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COVID-19/Coronavirus Resources for Small Businesses (U.S. and Washington State)

 
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I was asked to share this here, after sending it out to my clients today.



Due to several requests, here are some resources I've pulled together.

You know, in case you've been sanitizing all the things and/or washing your hands so much that you haven't been at your computer. (Joking / not joking!)

The sections:
(1) IRS Updates and Resources & New Legislation
(2) Small Business Plus Employer / Employee Resources
(3) Our Remote Services to You

(1) IRS Updates and Resources & The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

IRS Information
  • As of yesterday, the IRS has this new page:  https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus.
  • High deductible health insurance COVID-19 coverage:  https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/irs-high-deductible-health-plans-can-cover-coronavirus-costs.
  • Currently, COVID-19 disaster relief is not listed on the IRS disaster relief page yet, though this is a good place to watch for updates: https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/disaster-assistance-and-emergency-relief-for-individuals-and-businesses

  • New Legislation and Federal Relief -  The Families First Coronavirus Response Act
  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has passed the House and (I think) has yet to be approved by the Senate. I thought this was a good summary:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2020/03/14/house-bill-would-allow-for-paid-leave-testing--tax-credits-to-lessen-impact-of-coronavirus/#15fe93e35207.
  • The payroll tax cuts the Trump administration wants for this crisis were NOT included in the The Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This Forbes article from March 10, 2020 offers more info on the payroll tax relief proposal and challenges:  https://www.forbes.com/sites/kellyphillipserb/2020/03/10/after-coronavirus-fueled-stock-market-drop-trump-considers-payroll-tax-relief/#3a8b1e7763d1.
  • 3/16/2020 - $800 billion in relief proposed (I think half for The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and half for payroll tax cuts):   https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/16/trump-coronavirus-relief-package-132369.

  • In other words, much of this kind of relief is still being debated and sorted out.

    (2) Small Business & Employer/Employee Resources

    Small Business Administration
  • SBA loans:   https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19
  • SBA guidance and loan resources:   https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources

  • At the Washington State (U.S.) level, we have some relief detailed quite well at - see the third bullet for how unemployment insurance covers quite a bit for this situation (or check your own local municipalities for similar):
  • PFML & COVID-19:   https://paidleave.wa.gov/coronavirus/
  • ESD:   https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
  • Employer ESD section:   https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19#business-services
  • WA State:   https://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources/covid-19-resources-businesses-and-workers

  • (3) Our Remote Services to You

    My daughter Emily Collins works with me and we are both well and very happy to be working remotely during this time. We are here to support you and assist in any way that we can.

    Other recent updates and tips for Washington State payroll clients:
  • the 2020 form W-4 is new and different - we have updated all of your payroll forms and form links in your payroll forms folder to reflect this
  • PFML was overwhelmed before COVID-19, and now it will be even more so. One person shared that they got through on the phones more easily when the PFML office first opened in the morning.
  • our managepayroll.com/Intuit Online Payroll/IOP system will be migrated to QuickBooks Online Payroll some time this year
  • tip:  your e-mail app might try to auto-fill sending an e-mail to my name using the IOP system "do not reply" e-mail address. I won't receive those e-mails! Be sure you are sending to this e-mail instead.

  • Let us know if there is anything else we can do.

    Plus, if anyone has better links or more current information on the new legislation, please add them to this thread.

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    A friend, Rebecca Holman, shared this fund for bartenders:  https://www.usbgfoundation.org/beap.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    And this is a brief, clear strategy that is an easy, helpful read:  https://incitestrategy.ca/insights/5-tips-to-help-your-business-communicate-through-covid-19/

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    The payroll tax cut might change to be stimulus checks instead.

    https://itep.org/checks-to-all-vs-trumps-payroll-tax-cut/ 

    Still in the works. Just trying to update as news warrants on what might be available to help folks and small businesses.

    (To discuss the politics or economic theories of these things, please find an existing thread or create a new thread in the cider press.)


     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    Also, the Marketing for Hippies guy, Tad Hargrave, has some tips and ideas for vulnerable businesses (especially body workers) during this time:

    https://marketingforhippies.com/corona/

    It also reveals the weaknesses, cracks and vulnerabilities in the structures of our business.

    If your business relies 100% on the internet and the power grid goes down, you have no business.

    If your business relies 100% on working with people live and in close proximity (e.g. body work and groups) then your business will take an immense hit.

    If you grow your own food and are largely living in a self-sufficient community well then… you’re miles ahead of us all.


    He then goes on to provide some links for diversifying your business model(s).

     
    Jocelyn Campbell
    master steward
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    Location: Missoula, MT
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    hugelkultur purity forest garden books food preservation
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    More good resources:

    FEMA support due to national disaster status:  https://www.fema.gov/news-release/2020/03/13/president-donald-j-trump-directs-fema-support-under-emergency-declaration.

    This Seattle area credit union is offering 0% loans and other assistance to affected members:  https://www.becu.org/support/member-assistance-program.
     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    More from the SBA on Tuesday, March 17, 2020:

    Washington counties now eligible for disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration
    Small businesses in many Washington counties are now eligible to apply for low‑interest U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans to offset economic losses because of reduced revenues caused by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    More counties are likely to become eligible in Washington state. Check the SBA website for the most updated information.

    This is one of the first SBA disaster declarations in the country related to COVID-19.

    Learn More



     
    Jocelyn Campbell
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    From this section of the OP:

    At the Washington State (U.S.) level, we have some relief detailed quite well at - see the third bullet for how unemployment insurance covers quite a bit for this situation (or check your own local municipalities for similar):

  • PFML & COVID-19:   https://paidleave.wa.gov/coronavirus/
  • ESD:   https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19
  • Employer ESD section:   https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19#business-services
  • WA State:   https://www.governor.wa.gov/issues/issues/covid-19-resources/covid-19-resources-businesses-and-workers


  • There is now an excellent graphic to navigate all the things, available in PDF at https://esd.wa.gov/newsroom/covid-19#business-services and attached as an image below.

    One of my client employers told me they learned that all sick leave must be used up before the ESD will kick in under forced closures.

    covid-19-scenarios-and-benefits.jpg
    Washington State COVID-19 scenarios and benefits
    Washington State COVID-19 scenarios and benefits
     
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