||Dear Friends and Colleagues:
Federal agencies are quickly getting guidelines out the door on various relief provisions and mandates. Thanks to PAA member organization, League of American Orchestras, for sharing their Federal Relief Webpage which is continually updated with the most current information on what is available and how to apply for relief.
Highlights of the past few days, which can be found on the Leagues's website, include:
Families First Paid Leave Provisions: Beginning April 1, new COVID-19 related paid leave requirements will be in effect. The U.S. Department of Labor has created a 59-question FAQ for employers, posters describing employee rights under the new law, and a bulletin announcing limited enforcement through April 17, as employers learn how to come into compliance.
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Relief and Loan Advances: On March 30, the Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a new streamlined application platform for organizations and self-employed individuals applying for emergency loans directly from the SBA, including $10,000 advance payments that will be forgiven by the federal government.
Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness: Local lenders backed by the SBA are rapidly preparing to process loan applications from employers with fewer than 500 employees, as well as applications from self-employed workers. These aim to support eight weeks of eligible costs through loan forgiveness. On March 31st, the U.S. Department of the Treasury has posted an overview for borrowers, an overview for lenders, and an example of the loan application form. Of particular concern to the arts has been the question of how the 500 employee limit will be calculated. The U.S. Department of the Treasury confirmed that it will use the following SBA method of calculation:
On the question of calculating the 500 employee threshold, preliminary U.S. Department of Treasury guidelines to borrowers, refer to the following SBA calculation. Further clarification may follow: "This is the average number of people employed for each pay period over the business's latest 12 calendar months. Any person on the payroll must be included as one employee regardless of hours worked or temporary status. The number of employees of a concern in business less than 12 months is the average for each pay period that it has been in business."
*The League hosted a webinar regarding navigating all the SBA guidelines this week and the recording is available here for your reference.
As things continue to develop and more financial relief becomes available, please take a moment to contact Congress today to let them know of your situation and ask for support of all those who work in the arts!