By Raffi Yousefian | Published 03/22/2020; Updated 05/12/2020 3:55:14 PM

Given the constant changes and developments in legislation during this time of uncertainty, we’ve published this post to provide daily updates about changes in small business relief such as grants and loans, tax compliance, and unemployment/paid leave benefits at the federal and state level. We’re hoping these updates will provide you with the information you need to navigate your financial plan over the next unknown period of time.  Feel free to share the link with whomever you think can benefit from having this information. 

Feel free to contact us if you have questions.

Federal

  • Taxes and Registration
    • Individual and corporation 2019 income tax filing and payment deadline has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020. Individuals can defer up to $1m in payments, businesses can defer up to $10m in payments. 
    • Tax exempt organization (form 990 series) filing and payment (if applicable) has been extended to July 15. 
    • 2020 Q1 estimated tax payment deadline has been extended from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020.
    • IRA contribution deadline has been extended to July 15, 2020. 
    • Pursuing new and existing liens and levies will be suspended during this period. However, field officers will continue to pursue high-income non-filers and other similar activities. 
    • IRS announced that temporary changes to section 125 cafeteria plans will extend the FSA and dependent care assistance programs claims to allow taxpayers to make mid-year changes. Previously provided temporary relief for high-deductible health plans may be applied retroactively to 1/1/20, and the permitted carryover for health FSAs is increased from $500 to $550.
  • Relief
    • The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act was passed by the Senate on 3/27/20. We’ve summarized the key provisions such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), as applied to small businesses and nonprofits, of this legislation here
    • The SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance will provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses that have been severely impacted by COVID-19. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to help qualified small businesses and private nonprofit organizations overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus outbreak. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. You can get the process started here. More information about user experience and requirements can be understood through this article.
    • The Federal Reserve has announced that it is establishing a Main Street Lending Program (Program) to support lending to small and medium-sized businesses that were in sound financial condition before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Reserve is currently working to create the infrastructure necessary to operationalize the Program. Here is some preliminary insight about the loan:
      • Amount will range from $500k to $200 million. 
      • Four year maturity, and principal and interest payments on the loans will be deferred for one year.
      • A term of four years at an interest rate of 3% more than the LIBOR rate
      • U.S. businesses may be eligible for loans if they meet either of the following conditions:
        • < 15,000 employees
        • 2019 revenue < $ 5 billion
      • Recipients of the PPP loan are eligible 
    • The National Restaurant Association (NRA) will provide grants to restaurant industry employees who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, financially, whether through a decrease in wages or loss of employment. Each approved grant is $500 per person. Restaurant employees can start applying on April 2, 2020 by clicking here
    • The Verizon Small Business Recovery Fund will be awarding $10k for businesses impacted by COVID-19. Round 2 begins mid-April
  • Benefits
    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which takes effect on April 2, 2020, requires that small business employers (<500 employees) provide sick leave (2 weeks) and family leave (10 weeks) for eligible employees, which the government is willing to cover up to a certain amount. Please read our detailed blog post for more information.

