COVID 19 Update 78

Governor Cuomo Announces Outdoor Dining at Restaurants Will Be Permitted in Phase Two Of Reopening

At Wednesday’s briefing the Governor made the protests and social unrest across the State and Nation in response to the death of George Floyd the focus of his remarks.  Also at the briefing he announced outdoor dining at restaurants will be permitted in phase two of reopening. Restaurants in the seven regions that have already entered phase two – the Capital Region, Central New York, the Finger Lakes, the Mohawk Valley, the North Country, the Southern Tier and Western New York – can reopen for outdoor dining beginning tomorrow, June 4th. Outdoor tables must be spaced six feet apart, all staff must wear face coverings and customers must also wear face coverings when not seated.

The Mid-Hudson is still on target for June 8th. 

Read the press release

Empire State Development has published Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on New York Forward and Business Reopening

The FAQ’s cover everything from securing PPE to Essential Businesses and enforcement. 

The FAQ’s are here

Senate Passes Bill to Give Businesses Flexibility in Spending PPP funds, Sends it to Trump for Signature

The Senate passed a bill Wednesday to give small businesses more flexibility in how they spend federal loans given as part of a coronavirus aid program. 

Under the proposal, small businesses would have to spend 60% of the loan money on payroll instead of the previous 75%. They could use the funds for six months, a change from two months. The proposal would extend a June 30 deadline to rehire workers. It would also push back the timeline for repaying loans, and allow companies that get loan forgiveness to defer payroll taxes. 

Read more at CNBC

CBO and ISM Forecasts: COVID-19 to Require Long Economic Recovery

The Congressional Budget Office, a nonpartisan legislative agency, said the sharp contraction triggered by the coronavirus caused it to mark down its 2020-30 forecast for U.S. economic output by a cumulative $7.9 trillion, or 3% of gross domestic product, relative to its January projections. GDP isn’t expected to catch up to the previously forecast level until the fourth quarter of 2029, the CBO added.

Meanwhile the U.S. Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index for May rose to 43.1 from an 11-year low of 41.5 in April. The index’s core components all remained well below the 50 level that marks the threshold between contraction and expansion. A majority of survey respondents said both production and new orders worsened in May from April, and two-fifths reported lower employment levels.

Read more in the WSJ

Business Immigration in the Era of COVID-19 – Presidential Proclamations, Travel Restrictions, Resumption of Premium Processing and the Reopening of USCIS

Joanna Silver of Council friend and Associate Member Bond Schoeneck & King writes “As we reported in our recent information memo, COVID-19 has created an evolving immigration environment. The related federal agencies and the White House have responded with a number of temporary policy and procedural changes to help minimize the spread of the virus in the U.S. and to help employers comply with various laws during this extremely challenging time. It remains essential for employers to maintain immigration compliance during the COVID-19 emergency and to take the steps necessary to maintain the nonimmigrant status and work authorization of their foreign national employees. In addition, now that businesses and organizations are beginning to reopen pursuant to government guidelines, employers are advised to keep abreast of the latest legal developments and various obligations they may have over the next few months as we slowly return to our workplaces.”

Read the full article at BSK

OSHA’s Publication Page Has Many Useful Compliance and Policy Documents – Newest Item is Guidance on Stockroom and Warehouse Workers Safe

By way of a reminder… OSHA has a single location on their website for publication and guidance.  The page is searchable and easy to navigate. The latest document focuses on keeping loading dock workers safe during the pandemic.

Visit the page

Fewer SKUs Can Improve CPG Supply Chain Efficiency

Several major consumer packaged goods producers, including Mondelez, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola, decided to reduce SKU counts to focus on high-demand items, which may have long-term implications, according to P&G chief operating officer and chief financial officer Jon Moeller. “There’s potential for this to result in a cutting of the long tail of inefficient SKUs and brands in our categories,” Moeller said.

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive 

NYS DOL Shared Work Program Offers Some Workforce Flexibility 

With child care and other issues creating challenges to employees and employers alike now is a good time to revisit the New York State Department of Labor’s Shared Work program.  This program is designed to help employers manage business cycles and seasonal adjustments while helping to spare their workers the hardships of full unemployment. The program allows employers to keep trained employees and avoid layoffs by allowing staff members to receive partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while working reduced hours. The Shared Work Program helps keep trained, productive employees on the job during temporary business downturns, meaning New York businesses can gear up quickly when conditions improve, and New York workers get to stay on the job. Full-time, part-time and seasonal employees are eligible. 

Learn more