• COVID-19 Business Updates

  • This page is dedicated to providing businesses with the most up-to-date information and resources regarding COVID-19 and the business community.  Please Contact Dan Bates, President/CEO, via cell # (267) 249-9649 with any questions. For additional information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.

     

  • Covid-19-(2).png

  • Explore Hamilton Promotion


    The Greater Hamilton Chamber is promoting all bars, restaurants, retail, gift & specialty shops, service industry businesses and Arts, parks & recreation at www.hamilton-ohio.com/explore-hamilton.  If your business would like to be listed on that page, please complete the Business Promotion Form HERE!

     

  • CCAO Webinar - Friday, April 3, 2020

     

    CCAO WEBINAR – County Commissioners Association of Ohio

    Update to Employment Implications and Options During the Coronavirus Pandemic

    Friday, April 3, 2020 1:00 – 2:00 P.M.

     

    Click here to register for this timely educational opportunity.

    If you are unable to register to the link above, please email Nedra Benson, nbenson@ccao.org, CCAO administrative professional, and provide her with your email address.

     

    DESCRIPTION: As the issues relating to the coronavirus change and update, there are more employment-related questions. This webinar will provide an update on these issues along with the latest information concerning the application of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

     

    PRESENTER:Jeffrey A. Stankunas, Attorney at Law, Isaac Wiles Burkholder & Teetor LLC

    Stacy Sheffield, Executive Director

    BCW|Workforce Development Area

    WIBBCW – Workforce Development Board of Butler|Clermont|Warren

  • SBA disaster assistance news release for Ohio due to excessive rain and flooding
     

    The U.S. Small Business Administration is reminding small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations that April 29 is the filing deadline for federal economic injury disaster loans in Ohio as a result of excessive rain and flooding from Jan. 1, 2019 through Aug. 1, 2019.

                                                                                                                                        

    The loans are available in the following counties: Ashland, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Coshocton, Delaware, Greene, Hamilton, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Montgomery, Morrow, Preble, Richland, and Warren in Ohio.

     

    Under this declaration, the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available to eligible farm-related and nonfarm-related entities that suffered financial losses as a direct result of this disaster.  With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, SBA cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, or ranchers.

     

    The loans are for working capital and can be up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.74 percent for eligible small businesses and 2.75 percent for nonprofit organizations, and terms up to 30 years. 

     

    Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov.

     

    Disaster loan information and application forms may also be obtained by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an email to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.  Loan applications can be downloaded from the SBA’s website at sba.gov.  Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155. 

     

    Completed loan applications must be returned to SBA no later than April 29, 2020.

    Please feel free to distribute this release to any of your local contacts, so we can make the widest possible distribution for those affected and those that may be interested.  We will provide updated information as it becomes available. 

     

    Jay MacKenna Public Affairs Specialist
    Field Operations Center - East
    U.S. Small Business Administration

  • Updates from the U.S. Chamber

    As of April 1st: 
    Guide to SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans - https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-sbas-economic-injury-disaster-loans 

    Guide to the Employee Retention Tax Credit - https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-the-employee-retention-tax-credit

    Guide to SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loans - https://www.uschamber.com/report/guide-sbas-economic-injury-disaster-loans

  •  

     

    HR Consulting

     

    UPDATE: Families First Coronavirus Response Act

    Last week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided additional guidance on H.R. 6201: Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which goes into effect April 1, 2020. The CARES Act makes some critical modifications to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law on March 18.

    continue reading...
     
     
    covid-19 resource center

    COVID-19 Resource Center

    VonLehman has created a new COVID-19 Resource Center to share with the community just how we are faring through the pandemic. The Resource Center features original content from our subject matter experts, our Rapid Response Team of individuals to answer your questions, and additional resources for topics that are top-of-mind to you.
    wfh lady 165x124

    Urgent Update: Changes to Unemployment Insurance as a Result of COVID-19

    With millions of Americans currently out of work due to national prevention orders, the government is amending existing policies to allow for quicker access to unemployment insurance. The following article provides guidance and resources for the states of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana, in respect to unemployment insurance
    READ MORE
    form I-9 revisions

    2020 Form I-9 Revisions

    The updated Form I-9 was officially released on January 31, 2020, leaving employers with an April 30, 2020 deadline to transition their processes and procedures as they relate to the new requirements.
    READ MORE
    VonLehman CPA & Advisory Firm
    810 Wright's Summit Parkway,Suite 300,  Fort Wright, Kentucky, 41011
    5975 Castle Creek Parkway North Drive, Suite 400, Indianapolis, Indiana 46250
    5905 East Galbraith Road, Suite 6100, Cincinnati, Ohio 45236
  • As of April 1, 2020

     
    Updates
     
    Late yesterday, more information came out about the Paycheck Protection Plan. Business owners please see the Borrowers Information Sheet for updated information. Lender information can be found by accessing the Lender Information Sheet.
     
    HCDC is working on compiling a list of lenders that are accepting PPP loan applications. Small businesses and sole proprietors can begin to apply on April 3rd and independent contractors and self employed individuals can apply April 10th through participating lending institutions.
     
