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HPBA COVID-19 Update

As always, these resources and more can be found on our website at

New Paycheck Protection Program Guidance from SBA

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) relaunched yesterday at 10:30 AM.

  • Ahead of the rollout, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released new resources for businesses applying for loans under this second tranche of program funding.

  • This includes an overview of how companies can calculate loan amounts, an updated FAQ document on how to count employees, and a new interim final rule with guidance on affiliation and eligibility issues.

The SBA has also announced that individual banks will be limited to processing 10% of the total PPP funding and discouraged certain larger businesses and publicly traded companies from applying for the program.

  • The SBA has further created a safe harbor to allow such companies to return any funds received before May 7 with no penalty.

  • Larger companies can still explore financing options such as the Federal Reserve’s liquidity facilities funded by the CARES Act.

Employee Retention Tax Credit as Another Relief Option for Companies

The CARES Act also saw the introduction of the Employee Retention Credit (ERC). The ERC is a fully refundable tax credit covering 50 percent of qualified wages (up to $5,000 per employee per year) paid by a company experiencing disruptions from COVID-19 (since March 12, 2020) or 50 percent declines in gross revenues quarter-over-quarter from 2019.

  • Do you qualify? Your company likely qualifies “if governmental authority imposes restrictions upon the business operations by limiting commerce, travel, or group meetings (for commercial, social, religious, or other purposes) due to COVID-19 such that the operation can still continue to operate but not at its normal capacity.”

  • NOTE: Qualified sick and family leave pay for which the employer is eligible for tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are not eligible for the ERC. Your eligibility for claiming the ERC may be affected if you have received a PPP loan.

  • Some of the advantages to the program include the lack of any application process and not having to repay any of the tax credit.

More Information: The Internal Revenue Service has an FAQ available here.

If you have any questions about the program or your eligibility, please contact Ryan Carroll.

HPBA Webinar Friday, May 1: Doing Business During COVID-19

Is it possible to do business during COVID-19? How can you bring in revenue and keep your doors (figuratively) open when your customers are being told to stay home? There are ways to do just that and we are ready to share some tips from several successful retailers.

Across the U.S. and Canada, some stores are shut down, some are partly open, and many are using this time to re-think how they do business.

Everyone agrees that the ‘new normal’ will not be the old normal anytime soon, and this includes how we work as retailers.

Hear from five retailers across the U.S. and Canada and how they are taking this time to rethink or remake how they do business. Learn how they are making lemonade out of COVID-19 lemons.

From Halifax to Spokane, and Springfield to Vancouver, these retailers are exploring new ways to do business in this strange time. What’s more, they are planning to carry these new methods into the new normal that will someday follow the pandemic.

(One of them has even sold more grills this April through curbside pickup than last April).

This exclusive webinar is for HPBA members only. You must register in advance.

When: May 1, 2020 03:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. This email will contain a private registration link, so please do not share it with others as it may result in blocked access.

Tracking (and Making Sense of) Reopening Orders

Through HPBA’s state legislative tracking vendor, MultiState, we are able to provide you with an easy way to track all state reopening orders and other state activity in one place. View the first tab of this Google Doc.

Things to keep in mind:

  • States aren’t starting from the same position. Many have issued sweeping stay-at-home orders, while a handful of states haven't issued these orders at all. However, all states have mandated at least some business closings on a sliding scale of strictness.

  • These orders all have different expiration dates, and some are indefinite.

  • Confusion can arise when a city and state have different orders in place. Cities are often the first to act but could find themselves preempted by state action, causing further confusion for those businesses trying to obey public safety directives. Alternatively, some cities may opt to be more restrictive as other parts of the state begin to reopen.

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