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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.

Medicaid Announces Next Generation of Managed Care Organizations

For the first time since 2005, the Ohio Department of Medicaid (“ODM”) made significant changes to the structure of the Medicaid program by finalizing the Medicaid Managed Care Procurement process. The Procurement process began in 2019 at the behest of Governor Mike DeWine who had a goal to make Medicaid managed care more focused on the health and well-being of individuals.

BMD Appellate Win Clarifies Waiver of Contractual Right to Arbitrate

Brennan, Manna & Diamond, LLC attorneys David M. Scott, Lucas K. Palmer, and Krista D. Warren prevailed before the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit regarding if/when a party waives a contractual right to arbitrate. Borror Property Management, LLC v. Oro Karric North, LLC, No. 20-3146 (the “Decision”).

Relief for Ohio Under the Federal American Rescue Plan Act

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package — a significant portion of which will be directed to the State of Ohio to support economic recovery, as outlined below.

Cleveland Manufacturer Violated OFAC Sanctions By Allowing Shipments To Iran - Know Your Customer and Know Their Customer

UniControl, Inc., a Cleveland, Ohio manufacturer of process controls, airflow pressure switches, boiler controls and other instruments, agreed to pay the Office of Foreign Assets Control “OFAC,” the financial enforcement agency of the U.S. Treasury Department, $216,464 to settle its liabilities for violations of the Iran Sanctions Program. OFAC stated that “this enforcement action highlights the importance of identifying and assessing multiple warning signs that indicate a foreign trade partner may be re-exporting goods to a sanctioned jurisdiction.”

Ohio Breach of Contract Statute of Limitations Shortened to 6 Years

On March 16, 2021, Governor DeWine signed into law S.B. 13 which shortens Ohio’s statute of limitations for filing lawsuits based on breach of contract. A statute of limitation is the time period within which a party must file a lawsuit before its claim expires as a matter of law.