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COVID 19 Update 23

Paycheck Protection Program Application Process Opens Today

Today Hudson Valley Manufacturers who need financial support during this difficult time can begin applying for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, the new $349 billion loan program established by the CARES Act. NAM has developed and an overview that will tell you who qualifies and how to apply for PPP loans. For more on other Small Business Administration loan programs and tax incentives, click here. More detailed information for borrowers provided by the Treasury Department can be found here and an application can be found here.

NAM team-created overview

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Fortune Magazine: ‘It’s going to be a mess’

What small businesses applying to the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program need to know

As small businesses ready to apply for the new Small Business Association’s Payroll Protection Program loans (as part of a $2.2 trillion stimulus package), banks are calling it: they’re not ready for the rollout of the program.

Banks like JPMorgan Chase emailed customers on Thursday evening stating that the bank “will most likely not be able to start accepting applications on Friday, April 3rd as we had hoped.”

Read More In Fortune

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New York Power Authority Offers Relief Program for its Economic Development Power Customers

NYPA is waiving applicable energy and demand rate increases for its economic development power customers that participate in its ReCharge New York, Replacement Power, Expansion Power and Preservation Power programs for the July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021, rate year. In addition, customers participating in those NYPA power programs are now able to suspend payment to NYPA for up to six months beginning with their April 2020 electric bill. Customers that opt-in to the new relief program can make payment installments over the following 18-months, free from any interest or penalties.

Read More

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DOL Releases FFCRA Regulations

On the surface, the requirement for documentation appears to conflict with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) recommendation that employers should not require a positive COVID-19 test result or a health care provider’s note to validate an employee’s illness, qualify for sick leave or be eligible to return to work. Health care provider offices and medical facilities “may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner,” the CDC had previously stated.

However, the regulations and recommendation aren’t mutually exclusive, according to Kathy Dudley Helms, an attorney with Ogletree Deakins in Columbia, S.C., because the documentation doesn’t have to take the form of a health care provider’s note.

Read More from SHRM

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Deeper Dive:  The Economist Writes “The Trade-offs Required by the Pandemic Will Get Even Harder”

“Imagine two critically ill patients but just one ventilator. That is the choice which could confront hospital staff in New York, Paris and London in the coming weeks, just as it has in Lombardy and Madrid. Triage demands agonising decisions (see Briefing). Medics have to say who will be treated and who must go without: who might live and who will probably die.

The pandemic that is raging across the world heaps one such miserable choice upon another. Should medical resources go to covid-19 patients or those suffering from other diseases? Some unemployment and bankruptcy is a price worth paying, but how much? If extreme social distancing fails to stop the disease, how long should it persist?”

Read More at the Economist

Note: The Economist is making some of its most important coverage of the covid-19 pandemic freely available to readers of The Economist Today, our daily newsletter. To receive it, register here. For more coverage, see our coronavirus hub

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COVID 19 Update 20.1

McKinsey: Manufacturers Can Follow 5 Stages to Handle the Pandemic

Automakers and other manufacturers should follow the process of resolve, resilience, return, re-imagination and reform, according to this McKinsey analysis. “In addition to dealing with the significant societal changes coming in the next few months, industrial companies may want to consider strategies for addressing some of the persistent issues affecting the sector to avoid the next crisis,” the authors write.

Read the Full Story at McKinsey

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From Today’s Webinar and ESD – Updates Related to the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

  • EIDL Applications– the EIDL application process has been simplified and a new application portal is live on the SBA website right now: sba.gov/disaster. Businesses that successfully submitted an application or uploaded documents late last week via the temporary document upload portal do not have to take additional action as their applications have been received for processing. Anyone that was unable to complete an application on the prior application portal AND/OR did not upload their application to the document upload portal, should restart their application via the new portal.
  • EIDL Advances­- also available now are advances of up to $10,000 on EIDL loans. The form is part of the new EIDL application process above. If approved, these funds can be used for payroll and other operating expenses and will be forgiven. All applicants who successfully submitted an application prior to yesterday received an email notifying them of this.

This Advance may be available even if your EIDL application was declined or is still pending, and will be forgiven.

Small Business Development Centers can help you navigate the system and complete the application. Find your nearest SBDC here 

If you wish to apply for the Advance on your EIDL, please visit www.SBA.gov/Disaster as soon as possible to fill out a new, streamlined application. In order to qualify for the Advance, you need to submit this new application even if you previously submitted an EIDL application. Applying for the Advance will not impact the status or slow your existing application.

Paycheck Protection Program/Stimulus questions:

  • PPP and stimulus related changes will be available in the coming days as SBA completes the rulemaking process, updates procedures/systems, and then onboards lenders. You should complete the EIDL application in the interim. Businesses may benefit from both, so long as they don’t use them for the same purposes/time periods. No duplication of the use of proceeds, in other words.

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Employers Seek Clarity for H-1B Compliance During COVID-19

Employers of H-1B workers are subject to U.S. Department of Labor regulations designed to protect the jobs of U.S. workers. Those regulations require that the H-1B worker perform his or her duties at one or more specific locations at which he or she must be paid at least the same wages as other similarly qualified U.S. workers. In addition, H-1B workers go out of status if their employment is terminated for any reason, subject to grace periods of between 10 and 60 days.

Read More at Our Friend and Associate Member Harris Beach 

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Survey Reveals Top Employer Concerns During COVID-19

Trying to decide whether to pay employees during absences related to COVID-19, was a top concern ( 89%) of respondents to a survey conducted by Littler, an employment law practice.

The report, COVID-19 Flash Survey Report was completed by more than 900 employers based in North America and with operations around the world.  

Read More at Industry Week

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COVID 19 Update 17

President Trump uses Defense Production Act to Require GM to Make Ventilators

President Trump on Friday used the Defense Production Act to compel General Motors to produce ventilators to combat the coronavirus after days of hesitating to use the powers in the law.

The president in a statement said the federal government had abandoned negotiations with the automaker on ventilator production, complaining that the automaker was “wasting time.”

“Our negotiations with GM regarding its ability to supply ventilators have been productive, but our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course,” Trump said.

Read the Story at The Hill

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CI Podcast – the Week that Was

As the COVID 19 crises unfolds the Council of Industry is using all its resources to keep its members up to date with the latest information and resources to keep their employees safe and their businesses operating. This podcast is one of those resources and part of those efforts.

In this episode Johnnieanne Hansen, Vice President of the Council of Industry and Harold King, President discuss the events of the week of March 21st – 27th surrounding the COVID 19 pandemic, its effect on Hudson Valley manufacturers and their employees, and the Council of Industry’s response.

Listen Here 

Listen the Tuesday’ Episode Featuring Ertel/Alsop President and Council Board Chair George Quigley

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Our Partners at the National Association of Manufacturers are Working at the Federal Level to Support Manufacturing

Essential Business Designations and Credentialing Clarity

The NAM last week called on governors, mayors and other local leaders to give manufacturers essential business designations and credentialing. Yesterday, the NAM sent another letter, with the Business Roundtable and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce joining, that called on the nation’s governors to take a uniform approach to essential business designations. We urged them to adopt the Department of Homeland Security’s Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce. They are also calling for clarity and uniformity regarding documentation or credentialing for workers, businesses and their supply chains. The NAM continues to work with association partners (including the Council of Industry)to ensure you can continue supporting our nation during this critical time.