    SBA Debt Relief Program
     
    The SBA Debt Relief Program gives immediate relief to borrowers with existing SBA 7(a) loans, 504 loans and microloans. For these existing borrowers, the SBA will cover all loan payments for the next six months. This includes principal, interest and fees.
     
    7A Info
    • The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020.
    • The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
    Information on when the first payment will be made has not been released.
     
    504 Info
    The 504 Loan Program Central Servicing Agent (CSA) has released that they will NOT apply an ACH debit to the borrower’s account to cover the loan payments due on April 1, 2020 for all 504 loans in regular servicing status. Under the CARES Act, SBA will pay the principal, interest and any associated fees that are owed on a 504 loan in a regular servicing status to the CSA within 30 days of April 1. SBA will continue to make these loan payments to the CSA for the 6-month period beginning April 1, 2020.
     
    Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance
     
    If you applied for the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan before 3/30/2020 and you want to receive your forgivable $10,000 loan advance, you must reapply at the SBA's newly launched portal. The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid.
  •  

    Updates from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

    As of March 31, 2020

    U.S. Department of Treasury Releases Information on Paycheck Protection Program 
    Earlier today, the U.S. Department of Treasury shared new information regarding the Paycheck Protection Program. The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Please review the resources provided by the U.S. Department of Treasury below and visit their webpage for additional information.
    • A top-line overview of the program can be found here.
    • If you’re a lender, more information can be found here.
    • If you’re a borrower, more information can be found here.
    • The application for borrowers can be found here.
     
    Click Here to Learn More
     
    Financial Resources from the U.S. Chamber
    Coronavirus Loan Guide to Help Small Businesses
    As we shared last week, the U.S. Chamber has created a guide to help small businesses, independent contractors, gig economy workers and other qualifying individuals prepare to file for a coronavirus relief loan under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Our hope is that this guide will prove to be a valuable resource for you and your members as you begin to take the necessary steps towards accessing the fund to keep workers on the payroll during this disruptive period.
    NEW: The U.S. Chamber's Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist is also now available for download in Spanish by visiting here.
    In addition to the guide, we've compiled an interactive map to show the aid available on a state-by-state basis. To view the interactive map, please click here.
     
    Click Here to View and Download the Guide
     
    Additional Resources to Help Small Businesses Navigate the Coronavirus Pandemic
    In addition to the information shared by the U.S. Small Business Administration, we encourage you and your members to utilize and share those created by CO—, the U.S. Chamber's own interactive digital platform designed specifically for business owners and offering unparalleled assets and subject matter expertise from the U.S. Chamber.
    CO—has created a Coronavirus Small Business Guide to help you navigate the pandemic with new stories daily—including a detailed breakdown of federal stimulus aid programs, information about managing financial difficultieskeeping your team engagedsupporting and retaining your customers, and more.  
  • With $349 Billion in Emergency Small Business Capital Cleared, SBA and Treasury Begin Unprecedented Public-Private Mobilization Effort to Distribute Funds

    As of March 31, 2020

     

    WASHINGTON – Following President Trump’s signing of the historic Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin today announced that the SBA and Treasury Department have initiated a robust mobilization effort of banks and other lending institutions to provide small businesses with the capital they need.

     

    The CARES Act establishes a new $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The Program will provide much-needed relief to millions of small businesses so they can sustain their businesses and keep their workers employed.

    “This unprecedented public-private partnership is going to assist small businesses with accessing capital quickly. Our goal is to position lenders as the single point-of-contact for small businesses – the application, loan processing, and disbursement of funds will all be administered at the community level,” said Administrator Carranza. “Speed is the operative word; applications for the emergency capital can begin as early as this week, with lenders using their own systems and processes to make these loans. We remain committed to supporting our nation’s more than 30 million small businesses and their employees, so that they can continue to be the fuel for our nation’s economic engine.”

     

    “This legislation provides small business job retention loans to provide eight weeks of payroll and certain overhead to keep workers employed,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “Treasury and the Small Business Administration expect to have this program up and running by April 3rd so that businesses can go to a participating SBA 7(a) lender, bank, or credit union, apply for a loan, and be approved on the same day.  The loans will be forgiven as long as the funds are used to keep employees on the payroll and for certain other expenses.”

    The new loan program will help small businesses with their payroll and other business operating expenses. It will provide critical capital to businesses without collateral requirements, personal guarantees, or SBA fees – all with a 100% guarantee from SBA. All loan payments will be deferred for six months. Most importantly, the SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest.

    The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on the Paycheck Protection Program.

     

    ·       The new loan program will be available retroactive from Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.

