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COVID 19 Update 63

Post: May. 17, 2020

Governor Cuomo Expands Testing Eligibility To Phase One Employees Returning to Work – Encourages New Yorkers to Visit a New Website to Find a Nearby Testing Site

On Sunday the Governor Announced that Western New York and the Capital Region have met 6 of 7 metrics but are still behind on testing and tracing capacity. The Governor acknowledge this is an administrative function, and that the State will be working with both regions to increase the number of tracers. He indicated that both of these regions should meet all seven of the metrics this week at which point they will enter Phase One of the reopening process.

The Governor also encouraged all eligible New Yorkers to get tested, saying this is one of the keys to reopening successfully and he took a test during the press conference.  He expanded the eligibility to all workers returning in phase one including construction and manufacturing workers. He announced a new test finder search tool is now available on the state website. 

Visit the test search site

Mid Hudson Region Takes a Step Back In Its Reopening Metrics

The 2 metrics reopening metrics that are stubbornly holding the Mid Hudson region back are total hospitalizations and deaths per 100,000 people. In order to reopen a region must have 14 days of declining hospitalizations and have fewer than 2 deaths per 100,000 people.  Over the weekend there was a bump up in both categories which “reset the clock” to 14 days. 

In response to a question from a reporter, the Governor said that the State is considering changing the way reopening metrics are calculated related to the hospitalizations and deaths of patients that came from nursing homes. If this change were made several regions might be eligible to reopen sooner.

Saturday the Governor announced that as certain regions reopen phase one businesses the State is also going to reopen economic activities that can occur without crowds or gatherings. The State will open horse racing tracks and Watkins Glen International racetrack for races, but no spectators will be allowed to view the events live. NASCAR will be allowed to run their planned race at Watkins Glen this August, but without fans. The Governor said the State is considering allowing other sports, such as baseball, to operate without spectators as well.

Read Saturday’s Press Release

Powell Says GDP Could Shrink More Than 30%, But Doesn’t See Another Depression

In an interview aired Sunday Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell told “60 Minutes” the U.S. economy could shrink by upwards of 30% in the second quarter but will avoid a Depression-like economic plunge over the longer term. Jobless numbers  look a lot like they did during the 1930s, when the rate peaked out at close to 25%, however, he said the nature of the current distress coupled with the dynamism of the U.S. and the strength of its financial system should pave the way for a significant rebound.

“I think there’s a good chance that there’ll be positive growth in the third quarter. And I think it’s a reasonable expectation that there’ll be growth in the second half of the year,” Powell said. “I would say though we’re not going to get back to where we were quickly. We won’t get back to where we were by the end of the year. That’s unlikely to happen.”

Read more at CNBC

In a Reversal of a Reversal – Mexico Will Open Manufacturing Today

Friday, after Mexico pushed back the planned opening date for a number of manufacturing sectors from May 18 to June 1, the NAM working in concert with senior U.S. and Mexican government officials were able to change that..  Mexico’s Ministry of Health reversed course and a new clarification in Mexico’s Diario Oficial (Federal Gazette) allows newly designated essential sectors—transportation manufacturing (including automotive and aerospace), mining and construction—to restart operations prior to June 1 if health security protocol processes have been established and approved before that date.

Click here for an unofficial English translation of the new, clarified guidance

NYS Comptroller’s April 2020 Monthly Cash Basis Report

NYS Comptroller DiNapoli released the April 2020 Monthly Cash Basis Report which shows significant revenue declines in April as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the three-month extension of the state income tax filing deadline. All governmental funds monthly tax receipts totaled $3.7 billion, falling $7.9 billion or 68.4 percent from April 2019.

The April Report showing significant shortfalls in revenue officially allows the State Division of the Budget to propose spending reductions or other options.

Read the Comptroller report

SBA Releases PPP Forgiveness Application Form

The form and instructions include several measures to reduce compliance burdens and simplify the process for borrowers, including:

  • Options for borrowers to calculate payroll costs using an “alternative payroll covered period” that aligns with borrowers’ regular payroll cycles.
  • Flexibility to include eligible payroll and non-payroll expenses paid or incurred during the eight-week period after receiving their PPP loan.
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to perform the calculations required by the CARES Act to confirm eligibility for loan forgiveness.
  • Borrower-friendly implementation of statutory exemptions from loan forgiveness reduction based on rehiring by June 30.
  • Addition of a new exemption from the loan forgiveness reduction for borrowers who have made a good-faith, written offer to rehire workers that was declined.

PPP Forgiveness Application SBA Form 3508

Listen to the Council of Industry’s PPP Forgiveness Webinar Presented by JGS CPAs

Webinar: Returning to Work: Managing Employee Anxieties

Wednesday, May 27th 2020, 1:00pm – 2:30pm

Cost: No charge for members

Skip Weisman is the Hudson Valley’s premier business coach focusing on transforming mediocre, stagnant, or negative work environments into championship company cultures the are more positive, more productive and even more profitable. Skip is the only certified Great Game of Business Open Book Management Coach in New York and he works with manufacturing companies to implement a systematic process of financial transparency that brings employee accountability to the workplace.

To register click here

Ways to Adapt Hiring Practices for Social Distancing

Employers have changed interviewing practices amid social distancing, company leaders say. They say they rely more on references and multiple rounds of screening before deciding which candidates to invite for video or phone interviews.

Read the full story at Inc.

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