New York’s “ad hoc” approach to essential manufacturing is causing unnecessary disruptions in national and international supply chains.

EPA Issues COVID-19 Enforcement Discretion Policy

The Environmental Protection Agency announced a temporary enforcement discretion policy due to COVID-19 at the NAM’s request. The EPA’s guidance will help manufacturers navigate this evolving landscape, easing compliance uncertainties while ensuring the health and safety of employees, communities and the environment remain a top priority. Send us details of your reporting and monitoring challenges to ERP@nam.org.

NAM Helps Navigate International Trade and Supply Chain Issues

Also on the priority list, NAM is working to address policy and operational challenges impacting trade and supply chains for critical manufacturing products. The NAM is closely monitoring foreign export restrictions and bans on personal protective equipment, health products and other products during the COVID-19 response. We are identifying these country-specific restrictions for our members and sharing them through a tracking document here while also engaging with key stakeholders in the administration and on Capitol Hill to spur action on addressing priority trade barriers ( you can also email your supply chain challenges to hking@councilofindustry.org and he will for ward to NAM and the Department of Commerce.) Consistent with this, President Trump joined the leaders of other G20 countries with a joint statement pledging global cooperation and stressed the importance of minimizing disruptions to trade and global supply chains.

Contact the NAM’s Trade and Supply Chain team if you have questions about export restrictions or intelligence on new or potential export restrictions being imposed by foreign governments.

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NYS Needs Manufacturers Able to Make Critically Needed COVID-19 Supplies

ESD Has reorganized and prioritized its request for supplies and the new webpage is very helpful for those interested in helping.

New York State appreciates the manufacturers who are ready and able to retool to help in producing critically needed COVID-19 supplies—whether you are already making these supplies or need guidance for adapting to do so. We are also looking for manufacturers who can direct us to sources of these supplies. For manufacturers interested in making these supplies, please first review the detailed information below, including new guidance from the FDA and CDC. For most of the critically needed products, you will likely be required to obtain federal certification to begin manufacturing and sales. This page also details the critical medical supplies and personal protective equipment that are needed. Thank you for your help in this effort.

Visit the Site:

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COVID-19 and OSHA Reporting and Recordkeeping

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COVID 19 Update 16

Manufacturing is Essential

Manufacturers across the Hudson Valley, New York State and the United States are mobilizing to supply desperately needed health care equipment and to keep supplying the essentials for daily life – while at the same time keeping our employees and communities safe. We should all be proud of the efforts we are making to end this pandemic.  But we have much more work to do.

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Key Provisions and FAQs from the CARES Act (Fed Stimulus)

The CARES Act COVID-19 relief bill the Senate passed Tuesday night and which the House is expected to pass it today.  Our partners at NAM secured some key wins in the legislation, including new federal loans and loan guarantees to help businesses get through this difficult time and tax incentives to aid manufacturers, such as a new credit for companies that retain workers during a temporary closure.

Read a summary of key provisions in the bill here and an FAQ document about the bill here.

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FuzeHub Compiles Useful list of Resources for New York’s Manufacturers.

Our friend (and Associate Member) FuzeHub has put together a very useful list of resources for New York State manufacturers coping with the many issues arising from the coronavirus outbreak.

FuzeHub COVID-19 Resources for Manufacturers

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COVID 19 Related Employment Law Issues Web Conference Essential HR Discussion with Greenwald Doherty

When: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 1 pm
Where: Online webinar/conference call
Cost: No fee to participate

contact abutler@councilofindustry.org for more information.

Register here

Through this discussion with three partners at Greenwald Doherty, participants will learn about best practices for managing the workforce, workplace safety and employer options concerning sick time, FMLA PFL, salary reductions and layoffs.

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China Is Open for Business, but the Post-coronavirus Reboot Looks Slow and Rocky

The Wall Street Journal reports that more than two months after imposing quarantines to counter the coronavirus, China is getting back to work. It is a slow and rocky process, one that rests on the world battling back successfully against the pandemic.

With new infections dwindling, factories are restarting, stores are reopening, and people are venturing outdoors. In some ways, China is where the U.S. and Europe hope to be within weeks or months.

Yet many Chinese factories find demand for their products has evaporated. Consumers in China and elsewhere are reluctant to spend over worries about what they have lost and what lies ahead.

Read More (subscription required)

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COVID 19 Update 15.1

New York State Issues FAQs Regarding the New COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Law

New York State recently published some answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the COVID-19 paid sick leave law that was enacted last week. The FAQs clarify some aspects of the law that were not clear from the text of the statute and give some insight into the manner in which the law will be interpreted and enforced.

Read the FAQs

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FFCRA Poster Requirement Takes Effect 4/1
Employers should post Prominently.

FFCRA Poster

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SBA Provides Alternative Site for EIDL Applications to be Filed

As the EIDL applications continue to surge, our Office of Disaster Assistance has provided an alternate method for applicants to submit and upload forms while the application portal is down for maintenance.

Here’s the link to the new application page with instructions for uploading documents:  IMPORTANT: You may have to clear your browser cache if you receive an error accessing this page. The page has links to all of the relevant forms, and I’ve also attached them to this message.

SBA Alternative EIDL Application Site Information

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Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Economic Development Director Bridget Gibbons discuss what the County is doing to assist businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Westchester County Executive George Latimer, Economic Development Director Bridget Gibbons discuss what the County is doing to assist businesses during the COVID-19 Pandemic

Posted by Westchester County Government on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

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Cuomo: Uncertain Economy May Lead To Cuts In NYS Budget

WAMC Reports that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, facing a state budget deadline in less than a week, is out with a new proposal to try to cope as the state faces a multibillion dollar budget gap, and much uncertainty with much of the economy shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cuomo says he wants to try something that’s never been done before. He wants to pass the budget by April 1, then update the state spending plan quarterly. He would revise the amounts paid out to school districts, local governments, health care providers and all others who depend on state funding, based on how much money the state actually has collected from revenues.

Read or Listen Here:

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COVID 19 Update 15

Fed chairman Jerome Powell: ‘There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy’

Joining TODAY for a rare and exclusive live interview, Jerome Powell, chairman of the Federal Reserve, acknowledges that “we may very well be in a recession, but I would point to the difference between this and a normal recession.” He says “there is nothing fundamentally wrong with our economy” and that the Fed will “aggressively and forthrightly” replace normal lending channels for businesses that have temporarily closed due to the pandemic. He says “there can also be a good rebound” and that the Fed is working to “ensure that it is as vigorous as possible,” adding that “the virus is going to dictate the timetable.”

Watch the 12 minute interview

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COVID-19 to hit state budget hard

The state was facing a $7 billion deficit going into the 2020-2021 budget, which is due next week, but with the coronavirus here, the financial shortfall is expected to be even greater.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, in Kingston on Wednesday, said he expects the short-term state budget dilemma to be more troublesome.

“By April 1st we have to come up with a spending plan for the coming year. That’s a very tall order for the legislature and the governor. These numbers are all speculative, but we have to assume in the short run it’s a worst-case scenario,” he said.

DiNapoli said hopefully by this time next year the state will have rebounded, but for now, we will see “severe economic damage.”

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$2 trillion Emergency Aid Package to Pump Billions into New York Economy

The $2 trillion package agreed upon by the Senate will allocate an initial $40 billion to New York State including funds that will go directly to residents, others to business and still other money for hospitals. The Bill is expected to be approved by the House on Friday Morning and signed into law by President Trump Friday afternoon.

