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COVID 19 Update 53

Post: May. 6, 2020

No Region in the State Has Yet Met All the Governor’s Requirements to Reopen May 15

The State has released a tracking page where you can see how regions are doing in regards to meeting the reopening metrics. Ten days from the first opportunity to reopen no region has met all 7 criteria. 

The page and matrix can be found here.

Fed Report: Main Street’s Perspectives on COVID-19 Community Impacts

“Perspectives from Main Street: The Impact of COVID-19 on Communities and the Entities Serving Them” summarizes a nationwide survey of nonprofit organizations, financial institutions, government agencies and other community organizations. The survey was conducted in April 2020 with nearly 3,900 respondents serving rural, suburban and urban communities.

Key findings include:

  • Nearly 7 out of 10 respondents indicated that COVID-19 was a significant disruption to the economic conditions of the communities they serve and that recovery is expected to be difficult.
  • The most frequently cited impacts of COVID-19 were income loss, business impacts, health concerns and basic consumer needs.
  • Over one-third of respondents indicated it will take longer than 12 months for their communities to return to the conditions prior to the disruption from COVID-19.

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Congressional Leaders Push Back on Treasury Changes to Employee Retention Tax Credit

The chairman and ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, along with the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, have called on Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to change the guidance disallowing the employee retention tax credit for employers that provide health care benefits for furloughed workers. The congressional leaders say that the guidance “runs directly counter to congressional intent.” Prior to the issuance of the guidance, the NAM urged the IRS to allow employers only providing health care benefits to qualify for the credit.

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Certification of the Need for PPP Loan Funds

Since the release of several FAQs and a safe harbor provision by the Treasury Department, a number of Paycheck Protection Program borrowers have expressed a fair amount of angst regarding their need for these funds and, indeed, tens of millions of PPP loan funds have already been returned. Bruce L. Blasnik, CPA, at Council friend and Associate Member O’Connor Davies LLP , writes that the reason for this angst is understandable as neither the Act nor the SBA have defined “necessary” or “ongoing operations,” nor have they provided any meaningful guidance that would shed additional insight into the meaning of these terms. In this article, we share our thoughts on what this guidance means and how to apply it. We encourage all PPP borrowers to take action now to avoid the possibility of significant penalties in the future.

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Tyson Offering On-Site Health Care as Plants Reopen

Tyson Foods is preparing to reopen some of the processing facilities it had shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, and the company has joined with Matrix Medical Network to set up mobile health clinics at its sites around the country to provide testing and diagnostic services to its workers. Tyson has also added new safeguards inside its plants, along with offering bonuses and boosting its short-term disability pay to 90%.

Read the full story at Meat & Poultry online

Congress is Split on Whether to Offer COVID-19 Liability Protections to Businesses

The Wall Street Journal Reports that “Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who will control the shape of much of the next stimulus package, has called liability protections a must-have ‘red line’ for Republicans, saying he won’t support Democrats’ call for further state and local aid without it. 

“Already, more than a dozen states—including Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and New Jersey—have granted civil-liability protections to health-care providers to hospitals, nursing homes, physicians or other medical personnel dealing with surges of patients infected with the coronavirus… A few States also have expanded liability protections to manufacturers, architects, engineers and contractors aiding in the crisis.”

Read More in the WSJ

US Trade With the World Dropped Sharply in March.

Imports of goods and services fell by 6.2% from February, to $232.2bn, but exports fell even more, by a record 9.6% to $187.7bn, widening the trade deficit. Trade was already falling before the coronavirus pandemic began, but with supply chains disrupted and unemployment swelling, its decline will continue.

Read More at Marketwatch

Factory Orders Down Over 10% in March, Commerce Says

US factory orders fell by 10.3% in March, the largest decrease since the reading began in 1992, the Commerce Department said Monday. Inventories, unfilled orders and shipments each declined in March.

Read the full story at Reuters

GE Aviation to Cut Workforce By Up to 13,000 Jobs, or 25%

General Electric Co said it was planning to cut the global workforce of its aviation unit this year by as much as 25%, or up to 13,000 jobs, including both voluntary and involuntary layoffs, citing prolonged aircraft reduction schedules caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The job cuts are the latest mounting woes for the aviation sector that are now expected to last into 2021 as U.S. passenger air travel demand has fallen by 95%.

Last week, Boeing Co <BA.N> said it would cut 10% of its global workforce, or 16,000 jobs, as it has slowed some production rates.

Read more at Reuters