Government & Regulatory Affairs Alert Blog

Financial Disaster Relief for Start-Ups – Yes, It Is Possible!

The specific challenge we are addressing here is for start-ups and other early-stage businesses. Gibbons attorneys are heavily involved in advising businesses in all industries and of all sizes on the full range of state and federal coronavirus disaster relief programs available to them. Start-ups and other early-stage companies face particular challenges in obtaining governmental relief. Gibbons understands this and is here to help. With our strong commitment to start-ups and other early-stage businesses, we recognize your dire need for funds for survival, as well as growth, at this critical period. We also recognize that the federal and state application requirements seem staggering. Founding teams are confronted with overwhelming requests for tax returns, current financial statements, monthly sales figures, and similar requirements. Which aid program(s) should you pursue? How do you decide? How does a pre-revenue or newly launched start-up demonstrate to federal and state agencies substantial economic injury? How do you determine the best route for disaster assistance with the highest chance of short-term success and without being overwhelmed by red tape? What is its most recent pre-coronavirus valuation, and how was it justified – for example, thought independent third party investments or a verified order pipeline? How much...

Explanation of Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 107 Regarding Non-Retail or Manufacturing Businesses

Governor Murphy issued Executive Order 107 on March 21, 2020 (the “Order”), which requires the closure of all non-essential brick-and-mortar retail businesses, and requires all New Jersey residents to remain at home or at their place of residence unless engaging in one of nine exempted activities. Order at ¶ 2. One of the exempted activities permitting travel within the State is when a person is “reporting to, or performing, their job.” Id. However, and as it relates to this exemption, the Order requires that “all businesses or non-profits in the State, whether closed or open to the public, must accommodate their workforce, wherever practicable, for telework or work-from-home arrangements.” Order at ¶ 10. In the event that the functions of a particular employee or employees cannot be performed through a telework or work-from-home arrangement, the Order allows those employees to be at the place of employment, but the business or non-profit must make its “best efforts to reduce staff on site to the minimal number necessary to ensure that essential operations can continue.” Order at ¶ 11 (emphasis added). The Order specifically identifies certain types of employees that may need to be physically present at their place of businesses. These...

Newly Passed Bills Boost NJ’s Healthcare Industry

The New Jersey Legislature worked quickly to send Governor Murphy a package of bills to address various issues related to the coronavirus outbreak. Governor Phil Murphy has already signed legislation (A3860 and A3862) to expand access to telehealth services and to allow professional and occupational licensing boards to expedite licensure of out-of-state professionals. Assembly Bill 3860 relaxes the existing telehealth requirement and allows practitioners to provide and bill for telemedicine. Specifically, for the duration of the coronavirus public health emergency, any New Jersey licensed healthcare practitioner will be authorized to provide and bill for all medically appropriate services using telemedicine and telehealth. A practitioner who is not licensed in New Jersey may provide healthcare services under the bill using telemedicine and telehealth, provided that: (1) the practitioner is licensed in another state; (2) the services provided by that practitioner are consistent with the practitioner’s authorized scope of practice; (3) the services provided are limited to services related to screening for, diagnosing, or treating COVID-19, unless the practitioner has a preexisting provider-patient relationship; and (4) if the encounter does not relate to COVID-19, the practitioner must advise that the practitioner is not authorized to provide services and recommends that the patient...

The Coronavirus Pandemic and Your Business: How We Can Help – The Big Picture

The unprecedented scope of the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has drastically affected every facet of life and continues to impact our clients in a growing number of ways. Gibbons attorneys have been working closely with clients over the past weeks to navigate emergent, unexpected challenges in a wide range of areas, from the novel human resources issues that arise when an entire workforce is required to work remotely – or when workplaces or specific jobs within a workplace are not equipped for work-from-home arrangements – to perhaps first-time interactions with local, county, and state officials and regulators. Over the coming days, Gibbons will continue reaching out regularly to clients to let you know the various ways we can assist you with advice, counsel, best practices, and creative solutions for this turbulent situation, to help you ensure operational continuity and emerge from the current crisis. Please do not hesitate to contact Kevin G. Walsh, Co-Chair of the Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Department, with any general questions regarding your legal obligations and options in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. More in the “Coronavirus and Your Business” Series: Insurance Coverage in the Age of COVID-19 Economic Loss Recovery/Minimization with State...

Economic Loss Recovery/Minimization with State and Federal Programs

As it has successfully done for its clients in prior emergencies (e.g., Superstorm Sandy), a Gibbons interdisciplinary team will work with you to coordinate securing available assistance from state and federal sources. In doing so, Gibbons will also review with you any relevant insurance policies for coverage of any expenses or business income losses that may be sustained/incurred as a result of the COVID-19 national emergency. The Gibbons interdisciplinary team will advise you on the full range of state and federal programs being authorized by law, established, or expanded to assist businesses with losses related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. Working with clients’ senior management teams, Gibbons will provide strategic advice on the internal measures to be initiated immediately in order to qualify and begin preparing applications for financial assistance from government agencies, including: U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) The federal government’s $8.3 billion Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2020 includes certain provisions that allow the SBA to administer loans connected with this crisis. In addition, the SBA is authorized to offer an additional $50 billion in low-interest loans to address losses caused by the pandemic and the response thereto. A maximum of $2 million can be...