Read More

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Labor Department Employee Paid Sick Leave Resources

As part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has announced the FFCRA’s paid leave mandates will go into effect on April 1, 2020, for companies with fewer than 500 employees. They have also shared fact sheets for how this will affect employees, how it will affect employers and a helpful FAQ sheet for employers. The DOL has also requested that the public submit questions, concerns and recommendations for the implementation of the FFCRA. The NAM plans to submit recommendations, and we encourage you to provide feedback to help shape our suggestions.

This will be one of several COVID 19 Labor related subjects covered in our Webinar with Greenwald Doherty Monday March 31, at 1:00)

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COVID 19 Related Employment Law Issues Web Conference Essential HR Discussion with Greenwald Doherty

  • When: Monday, March 30, 2020 at 1 pm
  • Where: Online webinar/conference call
  • Cost: No fee to participate

Upon Registering your confirmation email will include phone and login information. If you do not receive a confirmation email please contact abutler@councilofindustry.org for the information.

Register here

 Manufacturers are have a great deal to consider as they deal with providing benefits to their employees during the COVID 19 pandemic. This web conference is designed to help answer many of the questions you have regarding state and federal regulations and the labor and employment laws covering the management of benefits during this crisis. Through this discussion with three partners at Greenwald Doherty, participants will learn about best practices for managing the workforce, workplace safety and employer options concerning sick time, FMLA PFL, salary reductions and layoffs.

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COVID 19 Update 14.1

Deal Reached on $2T Coronavirus Stimulus: What It Includes for SMBs

The economic impact of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, prompted the Senate and the Trump administration to release a $2 trillion stimulus package intended to bolster businesses and individuals, as many Americans remain out of work because of the pandemic.

What’s in the coronavirus stimulus plan for small businesses?

Read More at Business News Daily

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SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to New York Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to New York small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on March 17, 2020.

NY_16346 EIDL Fact Sheet

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Business Council of New York State Offers an Excellent Explanation of State and Federal Leave Laws

We thank them for sharing!

Business Council of NY Guidance on Leave Laws

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Ventilator Manufacturers Need More Components

Companies such as Royal Philips want to make more ventilators to meet demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but they lack enough circuit boards and other parts to do so. US manufacturer Calumet Electronics has gotten orders for tens of thousands of the boards.

Read the Full Story at BNN 

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COVID 19 Update 14

Updated ESD Guidance on Essential Business

Empire State Development wants to reinforce several key messages:

·    If your business function is listed as essential, then there is nothing else you need to do. You do not need to contact ESD for affirmative documentation or email confirmation and, due to volume, ESD will be unable to formally confirm to essential businesses that they are, in fact, essential. Given that you are already essential, you will not receive any further communication from ESD.

·    With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restriction. (Our understanding remains that if your operation is going to great lengths to keep employees safe and distanced “business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support” will be broadly interpreted.)

ESD Updated Guidance on Essential Businesses 2020 0324

ESD Essential Business FAQs

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White House, Senate Reach Deal on $2 Trillion Stimulus Package

The Hill Reports that the deal includes $500 billion for a major corporate liquidity program through the Federal Reserve, $367 billion for a small business loan program, $100 billion for hospitals and $150 billion for state and local governments.

It will also give a one-time check of $1,200 to Americans who make up to $75,000. Individuals with no or little tax liability would receive the same amount, unlike the initial GOP proposal that would have given them a minimum of $600.

Read More

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Employment Law Issues: The Council of Industry is Teaming Up With Greenwald Doherty, LLP For An Essential HR Discussion Led by Joel Greenwald

Monday, March 30, 1 pm  Online Web Conference – Audio Only

Register Here

Or email abutler@councilofindustry.org

 

We are living in interesting times, with, it seems, daily changes and challenges for employers under the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses are trying to do more with less—or are shuttering altogether where restrictions have been imposed on their operations. Many employment laws are implicated in the down-sizing, right-sizing, furloughing and laying off being contemplated and implemented. Wage and hour laws, lay-off notice laws, discrimination laws and others can impact employer actions. While trying to act swiftly to preserve business operations, employers need to be sure to comply with the various applicable laws.

Visit Greenwald Doherty’s blog Employment Law and the Current COVID-19 Crisis for additional information.

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Ulster County Businesses Are invited to Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan & the Office of Economic Development’s Zoom Webinar: March 26, 2020 at 12PM

Please join Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan and representatives from the departments of Economic Development, Tourism and Employment & Training on Thursday, March 26 at 12 PM via Zoom Webinar!
Zoom Registration

Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan will give you the latest updates and you will have a chance to ask your business questions to people who can provide you with answers. Information about essential businesses, Unemployment Insurance, possible grant and loan support are among the topics being covered. To ask a question in advance please email: oed@co.ulster.ny.us

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Federal Updates

Labor Department Asks for Input on Paid Leave Implementation

The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting an online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an opportunity to offer their perspectives as the department develops compliance assistance materials related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. As a reminder, the FFCRA requires all employers with fewer than 500 employees to offer up to 12 weeks of paid leave for absences related to COVID-19. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, March 29. You can provide input here.

Overview of Small Business Administration Loan Program

The Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Read the NAM’s overview of the SBA loan process and other programs to aid in businesses’ response to the COVID-19 crisis here.

Overview of Financial Regulators’ Response to COVID-19

Federal financial regulators have taken aggressive steps to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, designed to free up capital and liquidity for small businesses across the country. The NAM has prepared an overview of these programs and regulatory changes as a resource for our members. Read the overview here.

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COVID 19 Update 13.1

Negotiators Near Accord on U.S. Stimulus Package to Combat Coronavirus

An estimated $2 trillion in funds would help buffer the American economy from the consequences of the pandemic.

The Wall Street Journal is Reports that lawmakers, administration officials, and aides said issues surrounding $500 billion in industry assistance loans and expanded unemployment insurance had largely been resolved, leaving a narrow set of unresolved items left to agree to.

The Senate could move to quickly vote on the package later in the day, if an agreement is reached.

 “I believe we’re on the 5-yard line,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor. “I hope today is the day this body will get it done.”

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CI Podcast – George Quigley, President of the Ertel Alsop and Chairman of the Council of Industry Board of Directors on keeping employees safe and operations open during the COVID 19 Pandemic

Listen here

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Coronavirus Triggers Hiring Surge at Some Firms

Some businesses are gaining customers because of the coronavirus pandemic and are recruiting thousands of workers to meet demand. These companies include supermarkets, pharmacies, takeout restaurants, delivery companies and medical-equipment manufacturers.

Read More at CNN 

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Manufacturers, Distributors Shift Focus to Hospitals

Cleaning and health care distributors and manufacturers are prioritizing getting their products to hospitals and similar facilities ahead of other customers. Custom manufacturer and 3D printer Proto Labs is also focusing on “projects which are needed to equip our medical system to treat patients with COVID-19,” a company spokeswoman says.

This is also the Case with Council Member Belfor Property Restoration who is focusing all its efforts to support healthcare facilities and first responders. 

Read More at Digital Commerce 360

 

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COVID 19 Update 12.1

Update on NYS Request for Critical Supplies

The Council of Industry has received many offers from members offering to help with the manufacture of medical and PPE supplies.

