May 15, 2020

Economic Recovery, PPP Updates, and Protecting Business Assets

IECRM Member Forum Recap
Wednesday, May 13, 2020

The latest priority during the COVID-19 pandemic has shifted from crisis response to reopening businesses and the economy in phases. This week’s IECRM Member Forum focused on the issues related to economic recovery, PPP loan updates, and protecting business assets. 

This week’s subject matter experts:

Herb Phelps, CIC, Network Insurance Services, LLC
Kristin White, Attorney at Law, Fisher & Phillips, LLP
Greg Atkinson, Senior VP, Marketing Manager, BOK Financial

Brian Connor, Senior VP, Business Banking Relationship Manager IV, BOK Financial

Economic Recovery

  • What are you seeing, hearing, feeling from your own industries, and from your clients and customers?
    • Things are looking optimistic.
    •  At the beginning of April, there was a lot of panic, but now more are working through the new realities. 
    • Knowing where your cash flow is going to be and keeping track of where you are is important.
  • What are businesses having to do to recover? 
    • Think about your company and your customers/clients. 
    • Figure out ways to pivot your strategies to implement changes that benefit both company and customer.  This may require eliminating pre-COVID practices and introducing new policies and best practices going forward.
    • When they have stopped doing something and started doing something else to best benefit their company. This has been a huge catalyst for bringing change and companies are having to pivot.

Payroll Protection Program Updates

  • How will SBA review borrowers’ required good-faith certification concerning the necessity of their loan request?
    • Any business that received below $2 million in funds, “will be deemed to have made the required certification concerning the necessity of the loan request in good faith”.  Please see the FAQ from the Treasury for more clarification.
    • Even for those companies above the audit threshold ($2 million) if the SBA deems that the funds should not have been granted, as long as the company pays back the funds, the SBA will not pursue administrative enforcement.
  • How will receipt of PPP funds impact the distribution of bonuses and salary increases? Can companies take these actions if they received funding, are they encouraged to provide bonuses/increases? What guidance or considerations should an employer be aware of? 
    • The best advice is to maintain normal operations as best as possible.
    • Keeping detailed records is essential to whether the PPP is forgiven or must be repaid. 
    • Due diligence is required.
    • At least 75% of the PPP a business receives needs to go toward payroll in order to be compliant with PPP/SBA guidelines. 
    • Anything out of the ordinary may be frowned upon and raise red flags. 
  • There are not very many new applications. 
  • Loans are still available through the SBA.
  • Loan Forgiveness
    • The banks are looking for Federal guidance to come up with a forgiveness calculator and how the forgiveness will be determined so that people can figure out how much of their loan will be forgiven.
    • There is talk about extending the 8 week period. 
    • There is talk about changing the mix of what qualifies for forgiveness. 
    • Fisher Phillips has provided 10-Steps to PPP Loan Forgiveness

Protecting Business Assets

  • Changes that contractors may want to make to address business slowdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Some clients have adjusted their payrolls, deleted equipment, and deleted vehicles temporarily. 
  •  For Workers Compensation, the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) is working with the states to apply a new Class Code = 0012 / Covid-19 non-working payroll.  Class 0012 is to be used at audit time for payroll paid to employees while they are not working because of the Pandemic. 
  • Concentrate on Best Practices for computer use
    • Hackers from foreign countries see the current situation (where employees are working from home) as an opportunity to take advantage of the lack of firewalls and anti-virus software on personal computers to get into the employer’s computers. 
    •  There is an increase in phishing emails over the last 3 weeks. 
  • If you do not have it, look into Cyber Extortion, Cyber Theft, and Cyber Liability coverage.

Links Mentioned on this Week’s Forum

NEXT WEEK’S FORUM: ….Top of Mind Week 10 of COVID-19! On May 20 @ 7:30 a.m.

FOLLOWING WEEK:  Monthly Safety Forum – OSHA Documentation with a Representative from OSHA on May 27.

On June 3rd, we will host a Special Member Forum on Employee & Industry Recognition as we welcome a panel to discuss the Summit Awards (awards deadline is June 30, 2020). 

RSVP for upcoming Member Forums