District of Columbia

  • Taxes and Registration
    • Personal, partnership, corporate franchise, and unincorporated franchise tax return filing and payment deadline extended to July 15, 2020.
    • Sales tax payment (but not filing) for periods ending February 29, 2020 and March 31, 2020 has been extended to July 20, 2020.
    • Corporate Biennial report extended to June 1
    • Due date for the 2020 first quarter estimated tax payment currently remains unchanged.
    • ABRA Q1 financial statements extended to June 1. 
  • Relief
    • Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development (DMPED) committed $25m for offering small business microgrants. The application deadline to apply was March 31, award notifications will be sent out April 29 through May 8. If you don’t hear back by May 8 then you’re not awarded a grant. 
    • DC Health Link is not terminating coverage for non-payment of premium. They are providing a 60 day grace period that begins when the Public Health Emergency ends as determined by the Mayor. There is no need to contact them as the policy will be automatically applied to your account. 
    • Events DC announces $18m hospitality and tourism relief package to provide funding to support restaurants, hotels, and undocumented workers in Washington, DC. More info to be announced soon. 
    • On April 7, DC Council passed emergency legislation creating a mandatory 90-day mortgage deferment program for residential and commercial mortgage holders who request one. No late fees or penalties would accrue, and repayment of the deferred amount could be done via payment plan, not through a required balloon lump payment. This program requires landlords to pass along proportionate savings to their tenants if they receive a deferment.
    • The COVID-19 Response Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 passed on March 17, 2020 prohibits electric, gas, and water from being disconnected for non-payment for the period of time while the Mayor has declared a public health emergency.
    • DSLBD is working with DC Main Street to activate over $600,000 in grant funding. Reach out to your local neighborhood Main Street for assistance. 
    • Dept of Housing and Comm Development (DHCD) is currently developing a new $1.5M program with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds for microgrants to businesses in Wards 7 and 8. Applications are expected to open by early May.
    • For Restaurants – third-party delivery fees are capped at 15% until 5/15; this will likely be extended.
    • Retailers with on-premise licenses may also register with the Board to sell beer/wine/spirits with takeout food items.
    • Landlords must offer rent payment plans allowing for missed and late payments. 
  • Benefits
    • Unemployment
      • Apply online here.
      • Access FAQ
      • Maximum Weekly Benefit = $444.00 + $600.00 (starting May 1 and ending on or before July 31, 2020)
      • Short-Term Compensation (Work Share) is introduced, through December 31, 2020. This will allow employers to reduce an employee’s hours, rather than lay them off, and have unemployment make up part of the difference. More information to come.
      •  Eligibility
        • The following employees can apply for unemployment benefits as a result of the emergency act passed by DC Council:
          • Employees who have become unemployed or partially unemployed if their employer had to reduce or cease operations due to orders from the Mayor or Department of Health.
          • Employees who have become unemployed or partially unemployed due to a reduction in business revenue resulting from the circumstances giving rise to the public health emergency, as determined by the mayor.
          • Employees who have been quarantined or isolated by the Department of Health or any other applicable District, federal agency, or medical professional.
          • Employees who have self-quarantined or self-isolated in a manner consistent with the recommendations from the Department of Health, or any other applicable District, federal agency, or medical professional.
        • The definition of employee has been expanded to included self-employed individuals, contractors, and those seeking part time work who otherwise would not qualify. 
        • An affected employee can receive benefits even if the employer has provided a return to work date and/or the layoff is temporary.
        • Employers will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.
        • 7 day waiting period to start receiving benefits has been removed.
        • Work search requirement has been removed.
        • When employees file a claim, they should put “COVID-19” as the reasoning. 
      • Shared Work is a voluntary program that provides an alternative to layoffs for employers confronted with a temporary decline in business. The principle behind Shared Work is simple: instead of laying off a percentage of the work force to cut costs, an employer could reduce employees’ hours by the same percentage and keep the entire work force on the job. See this guide for more info. 
    • Family Medical Leave
      • The DC Paid Leave law was amended to be in line with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Businesses with between 50 and 499 employees must offer 2 weeks of paid leave for reasons outlined in the FFCRA
      • DC has added a new category of leave called Declaration of Emergency (DOE) leave. Unlike with the other types of DCFMLA leave, all employers with employees in the District of Columbia must provide DOE leave. Additionally, all employees who work in the District of Columbia are eligible for DOE leave, regardless of their length of service and number of hours worked during the 12-month period prior to the leave.
      • Employers must provide DOE leave to an employee who is unable to work because:
        • A public health emergency has been declared by the mayor and the Department of Health, any other District or federal agency, or a medical professional has recommended the employee self-quarantine or self-isolate; or
        • The government mandates that the employee be in quarantine or isolation.
      • DOE leave may be unpaid, but employees may be entitled to paid leave under the FFCRA, once it takes effect on April 2. If they aren’t eligible for paid leave under FFCRA, employees may be eligible for unemployment benefits.
      • The one-year employment requirement and 1,000-hour work requirement shall not apply to an employee who has been ordered or recommended to quarantine or isolate due to COVID-19.
        • Schedule of Liabilities, or balance sheet.
      • Department of Housing and Community Development will have community development block grants available that will provide direct economic relief to small businesses in DC neighborhoods. We will provide updates as they come through.