ESD is looking primarily for:

  • Companies With an existing supply for FDA or other industry-approved/standard personal protection equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers (N95 masks, gowns, etc.)
  • Companies with an existing supply of FDA approved ventilators
  • Companies who already have or can secure on their own FDA or other industry-approved PPE specs and can begin producing this ASAP.
  • Companies who already have or can secure FDA-approved ventilator specs and begin production

If  you can provide any of the above (only if you can provide any of the above) contact ESD

General offers from companies are appreciated by ESD. However, they are swamped and they would like the Council of Industry to sort and organize them to make it easier to prioritize them.  We will be taking the offers to date and placing them in a spreadsheet provided by ESD.  We will do the same for any new offers you send us.

If you would like to make a General Offer please email Johnnieanne Hansen

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Our Good Friends at the Construction Contractors Association Compiled this Comprehensive list of Government Resources Related to Coronavirus and Its Impacts

Government Coronavirus Resources

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DHS announces flexibility in requirements related to Form I-9 compliance

Due to precautions being implemented by employers and employees related to physical proximity associated with COVID-19, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced today that it will exercise discretion to defer the physical presence requirements associated with Employment Eligibility Verification (Form I-9) under Section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). Employers with employees taking physical proximity precautions due to COVID-19 will not be required to review the employee’s identity and employment authorization documents in the employee’s physical presence.

Read More

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NAM/ SHRM Present COVID 19 Webinar

On Wednesday, March 25th at 11:00am EST, SHRM will be holding a joint presentation with the National Association of Manufacturers: “COVID-19 & Manufacturing Operations: Immediate Best Practices. Learn about the steps manufacturers are taking to attempt to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

Register now.

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Six Economic Consequences of COVID-19

The economic and social impacts of COVID-19 are widespread and profound, so much so that it will take a long time to catalogue and assess them in detail. But a number of things with important economic consequences are coming into focus, starting with the fact that near-total shutdowns are compounding overall economic damage. They need to be more targeted.

Read the ITIF Commentary

 

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COVID 19 Update 5

Governor Cuomo Orders Closures

In order to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo today ordered all gyms, movie theaters, and casinos in the state to close at 8:00 p.m. today. Bars and restaurants must also close at 8:00 p.m. but will be open for take-out service. In addition, the Governor has asked private businesses to consider allowing employees to work from home.

This latest action comes after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released new guidelines for mass gatherings. The CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next eight weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more.

Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, and other types of assemblies. The recommendation does not apply to the day to day operations of organizations, such as schools or businesses. However, all New York schools will close for at least two weeks starting Wednesday, or sooner.

For further information, please click here.

As soon as a new Executive Order is released, we will keep you up to date.

We know the latest news and updates on COVID-19 are changing daily, so here are some helpful resources for employers:

  • OSHA’s guidelines to prevent worker exposure to Coronavirus, can be found here.
  • The New York State Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Hotline: 1-888-364-3065

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Mnuchin: Treasury would help fund sick leave

The US Treasury Department would make funds available to help employers comply with a requirement for paid sick leave under a House bill meant to fight the coronavirus pandemic, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says. “We are hearing feedback that certain small businesses are concerned about the burden of this,” Mnuchin says.

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Molinaro to Host Live Telephone Town Hall on March 18

Poughkeepsie… In light of the Coronavirus/COVID-19 emerging health situation and the need to increase social distancing to prevent the spread of the illness, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced his in-person State of the County Town Hall Forum series has been cancelled and he will host a live, countywide Coronavirus Informational Telephone Town Hall meeting on Wednesday, March 18th at 5:30pm. During the call, which will also be streamed live on the County’s Facebook page, County Executive Molinaro will provide a brief overview of the current Coronavirus situation in Dutchess County and will then answer questions from residents.

More Information:

 

The Council of Industry and NAM need your input regarding Emergency COVID 19 Legislation

The Council of Industry is working in conjunction with the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). We have another significant opportunity to provide more real-time information to White House, administration and congressional leaders. Please fill out this short, confidential survey of 3 questions about the rapidly moving emergency coronavirus legislation before noon today.
 
We have learned that the U.S. Senate plans on considering the emergency coronavirus bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives as early as tomorrow. 
 
Take a few short moments to provide your feedback, so we can share manufacturers’ input tomorrow. Company-specific responses will be kept confidential and any anecdotes will not be used without your explicit written permission.
 
Thank you for your immediate attention to this request.

Here is the Survey

Here is information on the Bill

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NY Federal Reserve Empire Manufacturing Survey from March 2-10

Manufacturing firms in New York State reported that business activity declined. The general business conditions index fell thirty-four points to -21.5, its largest point drop on record, and its lowest level since 2009. Twenty percent of respondents reported that conditions had improved over the month, while 42 percent reported that conditions had worsened. The new orders index turned negative, falling thirty-one points to -9.3, indicating that orders fell. The shipments index moved down to -1.7, indicating that shipments were little changed. Delivery times were slightly longer and inventories were somewhat higher.

LABOR MARKET INDICATORS WEAKEN
The index for number of employees fell eight points to -1.5, indicating that employment levels were little changed over the month. The average workweek fell to -10.6, a sign that the average workweek was shorter. The prices paid index held steady at 24.5, suggesting that input prices increased at the same pace as last month, while the prices received index fell seven points to 10.1, pointing to a deceleration in selling price increases.

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Wage and Benefit Survey 2019 Executive Summery

Twenty-three companies reported data to the 2019 Wage and Benefit Survey conducted by Marist College’s Bureau of Economic Research and School of Management, and, sponsored by the Council of Industry of Southeastern New York and Ethan Allen Workforce Solutions. Highlights of information collected include the following points:

  • In 2019, 12 companies reported wage increases that averaged 2.9% for the management group, 10 companies reported wage increases that averaged 3.0% for the professional group, 12 companies reported wage increases that averaged 3.1% for the administrative/clerical group, 11 reported wage increases that averaged 2.9% for the technical group, 14 companies reported increases averaging 3.1% for the manufacturing/production group, and 11 companies reported increases averaging 3.1% for the sales group. These were in line with the pay increases observed nationally which came in at 3.2%.
  • For 2020, companies reporting planned increases of 3.2% for the management group, 3.0% for the professional group, 2.9% for the administrative/clerical group, 2.9% for the technical group, and 3.1% for the manufacturing/production group and 3.1% for the sales group. Nationally, pay increases for 2018 are projected to be 3.2% to 3.3%.

Sixty-five percent of the participating companies report that they plan on adding employees in 2020 compared to seventy-two percent reporting planned increases in last year’s survey. No survey respondents indicated they had any plans of reducing their workforce in 2020.

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What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

 

From NAM Input, The National Association of Manufacturers

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy?

Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. First, a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution asked Americans what they think about manufacturing’s present state. More from the survey summary:

  • “Fifty-eight percent believe manufacturing is very important to the American economy, 14 percent think it is somewhat important, 6 percent feel it is not very important, and 22 percent are unsure.”

However, opinion varied markedly by age group, with younger people seeing manufacturing as less important:

  • “Seventy-one percent of people over the age of 55 believe manufacturing is very important, whereas only 45 percent of those aged 18 to 34 years feel that way. That is a 26 percentage point difference in feelings about the subject between these age groups.”

