SBA & Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute COVID-19 Relief Funds

Rob Betts requested that the following SBA bulletin be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members.

Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.

“This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza. “Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”
“This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day.  The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit https://SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

Read the full SBA press release

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Center Director Readies Video Presentations on Langley’s Response to COVID-19

Tim Cannella requested that the following guidance from NASA LaRC Center Director Clayton Turner be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members.

Dear Langley Team,

I hope that you and your family are doing well as we all navigate this unique time together.
The leadership team and I recognize that the continual evolution of the coronavirus and resulting impact on the world around us has been very disconcerting for everyone. We appreciate your attentiveness to the messages that we have been sending out along with those from the agency. You have responded quickly and efficiently to safeguard our facilities, our work and most importantly the people of NASA Langley.

As we move into this new way of working, we will be reaching out to you more regularly. We are leveraging technology to communicate via video and will be sending the first message out next week. We will be discussing Langley’s response, how our expertise is contributing to the nation and – our anchor through all of this – how our missions across aeronautics, science and exploration continue.

In the meantime, I encourage you to watch the Ask the Administrator video, if you have not already. Let me reiterate his message, your health and safety are our highest priority.
Many resources continue to be available including NASA People, https://Coronavirus.gov and our own site LaRC SOS. And, I encourage you to reach out to your supervisor with any questions, concerns or ideas you may have. The leadership team meets regularly, and your input is a valuable part of the conversation.

We will persevere and continue to do amazing work for the agency and the nation. Please take care of yourselves and your families.

Stay safe.

Clayton Turner
Center Director

Ask the Administrator video

NASA Response Framework (Rev. 3/16/2020)

NASA People Website Coronavirus Information Page

Coronavirus.gov

LaRC SOS Website Coronavirus Information and Center Status Page

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Plan to Implement Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Small and Midsize Businesses

Rob Betts requested that the following SBA bulletin be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members.

U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS and the U.S. Department of Labor Announce Plan to Implement Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave for Workers and Tax Credits for Small and Midsize Businesses to Swiftly Recover the Cost of Providing Coronavirus-Related Leave

WASHINGTON, DC – Today the U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Department of Labor announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing Coronavirus-related leave to their employees. This relief to employees and small and midsize businesses is provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, signed by President Trump on March 18, 2020.

The act will help the United States combat and defeat COVID-19 by giving all American businesses with fewer than 500 employees funds to provide employees with paid leave, either for the employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The legislation will enable employers to keep their workers on their payrolls, while at the same time ensuring that workers are not forced to choose between their paychecks and the public health measures needed to combat the virus.

Key Takeaways

Paid Sick Leave for Workers – For COVID-19 related reasons, employees receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave and expanded paid child care leave when employees’ children’s schools are closed or child care providers are unavailable.

Complete Coverage – Employers receive 100% reimbursement for paid leave pursuant to the act. (a) Health insurance costs are also included in the credit.  (b) Employers face no payroll tax liability.  (c) Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit.

Fast Funds – Reimbursement will be quick and easy to obtain.  (a) An immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll taxes will be provided; (b) Where a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible.

Small Business Protection – Employers with fewer than 50 employees are eligible for an exemption from the requirements to provide leave to care for a child whose school is closed or child care is unavailable in cases where the viability of the business is threatened.

Easing Compliance – Requirements subject to 30-day non-enforcement period for good faith compliance efforts.

To take immediate advantage of the paid leave credits, businesses can retain and access funds that they would otherwise pay to the IRS in payroll taxes. If those amounts are not sufficient to cover the cost of paid leave, employers can seek an expedited advance from the IRS by submitting a streamlined claim form that will be released next week.

Background

The act provided paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for COVID-19 related reasons and created the refundable paid sick leave credit and the paid child-care leave credit for eligible employers. Eligible employers are businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees that are required to provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the act. Eligible employers will be able to claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between the effective date and Dec. 31, 2020. Equivalent credits are available to self-employed individuals based on similar circumstances.

Paid Leave

The act provides that employees of eligible employers can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 100% of the employee’s pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined, and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, and seeking a medical diagnosis. An employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to quarantine, to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing substantially similar conditions as specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services can receive two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay. An employee who is unable to work due to a need to care for a child whose school is closed or child care provider is unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, may in some instances receive up to an additional ten weeks of expanded paid family and medical leave at 2/3 the employee’s pay.

Paid Sick Leave Credit

For an employee who is unable to work because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, eligible employers may receive a refundable sick leave credit for sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days.

For an employee who is caring for someone with Coronavirus, or is caring for a child because the child’s school or child care facility is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may claim a credit for two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for up to 10 days. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

Child Care Leave Credit

In addition to the sick leave credit, for an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or child-care facility is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may receive a refundable child care leave credit. This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the child-care leave credit. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

Prompt Payment for the Cost of Providing Leave

When employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold from their employees’ paychecks federal income taxes and the employees’ share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employers then are required to deposit these federal taxes, along with their share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the IRS and file quarterly payroll tax returns (Form 941 series) with the IRS.

Under guidance that will be released next week, eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child-care leave will be able to retain an amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child-care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS.

The payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees.

If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and child care leave paid, employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS. The IRS expects to process these requests in two weeks or less. The details of this new, expedited procedure will be announced next week.

