Dear Members and Friends,
As we enter this critical phase of reopening our economy, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant, keep working safe and doing what you’ve been doing all along – governing the level of activity on the job sites, using enhanced disinfecting routines, and practicing social distancing.
Deemed essential, our industry has helped keep the blood pumping to our besieged economy during these historic and troubled times.
With less traffic around the office, Tanya and I have had a chance to do some cleaning and organizing. Here is little collage of photos we discovered from the early nineties, just around the time our Association established our Articles of Incorporation in 1992.
We’re looking forward to the next three decades and continuing to provide members with great representation, access to benefits, educational opportunities, and importantly, great networking activities. We miss seeing you!
In this email:
- Small Business Administration releases Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness application
- House passes bipartisan bill easing PPP loan restrictions
- $3 trillion HEROES Act clears House and enters Senate negotiations phase
- OSHA reverses course and requires employers to track COVID-19 cases
- LEGO contest a smiling success and a look ahead…
SBA has released the PPP Forgiveness Application. Now that the first round of loans are approaching the end of the eight week spending period, lenders are starting to look at the forgiveness requirements. Your local bank, not the SBA, will design the forgiveness process which means every single bank will have a unique take on it.
It is possible individual lenders will have additional requirements for documentation, so be in touch with your lender to get the ball rolling and call us if we can help answer questions.
Recipients of PPP loans must *request* loan forgiveness – it won’t be automatic – and the timing is tricky. Right now, recipients have 56 days from funding date to spend the money appropriately and then must request forgiveness within 60 days of funding.
Hopefully that will change if the other dates are pushed out, but just to be safe, don’t wait to put together your documents. Collect them as you go and begin working with your lender today to meet deadlines.
News we are watching carefully:
The House passed a bipartisan bill today designed to give small businesses owners more flexibility in how they spend money from a key Coronavirus aid program.
The chamber approved the legislation in a nearly unanimous 417-1 vote. The Senate has put forward a plan similar to the House bill, but has not yet passed it. Senators will not convene again until next week.
The Paycheck Protection Program, one of the core parts of the $2 trillion pandemic rescue package passed in March, includes standards for how companies have to use their loans in order to get them forgiven. The measure passed Thursday would ease those rules.
The plan would:
- Reduce the share of aid money small business are required to spend on payroll from 75% to 60%
- Extend the window businesses have to use the funds from two months to six months
- Push back a June 30 deadline to rehire workers
- Extend the time recipients have to repay the loan
- Let companies that get loan forgiveness defer payroll taxes
More changes and proposals are afoot regarding the PPP loans. The HEROES Act (Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act), passed the House of Representatives and is now being negotiated (not debated yet) in the Senate.
Here are some important points for our businesses which are contained in the bill as it stands. The HEROES Act contains many of the elements contained in the bipartisan bill which passed the U.S. House today, but goes further and:
- extends the time to hire laid-off workers until the end of the year
- overrules an IRS decision that expenses paid with PPP loan money would not be tax-deductible
- leaves a pool of remaining PPP dollars for businesses with less than 10 employees and expands what’s available for non-profits.
OSHA Reverses Course and Now Requires Employers to Track COVID-19 Cases
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration this week announced a significant reversal of previous policy on an employer’s obligation to record work-related cases of COVID-19 on OSHA injury and illness logs. The new requirements go into effect Tuesday, May 26.
As with the previous guidance, OSHA acknowledged that it will be difficult to establish that a particular COVID-19 case is “work-related.” But the new guidance does place additional obligations on most employers to conduct an investigation and to make a reasonable determination as to whether the illness was transmitted on the job.
It should be noted that the new guidance applies only to employers currently subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements. Due to employee size limitations, many home builders are exempt from most of the new requirements.
Ending today’s message on a high note.
Tanya and I were so happy to bring some smiles to young faces this afternoon as we handed out prizes, not only to Lego Contest winners, but every child who entered won something. Of course we wore masks, but if you look closely, we’re all smiling with our eyes.
on our Facebook page.
Finally, I want to mention that our Executive Committee, Board of Directors, and Parade of Homes Committee have been hard at work. We are putting all the pieces in place to execute a Haciendas: Virtual Parade of Homes that will be second to none! Of course, everyone is saddened that the in-person parade is not possible at this time, but we are feeling optimistic that our virtual offering will bring new elements of value and great outreach opportunities to our builder and associate members.
We’ll have plenty to tell you about in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, check out the fabulous work of Daniel Nadelbach who was selected from a highly talented pool of bidders to produce the videos and still imagery for our 2020 Parade.
Thanks for staying active in your association, keep envisioning what we can build together, and have a great evening.