The Paycheck Protection Program application form has been updated.
The form and all the latest information are available at https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses. The updated form will need to be utilized for all applications.
Also, depending on the bank you are applying through, different documentation may be required as each bank will have slightly different requirements to apply on behalf of a customer/prospective lender.
The Treasury Department released new documents on the program for small and medium-sized businesses, which allows for portions of business loans used on wages, rent, and other costs to be converted into grants.
Visit the website above to download the latest versions of the following documents:
· Overview of the Small Business Paycheck Protection Program
· FAQ for Lenders
· FAQ for Borrowers
· Paycheck Protection Program Application Form
NAHB is hosting a series of webinars on Thursday, April 2, and Friday, April 3, focused on answering your questions. Additionally, outside counsel from Baker Hostetler will be lending support to help answer your questions. We encourage you to submit your questions when you register so that they may be addressed during the session.
Read more about the webinars and register below.
NAHB staff experts will be reviewing the programs established by the CARES Act to help small businesses; the Small Business Administration programs available for home builders; how to apply for and navigate these new lending programs, including the eligible business purposes for these loans. Each small business webinar listed below will have the same content, so please select the one that best fits your schedule.
The CARES Act created new federal tax relief for businesses of all sizes. NAHB staff experts will explore how these tax provisions interact with other CARES Act provisions; how they can help retain employees; and can help to keep money in your business’ pocket during this time of uncertainty. Each tax relief webinar listed below will have the same content, so please select the one that best fits your schedule.
There is limited capacity for these sessions, so be sure to register early. If the session you want to attend is full, the recordings will be available after the conclusion of the series.
Small Business Administration Loans - April 2; 4:30-6 p.m. ET - REGISTER HERE
Tax Relief Provisions in CARES Act - April 3; 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET - REGISTER HERE
Small Business Administration Loans - April 3; 1-2:30 p.m. ET - REGISTER HERE
Tax Relief Provisions in CARES Act - April 3; 3-4:30 p.m. ET - REGISTER HERE
Today, contractors across Pennsylvania began receiving letters from the Governor that dramatically changes the guidance on what builders can and cannot do. The letters inform the recipients that their work going forward should be confined to the same narrow categories currently outlined in DCED’s Life-Sustaining Business FAQ, # 20 - https://www.scribd.com/document/452553495/UPDATED-4-00pm-April-1-2020-Life-Sustaining-Business-FAQs. We anticipate that most if not all those who received waiver approvals will receive similar letters in the next few days. Among other things, the letter states that:
If you previously received a notification from email@example.com informing you that your request for an exemption was denied, granted or that no exemption was required, please note that this notification replaces that previous guidance.
The letters are signed by both the Governor and the Secretary of Health. Subsequent correspondence between PBA and the Governor’s Legislative Affairs staff have confirmed the interpretation stated above. The Governor’s Office wishes to limit all residential construction to site stabilization, temporarily prevent weather damage and emergency repairs.
The full text of the standard letter is attached. Given the new treatment of construction waivers and the Governor’s new order upgrading his stay in place order to every county, it is unlikely to matter so much that the FAQ have also added a deadline for any waiver requests. The new deadline is 5:00 p.m. on April 3rd (#2).
Since the shutdown began, we have advised members to seek out waivers. With the latest changes, we can no longer encourage you to participate in a process that does not appear calculated to provide your business with any relief. Of course, you should always make your decisions based on the individual circumstances of your own business.
Obviously, the rules pertaining to this area have changed. They may change again. If so, we will do our best to inform you of those changes.
Pennsylvania Builders Association
DOWNLOAD STANDARD LETTER HERE
The Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is dedicated to helping business across the Commonwealth. The following are the four most common questions the PA Chamber is receiving from Pennsylvania employers and the best resources we're using to find answers.
What are the loans and financial resources being made available to small businesses?
· CLICK HERE for information and to apply for a federal Economic Injury Disaster Loan of up to $2 million, including a grant of up to $10,000 available within three days of a successful application.
· CLICK HERE for guidance on key business programs in the recently-passed federal financial recovery bill.
· CLICK HERE for an explanation of the Paycheck Protection Program to provide loans for small businesses.
· CLICK HERE for information on Pennsylvania's COVID-19 Working Capital Access Program to provide working capital financing to impacted small businesses.
Does Governor Wolf's business shutdown order affect my business?
· CLICK HERE for the most current list of exempt industries and HERE for a FAQ document developed by the Wolf administration.
· CLICK HERE to apply for a waiver if your business is subject to the shutdown.
