Our Blog


Post: Apr. 18, 2020

Siena Poll: Majority of Upstate CEOs Say Return to Pre-Virus Economy Will Take Longer than 6 Months

Only 31 percent of CEOs expect the New York State economy to return to pre-virus levels of revenue and employment within the next six months according to a special Upstate New York Business Leader COVID-19 Survey from Siena College Research Institute (SCRI), sponsored by the Business Council of New York State, Inc. Similarly, while only five percent have not suffered due to the virus and 35 percent think that their business will recover within six months, a quarter say by the end of 2020 and 35 percent don’t think their business will return to pre-virus levels until 2021.

See the Results

OSHA Grants Temporary, Good Faith Relief from Recurring Testing Requirements

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration announced that employers who are unable to fulfill annual testing, inspection, training and auditing due to the COVID-19 outbreak will be granted relief as long as the company makes good faith efforts to stay in compliance. OSHA will evaluate “whether the employer made good faith efforts to comply with applicable OSHA standards and, in situations where compliance was not possible, to ensure that employees were not exposed to hazards from tasks, processes or equipment for which they were not prepared or trained.”

You can read the enforcement memorandum and OSHA-provided examples of certain tests that may qualify here.

Ford Tests Wristband to Keep Employees Apart

With an eye on resuming manufacturing, Ford is testing wristbands that vibrate when employees come within six feet of each other. The company also expects to use thermal imaging to screen employees, along with personal protective equipment.

Read the full story at Bloomberg 

IRS Accepting Fax Claims for NOL Refunds and AMT Credits

Starting today, the IRS will be accepting claims by fax, rather than hard-copy mailing, for net operating loss refunds and unused alternative minimum tax credits—two key provisions of the CARES Act that are intended to help businesses retain more liquidity. More information on the temporary faxing process can be found here.

Switching Product Lines Could Bring Legal Risks

Retooling manufacturing production lines to produce medical-related materials, either voluntarily by government decree, creates compliance and liability, according to legal experts. Legal experts say existing laws and government declarations offer some, but not complete, protection.

Read the Full Story at The National Law Review

The Economist Deeper Dive: Can the World Find a Good Covid-19 Vaccine Quickly Enough?

And can it mass-produce it fairly if it does?

In the late 1990s, Canadian scientists trying to understand how Ebola worked had put some of its genes into the genome of a normally harmless virus and injected it into mice. The mice did not become sick, as the scientists had expected; instead they became immune to Ebola. By 2005 that serendipitous development had become a vaccine that could plausibly be given to humans. But there were no Ebola outbreaks that needed it.

For a vaccine to get from phase I to phase III trials in just ten months, as rvsv-zebov did, was unheard of at the time—a startling example of what urgency and organisation can do. Now a repeat performance, ideally taken at an even faster tempo, is the sum of the world’s desire. In the middle of April more people are dying of covid-19 every three days than died of Ebola in west Africa over three years. A vaccine would not just save lives; it would change the course of the pandemic in two separate, if related, ways. It would protect those who were vaccinated from getting sick; and by reducing the number of susceptible people it would prevent the virus from spreading, thus also protecting the unvaccinated.

Read More at the Economist (COVID Coverage is free)