COVID 19 Update 60

Phase One Opening Guidelines Published on NY Forward Site

The Governor’s office has released guidelines and business safety templates for industries that will be allowed to begin reopening in phase one. As of tomorrow, Friday, May 15th, select industries in regions of the state that have met seven public health metrics will be allowed to start reopening. Below is a link to a list of industries that will be allowed to open in these regions during phase one, along with their guidelines and business safety templates.

The guidelines apply to both non-essential businesses in regions that are permitted to reopen and essential businesses throughout the state that were previously permitted to remain open.

Business owners must read the “Detailed Guidelines” for their industries and provide their digital signature affirming they have read and understand the document.

(Remember our Mid-Hudson region has NOT met the guidelines needed to reopen)

It is unclear if businesses in regions not reopening will be able to digitally affirm the document yet.

Read the phase one guidelines

Phase One Reopening Guidelines for Manufacturing

Update From Governor’s Press Conference

The State has continued its initiative to test essential workers for COVID-19 antibodies. New York City frontline workers have shown a lower percent positive when compared to the City’s general population. The New York State Police and Corrections Officers have shown similar results when compared with the State’s general population. The Governor believes that frontline workers have a lower percent positive rate because they are using personal protective equipment (PPE) effectively. Something manufacturers are also capable of doing. 

The Governor also announced that the North Country has now met the seven necessary metrics to reopen phase 1 industries this Friday, May 15th. As announced earlier this week the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and Finger Lakes regions have also met these metrics. The Capital Region and Central New York regions have met six of the seven metrics. Our Region – Mid-Hudson – remains at 5 of 7. 

The list of businesses that will be allowed to reopen in regions that have hit their metrics can be found here and the full details of NY Forward can be found here. The State is also posting up to date data in an interactive dashboard to track progress of each region toward meeting the metrics needed to reopen. 

Read the Governor’s Press Release

Fed Chair Says US Economic Recovery ‘May Take Some Time To Gather Momentum’

In a speech at the Peterson Institute for International Economics on Wednesday, Powell said “The loss of thousands of small- and medium-sized businesses across the country would destroy the life’s work and family legacy of many business and community leaders and limit the strength of the recovery when it comes,” 

Powell said the shutdown has triggered an unprecedented economic fallout, and the medium-term outlook for the economy is unclear at the moment given the recovery is dependent on a number of factors, including timelines for a vaccine or coronavirus treatment, the possibility of a second wave of outbreaks and how much of an impact the virus has had on consumer confidence.

“Since the answers are currently unknowable, policies will need to be ready to address a range of possible outcomes,” Powell said.

Read more at Yahoo Finance

Liability Protection Bill in Progress – The legislation Would Expand Protections for Businesses as they Begin to Reopen 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that he hopes the bill will ‘find ways to expand existing protections’ for manufacturers who create coronavirus-related therapeutics or vaccines, and that he also wants it to ‘create new protections’ for medical equipment manufacturers.

McConnell has called expanded liability protections the ‘red line’ for Republicans on the next round of coronavirus relief legislation. The business community is pushing Congress to pass new legal protections amid concerns that they could face a myriad of lawsuits as they begin to reopen.

Read more at The Hill

Guidance on PPP Loan Evaluation and Safe Harbors

Yesterday, the Small Business Administration issued new guidance related to the recent announcement that the SBA will review certain Paycheck Protection Program loans to evaluate the applicant’s economic need for the loan. Under the new guidance, businesses receiving PPP loans of less than $2 million will be eligible for a safe harbor that deems their loan request to have been made in good faith; as such, loans below $2 million will not be subject to further review. Borrowers with loans greater than $2 million “may still have an adequate basis” for applying for a PPP loan based on their individual circumstances, but they will be subject to SBA review to determine the necessity of the loan request. If the review determines that the applicant should not have received PPP funds, the SBA will seek repayment of the outstanding PPP loan balance and will inform the lender that the borrower is not eligible for loan forgiveness. For more information, you can review Question 46 in the SBA’s updated PPP FAQ document.

Read the announcement


Companies Start Reaping Billions in Tax Breaks to Ride Out Economic Slump

New tax breaks expected to total about $650 billion are starting to flow to U.S. businesses, giving them quick cash and longer-term help to ride out the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.

So far, more than 50 publicly traded companies have disclosed tax savings and deferrals totaling at least $2.8 billion, according to securities filings. Money is also going to private companies that don’t report earnings.

The tax breaks, enacted in March, are a crucial piece of the government’s attempt to prop up businesses during the coronavirus pandemic, alongside Federal Reserve lending and the Small Business Administration’s loan-forgiveness program.

Read more at the WSJ 

Webinar: Direct Energy’s Hudson Valley Energy Market Update

Thursday, May 28, 2020, 8:00 am – 9:00 am, No Cost for Members

Join the Council of Industry and Direct Energy Business for a quick update on New York’s natural gas and electric markets. It’s important information that could keep your firm’s energy strategy ahead of market trends and changes. Following this presentation, take the opportunity to ask our energy professional your questions.

Tim Bigler
Senior Market Strategist, Direct Energy Business
Tim has more than 30 years of experience in the natural gas, electric and oil markets. His current role is Senior Market Strategist on our Natural Gas Operations team, and he is the author of most customer market update materials.

To register click here