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Everything you need to know about BMD and the industry.

PPP Update: Loan Necessity Questionnaires

On October 26, 2020, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) published a notice in the Federal Register which foreshadowed the release of two new forms seeking information from for-profit and nonprofit organizations that received Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans of $2 million or more. If approved, the SBA would use information from these forms to evaluate and determine whether economic uncertainty made a PPP loan request necessary.

Originally, as part of the PPP application process, borrowers were required to certify that current economic uncertainty made its loan request necessary to support ongoing operations – a necessity certification. Then, with the release of FAQ 31, the SBA informed borrowers that a company – private or public – with substantial market value and access to capital markets will unlikely be able to make the required necessity certification in good faith. Accordingly, FAQ 31 provided that such company should be prepared to demonstrate, upon request, the basis for its certification. In response to this guidance, BMD urged its clients to begin documenting the specific circumstances that existed to substantiate the economic uncertainty or economic need at the time they applied. If you already went through this exercise, you will have a head start on answering the questions in the newly released forms.

The two forms – For-Profit Form 3509 and Nonprofit Form 3510 – purportedly have short timelines in which they must be completed and returned to lenders (10 business days from the receipt of the form/request) and the SBA (5 business days from receipt from borrowers). The forms require accurate disclosure of facts regarding business activity and liquidity, which bear on the necessity certification. Although these forms are still subject to comment until November 25th, it is important for borrowers with loans of $2 million or more to begin to think about the questions and possible answers.

Each form’s first section will inquire about the borrower’s business activities, including:

  • Sales in Q2 2020 vs. Q2 2019
  • Were the ordered shutdowns by a state or local authority after the National Emergency Declaration by President Trump (March 13, 2020)?
  • Were operations significantly altered due to state or local shutdown orders related to COVID? How? How much did these alterations cost? Were these voluntary?
  • Were operations voluntarily reduced or ceased? Why? How long?
  • Were any new capital improvements made between March 13, 2020 and the end of your covered period not due to COVID? Why? How much money?

Each form’s second section will inquire about the borrower’s liquidity, including:

  • What were your cash and cash equivalents on the last day of the calendar quarter immediately prior to the date of your PPP application?
  • Did you make any dividends or distributions (other than for tax purposes) between March 13, 2020 and the end of your covered period? How much?
  • Were any loans paid off before contractually obligated between March 13, 2020 and the end of your covered period? How much?
  • Were any employees or owners compensated in an amount that exceeds $250,000 on an annualized basis? If so, how many? What was the total compensation for those individuals during the covered period?
  • Were any other funds received from the CARES Act? If so, what program and how much?

While both For-Profit Form 3509 and Nonprofit Form 3510 follow the same format, the Nonprofit Form 3510 asks the following:

  • What type of endowments and other non-cash investments (i.e., equity, bond and real estate holdings) do you have?
  • Any restricted funds?

Regardless of the form, borrowers should heed the following advice when it comes to these forms: 1) be truthful; 2) ensure all responses are complete and accurate; and 3) start preparing answers to the above questions now, even before the comment period closes. It is also important to note that the contents of these forms may change between now and the end of the comment period; therefore, our SBA Team is ready, willing and able to help with this process.

For more information, contact your primary BMD Attorney.

Chinese Product Tariff Challenge Causes Flurry of Importer Lawsuits

A lawsuit filed late in 2020 at the U.S. Court of International Trade (“CIT”) challenging the U.S. Trade Representative’s (USTR) implementation of Section 301 “List 3” and “List 4” duties on products from China, HMTX Industries LLC et al. v. United States (Court No. 20-00177), has resulted in the filing of thousands of additional lawsuits brought by other affected importers. There are now 3,700+ companies added to the list, including Ford, Home Depot, Target, Tesla, and Walgreens, along with many other smaller importers.

America’s New COVID-19 Relief Package — Unpacked

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the highly anticipated American Rescue Plan Act (the “Act”) into law, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill aimed at addressing and resolving many of the lingering questions and concerns following the expiration of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) on December 31, 2020.

Vaccinating Against Design and Construction Risk: A COGENCE Alliance Momentum Recap

Last month, COGENCE Alliance hosted a four-day conference, attended by owners, affiliates, construction managers, trades, engineers, and architects. David Scott presented and other BMD team members hosted breakout discussions on how to “vaccinate against design and construction risk.” Groups discussed new and developing risks, how to mitigate those risks, and qualities of those who best adjusted to the new and developing risks.

Healthcare Provisions of the American Rescue Plan

On March 11, 2021, President Joe Biden signed into law H.R. 1319, the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “ARP”). In addition to the widely reported additional stimulus paychecks, the ARP includes many provisions related to the healthcare industry and marketplace that seek to improve access and affordability. The major provisions of the ARP that affect the healthcare sector are summarized below:

2020 EEOC Statistics – More Money and Fewer Charges

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released its comprehensive report on the workplace discrimination it received in Fiscal Year 2020. The Enforcement and Litigation Statistics provide detailed breakdowns of charges of employment discrimination and resolutions under a variety of statutes. Here are the highlights: