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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

Paycheck Protection - Designed to Offer Small Business Owners Relief Over the Next Few Weeks

The CARES Act is a massive piece of legislation. The emergency loan or Paycheck Protection provisions are one component designed to assist small businesses and keep them afloat during the current crisis. The emergency loans will be made under the United States Small Business Administration (SBA) and are simply an expansion of its already existing 7(a) loan program. The loan process will be administered by the SBA through its local lending partners or approved SBA lenders. Over the next several days it is expected that the actual loan process will be further detailed by the SBA so that loans can be quickly processed.

The Paycheck Protection Provisions within the CARES Act are designed to get cash into the hands of business owners to help them survive the next several weeks. It is the intent of the legislation that the cash be used retain employees. A business receiving the funds that follows the rules laid out in the legislation can have the entire loan forgiven. 

Here are some of the basic components of the Paycheck Protection program:

  • Eligibility
    • Available for any business with 500 employees or less (includes certain nonprofit organizations, sole proprietorships, self-employed individuals or independent contractors)
    • The business must have been in operation on March 1, 2020
    • Had employees for whom the business paid salaries and payroll taxes
  • Amount of loan
    • Maximum loan amount available is the lesser of:
      • $10,000,000, or
      • 2 ½ times the average total monthly payments by the applicant for payroll, mortgage payments, rent payments, and payments on any other debt obligations incurred during the 1-year period before the date on which the loan is made. In the case of an applicant that is seasonal employer, the average total monthly payments for payroll shall be for the period beginning March 1, 2019 and ending June 30, 2019.
    • Permitted uses of loan funds
      • Payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave
      • Employee salaries
      • Mortgage payments or rental payments
      • Utility payments
      • Other debt obligations incurred before March 1, 2020.
    • Payments deferred
      • Deferment of repayment of the loan for up to a year for loans made through June 30, 2020.
    • Loan forgiveness
      • An eligible recipient may have its loan forgiven up to an amount equal to:
        • The total payroll costs incurred from March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020, and
        • The amount of payments made from March 1, 2020 through June 30, 2020 on debt obligations (mortgage, rent, utilities, etc.) that were incurred prior to March 1, 2020.
      • However, amount forgiven will be reduced:
        • If there was any reduction of the average number of current full-time workers over the period from February 15, 2019 through June 30, 2019.
        • If there was a reduction in excess of 25% of salary and wages in the most recent full quarter versus the prior year’s same period.
      • These reductions in the amount of the loan forgiven can be eliminated if the business rehires employees. Similarly, there will be no reduction if the business makes up any decrease in wages to employees in excess of the 25% threshold before June 30, 2020. These provisions are all designed to encourage businesses to retain employees, pay them the equivalent of their prior salary, and not penalize employers for reducing payroll prior to the CARES Act.
      • To fully take advantage of the loan forgiveness proper documentation will be critical concerning payroll expense, mortgage, rent, utility, and other eligible debt payments made.
      • To the extent any of the loan amount is not forgiven, any remaining balance will have a maximum maturity of 10 years and a maximum interest rate of 4%.

For more information or questions, please contact BMD Business & Corporate Law Member Blake Gerney at brgerney@bmdllc.com or 330.436.8905.

Changes to Physician Assistant Statutes in Florida

In the last year, there have been many changes to the scope of practice and collaboration/supervision requirements for advanced practice providers such as APRNs and physician assistants in the state of Florida. In a previous Client Alert we discussed House Bill 607, which expanded the autonomous practice of APRNs providing primary care services in Florida.

Ohio Senate Bill 49 – Ohio Expands Lien Rights for Design Professionals

Effective September 30, 2021, Ohio granted limited lien rights to design professionals, including architects, landscape architects, engineers, and surveyors. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 49 into law on July 1, 2021. This new law established a statutory right to lien commercial real estate by Ohio design professionals who, until now, could not file a lien for non-payment of professional services. Senator Vernon Sykes, a primary sponsor of Senate Bill 49, stated that the “legislation ensures that architects, engineers and other designers will get paid for their work, regardless of the outcome of their projects . . . It will support hardworking Ohioans by protecting the value of their labor . . ..”

Primary Care Practice Officially Defined in Florida for APRNs Practicing Autonomously

As many providers in Florida are aware, House Bill 607 (the “Bill”), which was passed in February of last year, gives certain APRNs in Florida the ability to practice autonomously. The only catch is that they must work in primary practice. When the Bill was initially passed, there was question as to what was exactly considered primary care, absent a definition from the Florida Board of Nursing. However, as of February 25, 2021, “primary care practice” has officially been defined.

Part II of the No Surprises Act

The Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) published Part II of the No Surprises Act on September 30, 2021, which will take effect on January 1, 2022. The new guidance, in large part, focuses on the independent dispute resolution process that was briefly mentioned in Part I of the Act. In addition, there is now guidance on good faith estimate requirements, the patient-provider dispute resolution processes, and added external review provisions.

Safer Federal Workforce Task Force - Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors

The Safer Federal Workforce Task Force has issued its Guidance for Federal Contractors and Subcontractors (Guidance). Note that the Guidance applies only to “covered contracts,” which are contracts that include the clause (Clause) set forth in Sec. 2(a) of Executive Order 14042 (Ensuring Adequate COVID Safety Protocols for Federal Contractors). The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council (FARC) is to conduct rulemaking and take related action to ensure that the Clause is incorporated into federal contracts. Until that happens, federal contractors likely will not see the Clause in its contracts. Following is a broad summary of the Guidance.