Maryland

  • Taxes and Registration
    • Personal and corporate income tax payment and filing extended to July 15, 2020.
    • Q1 estimated tax payment deadline extended to July 15, 2020.
    • Sales tax payment and filing for sales taking place in February, March, and April of 2020 is extended to June 1, 2020.
    • Withholding tax payment due for February, March, and April is extended to June 1, 2020. 
    • Annual Report Filing and/or Personal Property Return filing extended from April 15 to July 15th for all entities.
    • The Comptroller of Maryland agency has set up a dedicated email address — taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov — to assist businesses with extension-related questions. Business owners can also call the Comptroller’s Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.
    • Taxpayers who are currently on a payment plan for delinquent business and/or income taxes and are unable to make those payments due to the COVID-19 crisis should contact this office at the following to discuss delaying payments:
      • Business taxpayers: cdcollectionbizz@marylandtaxes.gov
      • Individual income tax taxpayer: COV19@marylandtaxes.gov
  • Relief
    • Maryland Department of Commerce will offer the following:
      • A $75 million loan fund (for for-profit businesses only) offers no interest or principal payments due for the first 12 months, then converts to a 36-month term loan of principal and interest payments, with an interest rate at 2% per annum. Learn more.
      • A $50 million grant program for businesses and non-profits offers grant amounts up to $10,000, not to exceed 3 months of demonstrated cash operating expenses for the first quarter of 2020. Learn more.
      • A $5 million incentive program helps Maryland manufacturers to produce personal protective equipment (PPE) that is urgently needed by hospitals and health-care workers across the country. More details are expected to be announced by Friday, March 27, 2020.
      • A $5 million fund to incentivize businesses to manufacture personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to satisfy the increasing needs of the healthcare industry. For information to be announced.
      • Additional existing financing programs for new businesses and expansion.
    • The COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund has allocated a total of $7 million in funds to provide flexible rapid response services to proactively support businesses and workers undergoing economic stresses due to COVID-19.
    • Other MD local programs are listed here.
    • Montgomery County
      • The Public Health Emergency Grant Program will provide up to $75k in funding to small businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 100 employees that can demonstrate they’ve suffered financial distress as a result of the critical steps and mandated closures the County and State of Maryland have put in place to stop the spread of COVID-19. Grant funding must be used for employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent or other operating losses during the public health emergency. This program also includes a microgrant for local businesses and nonprofits up to $2,500 to purchase teleworking equipment and technology, to support teleworking capabilities during the COVID-19 emergency. 
    • Prince Georges County
      • County-based small businesses are eligible to receive a low interest loan for up to 6 months of verified operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other business critical cash operating costs; not to exceed $100,000. Check detailed requirements and application here
    • Baltimore County
      • Mayor Olszewski announced a series of relief programs, including a $10M in new grant funding for small businesses. Grant applications will be posed on the DEWD website, and they will begin accepting applications beginning May 11. See the Grant Criteria, Application, and Terms, here. Application and further details available here.
  • Benefits
    • Unemployment
      • Apply online here.
      • Access FAQ here.
      • Eligibility
        • Employees can apply for unemployment benefits online if their employer had to shut down due to COVID-19.
        • Employees can apply for partial benefits if their hours have been reduced
        • The work search requirement has become more flexible. Claimants are not required to search for work if their employer has temporarily laid off the claimant and has provided a return to work date that is less than 10 weeks in the future.
      • As of now, an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits could impact the future state unemployment tax rate for employers. MD will provide additional information about a waiver process due to any benefits paid as a result of a Covid-19 shut down
      • We highly recommend that every MD employer reads this FAQ page for more detailed and specific info.

