March 27 E-news Update:

MA Attorney General issues FAQ’s on COVID-19 Employee Rights and Employer Obligations

The Attorney General’s Fair Labor Division has issued the following guidance on employee rights and employer obligations under state and federal law during the current COVID-19 restrictions.  Click here to learn more about the interplay of the recently adopted Family First Coronavirus Response Act and Massachusetts employment law, including unemployment and earned sick time benefits, layoff implications, payment of wages during shut downs, and restricting employee hours.  


SBA Announces Express Bridge Loan Program to Bridge Long-Term Financing

The Small Business Administration is offering an Express Bridge Loan Program to small businesses impacted by COVID-19. This program authorizes SBA Express Lenders to provide expedited SBA-guaranteed bridge loan financing on an emergency basis in amounts up to $25,000 for disaster-related purposes to small businesses who have applied for and await long-term financing (including the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program).

Small businesses who are already working with an SBA Express Lender may be eligible to apply to this streamlined program. Read general information about this program here; guidance is available here.

Interested businesses can use the SBA’s Lender Match Tool to find an Express Bridge Loan Lender and apply.

NRF CARES Act Update and Explainer

The House of Representatives has just passed the CARES Act by voice vote. The President has indicated he will quickly sign the bill. NRF has issued a press release commending the House action.
Yesterday, NRF posted a blog post that outlines the benefits for retailers from the CARES Act, “Coronavirus stimulus from Congress will bring billions to cash-strapped retailers.” The post highlights the business tax relief, loans and workforce/consumer benefits in the bill and supplements the key retail provisions summary NRF provided yesterday.

More than $350 billion in small business (under 500 employees) loans of up to 250% of monthly payroll are included, which will be forgivable in cases of continued payroll and rent expenses.  RAM believes this program will be particularly important for our members even if closed, if employees have been furloughed and continue to get certain benefits such as health insurance.  These important liquidity investments for Main Street will be available from your local banks, reportedly in about two weeks. Employee retention tax credits contained in the CARES Act will also be important for payroll tax relief.  As the rules are written in the coming days, NRF and RAM will continue to keep you up to date.