Confidently Respond in Emergency Situations

Caring for our people, in our offices and communities is our primary concern.

Your company’s response to COVID-19 or any natural disaster can impact your business’ future success. As COVID-19 cases continue to spread globally, the LBMC team is ensuring we are on the forefront of surveillance and early identification. We are actively and continuously monitoring events in our area, and across the country, to manage our response both inside and outside our walls.

This page is being updated as information becomes available in the news. This is a fluid situation, so check back often for additional updates and answers to frequently asked questions.

Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Loans

The U.S. SBA has recognized Tennessee as a declared state for Coronavirus (COVID-19) disaster assistance. If your business has been impacted, you can now apply at no cost for a disaster assistance loan.

As of 3/30/2020, only two forms need to be filled out and uploaded at https://www.sba.gov/disaster/apply-for-disaster-loan/index.html for the payroll protection program (the forgivable loan as long as you keep people employed, including contract labor).  This will cover 2.5 months of eligible comp., benefits, rents, utilities, to a maximum of $10,000,000.  Eligible comp is only the first $100,000 of annualized wages per employee/independent contractor.

Financial Support through COVID-19

Companies are looking more closely at the basics: cash management, especially revenue streams, expenses and capital expenditures during this unprecedented time.

We are having conversations with clients, many of which are centered around financial and banking needs. If you or your company have not had a conversation with your lending and banking facility, the time to do so is now, and before you break your current covenants.

Review our partial list of some of the concessions being made (PDF)

As we all are experiencing the unknown of COVID-19, LBMC Employment Partners wants to be a resource for you.

Payroll Tax Consulting: There are several proposals for payroll and payroll tax changes at the federal and state levels.  While not all of these are official yet, some are, and we can assist with the coordination and planning for how these legislative changes may impact businesses. For more information, read Employers Can Begin Using Payroll Tax Credits for Paid Leave for Coronavirus.

Human Resources Consulting: Many employers are considering layoffs, furloughs, and terminations of their employees.  We can help outline the pros and cons of each and assist organizations with making the best choices possible.  We can help them understand what unemployment benefits are available to their employees should they be forced to cut hours or furlough employees.  Learn more about the Family First Act.

Benefit Consulting: Now more than ever, employee benefits are among the most pressing needs for employers and their employees.  While the healthcare industry is on the frontline of this pandemic, the insurance industry is right behind.  We can assist in reviewing current plans, networks, etc. and make sure clients are offering the best plans and coverages for their employees.

For questions, please contact LBMC Employment Partners, LLC.

Governor Lee Extends Franchise and Excise Tax Filing Deadline

Governor Lee announced March 24th that the state’s deadline for filing corporate franchise and excise taxes will be extended. Taxpayers will have until July 15th to file returns and make any payments (including quarterly estimated payments) originally due on April 15, 2020.

The Tennessee Department of Revenue has published guidance and the Tennessee Chamber will summarize and distribute this information in the coming days.

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COVID-19 Stop the Spread of Germs

Coronavirus (COVID-19): What Your Business Should Do Now

The following are some resources to help you safeguard your business from the impact of this virus.

What you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19). Be aware of the medical facts, risks, prevention, treatment and exposure from reliable government agencies.

Be prudent when deciding to travel. The CDC is keeping the public up-to-date on the latest news including business travel information and specific information to guide businesses as they plan to respond. Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation Map

Sick team members should be at home. Please notify your leader and stay at home when you are sick. Team members who have symptoms of acute respiratory illness are recommended to stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).

Maintain personal hygiene. All team members should consider the basic prevention measures suggested by the World Health Organization and other public health organizations regarding COVID-19. Preventive measures include:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use an alcohol-based (60% alcohol) hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Practice respiratory hygiene (covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects/surfaces.

Leverage remote working tools. If your business is anticipating that more team members need to work remotely at home to avoid exposure to the virus, there are some technology and security issues you need to consider to ensure smooth transition. There are more resources on working remotely below.

Visit the CDC website for more guidance for businesses and employers.

Disaster Preparedness Budget Model – CDC Center for Preparedness and Response (Excel-based tool designed to assist healthcare executives in preparing their finances to withstand a large-scale public health emergency.)

Coronavirus in Tennessee

Before seeking medical attention, please consider that if you do not have symptoms and would not ordinarily see your doctor based on how you feel now, you do not need evaluation or testing for COVID-19. Clinicians will not test patients for COVID-19 who are not exhibiting symptoms of fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

If you have respiratory symptoms (cough, sneezing, difficulty breathing), please call any clinic before you arrive, so that you can be given a mask before entering the facility. Do not go to the emergency room and risk infecting others that are already susceptible.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center has a dedicated hotline for its patients who are concerned they could be ill with the disease COVID-19. This number is (888) 312-0847. This line is active seven days a week, 7 a.m.-7 p.m. More information about the hotline.

Natural Disasters: How to Prepare for Things Out of Your Control

When it comes to mother nature, there’s little we can do but prepare for whatever she brings our way. This is especially true when it comes to natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, or blizzards. While your number one priority may be keeping your employees and customers safe, keeping your business running during a disaster will be just as important. The following resources can help you as you plan.

For information specific to personal and family preparedness, please visit Ready.Gov.

Taxes

Technology

Leveraging a Remote Workforce

The following are some resources to help you as you plan for a remote workforce.

4 Work Remote Tips

From Brad Place, LBMC’s Director of Information Services

  1. Create a dedicated work space. A dedicated work space can have external monitors, keyboard, mouse, etc. like we have set up on desks in the office. Working from the kitchen table with just a laptop is possible with the technology, but having a dedicated work space with a setup similar to what’s in the office will maximize efficiency and happiness. 
  2. Maintain work and personal life balance. This is easier said than done even when working in the office but is especially important when working from home for long periods. Make sure others living with you understand the rules/expectations when working from home and do your best to set a ‘quitting’ time each day for work. While working from home, the lines between personal and work life are extremely blurred. The more you can do to set up parameters and then stick to it, the better this will work out. 
  3. Stay connected with others on your team. Use the various technology tools at your disposal to stay in touch with others on your team. Schedule/plan for a time to reach out to others on the team even if it just says hi and check-in. While one of the main benefits of being able to work from home is the ability to eliminate distractions and interruptions, being isolated from the rest of your team/company can have a long term negative impact. Use video conferencing as much as possible when attending calls and/or meetings. It’s important for people to see others and to be seen. This helps tremendously with the effectiveness of working together on projects. 
  4. Keep to your routines as much as possible. If you work best in the morning in the office, make sure you plan your day to be your most productive in the morning at home. Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean you stop planning for your day/week. The more you can commit to your working routines while at home, the more productive you’ll be.