Governor Scott Press Covid-19 Conference Notes
Remember Cliff notes? We know how hard it is to dedicate 90 minutes to listening to a press conference. We also know that there is information discussed in these weekly press conferences that can impact your lodging business. Each week VLA’s lobbyist, Downs Rachin Martin, attends Governor Scott’s Covid-19 press conference and takes notes for you.
Aid for our Member Properties with Restaurants
For our member-properties that have restaurants, don’t overlook the many covid assistance programs that are geared to the restaurant industry. The National Restaurant Association has put together a road map of Restaurant Covid Relief.
Be sure to fill out the SBA’s sample application form so that you are ready to apply when the application window opens. Grants are on a first come served basis. The Small Business Administration (SBA) announced that the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) grant program will begin accepting applications Monday, May 3. Applicants can log on to SBA’s RRF page Friday, April 30 to create an account and download the latest forms.
More info from the SBA on the program here: Restaurant Revitalization Fund (sba.gov)
Vermont Forward: Roadmap to Reopening (latest update 5.7.21)
Step 3 Cross State Travel:
No quarantine or testing requirements.
Step 3 Gatherings and Events:
Indoor: 1 unvaccinated person per 50 sq. ft. up to 300, plus any number of vaccinated people.
Outdoor: 900, plus any number of vaccinated people.
As of 4.30.21, the state is on track to hit the vaccination rates required to move to Step 2 in Governor Scott’s Reopening Plan by May 1st. In Step 2. Group B sectors (includes lodging) will be able to operate following only universal guidelines:
1- Stay home if sick.
2- Wear a mask.
3- Ensure six-foot spacing.
4- Practice good hygiene.
5- Know state travel guidance.
For Gatherings and Events:
Indoor: 1 unvaccinated person per 100 sq. ft. up to 150, plus any number of vaccinated people. Outdoor: 300, plus any number of vaccinated people
Masks and physical distancing – required when in the presence of those outside your household.
Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) | What you Need to Know
Digging Under the Rocks – Financial Recovery Resources You May Have Overlooked (follow up from VLA Zoom on 2.8.21)
Do not miss out on this opportunity for sizeable relief funds. Even if you already received a PPP loan. This tax credit is obtained via your 941 form and is up to $5,000 per employee per quarter in 2020 and up to $7,000 per employee per quarter in Q1 adn Q2 of 2021.
The ERTC was created under the CARES Act in March of 2020 and Amended Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021. This short presentation explains what the ERTC is and how it fits in with the Paycheck Protection Program. You may be eligible for both! Slides provided by Thomas Lauzon, CPA and member of Governor Scott’s Restart Vermont Task Force.
If you are a large property: your payroll company can file a 941-x to amend your 2020 filings. They can also claim the credit for you on your 941 forms for Q1 and Q2 2021.
If you are a small property: and you do your own payroll and are having trouble filing, feel free to reach out to Lauzon and Babic. They can file the 941-x and 941 for you at a reasonable fee. (note this is not sponsored, just an incredibly helpful resource.)
Helpful Tip: If you are filing 941 form for Q1 2021 yourself, note that you will not be able to e-file. Quickbooks does not let you modify the form. You will need to download a blank form from the IRS site and hand fill it in and mail it via snail mail.
Salvador & Babic PC
240 S Main St, Barre, VT 05641
All things PPP
PPP Funds Available for Sole Proprietors
Did you know sole proprietors can qualify for PPP loans? Deadline is March 10, but the process is not overly burdensome. Learn more.
PPP – SECOND DRAW APPLICATION:
Understand what has changed between PPP-1 and PPP-2 with this PPP second draw presentation from Thomas Lauzon, CPA and member of Governor Scott’s Restart Vermont Task Force. Also see examples of PPP applications.
Find a copy of the PPP 2nd draw application form here.
PPP FORGIVENESS FORMS:
Understand how forgiveness will be calculated by reviewing the forgiveness forms in advance of receiving your loan disbursement. Here are the three forgiveness forms, updated as of 1/19/21:
- The 3508 (the long form)
Please note that the long form is still waiting additional clarification from both Treasury and the SBA.
Review instruction sheets attached to this form to see if this is the form for you.
To use the 3508S that the PPP loan amount is $50,000 or under.
The key change from the previous applications (3508EZ and 3508 Long Form) is that the 3508S form eliminates the requirement to certify that your business did not (during the coverage period):
- reduce the number of employees
- reduce any employee salary by more than 25%.
- However, forgiveness is not automatic nor guaranteed to be at 100%
State of Vermont Agencies: Covid-19 Resources
Unemployment Insurance Update
Many unemployment Insurance programs under the CARES Act have been extended into 2021. Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, has been reinstated to provide claimants with an additional $300 per week. Updates to FPUC and other programs including Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), can be found at the Department of Labor website.
ACCD Signage for Businesses
ACCD has signage available for businesses to help educate visitors as to Covid-19 guidance. Find the signage at the ACCD COVID-19 Recovery Resource Center.
Latest Vermont Travel Guidelines
Stay up to date with the latest Vermont travel guidelines for Covid-19.
Currently, the state plans to lift all travel restrictions by June 1, 2021 and all event restrictions by July 4, 2021. VLA is aware that July 4 is a Sunday and will raise the question whether this could be changed to July 1, allowing for unrestricted events over the weekend of July 2 and 3.
Federal Agencies: Covid-19 Resources
PayCheck Protection Program (PPP) 2nd Draw Application
Hotels and Restaurants who have suffered at least 25% loss in any quarter of 2020 who have a NAICS codes starting in 72 will qualify for 3.5 x earnings in this round of PPP. Attached is the application for the 2nd draw of PPP and a Top-line overview of the program.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Updates
The deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration has been extended to December 31, 2021. Visit the SBA website for full details.
American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA) Resources
Covid-Relief Bill Comparison
View AHLA’s one page comparison of the Cares Act and the new relief bill.
AHLA Safe Stay® Program
This well-structured program is fast becoming the industry standard endorsed by public health experts in infectious disease. AHLA presents enhanced hotel cleaning practices, social and workplace protocols to confront the new health and safety expectations presented by COVID-19.