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. The LBMC team is ensuring we are at the forefront of surveillance and early identification. We are 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. This is a fluid situation, so check back often for additional updates and answers to frequently asked questions.
Gov. Lee Extends State of Emergency to Aug. 29, 2020
On June 29, 2020, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed Executive Order No. 50 to extend the State of Emergency related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to August 29, 2020. On July 1, 2020, Governor Lee signed Executive order No. 53 granting limited COVID-related liability protection to healthcare providers. You can view both and other orders by clicking here.
Video Overview of UNIVERSAL GUIDELINES for Reopening TN.
Plus, everything you need to know regarding guidelines for safe reopening by industry segment can be found here via TNPledge.com: https://www.tn.gov/governor/covid-19/economic-recovery.html
Featured Blog Posts
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on PPP Loan Forgiveness from SBA
On August 4, the Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, released guidance to address borrower and lender questions concerning the forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, as provided for under section 1106 of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as amended by the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (Flexibility Act).
Borrowers and lenders may rely on the guidance provided as SBA’s interpretation, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, of the CARES Act, the Flexibility Act, and the Paycheck Protection Program Interim Final Rules (“PPP Interim Final Rules”).
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)
- What’s the difference between EDIL and PPP? (PDF)
RESTART TN Loan Program | Pathway Lending
COVID-19 may have interrupted your business overnight, but it will take longer to get back up and running. Pathway Lending is offering a new Restart TN Loan Program offering loans up to $25,000 and competitive rates in key markets and across the state.
Learn more about Pathway Lendings Restart Loan Products for Veterans, Rural Tennessee, the Memphis Medical District, and Memphis & Shelby County, as well as their statewide Tennessee offering (details coming soon). Learn more about these loans on Pathway Lending’s RESTART TN web page.
Trump Signs $484 Billion Coronavirus Relief Bill into Law
On April 24, President Trump signed into law a $484 billion measure or “Phase 3.5” of the emergency interim coronavirus relief package after Congress passed legislation this week replenishing the fund for small businesses and adding billions of dollars in aid to hospitals across the country amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The measure contains almost $320 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program, $75 billion for hospitals, $25 billion for coronavirus testing and $60 billion for the Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
The Small Business Administration will resume accepting PPP loan applications on Monday, April 27 at 10:30 a.m. EDT from approved lenders on behalf of any eligible borrower.
Congress approves new round of PPP loans. Here’s what Nashville experts want you to know (Nashville Business Journal)
Managing PPP Loan Forgiveness
The SBA has indicated additional guidance is forthcoming on loan forgiveness from Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans. While the CARES Act statute is clear on its availability, the process by which it is determined and how to maximize the forgiveness available is a developing issue that PPP loan recipients should be watching closely. Read more.
PPP Loan Update
PPP Senate Extension Vote June 30
Senate lawmakers have voted to extend the deadline to file for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Originally scheduled to expire Tuesday, June 30, 2020, the bill would extend the application period five weeks to August 8, 2020. The Small Business Administration, which oversees the PPP with the Treasury Department, is not currently accepting applications but will resume provided the House of Representatives passes the bill and President Trump signs it into law.
According to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, there remains approximately $135 billion in PPP funds available for lending. Following the passing of the Senate bill, Senators on both sides of the aisle have indicated that a second round of PPP loans for small businesses may be in store to soften the ongoing economic damage of COVID-19.
– Barrett Thomas, J.D. LL.M
Small Business Administration Disaster Relief Loans
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
New rules and regulations for the PPP loan are being released almost daily. Be ready to evaluate how new rules and regulations may affect you.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
- For small businesses, churches, non-profits, sole proprietors and independent contractors with up to 500 employees (with limited exceptions)
- Loan amount is the lesser of (a) $10 million or (b) 2.5 x average monthly payroll + an EIDL
- Up to 2 years maturity at 1% interest rate
- No standard credit underwriting, collateral and personal guarantee
- Forgivable loans if you maintain payroll and wages; reduction in any forgiveness in relation to any reductions in payroll or wages
- Meant to cover the next 8 weeks of allowable costs, but must maintain payroll levels and wages through June 30, 2020
Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. You can apply through any existing SBA lender or through any federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, and Farm Credit System institution that is participating.
- Paycheck Protection Program Borrower Application Form (PDF)
- Request for Transcript of Tax Return (PDF)
- Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist – U.S. Chamber of Commerce
If you have received your PPP money, contact us for a plan on ensuring you are able to apply for forgiveness.
If you have not applied for a PPP loan, you need to do what you can to be ready if the program reopens. Get more details here.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
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.
- For eligible small businesses, churches and non-profits who have less than 500 employees or less than $35 million in revenue
- Up to $2 million in loan amount and are considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Can include an immediate one-time $10,000 emergency grant at time of application and it does not need to be repaid.
