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COVID-19 News and Resources

The mission of the Awards and Personalization Association is to help businesses thrive. We are committed to providing timely and relevant COVID-19 news and resources in one convenient location so that you don’t have to spend extra time searching. Updates and current information will be added as received. If there are suggestions of additional resources that might be helpful to you and your business during this time, please email us at info@awardspersonalization.org

Hear straight from interviewed industry retailers and supplier members:

Back to Work Resources

Updated May 12, 2020

Paycheck Protection Program

Updated May 19, 2020

The House passed a $484 billion spending package at the end of April that will restart the small-business loan program.

The Treasury Department released an updated Q&A on May 5 regarding eligibility for loans under the program. Self-employed individuals and sole proprietors are also eligible

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.

SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.
The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

Sample application form: https://www.sba.gov/document/sba-form--paycheck-protection-program-ppp-sample-application-form

PPP Loan Forgiveness application form

Forbes article providing guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness application form

 

Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES Act

Updated April 23, 2020

Access an outline of items covered under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act and how you can apply.

The U.S. Small Business Association is providing the ability to apply for loan resources.

Go to https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources for more information.

Additional resources from the US Chamber – Save Small Business Fund

These include webinars and advocacy: www.uschamber.com/save-small-business

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Background:
Through the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, the U.S. Small Business Administration was granted additional funding by the government to provide low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses significantly hurt by the pandemic.

Each state or territory’s governor must request that the SBA issue an Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration for that area. This makes SBA loans of up to $2 million available to small businesses throughout that state or territory.

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. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible.

Repayment terms up to 30 years are available, but terms are determined on a case-by-case basis.

Businesses that already held disaster loans from the SBA had their payments automatically deferred through the end of 2020, per a decision made by the SBA on Monday, March 23.

General Contact SBA Contact Info:

 

Tax Day

The federal tax filing day was moved from April 15 to July 15. Visit https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus for updates.

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  • The federal tax filing day was moved from April 15 to July 15, the U.S. Treasury Department announced on March 20.
  • Individuals and businesses can delay filing their 2019 returns until July 15 without facing penalties or interest. Those who expect to receive refunds are urged to file sooner, so that they get their refunds more quickly.

The federal change does not change individual states’ tax deadlines. If your state collects income tax, check with your Department of Revenue to determine whether you must file by April 15.

 

Stimulus Payments

Updated May 6, 2020

Check on the status of your economic impact payment: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment

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A $2 trillion package was approved by both houses of Congress. Payments will be based the adjusted gross income on most recent tax return (2019 or 2018).

The adjusted gross income number on your 2018 federal taxes (or 2019 if you’ve already filed) will be used to determine your payment. Those who don’t file taxes will still get payments if they received a Form SSA-1099 for the year 2019 (sent to those who receive Social Security payments) but a system will be set up to help other nonfilers, like disabled military veterans and homeless people, get their money.

Here’s how payments are calculated:

  • If you made less than $75,000 as an individual filer, you will get the full payment of $1,200.
  • Couples who filed jointly will receive a $2,400 if their combined income is less than $150,000.
  • Someone filing as head of household will get the full $1,200 payment if they earned less than $112,500.
  • If you made more than one of the income limits, the government will deduct $5 from your payment for every $100 over the income limit. That zeros out your payment if you’re a couple making $198,000 or more or an individual making $99,000 or more.
  • A payment of $500 will be added for each child.

These one-time payments could be sent out by April 20, according to the Treasury Department, though the IRS has indicated longer timeframes. If you've used direct deposit when filing taxes in the past 2 years, the money will be deposited into the account you indicated when you used direct deposit when filing taxes in the past two years or will be mailed to the last address the IRS has recorded for you.

 

Unemployment Insurance

Visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text to read the details of the bill.

Unemployment benefits have been boosted by nearly $1 billion in state grants. States with high unemployment numbers should be able to offer increased assistance to job seekers who have reached the end of their unemployment benefits. These costs will be covered by the federal government.

 

Paid Sick Leave

Visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text to read the details of the bill.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act creates new federal emergency paid-leave benefits program. It makes employers responsible for paying for some employees’ leave during the pandemic with costs offset through tax credits. (Self-employed business owners will be eligible for a tax credit equivalent to the sick leave amount.) 

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The act requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide two weeks’ paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work or telework because:

  • They are subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order.
  • They have been told by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine.
  • Have COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Are the caretaker for someone who is in quarantine or has been told to self-quarantine.
  • Are the caretaker of children whose schools/daycares have closed due to COVID-19.

Employers can’t require the employee to first use their paid time off or to find someone to do their work while they are on leave.

Important to small businesses in our industry, the act gives the Secretary of Labor the ability to exempt small businesses with less than 50 employees “when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”

How that exemption may occur has yet to be determined.

 

Paid Family Leave

Visit https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text to read the details of the bill.

Paid family leave, up to 3 months, is also provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, with workers receiving at least two-thirds of their pay during the leave. This is provided primarily for parents and guardians of children under 18 who cannot work because the kids need care while schools/daycares are closed.

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The first 10 days of this time can be unpaid or the employee can use accrued paid time off. The subsequent paid days are based on the employee’s regular number of hours worked per week and cannot “exceed $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate.”

Generally, speaking the employee can’t lose their job during this leave.

However, small businesses in our industry may be in a position where they have to cut jobs, regardless of whether the person is on leave, due to the bad economic conditions brought on by the pandemic.
An employer can eliminate the job of a worker who is on the paid family leave if:

  • The employer has 25 or fewer employees
  • The job is eliminated because of the pandemic’s effects
  • The employer tries to find a position for the employee that has equivalent benefits to the previous position
  • The employer contacts the employee if an equivalent position becomes available within the year.

Please read the details of this section if you believe your business may be affected: https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text#H090B4CC72C8740CA89BC36AC273B7126.

 

Health & Wellness

Updated May 6, 2020

Telehealth: Health care from the safety of our homes. Resources for accessing and questions: https://telehealth.hhs.gov/

Headspace is offering a variety of guided meditations and exercises (including new ones) free to all businesses and their employees.

 

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