     

    Loan Terms & Conditions

     

    • Eligible businesses: All businesses, including non-profits, Veterans organizations, Tribal concerns, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals, and independent contractors, with 500 or fewer employees, or no greater than the number of employees set by the SBA as the size standard for certain industries
    • Maximum loan amount up to $10 million
    • Loan forgiveness if proceeds used for payroll costs and other designated business operating expenses in the 8 weeks following the date of loan origination (due to likely high subscription, it is anticipated that not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs)
    • All loans under this program will have the following identical features:
      • Interest rate of 0.5%
      • Maturity of 2 years
      • First payment deferred for six months
      • 100% guarantee by SBA
      • No collateral
      • No personal guarantees
      • No borrower or lender fees payable to SBA


    SBA’s announcement comes on the heels of a series of steps taken by the Agency since the President’s Emergency Declaration to expeditiously provide capital to financially distressed businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Since March 17, SBA has taken the following steps:

     

    ·       Declared all states and territories eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance

    ·       1-year deferment on Economic Injury Disaster Loans provided due to COVID-19

    ·       Automatic deferment of previous disaster loans for homeowners and businesses through 2020 

    ·       Waiver of garnishments through 2020

     

    Visit SBA.gov/Coronavirus for more information on SBA’s assistance to small businesses.

     

    PPP Lender Information Fact Sheet from US Treasury Dept

    PPP Overview from US Treasury Dept

    PPP Borrower Fact Sheet from US Treasury Dept

    Borrower Paycheck Protection Program Application from US Treasury Dept

  • TIPS ON GAINING ACCESS to servers/websites when they are so clogged. 

    • Try not to re-hit “submit” or other similar buttons on the site once you have already selected, this will send you to the back of the que. 
    • Probably the best time to get on a site if you are having trouble with local bandwidth or the government server would be early in the morning, 5:00 am. 
  • Small Business Stimulus Q&A: Free Online Session Presented by EO Cincinnati

    The president’s new Coronavirus stimulus package is supposed to be ready for applications by the end of this week…are small business owners?  

    This event, offered by the Entrepreneur’s Organization of Cincinnati, provides small business owners access to a panel of experts from Von Lehman and Wood Lamping who will address:

    -       The details of the stimulus package, who is eligible and how it works
    -       How business owners may apply
    -       What to expect in the process  

    CLICK HERE to watch the session
     
    Provided by: Pomme Communications
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

    As of March 30th: 

    • The SBA has updated their EIDL loan portal and now reflects language related to the $10,000 loan advance/grant. The prior SBA disaster website (disasterloan.sba.gov) will now forward users to the following website:https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/
    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Loan Advance (EIDL)
      To apply for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, click here

      In response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, small business owners in all U.S. states, Washington D.C., and territories are eligible to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance of up to $10,000. The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.The loan advance will provide economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds will be made available within three days of a successful application, and this loan advance will not have to be repaid. https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/

       

    As of March 26th:  

    • FYI- The prior online portal is no longer accepting e-applications. Rather businesses are supposed to complete PDF forms offline and upload them to the website. Additionally, businesses will no longer be able to look up application status.  The link below leads to  location of new documents. The updated link is here: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html
    • All states have been declared eligible for disaster relief form the SBA. That makes all 50 states eligible and all small businesses including sole-proprietors. 
    • SBA Loans-existing loans have an automatic deferment of payments through December 2020
    • New Disaster SBA Loan application have a built-in, automatic first payment deferred for one year
    • SBA application instruction video: https://youtu.be/IwIUFFDP268  
       

    If you have suffered substantial economic injury and are one of the following types of businesses located in a declared disaster area, you may be eligible for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL):

    • Small Business
    • Small agricultural cooperative
    • Most private nonprofit organizations
    Loan Amounts and Use
    Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. EIDLs provide the necessary working capital to help small businesses survive until normal operations resume after a disaster.

    The SBA can provide up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred. Your loan amount will be based on your actual economic injury and your company's financial needs, regardless of whether the business suffered any property damage.

    Eligibility and Terms
    The interest rate on EIDLs will not exceed 4 percent per year. The term of these loans will not exceed 30 years. The repayment term will be determined by your ability to repay the loan.

    EIDL assistance is available only to small businesses when SBA determines they are unable to obtain credit elsewhere.

    A business may qualify for both an EIDL and a physical disaster loan. The maximum combined loan amount is $2 million.

    How to Apply:  https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/

    You must submit the completed loan application and a signed and dated IRS Form 4506-T giving permission for the IRS to provide SBA your tax return information.

    For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.
     

  • Attention Businesses...The Small Business Owners Guide to the CARES ACT

    CLICK HERE for CARES ACT legislation passed

    Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) from the U.S. Chamber
    Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to pass the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Having been signed into law shortly thereafter by President Trump, this critical legislation will provide emergency relief for American workers and businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    In response to the finalization of the bill, U.S. Chamber CEO Tom Donohue issued the following statement:
    "Today, our elected representatives came together in a powerful way to provide the much needed relief that American workers and businesses need and deserve during this unprecedented time. We applaud Congress and the administration for working together to enact the CARES Act on a strong, bipartisan basis. Securing these funds could make the difference between keeping a business up and running over the coming weeks or being forced to reduce salaries, lay off employees, or shutter businesses entirely. No family and no business should go bankrupt because of the financial hardships caused by the coronavirus.” 

  • Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist

    Congress has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help them keep workers employed. In fact, if small businesses maintain or later restore their payrolls, they may not have to repay some — or possibly any — of the loan. Here’s a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the process.

    Small Business Owner's Guide to the CARES Act 

     


  • Coronavirus SBA Disaster and Small Business Loans Webinar

    Listen Now: Coronavirus SBA Disaster and Small Business Loans
    Email not displaying correctly?
    View it in your browser.
     
    f1RST Financial Bank
    Coronavirus SBA Disaster and Small Business Loans Webinar
    The coronavirus pandemic continues to create unprecedented economic challenges on all businesses, and small and medium sized businesses in particular. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has initiated Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help small businesses survive and recover from the crisis and the federal stimulus bill may contain substantial relief for small businesses through a modified version of the SBA’s 7(a) loan program.

    Keating Muething & Klekamp and First Financial Bank discussed the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and available information regarding the federal stimulus bill’s small business loan program.

    Listen now or download the presentation to learn about the three step process for a disaster loan as well as:
    • Who is eligible for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. 
    • The terms of SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans, including guaranty and collateral requirements.
    • How SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan proceeds may be used.
    • How to apply for SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
    • Any available information regarding the federal stimulus bill’s small business loan program.
    Meet the Speakers
    Jeff Magginnis
    VP & SBA Sales Manager
    First Financial Bank
    317.237.1588
    jeff.magginnis@bankatfirst.com
     
    Nick Simon
    Partner
    KMK Law
    513.579.6574
    nsimon@kmklaw.com
     
     
     
     
  • SBA Loan Deferment 

    Businesses with existing SBA loan payments can apply for those to be deferred. For more information, click HERE.  For questions, contact Access Business Finance, Inc. at (513) 777-2225.
     

  •  Update
    “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,” or “CARES Act” legislation that passed the Senate by a vote of 96-0 and will be signed into law. 
     
    We are facing an unprecedented crisis. In the best interest of the American people, we have effectively chosen to pump the brakes on our economy while we accelerate our public health response, significantly expand our testing capability, and develop a credible system of metrics to measure success in combating the coronavirus.  Unfortunately that means that businesses of all sizes -- small, medium, large -- are having to either shutter their doors or slow down their production and lay off workers through no fault of their own. In an attempt to mitigate the economic hardship caused by this crisis, I’ve worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to put together the CARES Act to provide some relief to the millions of Americans who have made our country and our economy the strongest in the world. 
     
    The CARES Act includes a number of important provisions to help workers, families, employers, and health professionals during this crisis. Specifically, the bill:
    • Provides direct financial assistance to families in need, including $1,200 for individuals making less than $75,000 and $2,400 for couples making less than $150,000. Families with children will be eligible for an additional $500 per child;
    • Includes an large temporary expansion in unemployment insurance benefits by adding a $600 per week across-the-board payment increase through the end of July, providing an additional 13 weeks of benefits beyond what states typically allow, and expanding benefit eligibility to cover self-employed and independent contractors, government workers, and nonprofit employees;
    • Provides $350 billion in small business loans for companies with under 500 employees that effectively become grants if those loans are used to keep workers on payroll, make rent and mortgage payments, or pay utilities;
    • Includes $500 billion in immediate tax relief for businesses of all sizes, including provisions such as payroll tax deferral and the ability to immediately monetize tax losses;
    • Creates a new fund established through the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve to provide loans and loan guarantees to businesses and industries that have been particularly affected by the current crisis, such as airlines, hotels, restaurants, and nonprofits;
    • Includes strong transparency and accountability safeguards for any company that accesses federal loans and creates a new federal inspector general to oversee these loans;
    • Includes $150 billion for health care providers to support the nation’s hospitals, doctors and nurses;
    • Provides $4.3 billion to support the CDC and state and local health departments as they identify every potential case;
    • Provides accelerated payment opportunities for hospitals supporting vulnerable populations like children’s hospitals, rural hospitals, and specialty cancer hospitals like Ohio State’s The James, to help them maintain cash flows while they voluntarily suspend elective procedures to conserve PPE for providers treating COVID-19 patients; and
    • Provides $150 billion to support states and local governments that are impacted by the coronavirus to ensure they can continue to provide basic services for their citizens, including roughly $4.5 billion to Ohio.
    Rob Portman, U.S. Senator

    Click here CARES Section by Section
    Click here Coronavirus Supplemental Appropriations Summary 
    Click here FINAL CARES Act
     
  • CARES Act
    Read the full Senate Bill in the link 
    https://www.politico.com/f/?id=00000171-1429-d270-a773-777f92a00000

    AMENDMENT NO. llll lll
    3 O:\HEN\HEN20312.xml [file 1 of 2] S.L.C. Sec. 2205. Modification of limitations on charitable contributions during 2020. Sec. 2206. Exclusion for certain employer payments of student loans.
    www.politico.com

    Chamber Applauds Senate Passage of CARES Act, Urges House to Act

    Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer Neil Bradley said the Chamber is keeping the pressure on to ensure that American businesses are able to stay open and keep their workers on the payroll. Importantly, the bill includes three bold provisions that the Chamber has been strongly advocating including:

    • $350 billion in loans for small businesses 
    • Delayed payroll tax payments to boost liquidity 
    • $500 billion in federally backed loans and loan guarantees for midsize and large businesses.