What are the new paid leave mandates and unemployment compensation changes?
· CLICK HERE for brief summary from the U.S. Department of Labor.
· CLICK HERE for a FAQs document from the U.S. Department of Labor.
· CLICK HERE for a PA Chamber summary of both Pennsylvania and Federal changes to the unemployment compensation system.
How can my business help?
As the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting the Commonwealth and the nation, there has been much attention paid to the fact that the health care community is critically low on the personal protective equipment (PPE) that will help guard them against contracting the virus as they continue to perform the important work of diagnosing and treating patients. The PA Chamber is making two urgent requests of businesses across Pennsylvania:
For the latest, factual information about COVID-19 and guidance on how businesses should proceed in light of the pandemic; along with answers to frequently asked questions, visit the PA Chamber's website.
On March 31, 2020, PA’s Department of Community and Economic Development updated its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) relating to Life-Sustaining Businesses. DCED did not update its list of life-sustaining businesses, only its FAQ guidance. The latest guidance can be found here – https://www.scribd.com/document/452553495/UPDATED-4-00pm-March-31-2020-Life-Sustaining-Business-FAQs.
Unfortunately, none of the revisions were beneficial for the homebuilding industry. DCED, however, did provide a small measure of clarity relating to the recent guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency. The DHS or CISA guidance listed most residential construction activities as an “essential” function. DCED’s new FAQ clearly state that Pennsylvania will NOT be following the federal guidance and the federal guidance “will not be applied when analyzing requests for exemptions.”
In other news applicable to homebuilding, the Department of Environmental Protection has established its own process for seeking suspension of regulatory requirements and permits in DEP’s sphere. The entire communication from DEP’s Policy Director follows. FYI, the “Form” below must be downloaded. It is not an online form.
We will keep providing updates as they come to our attention.
Dan Durden, CEO
Please see the new addition to the COVID-19 Alert page on the DEP website.
COVID-19-Emergency Request to Temporarily Suspend Regulatory Requirements and/or Permit Conditions
In accordance with Governor Wolf’s Proclamation of Disaster Emergency of March 6, 2020 and the Governor’s powers pursuant to the Emergency Management Code, 35 Pa.C.S. §7301, the Governor has authority to suspend regulatory obligations and other legal obligations within his jurisdiction where strict compliance will prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the COVID-19 emergency.
To request a temporary suspension of regulatory requirements and/or permit conditions, fill out this form and submit to RA-EPCOVID19SuspReq@pa.gov.
*If you are requesting suspension of a Federal requirement, under only Federal authority, please contact US EPA Region III and refer to the US EPA March 26, 2020 Memorandum (COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program). To the extent the request relates to a federal program delegated to Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania will review requests submitted in this format.
Please note that suspension of any regulatory requirement will be determined on a case-by-case basis and must be related to coping with the COVID-19 emergency. DEP does not plan to offer blanket waivers of regulations at this time. If you have any questions, please direct them to the resource account listed above.
Jessica Shirley | Policy Director
Department of Environmental Protection
Rachel Carson State Office Building
400 Market Street | Harrisburg, PA 17101
On March 30, the entire Senate Republican leadership team sent the below letter imploring the Governor to review the Department of Homeland Security’s new advisory memorandum on identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during COVID-19 response. The letter requests the Governor change his guidance by placing all residential construction on the essential business list for Pennsylvania.
PBA will continue to support efforts to clarify the Governor’s orders and to allow our members to engage in safe, responsible construction.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has issued new guidance designating many aspects of the residential construction as “essential” for “critical infrastructure.” The DHS guidance addresses a wide range of industry sectors; but the part most applicable to our members declares the following workers to be “essential”:
RESIDENTIAL/SHELTER FACILITIES AND SERVICES
DOWNLOAD THE FULL DOCUMENT HERE
It has come to our attention that some individuals believe that this DHS guidance supersedes the Governors’ orders. Members in Pennsylvania should understand that the federal information is only guidance. It does not overrule any legitimate orders issued by state authorities. To be even more explicit – the DHS guidance does not change the rules currently governing the residential construction industry in Pennsylvania. The guidance simply states the federal government’s interpretation of how various industry segments should be viewed.
Despite those facts, we encourage anyone seeking a waiver from the Governor’s shutdown order to refer to this guidance. The same advice applies to those interacting with state and local government officials. The guidance does not guarantee that anyone’s request will be granted; but, presumably, the more an applicant’s waiver request fits into one or more of the definitions provided above, the better the chances of success.