Now, what about manufacturing’s future? Another survey, by Gallup and Northwestern University, asked Americans, Canadians and Brits whether they thought their countries were prepared for technological change in the “AI age.” From Bloomberg’s writeup:

  • “Just 1 in 4 Americans are confident that the higher education system is doing enough to address the need for career-long learning and retraining.”
  • “Tuition costs are the biggest deterrent, followed by academic programs that aren’t keeping up with an evolving workplace environment, according to the survey.”

These findings underline the importance of The Manufacturing Institute’s mission and the new Creators Wanted Fund that will support significant programming in 2020 to improve industry perceptions as well as expand the Institute’s efforts.

First, too many young people have the wrong image of manufacturing. Many still envision the same sort of factories their grandfathers worked in, instead of the high-tech, stimulating environment it is today. Brookings’ results suggest that manufacturers must do better at showing young people how manufacturing is leading the 21st-century economy—a key mission of the Institute.

Meanwhile, Americans are right to worry that our educational system isn’t prepared for technological change, which will create opportunities as much as disruptions. That’s why the Institute is fundraising for its new $10 million Creators Wanted Fund, which will enable it to increase participation in apprenticeships and other educational programs by 25 percent through 2025. Learn more about the fund and related programming by contacting NAM Vice President of Brand Strategy Chrys Kefalas.

 

The Council of Industry has its own solution, the NYS Registered Apprentice Program is available to individuals with tactical skills and math aptitude. This apprenticeship has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Applicants must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in the United States and possess a superior work ethic. To be a registered apprentice, an individual must be employed by a participating employer. The apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 18 months up to 4 years of on-the-job training (depending on the position) and 144 hours or required related instruction per year. For more information visit our website or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565 – 1355.

read more »

What Do Americans Think about Manufacturing—and Its Future?

From NAM Input, The National Association of Manufacturers

Do Americans think manufacturing is important? How do they view the technological changes transforming the industry along with the rest of the economy?

Two recent surveys shed light on these important questions. First, a survey conducted by the Brookings Institution asked Americans what they think about manufacturing’s present state. More from the survey summary:

  • “Fifty-eight percent believe manufacturing is very important to the American economy, 14 percent think it is somewhat important, 6 percent feel it is not very important, and 22 percent are unsure.”

However, opinion varied markedly by age group, with younger people seeing manufacturing as less important:

  • “Seventy-one percent of people over the age of 55 believe manufacturing is very important, whereas only 45 percent of those aged 18 to 34 years feel that way. That is a 26 percentage point difference in feelings about the subject between these age groups.”

Now, what about manufacturing’s future? Another survey, by Gallup and Northwestern University, asked Americans, Canadians and Brits whether they thought their countries were prepared for technological change in the “AI age.” From Bloomberg’s writeup:

  • “Just 1 in 4 Americans are confident that the higher education system is doing enough to address the need for career-long learning and retraining.”
  • “Tuition costs are the biggest deterrent, followed by academic programs that aren’t keeping up with an evolving workplace environment, according to the survey.”

These findings underline the importance of The Manufacturing Institute’s mission and the new Creators Wanted Fund that will support significant programming in 2020 to improve industry perceptions as well as expand the Institute’s efforts.

First, too many young people have the wrong image of manufacturing. Many still envision the same sort of factories their grandfathers worked in, instead of the high-tech, stimulating environment it is today. Brookings’ results suggest that manufacturers must do better at showing young people how manufacturing is leading the 21st-century economy—a key mission of the Institute.

Meanwhile, Americans are right to worry that our educational system isn’t prepared for technological change, which will create opportunities as much as disruptions. That’s why the Institute is fundraising for its new $10 million Creators Wanted Fund, which will enable it to increase participation in apprenticeships and other educational programs by 25 percent through 2025. Learn more about the fund and related programming by contacting NAM Vice President of Brand Strategy Chrys Kefalas.

The Council of Industry has its own solution, the NYS Registered Apprentice Program is available to individuals with tactical skills and math aptitude. This apprenticeship has two basic elements. The first, On-the-Job Training (OJT), consists of a journey-level, craft person capable and willing to share their experience with an apprentice, in a hands-on manner. The second, Related Instruction (RI), consists of learning more theoretical or knowledge-based aspects of a craft. Applicants must be 18 years or older, eligible to work in the United States and possess a superior work ethic. To be a registered apprentice, an individual must be employed by a participating employer. The apprentice is required to complete a minimum of 18 months up to 4 years of on-the-job training (depending on the position) and 144 hours or required related instruction per year. For more information visit our website or contact Johnnieanne Hansen at jhansen@councilofindustry.org or call (845) 565 – 1355.

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Council of Industry Roundtable with President Williams of New York Federal Reserve Bank

 

 

On Wednesday, July 10, members of the Council of Industry met with John Williams, the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank for a roundtable discussion of issues affecting Hudson Valley Manufacturers. The event was arranged by the Council of Industry and held at MPI, Inc. It was an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to provide insight on issues such as the skills gap, tariffs, trade, and the overall economy. They also shared steps they have taken along with Council of Industry programs to address these issues.

This event was part of the New York Fed’s tour of the Hudson Valley and Albany in an ongoing effort to assess economic conditions in the Federal Reserve. Williams is one of the key policymakers on the Federal Open Markets Committee that meet eight times a year and attempt to influence the U.S. economy. They review economic and financial conditions, determine the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assess the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. Williams is a career economist with a doctorate in economics and was previously president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Williams began the discussion by asking for an open dialogue about each company’s present obstacles and opportunities so he could get a better understanding and perspective of what New York manufacturers, Hudson Valley ones specifically, are facing.  The current labor shortage was a clear issue that was addressed throughout the discussion. The aging workforce the absence of vocational and technical training makes it a struggle to find experienced workers.

Williams asked what was being done to address these issues and several members volunteered examples of how they are working with the Council of Industry to help find solutions through a wide variety of initiatives including the apprentice program, the Collaborative Recruiting Program, working with local schools and colleges, and using training programs provided by grants in association with the Council of Industry and the Community Colleges.

One member shared his experience with the Council of Industry’s apprentice program and how it is helping him maintain and further develop the talent he currently has within his company. He believes that investing in his employees will encourage them to stay and grow with the company after the completion of the program.  Another member described the relationship his company has cultivated with local P-Tech schools and colleges to find young people with an interest in engineering and manufacturing. There was discussion of technical and supervisory training offered by the Council that members have utilized and how it has been affordable for many of our members because of grant funding provided by the state.

Other topics that were discussed included international trade, the new tariffs, and rare earth materials. There were varying opinions on tariffs and trade. While some members spoke positively about the new tariffs and the hope that it would result in more production within the United States and cut down on intellectual property theft. Others had a slightly different point of view and noted that certain industries rely heavily on the global supply chain, which has been negatively impacted by tariffs. Immigration, especially the H1B Visa program was also discussed.

President Williams thanked the group for their input. The roundtable provided insight on the local economy, business expansion, and workforce development programs in addition to the needs and challenges of advanced manufacturers in the Hudson Valley. While the Federal Reserve Bank cannot address all the challenges discussed, they can leverage their convening power, build connections within the District and utilize their research capabilities to provide support wherever possible.