    A detailed summary of the legislation can be found here. Read the full bill text here


  • Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation COVID-19 Information

    To provide Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation updates to you and your members, here is a link to the Frequently Asked Questions on our website that provides information about the coronavirus' (COVID-19's) impact on BWC operations.  Most noteworthy, Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation announced that unpaid insurance premium installment amounts due for March, April, and May for the current policy year can be deferred until June 1, 2020.  At that time the matter will be reconsidered.  

     

    https://www.bwc.ohio.gov/downloads/blankpdf/COVID-19-BWCFAQs.pdf 

     

    Kathleen Davenport

    Southwest Regional Business Consultant

    Business Consulting Department

    135 Merchant Street

    Springdale, OH 45246-3730

    P: 513-785-4591 I C: 614-357-6970


  • Resources from Taylor Oswald

     

    I wanted to offer any support I can. We have MANY resources available for business owners and families to help them navigate through this unusual time. If you have any clients or colleagues that have questions on what to do or how to advise their clients on something we as risk managers may be able to help with, I’m happy to talk to anyone.

     

    I’ve included several resources here, in the event you may find them helpful.

     

    Please visit our resource center for valuable information regarding COVID-19: Taylor Oswald COVID-19  Resource Center

      

     

    Christopher Owens, MBA

    Cell Phone: 513.608.7707

    Direct Line: 513.419.6206

    Email: cowens@tayloroswald.com

    Website: www.tayloroswald.com

    Risk, Benefits, and Insurance Solutions

    441 Vine Street STE 3410, Cincinnati OH, 45202


  • CARES Act Legislation

    Click here for a summary of the CARES Act

    Issue Summary

    Congress has already passed two pieces of legislation providing over $100 billion of relief to the healthcare system and workers. The CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act is the third phase of Congressional relief. Estimates put this total package around $2 trillion, which will address numerous areas of the economy affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Details are still emerging as the legislation works through Congress. This document will be updated to reflect any new information that becomes available.


  • Required Poster and Q&A from the Dept of Labor

     

    The Department of Labor produced the model notice you are each required to provide to employees.  I would post this for any employees still working at any of your locations and/or e-mail this out to all your remote workers.

    This posting requirement is only required for the duration of the FFCRA. CLICK HERE for the poster.

     

    I’ve also included a link of Q & A for your review: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-poster-questions

     

    Pandy Pridemore,Principal Consultant


  • Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility for Ohio Employees

     

    Many of you are asking about your health plans. Here’s the most recent information regarding:

    • Delayed payments
    • Changing eligibility due to reduction in hours
    • Premium payments
    • COBRA eligibility

     

    CLICK HERE

     

    Pandy Pridemore, Principal Consultant


  • U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR PUBLISHES GUIDANCE EXPLAINING PAID SICK LEAVE AND EXPANDED FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE UNDER THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

    Click here to view the document: https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200324


  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act

     

    Update Families First Coronavirus Response Act is now April 1 NOT April 2. Watch the live stream: https://www.facebook.com/ICRCTV/videos/853585105114695/

     

    Visit the link for details:https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20200324

     

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act Employer Paid Leave

    Health Insurance Coverage Flexibility for Employees

     

    Pandy Pridemore, Principal Consultant


  • strategicHR inc How to Approach CV19- (Families First Emergency Response Act and FMLA Expansion)

    Click here to watch "How to approach Covid19"  Presentation slides click here
     

  • COVID-19: Today's To-Dos | 3/25/2020

     

    View online

     

     

     

    By: Julie R. Pugh, Esq., PHR, SHRM-CP  |  jpugh@graydon.law  |  513-629-2792


    Well, the DOL graced us with another short night of sleep by publishing updated guidance giving both employers and employees additional information on the March 18, 2020 Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) late last night.

    The FFCRA, among other provisions, requires employers with less than 500 employees to provide Paid Sick Leave and paid Emergency FMLA Leave for eligible employees who request leave from work due to certain reasons (more on that from Monday’s blog here).

    Today, leaders need a checklist (I love checklists … but I digress). Here is an FFCRA Checklist for March 25, 2020, designed for all businesses of all sizes.

      First, take a deep breath. I agree that all of this is confusing, difficult, and ever changing. However, nothing in the updated guidance places additional burden on employers. Keep in mind the spirit of the law, which is to help take care of sick employees and their families.

      Calendar April 1, 2020 (no joke!) as the effective date of the FFCRA (payroll providers rejoice!)

      Determine whether the 500 employee exemption applies.

    • Here’s the tricky part – it applies on the date the employee requests leave. So you can determine now, but you will have to assess this each time someone requests leave.
    • The 500 headcount includes full-time and part-time employees, employees on leave, and jointly employed employees, and day laborers (again, on the day the employee requests the leave).
    • The guidance incorporates the integrated employer test, which is what we’ve been using with our clients since it passed. If you are unfamiliar, call you competent employment counsel and walk through the analysis.
    • Make sure your payroll headcount matches your calculation when you determine applicability. Consistent documentation will be key in the future!

