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 awarded for economic support to small businesses facing a temporary loss of revenue as a result of the crisis. Loans may be applied toward fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills associated with the declared disaster.
- New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness (NJOHSP)
The NJOHSP is assisting corporations with the continuation of services for vital industries. For example, Gibbons has been providing advice to a global healthcare company on how to maintain operations for essential medications and supplies with the help of NJOHSP programs.
- New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA)
Separate and apart from any programs being launched in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NJEDA has an existing slate of loan, financing, and technical assistance programs for small and medium businesses, and is waiving certain requirements for previously approved recipients of awards under various employment-based incentive programs. In addition, the NJEDA and several state agencies are collaborating with financial institutions, business leaders, and business advocacy groups throughout the state to develop new programs that are best positioned to help businesses ensure business and employment continuity.
- New Jersey Department of Labor (NJDOL)
New Jersey’s Earned Sick Leave Law covers public health emergencies under certain conditions, whether for self-care or family care, though there are restrictions on eligibility.
In addition, the U.S. House of Representatives has passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (summarized here), which includes emergency appropriations for businesses, and the White House has issued extensive guidance for businesses and employers during the crisis. On the state level, the New Jersey Assembly has acted on dozens of bills related to the pandemic this week, including, among others, bills that address the timing of income tax and corporation business tax returns, lost income and other negative affects on workers and small businesses, and time off from work, among other critical issues employers and employees are now facing.
For more information on any of these programs, guidelines, or proposed laws, and to learn what they mean for your business, please contact Bill Palatucci. Gibbons will continue to monitor the situation and update you as new laws are passed and new programs announced.