Examples

If an eligible employer paid $5,000 in sick leave and is otherwise required to deposit $8,000 in payroll taxes, including taxes withheld from all its employees, the employer could use up to $5,000 of the $8,000 of taxes it was going to deposit for making qualified leave payments. The employer would only be required under the law to deposit the remaining $3,000 on its next regular deposit date.

If an eligible employer paid $10,000 in sick leave and was required to deposit $8,000 in taxes, the employer could use the entire $8,000 of taxes in order to make qualified leave payments, and file a request for an accelerated credit for the remaining $2,000.
Equivalent child-care leave and sick leave credit amounts are available to self-employed individuals under similar circumstances. These credits will be claimed on their income tax return and will reduce estimated tax payments.

Small Business Exemption

Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees will be eligible for an exemption from the leave requirements relating to school closings or child care unavailability where the requirements would jeopardize the ability of the business to continue. The exemption will be available on the basis of simple and clear criteria that make it available in circumstances involving jeopardy to the viability of an employer’s business as a going concern. The Department of Labor will provide emergency guidance and rulemaking to clearly articulate this standard.

Non-Enforcement Period

Department of Labor will be issuing a temporary non-enforcement policy that provides a period of time for employers to come into compliance with the act. Under this policy, Department of Labor will not bring an enforcement action against any employer for violations of the act so long as the employer has acted reasonably and in good faith to comply with the act. The Department of Labor will instead focus on compliance assistance during the 30-day period.

For More Information

For more information about these credits and other relief, visit Coronavirus Tax Relief  on IRS.gov. Information regarding the process to receive an advance payment of the credit will be posted next week.

Agency:  Office of the Secretary
Date:  March 20, 2020
Release Number:  20-505-NAT
Contact: Department of Labor National Contact Center
Email:  talktodol@dol.gov

Respectfully,
Lucy Garcia
Community Outreach and Resource Planning Specialist
United States Department of Labor

The U.S. Department of Labor has resources to help workers and employers prepare for the COVID-19 virus (also known as novel coronavirus):  https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

The Wage and Hour Division is providing information on common issues employers and workers face when responding to COVID-19, including the effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act:  https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Department of Labor News Release:  https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320

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Extension for NASA SBIR/STTR Program Proposals to 4/20/20 at 5:00pm EDT

Rob Betts requested that the following SBA bulletin be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members.

Hello NASA SBIR/STTR Community,

The NASA SBIR/STTR Program has been closely monitoring the situation with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). After careful deliberations, we are providing an additional extension for Phase I proposals. The new deadline is Monday, April 20, 2020 at 5:00pm EDT.

While we would like to provide maximum relief during this uncertain time, extending beyond this date will have a consequential impact on the proposal review process and ultimately, the timing of the awards and periods of performance.
Small businesses are the core of our program and we remain committed in our mission and vision to empower small businesses to deliver technological innovation that contributes to NASA’s missions, provides societal benefit, and grows the U.S. economy.

Given the domino effect, we carefully selected an extension period that allows our awardees to receive funding in a timely manner. We anticipate award announcements to be made in early July 2020. Given this 4-week extension, funding will be delayed, but we will make every effort to provide funding in the current fiscal year.

We encourage you to keep abreast of the latest updates on our website. Specific details about this extension and ongoing updates can be found on https://sbir.nasa.gov/content/covid-19-impact-nasa-sbirsttr-program.

Updated Solicitation: Please note that the technical details of the solicitation remain the same, but this administrative update has been made and can be found on sbir.nasa.gov/solicitations or on https://beta.sam.gov/opp/f5d8867b0aeb49548e406eece3e93866/view .

Additional Resources

Small Business Administration: SBA has a dedicated page with guidance and resources for businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic – https://sba.gov/page/guidance-businesses-employers-plan-respond-coronavirus-disease-2019-covid-19

NASA Administrator Statement: The agency response to Coronavirus – https://www.nasa.gov/press-release/march-19-administrator-statement-on-agency-response-to-coronavirus

Official Coronavirus Information: For the latest official information – https://coronavirus.gov, https://CDC.gov/coronavirus, and https://USA.gov/coronavirus.

Thank you,

NASA SBIR/STTR Program

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SBA Disaster Assistance Available to Virginia Small Biz

Rob Betts requested that the following SBA bulletin be shared with LaRC Contractors Steering Council members.

For Entities Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

RICHMOND, Va. – The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers low-interest federal disaster working capital loans to Virginia small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). SBA acted under authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently signed by the President, following a request received from Gov. Ralph Northam. The disaster declaration makes SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) assistance available in the entire Commonwealth.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19,” said Administrator Carranza. “SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.”

Eligibility is based on the financial impact of the COVID-19. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses, and 2.75% for private non-profit organizations. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

“Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” said SBA Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger, who oversees SBA programs and services in Virginia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland and Washington, D.C. “Small businesses, private nonprofit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and aquaculture enterprises financially impacted as a direct result of COVID-19 since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for (EIDL) of up to $2M to help meet financial obligations which could have been met had the disaster not occurred. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact.”

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing & Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an EIDL is Dec. 21, 2020. For more information about COVID-19, please visit: Coronavirus.gov. For information about SBA resources and services, visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus. RA Bulger is available for interviews via phone or Zoom©.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration helps power the American dream of business ownership. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.

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