      Do not make any changes to paid time off policies before April 1, 2020. The law is not retroactive, and even though the tax credits were made immediately available on March 20, 2020, the law is not effective until April 1, 2020 (again, I giggle. It’s not a joke).

      If you are not already, contact your payroll provider or edit your payroll to add payroll codes. Again, consistent and accurate documentation will be key in recouping 100% of the funds through your payroll taxes. I suggested this in our blog here:

    • CV PSL – Coronavirus Paid Sick Leave
    • CV EFMLA – Coronavirus Paid Emergency FMLA leave

      Make sure these payroll codes have an end date of December 31, 2020. For now, it’s only temporary.

      Create or source employee communication documents. Graydon created a coronavirus leave request form. We encourage our clients to call and request a copy.

      Review your health plan with your counsel, broker or consultant to determine if you must continue coverage during the leave.  Employers with 50 or more employees must continue health plan coverage at active employee rates during FMLA coverage.  Smaller employers may have an obligation as well depending on the terms of your plan.

      Support your people. States and local governments ordered people to stay at home unless the business is “essential.” Some are afraid. Some are caring for parents, children, and themselves all under one roof (and may be low on toilet paper). Many routines have been disrupted.

    • Graydon created a sample form for essential employees to carry in their cars when going to and from work. Some jurisdictions require such notes if an employee is stopped, and some don't. Even if they don’t, it might help an employee feel better that the company is thinking ahead.

      Take care of yourself. Here’s a good list of to-dos from SHRM.

      Again, take a deep breath. The guidance clarifies that an employee is entitled to only a maximum of 80 hours of sick leave, and up to 12 weeks of leave total when combining PSL and EFMLA.


  • Ohio Bankers League - information about programs to help customers

     

    Governor DeWine and Lt. Governor Husted have been working with representatives from Ohio’s banking community.  These companies recognize the hardships that many Ohioans are facing, and they have committed to working through creative ways to help.  Ohioans can be confident that banks, both big and small, will be there for them as we all move through the crisis and are offering a number of measures to help customers. 

    Below is a link from the Ohio Bankers League that lays out some of these programs by specific banks and links to their programs.

    Ohio Bankers League:

    Ohio banks have publicly announced details of their customer assistance programs and measures:

    https://www.ohiobankersleague.com/customers


  • March 24, 2020: FEMA Request for Public Assistance


    Consistent with the President’s national emergency declaration for the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic on March 13, 2020, FEMA urges officials to, without delay, take appropriate actions that are necessary to protect public health and safety pursuant to public health guidance and conditions and capabilities in their jurisdictions. FEMA provides the following guidance on the types of emergency protective measures that may be eligible under FEMA’s Public Assistance Program in accordance with the COVID-19 Emergency Declaration in order to ensure that resource constraints do not inhibit efforts to respond to this unprecedented disaster.

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Eligible Emergency Protective Measures

    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic: Public Assistance Simplified Application

    Butler County RPA Announcement 3.23.20

    Request for Public Assistance

    FEMA: direct email for questions/concerns: Fema-nrcc-nbeoc@fema.dhs.gov


  • March 22, 2020: DeWine's Stay at Home Order


    Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, orders that all persons stay at home unless engaged in essential work or activity.  To read the entire order, click HERE!

     

  • Information for Businesses and Employers Screening Employees for COVID-19
     
    To help protect the public against the spread of COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine and Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton, M.D., MPH, strongly recommend that all employers screen employees each day before work by following these steps: 
     
    • All employees who are able to work from home should be working from home at this time. 
     
    • For those employees who have to come in- each employee should have their temperature taken each day, and if they have a fever at or above 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, that employee should be sent home.

    • This employee can return to work:  

    1)They have had NO fever for at least three (3) days without the taking medication to reduce fever during that time; AND

    2)There is improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough and shortness of breath); AND

    3) At least seven (7) days have passed since their symptoms began.

    It is best to use touchless thermometers if possible (forehead/ temporal artery thermometers), but if you must use oral or other types of thermometers, make sure to clean the thermometer thoroughly between each employee, as to not spread infection. 

    ▪ Follow the manufacturer’s directions to disinfect the thermometer. 
    ▪ If no directions are available, rinse the tip of the thermometer in cold water, clean it with alcohol or alcohol swabs, and then rinse it again. 

    • If you do not have thermometers on site, have your employees take their temperature at home. They should stay home if they have a fever and follow the same protocol. 
       
    • There is currently a shortage on thermometers. If you cannot find thermometers, and the employees does not have one at home to check their temperature you can screen each incoming employee with a basic questionnaire:

    Do you have symptoms of respiratory infection? (fever, cough, shortness of breath)  
    ▪ No – proceed to work  
    ▪ Yes – Employee will be sent home. Employee is required to stay home for at least 7 days from the time they experienced symptoms AND at least three days after they have no fever (without taking medication to reduce fever) AND have improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)

    ▪ Does not require a doctor’s release. 
     
