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COVID-19 Update March 19, 2021

Happy Friday!

We attended two informational webinars we attended this week. First, NAPEO’s webinar reviewed items that affect employment in the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act, (ARPA). It would be good to also read President Biden’s Executive Order on Ensuring the Future Is Made in All of America by All of America’s Workers. Next, a local CPA firm provided an overview of the changes to what expenses are allowed for PPP loan forgiveness.

Some exciting news to many of us is that Tax Day has been moved from April 15th to May 17th for all federal tax returns. Please note that this does not change any state returns so please make sure you do these on time.

As COVID-19 vaccines become available, employers may be managing more employee requests to take time off to get vaccinated. Employers may need to pay employees for time off to receive vaccines—particularly if they mandate inoculation. In addition, state and local sick-leave laws, as well as employer policies, may also cover such time off.

Here is some helpful information that was sent to us as members of GNO, INC:

  • Louisiana Vaccine Guidelines – Governor John Bel Edwards announced that starting Monday, all essential workers, including people working in food service and grocery stores, manufacturing, construction, and other essential jobs will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines in Louisiana, regardless of underlying health conditions.  To see if you qualify for the vaccine, click here.
  • Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG)  – The SBA recently released updated FAQs, eligibility requirements, preliminary application checklist, and cross SBA program eligibility for the SVOG, the $15 billion grant program for eligible, shuttered venues affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Most notably, the updated guidance includes, but is not limited to, the following:
    • Applications are slated to be released in early April
    • Entities were originally prohibited from receiving both SVOG and PPP assistance.  Now, entities will be eligible to receive both a PPP loan and a SVOG as long as the entity applied for the PPP loan before they receive a SVOG
    • If an entity received a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020, the full amount of the PPP loan will be deducted from the amount of the SVOG.  If an entity received a PPP loan before Dec 27, 2020, that amount will not be deducted from the SVOG amount
    • Receipt of CARES Act funding does not disqualify an entity from the SVOG program

Applications have not yet been released and additional eligibility guidance will be posted when available.

  • Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) – Additional emergency assistance is in the pipeline for restaurants affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The SBA will be announcing soon detailed requirements for the new RRF, a $29 billion grant program tailored to assist eligible restaurant applicants. Eligible applicants will include restaurants, bars, food stands, food trucks, food carts, catering businesses, saloons, inns, taverns, breweries and licensed beverage alcohol producers “where the public may taste, sample or purchase products.”  The grant amount will be determined by the amount of the establishment’s pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million, or $5 million per physical location. Applications have not yet been released and additional eligibility guidance will be posted when available.
  • Tax Filing Deadlines Extended – The Louisiana Department of Revenue announced today that the state tax filing deadline has been extended to June 15, 2021.  The state extension follows the IRS extension for individual and business taxpayers affected by severe winter weather in February.  The extension applies to all Louisiana taxpayers regardless of parish.

Have a nice, relaxing weekend!

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