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Guidance to business owners navigating through COVID-19

***Some information below is subject to change given the fast-moving nature of the current situation, please reference our most current posts for up to date information.***

During this time of uncertainty, we want to provide our clients with some guidance outside the lines of the bill that was signed today (March 19th) by President Trump (more to come on this shortly):

Look into applying for NE DOL program called “Short-Time Compensation” (“STC”) to help prevent layoffs.  The STC program will pay up to $440/week for a reduction in employee hours between 10 and 60 percent.  Applications can be made by clicking here.  We believe the companies that can maintain their workforce during this time will have an advantage when it comes to retention and recruiting in the future.

Consider calling your bankers.  The NE Dept. of Banking and Finance is allowing bankers to move loans less than 90 days past due to interest-only during this emergency.  Principal payments can be deferred 90 – 120 days, as of now.  SBA loans can be deferred for 6 months.  Luke Templin in our office participated in a call with Governor Ricketts and the banking community today.  Based on this call Luke concluded that the banks have a lot of flexibility now.

Create a best case and worst case cash flow forecast by payroll period to determine your company’s cash runway without factoring in any government relief.  Utilizing an available line-of-credit with your bank should be a consideration.

Other items to note:

Governor Ricketts filed paperwork with the SBA to declare NE as a disaster area for SBA disaster loans.  The paperwork was approved by the SBA last night.  Washington needs to review and should approve in 24 – 48 hours.  Once approved by Washington, qualifying applicants can file for SBA disaster loans by clicking here.  Please note the following:

  • Start reviewing the application now by clicking here
  • Only applicable if a business cannot get lending other places
  • Can get up to $2 million
  • Interest rates as low as 3.75%
  • Up to 30-year terms
  • Non-profits can apply and get interest rates as low as 2.75%
  • Takes 2-3 weeks to process and get funds.  There is a reference to creating a bridge loan program to speed up the process.  

On Tuesday, March 17, Treasury Secretary announced individual income taxpayers can delay 2019 income tax payments by as much as $1 million in taxes owed for up to 90 days (July 15).  Corporate taxpayers can delay up to $10 million for up to 90 days (July 15).  Further, the first quarter of 2020 estimated tax payments also receives additional time.  This only applies to federal tax at the current time.  Governor Ricketts confirmed on March 18th that State income taxes and property taxes (due April 1st) will not be delayed at this time.  On March 19th, Governor Ricketts informed the banking community that they are now looking into delaying income tax payments.

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act today.  The bill is mainly focused on employees.  We are working on summarizing the parts important for employers to know and will send it out at a later time.

Unemployment notes:
  • Expedited waiting period.  Typically takes 2 weeks for benefits to arrive, but now it takes 1 week for laid-off employees to claim unemployment and receive funds.
  • Waived requirement that you are able to work. People at home with the virus or in quarantine can now make claims.
  • Employees can file claims online by clicking here

Please feel free to contact your Hancock Dana representative or Luke Templin if you would like to discuss.

The information contained above is presented as a general understanding of this topic and is not to be relied upon as professional guidance. We recommend you consult with your professional and apply your specific circumstances to the content provided here before acting upon any information discussed above.