Council of Industry members that took part in the event included: Bruce Phipps, President, MPI Inc.; Aaron Phipps, VP of Sales & Marketing, MPI, Inc.; Fabio Alvarez, CFO, MPI, Inc.; Elisha Tropper, Principal and CEO, Cambridge Security Seals, Tim Cunningham, VP Manufacturing, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Julian Stauffer, Chief Operating Officer, PTI – Packaging Technologies & Inspection, Steve Pomeroy, Owner/President, Schatz Bearing Corp., Justin Lukach, President, Micromold Products, Inc., Cedric Glasper, President & CEO, Mechanical Rubber, Neal Johnsen, President, Stanfordville Machines, Steven Efron, CEO, Efco Products, John Yelle, Operations Manager, Pratt & Whitney, Devon Luty, President, Dorsey Metrology, and Diana Tomassetti, President, Pietryka Plastics.

Pictured above: Fabio Alvarez, CFO, MPI Inc.; John Williams, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator, Council of Industry; Bruce Phipps, President, MPI Inc.; Aaron Phipps, VP of Sales & Marketing, MPI, Inc.

read more »

Council of Industry Roundtable with President Williams of New York Federal Reserve Bank

On Wednesday, July 10, members of the Council of Industry met with John Williams, the President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank for a roundtable discussion of issues affecting Hudson Valley Manufacturers. The event was arranged by the Council of Industry and held at MPI, Inc. It was an opportunity for manufacturing leaders to provide insight on issues such as the skills gap, tariffs, trade, and the overall economy are impacting their companies. They also shared steps they have taken along with Council of Industry programs to address these issues.

This event was part of the New York Fed’s tour of the Hudson Valley and Albany in an ongoing effort to assess economic conditions in the Federal Reserve. Williams is one of the key policymakers on the Federal Open Markets Committee that meet eight times a year and attempt to influence the U.S. economy. They review economic and financial conditions, determine the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assess the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth. Williams is a career economist with a doctorate in economics and was previously president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Williams began the discussion by asking for an open dialogue about each company’s present obstacles and opportunities so he could get a better understanding and perspective of what New York manufacturers, Hudson Valley ones specifically, are facing.  The current labor shortage was a clear issue that was addressed throughout the discussion. The aging workforce the absence of vocational and technical training makes it a struggle to find experienced workers.

Williams asked what was being done to address these issues and several members volunteered examples of how they are working with the Council of Industry to help find solutions through a wide variety of initiatives including the apprentice program, the Collaborative Recruiting Program, working with local schools and colleges, and using training programs provided by grants in association with the Council of Industry and the Community Colleges.

One member shared his experience with the Council of Industry’s apprentice program and how it is helping him maintain and further develop the talent he currently has within his company. He believes that investing in his employees will encourage them to stay and grow with the company after the completion of the program.  Another member described the relationship his company has cultivated with local P-Tech schools and colleges to find young people with an interest in engineering and manufacturing. There was discussion of technical and supervisory training offered by the Council that members have utilized and how it has been affordable for many of our members because of grant funding provided by the state.

Other topics that were discussed included international trade, the new tariffs, and rare earth materials. There were varying opinions on tariffs and trade. While some members spoke positively about the new tariffs and the hope that it would result in more production within the United States and cut down on intellectual property theft. Others had a slightly different point of view and noted that certain industries rely heavily on the global supply chain, which has been negatively impacted by tariffs. Immigration, especially the H1B Visa program was also discussed.

President Williams thanked the group for their input. The roundtable provided insight on the local economy, business expansion, and workforce development programs in addition to the needs and challenges of advanced manufacturers in the Hudson Valley. While the Federal Reserve Bank cannot address all the challenges discussed, they can leverage their convening power, build connections within the District and utilize their research capabilities to provide support wherever possible.

Council of Industry members that took part in the event included: Bruce Phipps, President, MPI Inc.; Aaron Phipps, VP of Sales & Marketing, MPI, Inc.; Fabio Alvarez, CFO, MPI, Inc.; Elisha Tropper, Principal and CEO, Cambridge Security Seals, Tim Cunningham, VP Manufacturing, Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Julian Stauffer, Chief Operating Officer, PTI – Packaging Technologies & Inspection, Steve Pomeroy, Owner/President, Schatz Bearing Corp., Justin Lukach, President, Micromold Products, Inc., Cedric Glasper, President & CEO, Mechanical Rubber, Neal Johnsen, President, Stanfordville Machines, Steven Efron, CEO, Efco Products, John Yelle, Operations Manager, Pratt & Whitney, Devon Luty, President, Dorsey Metrology, and Diana Tomassetti, President, Pietryka Plastics.

Pictured above: Fabio Alvarez, CFO, MPI Inc.; John Williams, President of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, Johnnieanne Hansen, Director of Workforce Development and Apprentice Coordinator, Council of Industry; Bruce Phipps, President, MPI Inc.; Aaron Phipps, VP of Sales & Marketing, MPI, Inc.

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Join Global NY’s Trade Mission to MEDTEC China 2019

Global NY is Recruiting for MEDTEC China 2019
SEPTEMBER 25–27, 2019, SHANGHAI, CHINA

Global NY is recruiting up to 10 NYS small businesses to participate in an organized trade mission to MEDTEC China 2019 in Shanghai. MEDTEC China, the leading medical device design and manufacturing exhibition in China, will take place on September 25-27, 2019 at the Shanghai World EXPO Exhibition & Convention Centre. It is a premier manufacturing and sourcing event for medical device manufacturers in China. Key industries include: Assembly Equipment & Production Machinery, Materials for Every Application, Packaging, Sterilization & Cleanroom Equipment, Plastics/Disposable Devices & Diagnostics, Outsourcing/Contract Manufacturing, Motors, Pumps & Motion Control, IVD Suppliers, Quality, Precision Technology, Medical Electronics.

Why Export to China?
• China is New York’s #2 Buyer.
• China is currently the United States’ third-largest export market.
• New York exported approximately $12.6 billion in goods to China in 2018.
• China is seeking high-tech products and services from NY Companies.

For eligible companies, Global NY’s STEP grant can reimburse a significant portion of your exhibit, travel and accommodation expenses. You also will be eligible to apply for Global NY’s customized Export Marketing Assistance Service (EMAS) in China.

Application Deadlines and Details:
The deadline for applying to participate in MEDTEC China 2019 is May 31, 2019.
Follow this link to download a PDF with more information 

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North American Trade – The Importance of the USMCA

From The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)

The North American commercial market is the most important market for manufacturers in the United States. Over one-third of U.S. manufactured exports are sold just to Canada and Mexico, which purchase more from the United States than our next 10 foreign country partners combined.

More than 25 years under the original North American Free Trade Agreement entered into force, the three countries came together to modernize this decades old agreement resulting in the United States–Mexico–Canada Agreement that was signed in November 2018. The NAM strongly supports passage of the USMCA as soon as possible this year to ensure manufacturers can grow with certainty with our most important commercial trading partners—Canada and Mexico.

View the USMCA Fact Sheet

Over half of manufacturing voters said in recent polls that they want their member of Congress to approve the USMCA. But manufacturers need to do more to build understanding of how the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) strengthens the partnership we have with Mexico and Canada to modernize North American trade agreements.

Take Action Now

Link to NAM North American Trade 

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New York State Legislators and Governor Cuomo Agree to a $175 Billion Budget Plan

State leaders announced Sunday they reached a budget deal just in time for the fiscal year that starts Monday.  The $175.5 billion plan includes an array of deals, but leaves a few major decisions undone — such as legalizing marijuana and creating a board to decide how to publicly finance political campaigns.