If you sent your waiver request by email please read this important message.
Our sources indicate that early submissions via email are being pushed to the end of the line in favor of webform submissions. If you have not received an answer to your email waiver request, we strongly encourage you to refile using the DCED webform found here:
If you submitted a waiver through the original email process, please reach out to DCED and/or re-submit at the link above. Please see this link for a revised FAQ listing on submissions.
Once again, the Governor’s Office has modified its guidance regarding what is and is not permissible during the general shutdown. The “Life-Sustaining Business FAQs” generally provide some insight into how the state is processing waiver requests. More importantly, FAQs 14, 16 and 19 are directly applicable to our members. Please note especially FAQ 19 which provides new clarifications on the kinds of work that members should be able to perform. As this notice indicates, the updates and modifications to the DCED guidance come frequently and without warning. We encourage you to check back regularly with PBA and/or with the DCED for the latest version of the guidance.
CLICK HERE FOR THE MOST UPDATED LIST OF "LIFE-SUSTAINING BUSINESS FAQs"
Members have asked PBA to provide guidance on how to file a successful application for a waiver from Governor Wolf’s list of nonlife-sustaining businesses. The language provided was offered to PBA by a builder whose application was successful. We are offering this language only as a resource. We still do not know how and why the DCED chooses to approve some applications and reject others. So, we cannot guarantee that this language will work for you. We are making it available only with the assurance that it has worked for others.
How does it meet life-sustaining definition? (justification)
A home provides Pennsylvania residents a safe place to shelter in place from COVID-19. Many of our customers have new homes that are days and weeks from final completion or a complete home that they are waiting on final settlement (30-45 days) to move in. Purchasing a new home is often one of the largest financial commitments a person makes in their life. It’s a dream that they commit their personal financial resources for up to 30 years to achieve.
Many customers have reached out to us in the last few days asking how they will be impacted, knowing they are weeks from moving in to their new home. We’d ask you to consider allowing <Your Company> to continue building safe places in a safe manor for Pennsylvania residences to shelter from COVID-19.
Does the business have a plan to meet CDC recommended guidelines to maintain employee safety during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Yes. <Your Company> immediately made decisions affecting all employees to protect their health from COVID-19. Our business is made up of three core areas: Sales, Office and Construction. Each area has implemented a different policy to best protect them in their role.
Sales - All model home sales offices closed officially as of Friday, 3/20/2020 to comply with the Governors Order. They will continue to work remotely from their home offices to conduct work with customers. They will use telephone and software tools to communicate remotely. If a showing of a new home is scheduled with a customer, the sales person will unlock the home and remain outside in their car as the customer views the home. The customer is asked to wear gloves and not to touch surfaces with in the home. No more than one showing is allowed at a time to provide social distancing. Follow-up communication will occur remotely via electronic communication. All documentation including contracts will be signed electronically.
Corporate – Our physical office in <Your Location> is closed in compliance with the Governors Order. Those who have access and the ability to work from home started working from home as of Tuesday, 3/17/2020 to protect our employee’s safety. The few remaining employees were spread out throughout the building to best implement social distancing. The office is being cleaned twice during the day with a Clorox solution to wipe down commonly touched surfaces such as door knobs, light switches, keyboards, countertops, table surfaces and filing cabinet handles, etc. in both individual offices as well as shared spaces. Hand washing was highly recommended and hand sanitizer was placed in common areas. Any employee thought to be sick was asked not to come in to the office and employees returning from international travel are not permitted to return work.
Construction – New home construction typically involves a small crew of less than four construction workers and many one or two person crews conduct most of the work. They are commonly related individuals such as brothers, cousins or a father and son team. <Your Company> immediately implemented a safety policy in that only one trade partner will be allowed in a home at a time. This provided social distancing and limited workers being exposed to each other. The house will be locked to prevent entry from others and signage is placed on the front door to restrict access. Tools will not be shared between employees as they are required to provide their own individual tools. They wear the proper PPE for the task as necessary, such as gloves to prevent germs from spreading by touching surfaces. Any employee suspected to be sick will be asked to stay home.
How many employees would be in the company’s office or physical location in order to do the critical work?
No more than 2 at any given time. Apart from employees performing life-sustaining activities at the corporate office (and thus do not require exemption), one employee is necessary to oversee construction activities (by subcontractors) at each residential construction site, and from time to time a second employee is necessary to perform certain construction and clean up tasks that can be performed individually. Construction activity by subcontractors will be performed safely as described above. Also as explained above, all sales activities can be performed remotely and without any physical interaction with home buyers.
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