The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) is having significant implications for the public as well as businesses here in Wayne County. We have heard concerns from a number of our members about the coronavirus pandemic and its potential impact on their personal and professional lives. As the situation continues to evolve, it is important for all employers to monitor the outbreak and implement strategies to protect their workforce.
We are monitoring the situation and want to provide useful tools and resources for our members as they become available. Below is a compiled list from local, state, national, and global resources that we hope will be helpful for your business in the weeks ahead.
** Before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.**
The Smart Restart Guide has been created to help you navigate how to best move forward. This comprehensive guidance includes many of the recommendations set forth by the CDC and other federal, state and local agencies. This resource will act as a living document, which we will update as this fluid situation changes.
Relevant Legislation or Executive Orders | Information
The federal government and the State of North Carolina are taking action to meet the COVID-19 situation.
Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
President Trump has unveiled Guidelines for Opening Up America Again, a three-phased approach based on the advice of public health experts. These steps will help state and local officials when reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives. Please click here for more information: Guidelines for Opening Up America Again
Here’s a complete roster of Governor Cooper’s Executive Orders (EO) related to COVID-19.
“Essential Business” Designation | Information Submit your request to the N.C. Department of Revenue using their webform.
COVID-19 Recovery Act (SB 704, HB 1043): The two bills comprising this act, Senate Bill 704 and House Bill 1043, were introduced in their respective chambers last week. By Saturday, May 2, they had gained unanimous support in the legislature. On May 4, Governor Cooper signed the bills into law, enacting the first round of legislative relief measures for North Carolina. Overall, the two bills allocate $1.57 billion in relief funding for the state. Key measures include:
Tax relief provisions secured in the package waive the accrual of interest on underpaid individual, corporate, and franchise tax due on or before July 15, 2020. They also give taxpayers additional time to meet deadlines for payment if those deadlines occurred after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020.
Short-term unemployment insurance law changes secured in the package give the state more flexibility to administer unemployment compensation as outlined by federal directives. They also give unemployment claimants greater flexibility in satisfying weekly job contacts by attending reemployment activities offered by local career centers and allowing employers to initiate unemployment claims for employees so long as the unemployment results from a federally declared disaster.
Educational support measures secured in the package strengthen support for schools and students facing challenges during COVID-19. These measures include funding for computer purchases, school nutrition programs, and online summer school programs for colleges in the UNC system. They also include waivers and modifications related to public school budgeting, testing, accountability, grade placement/promotion, graduation requirements, school calendars, and school improvement plans. Additionally, the package directs public school systems to develop Remote Instruction Plans for the 2020-2021 school year and submit those plans to the State Board of Education in a timely manner.
Short-term transportation funding measures secured in the package allocate $300 million in federal CARES Act funding for use by NCDOT to account for falling gas tax revenues from COVID-19. However, those funds currently appear to be unusable by the state barring additional action at the federal level.
Additional funding measures secured in the bill allocate $125 million to expand a low-cost loan program for small businesses run by the Golden Leaf Foundation; $150 million in immediate funding for local governments; $85 million for universities engaged in COVID-19 research; $95 million for rural and teaching hospitals; $50 million for personal protective equipment; and $25 million for expanded COVID-19 testing and contact tracing
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires certain employers to provide their employees with expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. These provisions will apply from the effective date through December 31, 2020. More details are available here, including FAQs.
SBA & Treasury have recently released additional guidance on the Paycheck Protection Program:
Frequently Asked Questions For Loan Forgiveness (Released 8/4/20)
Summary of PPP lending as of 7/31/20 (Released 8/3/20)
Quick Links for Business and Loan Resources:
Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Advance Program: SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Advance Program has reopened its portal to all eligible small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 pandemic. The reopened portal can be found here.
The Paycheck Protection Program is providing small businesses with the resources they need to maintain their payroll, hire back employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead.
SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Report Round 2 – Updated 7/6
Summary of Paycheck Protection Program Round 2 Data – Updated 7/28
SBA Paycheck Protection Program Loan Level Data – Updated 7/6
Lender Match – Updated 6/19
New Borrower Application – Updated 6/12
Borrower Application Form – Updated 6/24
How to Calculate Maximum Loan Amounts – Updated 6/26
Loan Forgiveness Application Form EZ Instructions – Updated 6/16
Loan Forgiveness Application Form EZ – Updated 6/16
Loan Forgiveness Application Instructions – Updated 6/16
Lender Application Form – Updated 6/24
Frequently Asked Questions – Updated 5/3
Interim Final Rule on Disbursements – Updated 4/28
Interim Final Rule on Revisions to First Interim Final Rule – Updated 6/11
Information for Businesses:
SBA: COVID-19 Resources
Applicants who have already submitted their applications will continue to be processed on a first-come, first-served basis.
Visit covid19relief.sba.gov or call the SBA at 1‐800‐659‐2955 for more information. The SBA is also publishing a helpful overview of all their COVID-19 relief programs.
As a small business, an advance of up to $10,000 from an Economic Injury Disaster Loan can be paid to you, and this advance does not need to be repaid.
DETAILS: The loan advance can provide economic relief to businesses that are currently seeing a temporary loss of revenue. Funds can be made available within three days of a successful application.
If you’re waiting for a decision on a pending SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and have an urgent need for financial support, an SBA Express Bridge Loan up to $25,000 might be available.
DETAILS: If you currently have an existing business relationship with an SBA Express Lender, this pilot program allows small businesses to access funds while applying for an EIDL. This loan will be repaid in full or in part by the proceeds from the SBA.
North Carolina small businesses and family farms can receive a rapid recovery loan from state sources, to bridge the gap between the start of the crisis and the time when other sources of relief are available.