Here are some of the highlights:

Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP)
The final budget included $750,000 for MIAP to ensure the program can continue and grow in partnership with the Alliance Partners.  Thank you to the Alliance Partners, companies, and apprentices who advocated relentlessly for this program.  Whether you wrote or called your State Legislators or travelled to Albany for Manufacturing Lobby Day, your efforts resulted in this funding being included in the final budget.   We will be thanking all the legislators who ensured this funding was continued and encourage you to thank your representatives for their support as well.

Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit
We are pleased to report the continuation of the Empire State Apprenticeship Tax Credit in this year’s budget.  If you are not already accessing this tax credit, we encourage you to do so.  Information can be found here: https://labor.ny.gov/apprenticeship/empire-state-tax-credit.shtm A big thanks to Assemblyman Bronson for creating this tax credit and ensuring its continuation.

Pass-Through Manufacturing Zero Tax Rate
Unfortunately, the zero tax rate for pass through manufacturers was not included in the final budget.  Our team of Alliance Partners along with our expert Paul Henry of The Bonadio Group, worked diligently starting early last fall and through the last days of the budget negotiations to have this important provision included.  While we were not successful, we made a tremendous amount of progress including securing a new Senate sponsor, Senator Kaplan – Chair of the Commerce and Economic Development Committee, to join Assemblyman Stirpe, the sponsor in the Assembly.   In addition, we educated many legislators and administration officials on the positive impact this rate would have on the more than 11,500 manufacturers an their over 300,000 employees.  We will continue to advocate for this issue in 2019 to further laid the ground work for the next budget cycle.

Prevailing Wage
The Senate and Assembly included language in their one house budget proposals that was ultimately rejected in the final budget that would require prevailing wage on public works projects, as written, this would have included IDAs and grants from the REDC program. This proposal was championed by Senator Jessica Ramos – Chair of the Senate Committee on Labor, Assemblyman Harry Bronson and members of the organized labor community specifically, the building and construction trades unions. While Governor Cuomo has expressed support for expanding the definition of public works, he recognizes the need to find a reasonable compromise that does not halt development in the state. We expect the prevailing wage conversation to continue this legislative session, the Governor has made it clear this is one of his post-budget priorities.

A Permanent Property Tax Cap
The budget deal included the enactment of a permanent 2% property tax cap. Making the tax cap permanent is a massive win for hardworking taxpayers across New York State.

Economic Development
The state’s economic development efforts are the biggest beneficiary of the new budget, getting a 10 percent funding bump. (Spending as a whole, by contrast, went up a smaller 2 percent.) Much of that is earmarked for the Empire State Development Corporation, which distributes various state tax credit and grant programs.

Billions of Dollars in New Taxes
Unfortunately, this budget also includes billions dollars in new taxes, fees and assessments that will further burden business and taxpayers at a time when they can least afford it. New energy taxes on New York businesses, fees on broadband deployment, a new ban on plastic bags and fee on paper among several others will only add to New York’s high tax reputation and make the state more expensive to live and do business.

Taxpayer-Financed Political Campaigns
The Legislature approved $100 million taxpayers’ dollars be set aside annually to fund a matching system for political campaigns. Details including amounts and eligibility will be worked out by a special commission

 

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Your March 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey Results

 

The results for the March 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey suggest that business activity grew only slightly in the last month.

The headline general business conditions index fell five points to 3.7. New orders increased only marginally, while shipments grew modestly. Delivery times and inventories held steady. Labor market indicators pointed to an increase in employment, but a small decline in hours worked. The prices paid index moved higher for the first time in four months, pointing to a pickup in input price increases, while the prices received index moved lower, indicating a slowing in selling price increases.

Firms continue to be optimistic in their six-month outlooks, however optimism was slightly lower than last month.

The index for future business conditions edged down three points to 29.6. The indexes for future new orders and shipments were also somewhat below last month’s levels. Firms expected solid increases in employment and hours worked in the months ahead. The capital expenditures index was little changed at 28.3, and the technology spending index came in at 20.3.

Read the full report for a more detailed look at the results. 

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February 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey

 

 

The results for the February 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey are in, and they’re more positive than January. The general business conditions index increased after falling eight points in January to its lowest point in well over a year.

Business activity grew modestly in New York State, according to firms responding to the February 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index moved up five points to 8.8. New orders and shipments also increased modestly. Delivery times were slightly longer, and inventories held steady. Labor market indicators pointed to a slight increase in employment and hours worked. The prices paid index moved lower for a third consecutive month, indicating an ongoing deceleration in input price increases, while the prices received index climbed ten points to reach its highest level in several months, indicating a pickup in selling price increases.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey also asks manufacturers to provide a six-month outlook, which improved significantly from January. Firms are fairly optimistic about future conditions after slumping last month.

Read the full report for a more detailed look at the results. 

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Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session

 

The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes.

On the Workforce development front, we are advocating for continued support of the P-TECH program, Career and Technical Education programs, and community colleges. Of particular importance to the Alliance is the expansion of the hugely successful Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP).

Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program

In 2016, New York State provided funding for MIAP program in Central New York.  This program was met with great interest by both manufacturers and their employees.  Since 2016, this program has grown from Central New York where there are over 30 companies formally participating in Registered Apprenticeship and 115 apprentices in seven unique occupations plus another 50 anticipated in 2019.

In 2017, the program rolled out to the Hudson Valley (Council of Industry) and the Rochester Region (through Rochester Tooling & Machine Association).  In these 2 regions there are now more than, 75 apprentices at 30 companies, in 10 different trades.

Manufacturers in the Western Southern Tier are now also beginning to participate in the program, and in the Albany region manufacturers are working with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG).  This momentum has motivated the New York City and Long Island areas to also request help in establishing themselves as intermediaries, proving the model is not only effective but expanding, therefore positively impacting the sector and our state’s business and workforce development as a whole.   In fact, we recently enrolled the first company on Long Island, Estee Lauder.

This model with its use of trusted associations as “intermediaries” and its collaborative partnering is a unique model of apprenticeship and is working for small and mid-sized manufacturers.  In traditional training programs, students are trained and seek employment when they are done – in an apprenticeship, a job comes first and training is supplied by an employer.  Industry participants see an increase in productivity, reduced turnover, and increased employee retention. Ultimately, we see it as a technique for improved recruitment and candidate selection. As employers struggle to fill open positions, apprenticeships are an important tool in addressing workforce development needs. MIAP helps manufacturers build effective apprentice programs.

 Given the tremendous success to date, we feel MIAP is a critical tool for continuing to build a skilled workforce throughout New York State.  This program is an essential component of a workforce development strategy to grow a stronger New York State economy through advanced manufacturing.

We are seeking $1.25 million to expand the program across the state.

A 0% Income Tax Rate for All New York Manufactures

The Manufacturers Alliance has also put forward and is seeking support for a 0% income tax rate for all manufacturers to be included in the 2019-2020 State Budget.

In 2014, we were successful in getting included in the final State Budget a reduction in the tax rate for manufacturers incorporated as C-corps.  This single action propelled New York from the bottom ten to the top 10 states for manufacturing and sent a message to large manufacturers, that New York was the place to invest.  It was a proven and effective tool to retain and grow manufacturing jobs across New York State.

However, the vast majority of manufacturers in the Hudson Valley and across New York State are small to medium-sized manufacturers organized as S corps, proprietorships, LLCs and partnerships (pass-through entities).  These small to medium size manufacturers do not currently benefit from the existing zero percent rate and actually pay the 2nd highest income tax rate in the United States.   They are constantly being enticed by other states with friendlier tax climates to move operations and invest there.  These manufacturers are looking to their home state, New York, to demonstrate that they should stay in New York and continue to grow and invest here.

