• COVID19 Information for Businesses

  • JUNE 30, 2020 Updates
    Main Street Relief Fund - If you applied for a Main Street Relief Fund Grant and were denied, you still have until July 2 at 11:59 pm to appeal the decision. For information on how to appeal click here. You'll need a copy of your denial notice as well as an explanation and documentation of your claim.
     
    The Self-Employed Livelihood Fund will open for applications July 6. Eligibility for the fund is:
    • Business must be located in NH
    • Owner of the business must be the only employee
    • Business cannot be permanently closed (temporarily closed due to covid19 is fine, but business must intend to reopen)
    • Business cannot be in bankruptcy
    • Gross receipts of the business cannot exceed $1 million in 2019
    • Grants are capped at $50,000.
    The application period will be July 6-17. We will send out the link to apply when available.
     
    The Governor's Reopening Task Force is working updating guidelines for Phase 2 of all business sectors. New guidelines are being posted daily - check here for all updates .
    JUNE 8, 2020 Updates
    Main Street Relief Fund - next steps: every business who applied for the MSRF prequalification should have received an email from the the NH Dept of Revenue on Friday with instructions on how to apply for the final grant. Application deadline is Friday, June 12 at midnight . Checks are expected to be mailed the week of June 15. Grants are capped at $350,000. If you did not apply for the prequalification, you will not be able to apply for the grant at this time.
     
    NONPROFITS - 501c3 nonprofits may begin to apply for the NH Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund. Applications open June 11 and close June 25.
     
    Restaurants Restaurants located in Grafton County will be allowed to open June 15 for indoor dining at 100% capacity. Guidance has been updated.
     
    Wedding Venues wedding venues may reopen at 50% capacity. See same guidance as restaurants. See guidance docs.
     
    Golf Courses may open immediately for out of state golfers . Golf carts may now be used by golfers not related to each other.
     
    Outdoor Recreation/Attractions - including agro-tourism, outdoor
    walking trails, tours and paths, batting cages, zip lines, chairlifts, ropes
    courses/aerial parks, disk golf, open off-road vehicle tours (no enclosure), natural
    science centers, garden tours, diving tours and lessons, caves, petting zoos, balloon rides, helicopter and plane rides (groups fewer than 5) and white water rafting - may now reopen. Guidance docs.
     
    State beaches are now reopened for sunbathing and picnicing. Parking areas will remain at 50% capacity.
     
    The Governor also announced that he expects to lift the Stay at Home order on June 15.
     
    PPP LOANS ARE NOW EXTENDED
    Congress passed H.R.7010, Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act of 2020. New provisions in the PPP program include:
    • Extends the forgivable period from 8 weeks to 24 weeks or the end of the calendar year.
    • Adds flexibility to the forgiveness ratio for non-wage expenses from 75% payroll and 25% non-payroll eligible expenses to 60:40.
    • Establishes a minimum loan maturity of 5 years for the remaining balance after the balance is adjusted for forgiveness.
    • Extends the required period during which an employer may restore wages to December 31st.
    • Allows borrowers to defer payments until they receive compensation for forgiven amounts. Those who don’t apply for forgiveness can have 10 months from the program’s expiration to being making payments.
    • Allows for PPP borrowers to also defer payroll tax payments including payment of principal, interest, and fees, until the date on which the amount of forgiveness determined under section 1106 of the CARES Act is remitted to the lender.
    This is great news for businesses who have PPP loans. However, local lenders are waiting on guidance from the SBA on how to proceed - you should reach out to your commercial lender more information on how this will affect your loan specifically.
     
    Also, many businesses are questioning whether they can take out a second PPP loan or add to their current loan.
     
    Businesses MAY NOT apply for a second PPP loan.
     
    There are a couple scenarios in which an increase to an existing PPP Loan can be done; 
     
    • Partnership who’s original PPP Loan app did not include compensation for the partners.
    • Seasonal Employers who’s original PPP Loan app was submitted prior to alternative criterion coming out for determining the maximum loan amount.
    In each of these cases the increase can be made so long as reporting for that loan has not yet been made. Other entity types are not eligible for increases.

     

    Updates from March to May 31, 2020

  • As A Business, Am I Liable for Covid19 Related Claims? As A Business, Am I Liable for Covid19 Related Claims?

    UVBA has received many questions regarding liability to businesses related to Covid19 such as whether a business owner is liable if an employee contracts C19 and claims it is a result of their work conditions, or whether a business is liable if a customer or client claims they contracted C19 at your place of business.
     
    The NH Attorney General released an opinion that answers the employer-related liability questions.
    1. Does State law provide liability protection for employers from employee personal injury claims? Conclusion: Yes, New Hampshire's Workers' Compensation law, RSA 281-A, precludes employees or employees' beneficiaries, from bringing certain actions, including personal injury claims, against their employers. 
    2. 
    3. Does State law limit an employee's ability to seek workers' compensation benefits for illnesses, like Covid -19? Conclusion: Yes, workers' compensation benefits are limited to instances when an employee determinatively demonstrates that the illness resulted from the risks of employment.
     
     
    The Attorney General does not address liability to businesses from claims by customers or clients, although does say that following state guidelines would make it unlikely a business would be held liable. However, there have been several inconsistencies with the guidelines and changes as sectors reopen that make it difficult for businesses to adapt quickly. Because we have heard many businesses express concern on this issue, the UVBA, fellow NH Chambers of Commerce and the BIA have all advocated for Safe Harbor legislation to be enacted by the State Legislature or by Governor Sununu as an emergency order. UVBA will continue to monitor this situation.
     
    Meanwhile, businesses should make every effort to follow recommended guidelines for reopening and current best practices, and document your efforts.If this issue is of great concern to your business, we encourage you to contact your state representative.