New York State Updates
- The State has updated phase three guidelines for the food services and personal care industries, and all guidelines for phase two industries. Sectors and Industries include: offices, vehicle sales, retail rental and cleaning, commercial building management. Click here to see the new guidance
- The Department of Health (DOH) is investigating the potential COVID-19 exposure at a high school graduation in Westchester from a student who returned from Florida and subsequently began showing symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. Those who attended the graduation ceremony have been directed to quarantine. The Governor stressed that the State is prepared to do aggressive testing and contact tracing to slow and control any potential new clusters.
- Previous Executive Orders are amended to allow gatherings of 50 or fewer individuals in regions of the State in phase four. If the gathering occurs indoors it may not exceed 50% of the maximum occupancy for the area. All social distancing, face covering, and cleaning and disinfection protocols required by the Department of Health must be adhered to
- The Mid-Hudson Region is on pace to enter phase four on Tuesday July 7th.
Be Diligent in Your Safety Protocols – 82 of 179 Workers at Oswego Apple Processing Plant Have the Coronavirus
Testing has uncovered that 46% — 82 out of 179 — of the workers at an Oswego County apple processing facility are positive for the coronavirus, the state announced Friday. Oswego County health officials had reported 37 workers at Champlain Valley Specialties tested positive, but they didn’t include workers who live outside the county.
Testing and contact tracing by state and local health departments uncovered a spread of the virus from the apple processing facility to two other locations: An aluminum production plant in Montgomery County, and a Central New York onion farm where four employees out of 18 tested positive for the virus, state officials said. They did not release the name of the farm.
SBA Further Clarifies PPP Forgiveness Rules and Procedures
Council of Industry Friends and Associate Members Bond Schoeneck and King Report that the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) issued new guidance on June 22, 2020, providing further clarity to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness process. Borrowers may submit forgiveness application before the end of the covered period. The SBA confirmed that a borrower may apply for forgiveness before the end of the 8-week or 24-week period covered period if the borrower has used all of the loan proceeds for which the borrower is requesting forgiveness. However, if the borrower applies for forgiveness before the end of the covered period and has reduced any employee’s salaries or wages in excess of 25%, the borrower must account for the excess salary reduction for the full 8-week or 24-week covered period.
Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins Talks New York Manufacturing
The Senate Majority Leader from Westchester County was the guest of the Manufacturers Alliance June 25th. She spoke via Zoom with manufactures from across the state in a conversation moderated by MACNY CEO Randy Wolken and Council of Industry CEO Harold King. The Majority leader expressed her commitment to the State’s manufacturing sector calling it “the backbone of our economy.”
IRS Expands and Clarifies CARES Act Distribution Rules
Council Associate Member and Friend Jackson Lewis writes that with roughly 3 months under our belts since the issuance of the CARES Act and countless CARES Act distributions and loan suspensions processed, the IRS clarified several eligibility, administrative, and taxation reporting rules by issuing IRS Notice 2020-50. The Notice provides safe harbors, a model certification, and information reporting codes. It is a must-read for those responsible for administering employer-sponsored retirement plans.
Vehicle Production Rebounds Despite Market Uncertainty
US automakers have restored most production for pickup trucks and SUVs, even as widespread unemployment and hard times for rental-car companies could hamper sales the rest of 2020. “The government put a lot of money into the market, and now people are spending money on cars,” says Pete DeLongchamps of the Group 1 Automotive dealership group.
Survey Finds Pros, Cons to Exiting Chinese Supply Chains
The coronavirus pandemic, rising tariffs and Brexit have led 33% of businesses with global supply chains to move or make plans to move sourcing and manufacturing away from China, according to a Gartner survey. Companies say that shifting sourcing to countries such as Vietnam, India and Mexico helps save on tariff costs and enhances agility and resilience, but 58% of respondents say it’s also led to more structural costs.
Deeper Dive – The Economist: The US Has Too Few Cases for a Total Lockdown and Too Many to Open Up Safely
America’s death toll and caseload are high, and not only in absolute terms. Per head, it has had twice as many cases as Europe and about 50% more deaths. The number of new cases rose 42% in the two weeks to June 21st, and this national average disguises a more disturbing trend. America’s totals have been dominated by the terrible outbreak in New York City. Greater New York has accounted for about a third of all deaths. If you strip out the area, you find new-case numbers in the rest of the country barely budged in May, rose in June and are now as high as they were at the height of the pandemic (see chart)
Fracking Trailblazer Chesapeake Energy Files for Bankruptcy
Chesapeake Energy filed for bankruptcy protection as an oil- and gas-price rout stoked by the coronavirus pandemic proved to be the final blow for a shale-drilling pioneer long hamstrung by debt. Chesapeake’s breakneck growth left it highly leveraged, and it was far slower than many of its peers to pivot to tapping shale formations for oil, which turned out to be much more lucrative than gas. U.S. natural gas prices are at their lowest levels in years.