In response to the pleas from our small to medium-size manufacturers, the Manufacturing Research Institute of New York State, commissioned a study to analyze the impact of extending the zero percent corporate franchise tax rate to these small and medium manufacturers.  According to a study by the Beacon Institute in September 2018, “the elimination of the PIT for pass-through manufacturers would increase private sector jobs by 4,660 in the first full-year and by 5,850 in 2023.   It would cause investment to rise by $118 million in 2019 and by $147 million in 2023. The increase in employment and investment would boost real disposable income by $345 million in 2019 and $503 million in 2022”.

Extending a 0% tax rate to small and medium-sized manufacturers would send a strong signal to manufacturers that New York State is not only open for business but making a solid investment in their economic future.

We are working hard, meeting with legislators and administration officials, to get this change included in the 2019-20 State Budget.

read more »

Manufacturing Alliance to Focus on Workforce and Taxes this Legislative Session

The New York State Manufacturing Alliance, of which the Council of Industry is a founding partner, is focusing on two issues of vital importance to manufacturing businesses across the Hudson Valley and the State – Workforce Development and Taxes.

On the Workforce development front, we are advocating for continued support of the P-TECH program, Career and Technical Education programs, and community colleges. Of particular importance to the Alliance is the expansion of the hugely successful Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program (MIAP).

Manufacturers Intermediary Apprenticeship Program

In 2016, New York State provided funding for MIAP program in Central New York.  This program was met with great interest by both manufacturers and their employees.  Since 2016, this program has grown from Central New York where there are over 30 companies formally participating in Registered Apprenticeship and 115 apprentices in seven unique occupations plus another 50 anticipated in 2019.

In 2017, the program rolled out to the Hudson Valley (Council of Industry) and the Rochester Region (through Rochester Tooling & Machine Association).  In these 2 regions there are now more than, 75 apprentices at 30 companies, in 10 different trades.

Manufacturers in the Western Southern Tier are now also beginning to participate in the program, and in the Albany region manufacturers are working with the Center for Economic Growth (CEG).  This momentum has motivated the New York City and Long Island areas to also request help in establishing themselves as intermediaries, proving the model is not only effective but expanding, therefore positively impacting the sector and our state’s business and workforce development as a whole.   In fact, we recently enrolled the first company on Long Island, Estee Lauder.

This model with its use of trusted associations as “intermediaries” and its collaborative partnering is a unique model of apprenticeship and is working for small and mid-sized manufacturers.  In traditional training programs, students are trained and seek employment when they are done – in an apprenticeship, a job comes first and training is supplied by an employer.  Industry participants see an increase in productivity, reduced turnover, and increased employee retention. Ultimately, we see it as a technique for improved recruitment and candidate selection. As employers struggle to fill open positions, apprenticeships are an important tool in addressing workforce development needs. MIAP helps manufacturers build effective apprentice programs.

 Given the tremendous success to date, we feel MIAP is a critical tool for continuing to build a skilled workforce throughout New York State.  This program is an essential component of a workforce development strategy to grow a stronger New York State economy through advanced manufacturing.

We are seeking $1.25 million to expand the program across the state.

A 0% Income Tax Rate for All New York Manufactures

The Manufacturers Alliance has also put forward and is seeking support for a 0% income tax rate for all manufacturers to be included in the 2019-2020 State Budget.

In 2014, we were successful in getting included in the final State Budget a reduction in the tax rate for manufacturers incorporated as C-corps.  This single action propelled New York from the bottom ten to the top 10 states for manufacturing and sent a message to large manufacturers, that New York was the place to invest.  It was a proven and effective tool to retain and grow manufacturing jobs across New York State.

However, the vast majority of manufacturers in the Hudson Valley and across New York State are small to medium-sized manufacturers organized as S corps, proprietorships, LLCs and partnerships (pass-through entities).  These small to medium size manufacturers do not currently benefit from the existing zero percent rate and actually pay the 2nd highest income tax rate in the United States.   They are constantly being enticed by other states with friendlier tax climates to move operations and invest there.  These manufacturers are looking to their home state, New York, to demonstrate that they should stay in New York and continue to grow and invest here.

In response to the pleas from our small to medium-size manufacturers, the Manufacturing Research Institute of New York State, commissioned a study to analyze the impact of extending the zero percent corporate franchise tax rate to these small and medium manufacturers.  According to a study by the Beacon Institute in September 2018, “the elimination of the PIT for pass-through manufacturers would increase private sector jobs by 4,660 in the first full-year and by 5,850 in 2023.   It would cause investment to rise by $118 million in 2019 and by $147 million in 2023. The increase in employment and investment would boost real disposable income by $345 million in 2019 and $503 million in 2022”.

Extending a 0% tax rate to small and medium-sized manufacturers would send a strong signal to manufacturers that New York State is not only open for business but making a solid investment in their economic future.

We are working hard, meeting with legislators and administration officials, to get this change included in the 2019-20 State Budget.

 

 

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Cuomo’s Budget: A Fiscal First Take

E.J. Mc Mahon, founder and research director for the Empire Center describes Gov. Cuomo’s budget as “largely a stay-the-course affair—for better and worse.” 

The official financial plan numbers call for a fiscal year 2020 State Operating Fund budget of slightly more than $102 billion—within the governor’s self-imposed 2 percent spending cap over the current year’s projected $100 billion.

Adjusting for various planned and proposed accounting changes, the apples-to-apples spending increase appears at first glance to be more like 3 percent (see explanation below). However, even with adjustments, it is more restrained than some members of the new Democratic legislative majorities would prefer.

The budget includes a striking new fiscal yellow flag: a sharp decline in personal income tax receipts, now expected to fall $500 million below mid-year projections. The budget narrative says the drop-off  “appeared abruptly” at the end of December and has continued through early January, “a period that is typically marked by a relatively heavy flow of PIT receipts compared to the rest of the fiscal year.”

So what’s going on?  The governor’s financial plan narrative cited “increasing [financial market] volatility in the second half of 2018 [during which major stock indexes dropped 10 percent], driven in part by rising interest rates, trade tensions, and instability in government institutions at home and abroad.” It also pointed to “behavioral changes by individual taxpayers and firms” in response to the new federal tax law and its cap on state and local tax (SALT) deductions.

Read more in the article by EJ McMahon, from The NY Torch, a public policy blog, (to read full article click here)  McMahon was the keynote speaker at The Council of Industry’s Annual Luncheon and touched on some of the points discussed here in his address to our members.

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2019’s First Empire State Manufacturing Survey

 

January’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey results are showing slight growth, which is a promising start to 2019! Similar to last month though, growth is increasing at a much slower pace than previously.

Business activity grew slightly in New York State, according to firms responding to the January 2019 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell eight points to 3.9, its lowest level in well over a year. New orders increased at a slower pace than in recent months, while shipments continued to climb significantly. Delivery times were slightly shorter, and inventories declined. Labor market indicators pointed to a modest increase in employment and hours worked. The prices paid index moved lower for a second consecutive month, indicating some slowing in input price increases, and the prices received index held steady.

We ended 2018 on a high note and responding manufacturers are still remaining fairly optimistic about the six-month outlook.

Read the full report for a more detailed look at the results.

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