    Have you been exposed to someone with confirmed COVID-19? 
    ▪ No – proceed to work 
    ▪ Yes, and not experiencing symptoms– employee will be required to stay at home for 14-days from the time they were exposed to confirmed COVID-19 
    ▪ Yes, and exhibiting symptoms– employee is required to stay home for at least 7 days from the time they experienced symptoms AND at least three days after they have no fever (without taking medication to reduce fever) AND have improvement in their respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath)

    • Please remember to continue to follow preventative measures no matter how many employees are in the office— physical distancing, stay home when sick, use cough and sneeze etiquette, and practice hand hygiene as often as possible. Clean all high-touch surfaces regularly.  

      Click HERE to download this document.

    For additional information, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
     
    For answers to your COVID-19 questions, call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634).
     
    If you or a loved one are experiencing anxiety related to the coronavirus pandemic, help is available. Call the Disaster Distress Helpline at 1.800.985.5990 (1.800.846.8517 TTY), connect with a trained counselor through the Ohio Crisis Text Line – text the keyword “4HOPE” to 741 741, or call the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services help line at 1.877.275.6364 to find resources in your community.  
     
    Additional Resources: How to take your temperature from Cleveland Clinic: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/9959-thermometers-how-to-takeyour-temperature 

  • Coronavirus workers’ comp update
    CareWorks Comp is committed to keeping our partners and their members up-to-date on necessary, temporary changes in Ohio workers’ compensation and guidelines for work-at-home employees as we all navigate the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.

    In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) is initiating temporary policy changes that will allow flexibility in the provision of care to injured workers.  These changes will be effective until the state of emergency related to COVID-19 is lifted within the state where the injured resides. Click HERE to read the complete update.

  • Unemployment Benefits Information due to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    All Ohio employers planning a mass layoff or shutdown due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic should provide the following mass-layoff number – 2000180 – and the second link below to an instructional sheet to their employees to speed the processing of unemployment benefits.

    COVID-19-affected claimants with otherwise valid applications for unemployment will be awarded benefits. While claimants must still meet the weekly requirements that they be able and available for work, the requirement that they actively search for work while receiving benefits has been waived.

    COVID-19-affected contributory employers will receive regular monthly charge statements, but these charges will be charged to the mutual account and not the employer’s account.  Reimbursing employers will follow existing charging requirements under Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4141.
     

    For more information, please see the press release below:

    Press Release: http://jfs.ohio.gov/RELEASES/pdf/031620-ODJFS-Provides-COVID-Number.stm

    Instructional Sheet: https://www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/num/JFS00671

     
  • New Sick Leave Laws on the Books
     
    Finally … we have some direction from Congress and the President about the rumored paid leave law to assist employees affected by COVID-19. The new law is the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. In addition to the many parts that address funding and the economic impact of COVID-19, it has two substantial provisions that impact employers and employees: (1) Amends the FMLA to apply to people affected by COVID-19; and (2) Provides emergency paid sick leave to people affected by COVID-19. The good news is that the law will be helpful to employees. The bad news is that employers will bear the brunt of the impact.
    We are still waiting on regulations from the Department of Labor. Those will provide more guidance. As with everything that has happened in the last week, this issue continues to evolve and we will provide updates as the impact becomes clearer. The law is 112 pages long! Click here if you want to read the law. Obviously, it is difficult to condense 112 pages into a single article. With that in mind, here is a VERY high level summary:
     
    (1) Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)
    What Changes:
    • Covers employers with fewer than 500 employees. (This means that small companies that were previously exempt from the FMLA are now obligated to follow these provisions for Coronavirus-related leave but not for other FMLA matters. There are provisions for small employers, healthcare providers and first responders to seek an exemption but it is not immediately clear how that process will work. More to come in the next few days, I’m sure.)
    • It applies to individuals employed at least 30 days.
    • New definitions of parent and family members.
    • Up to 12 weeks of leave. (This is not a change.)
    • Job restoration required for employers with 25 or more employees.
    • Smaller employers may have flexibility if the position no longer exists.
    • The first 10 days under the EFMLEA are unpaid. After that period, employers must pay 2/3 of the employee’s regular rate for normal hours/schedule. There is a limit of $200/day and $10,000 total per employee. There are calculation methods for part-time employees and employees with irregular hours.
    What Doesn’t Change?
    • The EFMLEA provisions apply only to individuals affected by COVID-19. The “regular” provisions of the FMLA remain in place.
    When is the EFMLEA Effective?
    • The EFMLEA amendments are effective 15 days after enactment and remain in effect until 12/31/2020.
    (2) Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
    What’s Included?
    • 80 hours of paid sick leave for eligible employees who miss work for COVID-19 related reasons. The list of covered circumstances is broad and includes caring for non-family members. There are reductions in amount of pay an employee receives for certain circumstances.
    • Applies to Employers with fewer than 500 employees.
    • There is no length of employment requirement.
    • Caps on Sick Leave Pay: limited to $511/day (up to $5110 total) per employee for their own use and $200/day (up to $2000 total) to care for others.
    • This is in addition to any paid sick leave already provided by employers.
    When is the EPSLA Effective?
    • The paid sick leave program becomes effective 15 days after enactment and remains in effect until 12/31/2020.
    Please note that many state and local governments already have paid sick leave requirements in place and others are acting quickly to enact new laws. Employers generally need to comply with those laws in addition to the new laws. (Ideally, there is some overlap, but that is not always the case.)
    Like everything Coronavirus-related, this is moving very quickly. Congress is already working on a third stimulus package which may impact the laws passed last night. Nonetheless, employers with fewer than 500 employees need to jump on this immediately and begin reviewing the impact on current employees. There will also be notice and posting requirements.
    At the risk of appearing self-serving, it is critical for companies to work with an experienced employment attorney to navigate these law changes. The issues are very complex. Now is not the time to cross your fingers and hope for the best.  We will continue to update you on these laws as new information becomes available.
     