Two Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Department Attorneys Selected to 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

Two members of the Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Department have been selected to the 2020 New Jersey Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists. Kevin G. Walsh, Co-Chair of the Department, was selected to the Super Lawyers list, while Michael D. DeLoreto, an associate in the Department, was selected to the Rising Stars list. For the full release, please see here.

Gibbons Ranked New Jersey’s Top Lawyer-Lobbying Firm for Twelfth Consecutive Year

For the twelfth year in a row, Gibbons P.C. has been ranked the #1 lawyer-lobbying firm in New Jersey, according to the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission (NJ ELEC), which has just released its report on 2019 lobbying expenditures in the state. Gibbons has also ranked sixth in the state among all lobbying firms. “The firm’s growing presence and influence in both the state’s capital and the nation’s capital ultimately stem from loyal clients who have turned to Gibbons for over a decade as their ‘go to’ firm for navigating the governmental process and resolving legislative and regulatory issues that impact their bottom lines,” says Patrick C. Dunican Jr., Chairman and Managing Director of Gibbons. Based just steps from the New Jersey State House in Trenton and supported by additional resources from the firm’s Newark and Red Bank offices, the Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Department offers a broad range of services and experience in state legislative affairs, regulatory affairs and departmental actions, administrative law, business incentives, government procurement and contracting, and political and campaign finance compliance. In addition, the firm’s Washington, DC office provides Gibbons lawyer-lobbyists a base from which to more efficiently handle federal regulatory concerns and...

Gibbons Government & Regulatory Affairs Department Director Christine Stearns Featured on ROI-NJ’s Third Annual “Influencers Power List”

ROI-NJ, a weekly newspaper covering business in New Jersey, has named Christine A. Stearns, a Director in the Gibbons P.C. Government & Regulatory Affairs Department and Administrative Director of the Trenton office, to its third annual “Influencers Power List” of the professionals with the greatest influence on business in the state. The list ranks New Jersey’s top 30 influencers by number, then features a select group of influential professionals in various fields. Gibbons attorneys have been featured on this list every year it has been published. The firm also has more attorneys on the 2020 list than does any other law firm in New Jersey. Ms. Stearns appears on the list of most influential “Government Affairs” professionals for the second consecutive year. Previously selected to the NJBIZ “Health Care Power List” for several years and included on NJ Spotlight’s list of “Top 10 Healthcare Lobbyists in New Jersey,” Ms. Stearns has also been named a “Top Policy Expert” on the ROI-NJ “Health Care Influencers” list in 2018 and 2019. On this year’s “Influencers Power List,” ROI-NJ notes: Yet another big name with plenty of experience in Trenton and government affairs, she deftly handles the needs of clients at Gibbons, one...

Governor Murphy Proposes the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget

Governor Phil Murphy presented the outline of his spending plan for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021 to the State Legislature on February 25, 2020. The FY 2021 Budget proposes total revenues exceeding $42.7 billion (a 4.3 percent increase from FY 2020), and $40.8 billion in total appropriations (a 2.2 percent increase from FY 2020). An additional $1.6 billion is dedicated for surplus and $300 million is directed into the State’s “rainy day” fund. If enacted as proposed, this would be the largest budget in New Jersey history. One of the biggest expenses is the annual payment to the State’s pension system; a proposed total of $4.9 billion for FY 2021. If funded at this level by the Legislature, the contribution to state pension system would consume 12 percent of all state appropriations. This contribution is still only about 80 percent of what is actuarially required. Additional priorities for the Governor include increases to the state education funding formula by $336 million; another $132 million for NJ Transit; creating the Garden State Guarantee to provide two years of tuition free higher education; funding for lead service line replacements; and expanding eligibility for the Earned Income Tax Credit Program and the Pharmaceutical Assistance...

NJEDA Steps Up With Funding for Approved Accelerators and Their Qualifying Cohorts With Exciting New $2.5 Million “NJ Accelerate” Program

On February 11, 2020, the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (“NJEDA”) approved a $2,500,000 pilot program labeled NJ Accelerate (“NJ Accelerate”). The NJEDA expects to attract more accelerator and start-up activities to the State by encouraging the increased participation of New Jersey based entrepreneurs in accelerator programs that provide specialized expertise, mentorship, and technical assistance. The NJ Accelerate program will be organized in a two-step process: (1) accelerator operators will be pre-qualified (“Approved Accelerators”) and, (2) financial assistance will be provided from the NJEDA to domestic New Jersey early-stage companies that complete a program at an Approved Accelerator. With a $2,500,000 pilot program budget, the NJEDA anticipates that approximately 10-15 companies will be supported in the NJ Accelerate pilot program in addition to the support and engagement of at least five Approved Accelerators. Domestic companies from an approved accelerator and meeting certain requirements are eligible to receive direct loan support from the NJEDA up to $250,000 in the form of a 10 year convertible promissory note and will be in the same amount of investment dollars funded into the start-up by the Approved Accelerator. There will be no repayment obligation for the first seven years. Domestic companies are also eligible...