Re Opening Plan Questions Business Law Discussion
Answer the re-opening plan question.
Client = Jackson Bergman, LLP
S Corp (Two partners and 7 employees) – we will need to do layoffs
Partners – paycheck plus monthly draws
Office has to shut down, courts are closed
Nature of the services: Criminal Defense, Matrimonial, Family Law
Average Monthly Payroll: $48,000
Average monthly cost of rent/utilities: $3,000
Gross receipts in all 4 quarters of 2020 were down more than 25% from 2019
Payroll Protection Program
Should we apply ?
Yes, this loan is completely forgivable if used according to guidelines and will provide pay to employees and owners who can not work during the pandemic lockdown. There are no collateral requirements or personal guarantees
How much money can we get?
First time applicants can receive up to 10 million dollars in aid, second time applicants can receive up to 2 million dollars.
Loan amounts are based on previously documented payroll and other covered business costs
Covered costs include
payroll/employee compensation, continuation of health care benefits, utilities, commercial rent, and mortgage interest
Jackson Bergman will be eligible to up to $120,000 (2.5x average monthly payroll) and in order to have it completely forgiven the proceeds must be spent on payroll plus health and retirement benefits, mortgage interest, interest on debt incurred before February 15, 2020, rent, and utilities
No more than 25% can be forgiven if used on expenses other than payroll
Can the business owners/partners be paid from the PPP monies?
The regulations are silent on use of loan proceeds and loan forgiveness for staff and salary enhancements, because the owners of Jackson Bergman are paid on salary, they may increase salaries. As long as Jackson Bergman pays their staff 8 weeks of payroll and does not lay off staff or reduce compensation and spend no more than 25% of loan proceeds on allowable costs other than payroll the full value of the loan will be forgiven. However even if the terms of the program are not satisfied, the borrower will pay 1% interest for two years.
Can the business owners/partners take the monthly draws and, if so, how much?
Same as answer above
New York Shared Work Program
What is it ?
The New York Shared Work Program is a program established such that employers are able to provide their trained employees the means to still retain work and avoid full unemployment by allowing employers the chance to manage business schedules, and make seasonal adjustments when the business experiences downturns.
How does it work ?
Mainly, the way in which this program works is that though the businesses may not necessarily be as profitable during downturns, which would typically result in many employees being laid off from work, this program enables employers to retain employees by making provision for partial Unemployment Insurance benefits while the employees work fewer hours.
Is our business eligible ?
Which and how many employees and eligible ?
A minimum of 2 employees are required to be eligible for the program, and so with 7 employees in our business, we are eligible to
Can we adjust the number of employees on the program once we start it ?
The number of employees cannot be adjusted once the program is started. The program requirements state it clearly that additional employees cannot be employed, and so any adjustments would definitely tamper with the business eligibility for the program
Can we adjust the number of hours once we start it ?
Do we have to pay rent ?
Yes, rent must be paid. However, if the rent is a financial burden, meaning it is more than 30% of of gross income, one can qualify for government assistance. The New COVID Rental Assistance Program is an emergency rental assistance program that will help keep low-income families throughout New York in their homes.
Can we be evicted ?
The CDC is ordered a ban on evictions effective January 31, 2021 through March 31, 2021. This is meant as a way to prevent the further spread of COVID.
Is there a forgiveness option or moratorium?
CDCs temporary eviction moratorium: Some residential evictions for nonpayment of rent can be paused through March 31, 2021
If the CARES Act applies:
Cannot collect late fees or other charges solely because no rent was paid between March 27 and July 24, 2020
Cannot evict for not paying those fees
If there is a moratorium, how long do we have to catch up?
Originally it was a 120 day moratorium, but President Biden extended it to March 31
Low interest Business Loan
Should we apply ?
Yes, there are many options to choose from when looking for a low interest business loan
Different types of lenders include Banks, Credit Unions, Crowdfunding, Friends, Mission-Driven Lenders, Small Business Administration, Angel Investors, Venture capitals
Which lender should we use ?
We recommend you use the Small Business Administration (SBA) which is a federal agency that helps small business owners gain access to capital
The reasoning for this choice is their extremely low rates available like their current one mentioned early (The PPP) at 1% with the opportunity to be completely forgiven
Weekly $600 unemployment checks
How does it work?
People who lose their jobs due to influenza pandemic will be able to pay all UIB beneficiaries $600 per week in addition to regular benefits during the benefit week from April 5, 2020 to July 26, 2020
Who is eligible?
Individuals are eligible for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) if they do not qualify for regular UIB benefits (including self-employed workers and independent contractors), and cannot work because they: Are diagnosed COVID-19 or have COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking diagnosis;
Have a member of the household who is diagnosed with COVID-19;
Are providing care for a family or household member diagnosed with COVID-19;
Are the primary caregiver for a child whose school or care facility closed, due to COVID-19;
Are unable to reach their place of employment due to an imposed quarantine, or because advised by medical provider to self-quarantine, due to COVID-19;
Were scheduled to start new employment and cannot reach the workplace as direct result of COVID-19;
Became the major breadwinner because the head of household died from COVID-19;
Quit their job as a direct result of COVID-19;
Had their place of employment closed as a direct result of COVID-19; or
Meet any additional criteria specified by the U.S. Secretary of Labor.
How long does it go for?
PUA provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits for persons impacted by COVID-19 and covers individuals who are self-employed, who otherwise would not qualify for regular unemployment compensation, or who have exhausted state benefits. An additional $600/week for weeks ending 4/5/2020 to 7/26/2020. An additional $300/week for weeks ending 1/3/2021 to 3/14/2021.
Presidents Executive Order
What is it?
An executive order is a way of issuing federal instructions used by the Federal President to govern the operation of the federal government in the United States. There are many sources of legal or constitutional basis for administrative orders.