxes must be paid in full on or before May 20, 2020.
• Monthly Filers: sales tax returns for March and April 2020 are due May 20, 2020.
• Quarterly Filers: sales tax returns for Q1 2020 (January through March 2020) are due May 20, 2020.
May 8, 2020
New DOL Guidance Issued
On May 6, 2020, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) expanded guidance to employers as they work to comply with the terms of the FFCRA. Some of the guidance relates to the end of school year and the role of paid leave for purposes of summer vacation. Dealers are encouraged to continue to closely review the DOL Guidance as implementation of the FFCRA continues in your dealership.
Webinar Recording: Returning to a New Normal
On May 5, EDA hosted a FREE dealer webinar on best practices in returning to work and establishing a new normal in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. VIEW WEBINAR >>
SAFER: Safe Actions for Employee Returns
The core objective of SAFER is establishing sustainable safe operations for employers and workers as they navigate what the world of work looks like as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. READ THE FULL DOCUMENT >>
INL Commercial routing assistance
The Commercial Routing Assistance (CRA) provides the latest information relevant to commercial organizations and drivers, state transportation officials and regulators, federal transportation officials and regulators, and trade associations who rely upon continuous vehicle movement to meet their mission. LEARN MORE >>
OSHA Covid-19 control and prevention
Measures for protecting workers from exposure to, and infection with, SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), depend on the type of work being performed and exposure risk, including potential for interaction with people with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 and contamination of the work environment. Employers should adapt infection control strategies based on a thorough hazard assessment, using appropriate combinations of engineering and administrative controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE) to prevent worker exposures. READ MORE >>
May 5, 2020
Far West territories receive $466M in PPP’s phase two, Feds require proof of need
FWEDA’s seven western states have been approved for $466M in funding to date in the second phase of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). At the same time, the Treasury and Small Business Administration (SBA) advise loan recipients they will be required to demonstrate need in order to retain the funds or return them by May 7. A dealer must certify in good faith that “current economic uncertainty made this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations” of the business.
Given the new advisory and the May 7 deadline to return funds to avoid having questions asked about the certification as to whether a PPP loan was “necessary” for a dealer, FWEDA partner Siegfried Bingham, P.C. has prepared a memo to provide guidance for dealers. READ MEMO >>
Businesses in Far West's territory received $212 million in the first round of PPP funding.
States prepare to reopen: A state-by-state review
While the federal government has provided guidelines for opening up America again, states have outlined individual plans to reopen for business. Below is a summary of reopening plans by state:
Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Department of Health Services today released additional guidelines as retail businesses resume partial operations starting next week. The recommendations include enhanced sanitation and physical distancing steps customers and business owners should take to facilitate increased business interactions while minimizing the risk of COVID-19. READ MORE>>
Governor Newsom outlines six critical indicators the State will consider before modifying the Stay-at-Home Order and other COVID-19 interventions. California is expected to see “nonessential” retail businesses start reopening Friday with guidelines that include curbside pickup. READ MORE >>
Gov. Polis today issued Executive Orders on Safer at Home. The Safer at Home Executive Order D 2020 044 outlines a new level in Colorado’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes a more sustainable way of living for Coloradans while slowing the spread of the virus and allowing more Coloradans to return to work. Changes happening during Safer at Home will be phased in, with different changes going into effect April 27, May 1, and May 4. READ MORE>>
Gov. David Ige signed a 6th supplementary emergency proclamation (PDF) extending the stay-at-home order across the state through May 31. Social distancing requirements remain in place across the state through the end of May. READ MORE >>
On 4/30, Governor Sisolak unveiled Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery. This plan details Nevada’s phased reopening plan, as well as the criteria required to begin the reopening process. READ MORE >>
Gov. Gary R. Herbert issued an Executive Order that formally places the state of Utah under “moderate risk” protocols for COVID-19 beginning on May 1, 2020 at 12:01 a.m. Detailed guidelines are provided in the updated Utah Leads Together Plan, and apply to individuals and businesses. READ MORE >>
Governor Mark Gordon has announced that new public health orders effective May 1 will allow gyms, barber shops, hair salons and other personal care services to reopen under specific operating conditions designed to minimize public health risk from COVID-19. Other parts of the phased approach involve easing restrictions on day cares and issuing guidance to hospitals allowing them to resume elective surgeries. READ MORE >>
Be sure to follow our COVID-19 resources page for detailed information.
