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COVID 19 Update 71

Post: May. 27, 2020

Cuomo: Regional Monitoring Key To Keeping the Reopening On Track 

In regions that have started to reopen, the State is taking a two-track approach to make sure progress continues.

  1. Monitor the Reopening: The Regional Control rooms will closely monitor any new infections and aggressively trace contacts to make sure the infection rate stays low.
  2. “Supercharge Reopening”: Make sure economic recovery affects everyone – not just those at the top of the economy. The government can stimulate the economy by investing in infrastructure and creating new public projects. 

    The State will fast-track the Penn Station and LaGuardia airport infrastructure projects to create jobs and improve transportation hubs. These projects have already generated thousands of jobs and will continue to benefit the economy. The Governor asked for federal assistance to also add an air-train to the LaGuardia airport project. The Governor called for Federal approval and assistance are also needed for the Second Avenue Subway and the Cross-Hudson Tunnels projects that the State has proposed and will meet with President Trump tomorrow to discuss these projects and general federal assistance to the state. 

    Speaking at the New York Stock Exchange as it Reopens for In-Person Trading the Governor said that Memorial Day weekend 2020 will be remembered as the weekend we turned the corner and marked the beginning of the reopening of New York.

    Read the press release

    New York State Legislative Session

    The State Senate and Assembly held committee meetings Tuesday to advance a number of bills relating to the coronavirus crisis. Both Houses will also hold session today (5/27) and Thursday (5/28) to pass the bills. The legislature will be following the rules on remote voting passed in March that were used to pass the State Budget while following social distancing protocols.

    Read more in the Buffalo News

    NY Fed President Williams on the Economy in the Time of Coronavirus

    In a speech to regional stakeholders, President Williams described the profound effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on the local, national, and global economy and the Fed’s response to help support households and business. He described the diversity of New York State’s economy, and spoke about the millions of workers in industries such as tourism, manufacturing, and retail, who have faced reduced hours or wages. “As social distancing measures are relaxed, we will get a better understanding of how different industries are affected,” he said. “What we don’t know is what the shape or timescale of the recovery will be,” he said, but told listeners that “you can be assured of one thing: our unwavering commitment to limit the economic damage from the pandemic and foster conditions for a strong and sustained recovery.”

    Read more at the NY Fed

    SBA Releases Guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness and Review, Updated Numbers

    The Small Business Administration has released new guidance on loan forgiveness and loan review under the Paycheck Protection Program. This guidance is meant to help inform borrowers who are completing the recently released loan forgiveness application form. The loan forgiveness rule provides further instructions for filling out the forgiveness application, while the loan review rule outlines how the SBA will determine eligibility for the PPP and for PPP loan forgiveness.

    Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness (Released May 22, 2020)
    Interim Final Rule on Loan Review Procedures and Related Borrower Responsibilities (Released May 22, 2020)

    In total, the SBA guaranteed 4,426,118 Paycheck Protection Program loans through May 23, 2020. For more information on PPP loan activity, click here.

    Report: EIDL Loans as of 5-23-20

    WSJ: For Economy Worst of Coronavirus Shutdowns May Be Over

    Spending on hotels, restaurants, airlines and other industries hurt by social distancing remains low, but appears to be picking up. The number of travelers passing through Transportation Security Administration security screening checkpoints fell to 87,534 on April 14, 96% below the same day a year earlier. But by May 24, the figure had more than tripled to 267,451, although that is still down 87% from the same day a year earlier. Meanwhile, data from online restaurant-booking company OpenTable shows diners are beginning to return in several states.

    “We’re past the trough in terms of peak damage,” said Gregory Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics, with high-frequency indicators showing “a burgeoning rebound in terms of how much people are spending.”

    Read More at the WSJ

    When Workers on Unemployment Refuse to Return

    As the economy begins to slowly reopen some employees who are recalled to work may refuse to do so because current unemployment benefits are higher than what they might earn or they fear for their safety, says attorney Peter Goetschel of the law firm of Vinson & Elkins.  Evidence has also surfaced of massive organized fraud perpetrated against state unemployment systems, according to recent news reports. In addition, the U.S. Secret Service has warned its field offices that a well-organized Nigerian crime ring is exploiting the COVID-19 crisis by committing large-scale fraud against multiple state unemployment insurance programs that could result in potential losses of hundreds of millions of dollars.

    When it comes to the situation involving actual employees who refuse to return to work, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued guidance on how such cases should be handled by state unemployment agencies: If a worker refuses to return to work because they want to continue to collect state and federal unemployment benefits, then they are no longer eligible for the supplemental federal benefits, DOL says.

    Read more at EHS

    NAM Releases Supply Chain Policy Recommendations

    As part of its “American Renewal Action Plan,” the NAM has provided new details on our “Supply Chain Policy Recommendations” for strengthening the manufacturing supply chain in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These recommendations will help policymakers boost long-term economic growth by adopting incentives that make the United States a more attractive place for manufacturing investment. And that’s the key part—incentives. Leaders in both parties will be looking to strengthen the supply chain and accelerate onshoring. NAM and its affiliates like the Council of Industry want to make sure that they do so in a constructive, rather than punitive, way that incentivizes companies to create the next job or invest the next dollar here in the United States.

    The recommendations, which have been provided to the White House and Congress, include a new tax credit that rewards investments in workforce, machinery, equipment and innovation made over the next five years; skills training and recruitment benefits; policies to support innovation; tax law changes to ensure that business loans and purchases of machinery remain affordable; surplus property opportunities for manufacturers; an annual review of U.S. competitiveness; and improvements to the federal permitting process that support sustainability while increasing collaboration among stakeholders and streamlining the agency review process.

    Read more at NAM