For the prior two weeks, we’ve sent an update for clients with relevant information to your business given the impact of COVID-19 and the economic environment. Here are the items you should be aware of as we end this week and move forward into next.
Today, the House passed the additional 2.2T stimulus bill which will provide an additional 350B fund of potentially forgivable loans to small/medium businesses. We expect this Bill to be reconciled with the Senate version, and signed by the President today. We expect concrete guidance from the Government either over the weekend, or very early next week. I would be surprised if the loan applications are available prior to April 1, but we will update you as we know more. Currently, this is the package that will provide loans at 4% interest which, once taken, if your business maintains or increases the workforce in place as of the date of loan, can be forgiven at some future point. The guidance will be important and we’ll send the details when we have them (early next week??). Once available, most clients should be making application for this fund. If you have questions specific to your business, reach out. If you need assistance with this, or other loan fund applications; reach out.
The April 1 (formerly April 2) deadline is still looming. So, you have some decisions to make prior to end of business, March 31. We have attached the DOL Poster and FAQ along with this memorandum. Essentially, your workforce as of April 1 is entitled to COVID Leave and certain protections. You should consult your HR department or your attorney for specific liability this may create for you. If you need HR assistance, or need help finding an attorney, reach out to us. The new loan fund, in the form passed by the Senate, will set up another deadline for Reduction in Force decisions. Under the Senate version, your number of workers at the time the loan is funded becomes the benchmark for loan forgiveness. This is some of the guidance we’re looking for once the House version is reconciled and signed by the President. Either way, it appears that prior to taking (or applying for??) this loan you may need to make some decisions about future employment force numbers. So, I’d begin considering that now. I expect this loan will be available for application by no later than end of next week or the beginning of the following (so early April).
Cash Flow Analysis
We’ve gone over the need for your business to conduct a pro forma projection of cash flows (with various scenarios). You should have done this by now. Moreover, this is critically necessary to show economic impact and will be a requirement of most of the loans/grants that are available to businesses. If you need direct assistance with this, reach out to us.
An endpoint is not clear in our opinion. While the President is touting Easter (mid – April) many Governors, including Hogan here in Maryland, have signaled a longer period of shut down. So, at this time we suggest planning for a shut down until at least the end of April 2020. It’s important to remember that once the shutdown period ends many of you will not see “business as usual”. You should reference the threat assessment in our original memo which was based upon industry. Many of you will continue to see a slowdown resulting from the financial crisis arising from unemployment, and other negative consequences of this situation.
As promised previously, we here at GST have now launched Zoom meetings and Webinars that you can leverage for your decision making as a leader and for training management and sales members of your team. The quarterly planning sessions are all now scheduled as Zoom conferences and will be condensed in time. We will be conducting your 1-2-1 meeting via phone or zoom (your preference). We’ve made it a priority to increase the level of frequency with which we reach each client; but even so… if you need something, say something. Call us for assistance with any need. We are here together with you, moving business forward to a brighter future.