April 29, 2020
Covid-19 Survey: Dealerships adapt to new ways of doing business
EDA recently completed a survey of equipment dealers in the U.S. and Canada about their operational response to COVID-19 and have compiled an extensive report. SEE SURVEY >>
States release guidelines, recommendations for re-opening businesses
CALIFORNIA: Governor Newsom Provides Update on California’s Pandemic Resilience Roadmap.
COLORADO: Governor Polis issued a “Safer at Home” Executive Order allowing for the gradual re-opening of critical and non-critical businesses.
ARIZONA: With only a couple of days remaining in Gov. Ducey's stay-at-home order expiring on April 30, Arizona business groups are putting forth various plans to restart the economy. LEARN MORE >>
Feds expedite shipping facemasks to critical workforce
Processing and shipping face coverings started April 16. The federal government delivery of facial coverings is in a phased-approach for infrastructure workers, first responders, and food producers who do not need medical-grade personal protective equipment (PPE) for their daily work. READ MORE >>
Trump orders USDA to take action on meat, poultry supply chain
President Trump yesterday issued an executive order using the Defense Production Act to avoid disruption in the supply of products like beef, pork, and poultry. LEARN MORE >>
Construction employment declines in 20 states and D.C.
New Monthly Job Loss Data Foreshadows More Layoffs Amid Project Cancellations and State Cutbacks in Road Projects as Association Calls for More Small Business Relief and Immediate Aid for Highway Funding. READ MORE >>
DOL issues employer alert for construction worker safety
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued an alert listing safety tips employers can follow to help protect construction workers from exposure to the coronavirus. READ MORE >>
COVID-19 and Ag: Why Farmers Need Your Support, Now More Than Ever
In periods of uncertainty, it can be difficult to find any sort of constants or norms. However, during these times that we’re all living through currently, there’s one constant that has not changed. That constant is farming. READ MORE >>
HHS Awards Nearly $165 Million to Combat COVID-19 in Rural Communities
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) through the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) awarded nearly $165 million to combat the COVID-19 pandemic in rural communities. READ MORE >>
Federated Insurance Announces COVID-19 Client Relief Credit
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a multitude of challenges for all of us. Through all of these issues confronting us today, our recommended partner, Federated Insurance, has worked closely with their customers to help them find their way through these unprecedented times. READ MORE >>
April 24, 2020
Treasury Department clarifies guidance for large businesses under PPP
The Treasury Department addresses large business eligibility in its latest update to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs. READ MORE >>
Colorado Ranchers hit harder as packing plants experience COVID-19 outbreaks
Livestock producers struggle as temporary closures of meat packing plants and rising employee absenteeism due to COVID-19 exacerbates an existing harvest facility capacity challenge due to a labor shortage in rural America. READ MORE>>
EDA hosts May 5 webinar: Return to Work and Establishing a New Normal
Equipment Dealers Association will host a free webinar on best practices in returning to work and establishing a new normal in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic. LEARN MORE>>
April 22, 2020
PPP loan program to extend additional $310B in aid for small businesses under current rules
The White House and Congress have reached a deal that extends $310 billion in CARES Act funding to continue the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans to small business. On behalf of association members, FWEDA urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Minority Leaders Kevin McCarthy and Chuck Schumer to swiftly pass legislation providing additional economic relief to small businesses. The entire stimulus package of $483 billion includes funding for additional loans and healthcare.
Paycheck Protection Program
• $250 billion for the PPP Program as it is currently running
• $60 billion for small lenders and community financial institutions
Economic Injury Disaster Loan:
• Extra $50B for EIDL loan program
• Extra $10B for EIDL grant program
The legislation includes eligibility for agricultural enterprises to receive PPP and EIDL. Although agriculture was eligible for PPP loans, but they were not previously eligible for EIDL loans.
Hospitals and Testing:
• $75 billion to reimburse hospitals and healthcare providers for COVID-19 expenses; it includes language identical to CARES Act hospital language and it is intended to address problems in rural areas where hospitals are closed down
• $25 billion allocated for research, development, manufacturing, purchasing, administering and expanding COVID-19 testing
• $11 B is distributed to states, localities and tribes for public health emergency preparedness and for “surge areas” relative to number of COVID-19 patients in those areas. HHS Secretary Azar can use $6 billion for surveillance and contact tracing, supporting federal response from CDC and FDA, CHCs and rural health clinics, and covering the cost of testing for the uninsured
Funding is expected to start this week. LEARN MORE >>
For small businesses concerns waiting for additional appropriations, SBA offers existing or new 7a loans (The SBA will automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of current 7(a), 504, and microloans for a period of six months. The SBA will also automatically pay the principal, interest, and fees of new 7(a), 504, and microloans issued prior to September 27, 2020. LEARN MORE >>
Tractors sales fall in March, AEM reports industrial production has lowest monthly drop since 1946
Association of Equipment Manufacturers reported tractor sales fell 11-18 percent across the board for March. Manufacturing production fell sharply by 6.3 percent in March as firms grappled with the COVID-19 outbreak, including closures, reduced activity and significant supply and demand disruptions globally. READ MORE >>
Revised Essential Critical Worker Infrastructure guidelines V3 address jurisdictional challenges
DHS-CISA released an update of its Essential Critical Workforce Infrastructure guidelines April 17, which emphasized the need for coordination among jurisdictions to avoid service disruptions. The guidance more clearly defines essential workers in the critical infrastructure. READ MORE>>
White House releases Opening Up America Guidelines
President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. READ MORE >>
Stay on top of “stay-at-home” orders as states begin process of re-opening businesses
Governors and public health officials across the county implemented stringent measures to contain the spread of COVID-19. This updated resource provides easy reference for employers to track these orders READ MORE>>
California — California Gov. Gavin Newsom named business, labor, healthcare and community leaders to his Task Force on Business and Jobs Recovery with the agricultural sector representation noticeably absent from the original list but updated overnight. READ MORE >>
Colorado — Governor Jared Polis released modeling data that shows how Colorado is performing under his stay-at-home order and what next steps will look like as health and safety restrictions change in the coming days and weeks. READ MORE >>
Arizona — Gov. Doug Ducey said Tuesday he reached out to the state's business and tourism communities for ideas to implement a plan that eventually would allow commerce in the state to continue following what will be weeks of stay-at-home orders. READ MORE >>
USDA offers rural resource funding guide
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue unveiled a one-stop-shop of federal programs that can be used by rural communities, organizations and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. READ MORE >>
APRIL 16, 2020
PPP funds exhausted, rules excluded some dealers
Far West Equipment Dealers Association joined Equipment Dealers Association and other regional associations in petitioning Congress to clarify Paycheck Protection Program loan rules related to franchise businesses as the Treasury Dept. announced today that $350 million in funding ran out for the economic relief plan. Dealers, particularly those with more than 500 employees, grappled with eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds through the Small Business Administration (SBA) based on how a waiver rule applies when the business concerns (rooftops) are not separate legal entities with their own EIN number.
Department of Labor Issues COVID-19 workplace illness recordkeeping guidance
The US Department of Labor issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements, as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19.
COVID-19 is a recordable illness and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if the case:
- Is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness;
- Is “work related” as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
- Involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.
In areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. For more information visit: http://www.osha.gov/
DHS, USDA: Rule change helps farmers avoid disruption as spring harvest approaches
Washington, D.C., April 15, 2020 – The Department of Homeland Security, with the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announced a temporary final rule to change certain H-2A requirements to help U.S. agricultural employers avoid disruptions in lawful agricultural-related employment, protect the nation’s food supply chain, and lessen impacts from the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health emergency. These temporary flexibilities will not weaken or eliminate protections for U.S. workers. Read More >>
APRIL 9, 2020
A supply chain strained by COVID-19 restrictions that close nonessential businesses, is squeezing essential businesses as they try to navigate new waters: operating amid a pandemic deemed a workplace hazard, major disruptions, business closures and panic buying, and labor shortages.
While ag equipment dealers say they are busy now, many are bracing for the fallout a few months from now when the full impact of shutdowns will be felt. Equipment manufacturers announced changes amid COVID-19 impact as some suspended and others modified operations, several switched gears to produce PPE for healthcare workers, and most adjusted their financial outlook for the year.
Food producers and processors, contractors, material handlers and landscapers are experiencing unprecedented disruption affecting the supply chain as they continue operating as essential businesses. Ranchers and agricultural producers saw business closures at record rates in the past few weeks as governors and local officials instituted stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders across FWEDA’s seven-state territory, plunging prices that could put some of them out of business. “The drop in demand is pushing prices farmers would get paid for their crops to lows that may make it very difficult for them to justify putting another crop in the ground this springs,” Farm Bureau Chief Economist John Newton said in a news release. The Farm Bureau reports “Shuttered schools, universities, restaurants, bars and cafeterias are no longer buying milk, meat, fruits, vegetables and other food, causing a downward spiral in crop and livestock prices.” Crop and livestock futures dropped by double-digit percentages as the ag industry is urging Congress to stabilize the markets.
Hundreds of construction firms across the country stopped work today to hold safety stand downs, focusing on ways to protect construction workers and the public from the spread of coronavirus. The safety stand down, which organized by the Associated General Contractors of America, was designed to make sure firms and workers are taking measures outlined by public health and safety officials to protect workers on active construction sites and the public.
Local jurisdictions issued more restrictions this week as they tightened movement across their states. Many of these changes reduce the essential workforce to only those employees required to perform essential services of an essential business. Click on your state flag for updates on these changes.
CISA today said it would release a third revision of its Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker Guidelines by next week. FWEDA joins other industries in urging state and local jurisdictions to incorporate CISA guidelines and develop uniform enforcement practices for travel restrictions as stay-at-home orders become even more restrictive. FWEDA recommends essential businesses provide employees with an essential business letter on their letterhead that includes a copy of the CISA guidance. The agency also updated its guidance on how essential businesses can acquire much-needed supplies.
The Treasury Department today approved $2.3 million in new financing, establishing a Main Street Business Lending Program and a Municipal Liquidity Facility to support the flow of credit to American workers, businesses, States, counties, and cities impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The agency also issued clarification on provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program.
The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. Check back as these guidelines are frequently revised.
- For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
- If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
- Borrower Application Form (Updated 4/2/20)
- Interim Final Rule
- Interim Final Rule on Affiliation
- Applicable Affiliation Rules
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Find an eligible lender
Congress was unable to agree on extending additional relief to businesses as Democrats blocked a $250 billion package for small businesses. Republicans would not agree to additional funding for hospitals and state and local governments.
CDC’s recommendation to use facemasks, already in limited supply of PPE and N95 respirator masks for healthcare providers and first responders, has FEMA intercepting shipments as they arrive in the country and requiring shippers to certify large shipments are not for resale. FWEDA members can submit a request for PPE and sanitary supplies directly to USDA. FWEDA members who require these items but are having difficulty getting them can contact us to prioritize their requests. FWEDA members can also visit our #supplychain Slack channel for a list of resources and other supply chain information.
CISA reminds businesses of the ongoing cybersecurity threats as cybercriminals are using the pandemic for commercial gain, deploying a variety of ransomware and other malware.
FWEDA Dealer Helpline
FWEDA’s Dealer Helpline offers legal, financial and human resources guidance for member dealerships through our expert partners. Please email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us at 800.576.8850 for information and assistance.
For updated employment and business resources related to COVID-19, visit www.fweda.com/covid-19-resources/