    Please contact the following Graydon attorneys with questions about these changes. We have been helping companies navigate the ever-changing world of Coronavirus and are here to help you, too
    Dan Burke (513-629-2770) |  Lee Geiger (513-629-2830) 
    Julie Pugh (513-629-2792) | Nick Ziepfel (513-629-2798)
     
  • YMCA to Provide Child Care to Critical Care Workers

    March 19, 2020, Hamilton, Ohio– Throughout the Y’s history, we have been called upon in times of crisis, conflict and strife to provide critical services.
    Through these trying times, the YMCA is in the position to make a difference where it matters most. Because of this we have made the decision to transition some of our YMCA branches to support first responders and other families in need with caring for their children during this crisis. They will not have to worry that their child is in a safe place, as they care for a growing number of our loved ones during this difficult time.

    With the support and assistance of the State of Ohio, local public health officials and area hospitals, the Y is offering full-day childcare for EMS, law enforcement, fire and hospital staff as well as current YMCA Child Care families. Initially, our Critical Care Camp will be offered at Atrium Family YMCA (6 weeks – 12 years old)  and Fitton Family YMCA (3 years – 12 years old), with the capability to expand to other locations depending on need. During this program, which will be open from 6:30 am to 6:00 pm, kids will enjoy arts, crafts, fun and games all supervised by experienced, expert Y staff. Breakfast, lunch and a snack will be provided thanks to a partnership with Hamilton & Middletown Schools as well as UMC Food Ministry.  Click here to continue reading>>

  • One-Time Liquor Buyback:

    The Ohio Department of Commerce will immediately begin offering a one-time liquor buyback option to support bars and restaurants. This will especially aid those establishments that have stocked up on high-proof liquor ahead of the St. Patrick's Day holiday for which they now have no use, due to their closure to in-house patrons.

    Bars and restaurants wishing to take advantage of this opportunity should return their unopened, high-proof liquor products (obtained within the past 30 days) to the agency where they purchased the product. This opportunity is also extended to those with temporary (F2) permits for events scheduled between March 12 and April 6, 2020. If a business has questions about this program, they should reach out directly to the Liquor Enterprise Service Center (LESC) at 1(877)812-0013 or by emailing OhioLiquorInfo@Com.Ohio.gov.

  • TELEHEALTH FOR MEDICAID RECIPIENTS: 

    Ohio Governor Mike DeWine today announced that he has signed an executive order to expand and enhance telehealth options for Ohio Medicaid recipients and their providers amid the coronavirus outbreak. These rules relax regulations to allow recipients to safely access health care providers from their homes, thereby reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection for patients, families, and health care workers.

    “Maintaining access to services, despite our need to socially distance ourselves, is critical to helping to stop the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor DeWine. “This action will help reduce the number of people infected and will hopefully save lives.”

    Telehealth is the use of electronic information and telecommunications technologies to support long-distance clinical health care, patient and professional health-related education, public health and health administration. Traditionally, health care providers and patients interact with each other via real-time, two-way technology such as smartphones, tablets, or computers. These rules allow patients to connect with their doctors using everyday communications tools including emails, faxes, and landline telephone services.

    Individuals do not have to be an established patient to receive telehealth services, and there are no limitations on the the types of practitioners who are permitted to provide telehealth services for Medicaid patients. 

    There are currently 119 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 24 Ohio counties including: Ashland (1), Belmont (2), Butler (8), Clark (1), Coshocton (2), Cuyahoga (53), Darke (1), Delaware (2), Franklin (10), Geauga (1), Hamilton (1), Huron (1), Lake (2), Lorain (6), Lucas (1), Mahoning (5), Medina (5), Miami (1), Montgomery (1), Richland (1), Stark (5), Summit (6), Trumbull (2), Tuscarawas (1). Of these cases, 33 individuals are hospitalized. 

    Video of today's full update can be viewed on the Ohio Channel's website.

    For more information on Ohio's response to COVID-19, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov or call 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.

  • Mark Your Calendar

  • Sustaining Sponsors

  • CENTENNIAL

       

  • PLATINUM