Virginia

  • Taxes and Registration
    • Personal, corporate, and fiduciary income tax payment deadline extended to June 1, 2020. Please note that penalties will be waived, but interest will still accrue, so taxpayers who are able to pay by the original deadlines should do so. Although VA hasn’t technically extended the filing deadline, they do offer automatic extension filing deadline if you’re unable to file by the original due date.
    • VA Sales & Use Tax payments were due March 20. The Tax Commissioner may, for good cause, grant a business an extension for up to thirty days. You must apply for the extension you are able to request an extension by using the Virginia Online Services site or by sending them a fax request. If the commissioner grants an extension beyond thirty days, then interest may be charged.
    • Fairfax County
      • Personal property tax filing and payments extended to at least 6/1
      • Real estate taxes have been extended to August
      • Fairfax Co announced that they voted/are creating the Fairfax Relief Initiative to Support Employers (Fairfax RISE)  – a $25M grant program for small businesses and NPs to be distributed based on the number of FTEs:
        • 1-10 employees: $10,000
        • 11-25 employees: $15,000
        • 26-49 employees: $20,000
        • the grant shall be used for similar expenses as PPP proceeds. Applications are expected to open in early June. applicants must be established and have at least one principal lace of business in Fairfax Co, have been in operation for more than one year, and have a valid BPOL.
    • City of Alexandria 
      • Extended the Business Personal Property Tax Return filing date from May 1 to July 1, 2020. 
      • Delayed payment of the 5% meals tax collected between February and June 2020. There is an option for a payment plan that will allow taxpayers to pay these taxes by June 2021. 
    • Arlington County
      • Treasurer of Arlington County, has determined that late payment penalty and interest will not be imposed on local taxes with a payment due date between March 13 and April 30, 2020, if such taxes are paid in full by May 31, 2020. This decision primarily but not exclusively affects Arlington County Meals, Food, and Beverage Taxes and Transient Occupancy Taxes, which would ordinarily be due March 20 and April 20. Taxpayers should still file the required returns even if they are not paying the tax until a later date. Taxpayers are encouraged to pay their taxes on time if they have the financial means to do so. Any taxes previously paid will not be refunded. Taxpayers should direct questions to treasurer@arlingtonva.us
  • Relief
    • Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Rapid Response funding to support Northern VA employers to remain open during this emergency. The funds can be used for innovative strategies to maintain business operations. The funding request should not exceed $25k. 
    • Fairfax County 
      • Starting April 28, microloans from the Fairfax County Small Business COVID-19 Recovery Fund will be made to eligible businesses in amounts up to $20,000 at 0% interest that can be used for critical operating expenses to offset some of the impacts of the shutdown. More information here
    • Loudoun County
      • Approved a new COVID-19 Business Interruption program, which authorizes cash grants of up to $10,000 to small businesses.
      • Applications for these grants open at noon on 4/29/2020, and close at noon on 5/2/2020.
      • More information here
    • The nonprofit Virginia 30 Day Fund provides forgivable loans for VA-based small businesses, intended to provide immediate assistance (within a max of three days) to meet PR, preserve healthcare coverage, and preserve jobs while waiting for federal funding to come through. Details and Application can be found here. To qualify for assistance, the business must be
      • a small VA bus employing 3-30 people
      • based in VA and have been in operation for at least one year; and
      • owned and operated by VA resident.
  • Benefits
    • Unemployment
      • Apply online here.
      • Access FAQ here.
      • Eligibility
        • Workers may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits if an employer needs to temporarily slow or cease operations due to COVID-19.
        • If a worker has been issued a notice to self-quarantine by a medical or public health official and is not receiving paid sick or medical leave from their employer, they may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits.
        • In addition, a worker may be eligible for unemployment benefits if they must stay home to care for an ill family member and are not receiving paid family medical leave from their employer.
        • For individuals receiving unemployment insurance, Governor Northam is directing the Virginia Employment Commission to give affected workers special consideration on deadlines, mandatory re-employment appointments, and work search requirements.
        • If you will be filing because of a reduction in hours, you will not receive benefits unless your gross earnings are less than your weekly benefit amount.
        • Currently the maximum weekly benefit amount in Virginia is $378.
      • 7 day waiting period to start receiving benefits has been removed
      • Employers will not be financially penalized for an increase in workers requesting unemployment benefits.