- Up to 30 years maturity
- Rates are 2.75% for non-profits and 3.75% for small businesses
- Does require credit underwriting, collateral and personal guarantee
- Non-forgivable loan
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.
Accounting Treatment of CARES Act Funds by Healthcare Companies
While there are various ways to qualify for funding under this Act, there are three main sources of relief a healthcare facility can qualify for under CARES:
1) Paycheck Protection Program (Sections 1102 and 1106)
2) Public health and social services emergency fund (Division B Title VIII)
3) Medicare Advanced Payments (Section 3719)
While there are varying opinions on the accounting for governmental funds received by healthcare entities, the most prominent methodologies are discussed in the following PDF.
IRS Economic Impact Payments are being sent automatically
The IRS is sending Economic Impact Payments to eligible individuals. Many taxpayers may be wondering how to get their payment as soon as possible. Most of them don’t have to do anything.
Most payments will be sent automatically.
Taxpayers who have filed their 2019 tax return and requested direct deposit of their refund, the IRS will use this information to calculate and send their payment. Those who didn’t provide direct deposit information or owed tax, can use the Get My Payment application to provide account information or a payment will be mailed. For those who haven’t filed their 2019 return, the IRS will use their 2018 tax return to figure and send the payment.
Filing a tax return now can help those required to file.
Any eligible taxpayer with a filing requirement who hasn’t filed their 2018 or 2019 return should file their 2019 tax return as soon as possible to receive their Economic Impact Payment. Taxpayers can use the Interactive Tax Assistant tool – Do I Need to File a Tax Return? – to determine if they’re required to file a federal tax return or should file to receive a refund.
Direct deposit is the fastest way to get an Economic Impact Payment.
The IRS can speed up payments to people by direct deposit if the agency has the taxpayer’s banking information. If the IRS doesn’t have a taxpayer’s direct deposit details, don’t worry. Most individuals can use Get My Payment to provide their banking information to the IRS online, so they can receive payments immediately instead of by check in the mail.
LBMC Employment Partners, LLC
Frequently Asked Questions
- FAQ Updates – 7/22/2020 (NAPEO webinar, PPP Loan information, FFCRA)
- PPP Flexibility Act – 6/8/2020
- Summary of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act Analysis – Prepared by Groom Law Firm – 6/8/2020
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
- Summary of Information Provided in the PPP Loan Application and Instructions – Prepared by Groom Law Firm – 5/17/2019
- Unemployment – 5/8/2020
- Reopening Tennessee Responsibly – 5/1/2020
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – 5/1/2020, 4/24/2020, 4/17/2020, 4/10/2020, 4/8/2020, 4/7/2020, 4/3/2020
- Helping you manage your COVID-19 stress
- General Human Resources Concerns – 4/22/2020
- Employee Retention Credit – 4/13/2020
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) – 4/9/2020, 4/2/2020, 4/1/2020, 3/25/2020
- Unemployment Insurance (UI) – 4/8/2020
- PEO Clients’ Retirement Plans – 4/6/2020
- PEO Clients: Benefits – 4/1/2020
- Tennessee’s “Safer at Home” Order – 3/31/2020
- Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA) – 3/30/2020
- Emergency Paid Leave Act – 3/27/2020
- Day-to-Day Management of Human Resources – 3/26/2020
- Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee Medical Plan Coverage 3/25/2020
- Notice for PEO Clients on New Financing and Tax Relief for Businesses Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis
Please note that these FAQs are based on a fluid situation and may have changed since date posted. Please contact your tax advisor if you have questions.
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.
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
- Tennessee Department of Health – keep updated on number of cases in the State of Tennessee
- Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development
- Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
- Knox County COVID-19 Response Fund – help our community and neighbors in need
- Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2 – EPA
- Nashville Coronovirus News – Nashville Business Journal
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 Play a Part in the Relief After Natural Disasters – You can keep up-to-date with the latest tax relief information from the IRS.
- IRS Extends Tax Deadline to July 15, 2020 for Tennessee Tornado Victims
- Giving in the Wake of Natural Disasters
- Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters
- Leverage remote working tools. See resources below.
Leveraging a Remote Workforce
The following are some resources to help you as you plan for a remote workforce.
- Could You Confidently Launch Secure Remote Work Procedures Tomorrow?
- 8 HR Tips For Employees Working Remotely
- 7 Tips to Keep Your Remote Workers’ Data Protected
- 9 Must-Have Layers of Business Security
- 4 Ways to Effectively Manage Remote Employees
- How to Work From Home Without Losing Your Mind – Wired.com
4 Work Remote Tips
From Brad Place, LBMC’s Director of Information Services
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.