DETAILS: The North Carolina COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Lending program helps small businesses bridge the gap between when a crisis strikes and when federal loans, insurance payouts, and other relief funds are approved, or businesses have time to recover. NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery loans are not designed to be a singular source of assistance for small businesses. Repayment of the loan is expected, either from more permanent funding sources that later come online or from the future cash flow from your business.
Visit ncrapidrecovery.org for more information. Applications are being processed in the order they were received. Businesses are welcome to continue with an application, and it will be reviewed as additional funding becomes available.
A Debt Relief Program from the SBA might be able to provide your business a reprieve, as you overcome challenges created by the COVID-19 situation.
DETAILS: The 7(a) Loan is the SBA’s largest financing program. Under this debt relief program, the SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months. The SBA will also pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020. SBA-approved lenders to work with in this SBA Resource Guide for North Carolina.
Business Tax Issues
As a business, your federal income tax filing due date has been automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. Taxpayers can also defer federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, without penalties and interest.
DETAILS: All federal taxpayers, including individuals, trusts and estates, corporations and other non-corporate tax filers as well as those who pay self-employment tax can take advantage of this date change. The payment deferment applies regardless of the tax amount owed. These changes were announced by the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on March 21, 2020. Read more at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) website.
As a business, your state income tax filing due date has also been automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, mirroring the federal change.
DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) announced this change on March 21, 2020. The new deadline applies to individual, corporate, and franchise taxes adnd mirror the announced deadline change from the Internal Revenue Service. In addition to the filing extension, the NCDOR will not charge penalties for those filing and paying their taxes after April 15, as long as they file and pay their tax before the updated July 15 deadline. However, the Department of Revenue cannot offer relief from interest charged to filings after April 15, which requires a change in state law. Unless state law is changed, do be aware that tax payments received after April 15 will be charged accruing interest over the period from April 15 until the date of payment. These changes do not apply to trust taxes, such as sales and use or withholding taxes. Read more details in the press release from the N.C. Department of Revenue.
Expanded state tax relief due to the COVID-19 situation now includes no penalties for late filing or payments of many tax types, including sales and use and withholding taxes, through July 15.
DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDOR) announced this change on March 31, 2020. Please note that NCDOR cannot waive interest payments for taxes paid after April 15, due to current state law. This interest rate is currently five percent per year, the minimum rate allowed by statute. Additionally, sales and use and withholding taxes are trust taxes and the money collected must be remitted to the state and cannot be used for other purposes.
Read more details in this document published by the N.C. Department of Revenue. Department of Revenue agents are available to answer your questions via the telephone numbers listed on this page on their website.
Counseling and Advice
Receive one-on-one counseling and professional advice and programming from the experts at the Small Business & Technology Development Center (SBTDC).
DETAILS: SBTDC has supported small businesses in North Carolina for over 35 years. In the current environment, SBTDC is being flexible and innovative in its delivery of services. With physical access to most of its host campuses limited, SBTDC’s professional counselors are meeting with clients by virtual technology or phone. Existing SBTDC clients will continue to have full access to their counselor remotely. New clients seeking assistance should click here for information on connecting with a counselor.
Receive advice and access webinars, on-demand content, and articles from the N.C. Community Colleges’ Small Business Center Network (SBCN).
DETAILS: SBCN can assist you with SBA disaster loan applications and other sources of funding. Center personnel can also review your financial obligations and your status with creditors, offer strategies for scaling operations and generating revenue, and provide referrals to additional sources of assistance. In addition, a host of COVID-19 resources are available online to help your business cope with the current situation. Access helpful information online here.
If your business is at risk of laying off significant numbers of workers, consider participating in a consultation and assistance program designed to help minimize job losses.
DETAILS: “Business Edge” is a program that works with ‘at risk’ firms. Offered by the Workforce Solutions division within the N.C. Department of Commerce, in partnership with local workforce boards and other agencies, the program connects you with experts who can help assess your current needs and available options, including helping you access potential services that address your needs. To get started, send an email to DWS_BusinessServices@nccommerce.comor read more about the service elsewhere on our site.
Public health guidance for businesses and restaurants is available.
DETAILS: The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services publishes guidance for dealing with the current COVID-19 situation, including specialized advice for businesses and restaurant operators. Visit portal for more information.
Unemployment Insurance Information:
Self-employed workers and independent contractors can apply for expanded federal unemployment benefits beginning April 24, 2020.
Federal Unemployment Assistance: Updates on the expanded benefits through the CARES Act
Information for Individuals: Information for people filing for unemployment
Information for Employers: Unemployment information for employers related to COVID-19
Online Account Help for Employers: Information about creating and accessing your online account
Agency Resources and Information:
Helping You Work and Learn Remotely – Businesses, universities and schools can keep their teams and classrooms connected through conference calls and video conferencing with Cisco Webex Meetings with AT&T for 90-days, and seamlessly forward calls to both mobile and landline phones.
Marketing Signage for your Business
Free Printable Templates For Coronavirus Signage
Wayne County Business Support Seminars
Each Thursday from 12:00 – 1:00 pm
April 23, 2020: Peter Gwaltney, President & CEO of NC Bankers Association and Patrick Rodriguez, US Small Business Administration, Raleigh Office
link to April 23rd webinar click here
April 30th, 2020: City of Goldsboro and County of Wayne Leadership
Agency Resources and Information:
Wayne County Chamber of Commerce Members whose businesses are offering drive-thru, takeout and delivery services.
If you are a Member of the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce and have updates to your listing, please contact the Chamber (919) 734-2241.