New York/New York City

  • Taxes and Registration
    • Personal, partnership, corporate franchise, and unincorporated franchise tax return filing and payment deadline extended to July 15, 2020.
    • Q1 estimated tax payment deadline extended to July 15, 2020. 
    • NYS agrees to waive fines for businesses that miss sales tax deadline of 3/20/20.
    • NYC: There will be a waiver of penalties (but not interest) for business and excise taxes due between March 16, 2020 and April 25, 2020. The waiver can be requested through a late filed extension, return, or separate request. The request can be sent via email to Penalty_Abatements@finance.nyc.gov. You must include the letter identification on your notice, or your EIN.
  • Relief
    • NYC Employee Retention Grant Program offers small businesses with fewer than 5 employees a grant to cover 40% of payroll costs for two months to help retain employees. Businesses, including non-profits, must:
      • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City
      • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue
      • Employ 1-4 employees in total across all locations
      • Have been in operation for at least 6 months
      • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements
    • NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund offers businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more will be eligible for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help retain employees and ensure business continuity. Businesses must:
      • Be located within the five boroughs of New York City
      • Demonstrate that the COVID-19 outbreak caused at least a 25% decrease in revenue
      • Employ 99 employees or fewer in total across all locations
      • Demonstrate ability to repay the loan
      • Have no outstanding tax liens or legal judgements
  • Benefits
    • Unemployment
      • Apply online here.
      •  Eligibility
        • An employee who has been laid off or whose hours have been reduced is eligible to apply for unemployment insurance from the State, regardless of whether the employer intends to reopen in the future.
        • Individuals will be paid for the first week of unemployment, up to a maximum of 26 weeks over a one- year period. Under certain circumstances, the State may extend the payment of unemployment benefits beyond 26 weeks
        • The former employee must (1) prove a recent work history, (2) be out of work through no fault of their own, (3) be ready, willing and able to work, and (4) be actively seeking employment.
        • An individual will receive $104 to $504 per week depending on their prior earnings.
      • $600 in additional weekly unemployment benefits will be made available to all New Yorkers; and the period covered by unemployment benefits is being extended for another 13 weeks, for total of 39 weeks.
    • Paid Leave
      • The new COVID-19 quarantine paid leave legislation guarantees job-protected paid leave to workers who are subject to mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation for COVID-19, issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity authorized to issue such order, or whose minor dependent child is under such an order. 
        • The leave available to employees if they are subject to a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation depends on the size of your business as of January 1, 2020, and/or whether you are a private or public employer:
          • Small Business: employer with < 11 employees as of 1/1/20 and < $1m in net income last year
            • Employees must be provided with job protection for the duration of the order of quarantine or isolation
            • Employees can access benefits through your Paid Family Leave and disability benefits policy
          • Medium business: employer with 11-99 employees as of 1/1/20; or Small business with >$1m in net income last year
            • Employees must be provided with job protection for the duration of the order of quarantine or isolation
            • Employees must be provided with at least 5 days of sick leave
            • Employees can access benefits through your Paid Family Leave and disability benefits policy
          • Large business: employer with 100 + employees as of 1/1/20
            • Employees must be provided with job protection for the duration of the order of quarantine or isolation
            • Employees must be provided with at least 14 days of sick leave
          • Public Employers: no matter how many employees
            • Employees must be provided with job protection for the duration of the order of quarantine or isolation
            • Employees must be provided with at least 14 days of sick leave
        • The leave available to employees whose minor dependent child is under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine or isolation issued by the state of New York, the Department of Health, local board of health, or any government entity authorized to issue such order due to COVID-19:
          • Employees may be eligible to take Paid Family Leave to care for them under same eligibility requirements as other Paid Family Leave. 
        • Click here for more information and employer responsibilities.