March 30, 2020

Morning All, beautiful, sunny weekend is over, and now it is back to work in our kitchen while wearing sweats.

CARES Act is Now Law – So, the 883 page COVID-19 Stimulus measure is now law and we will spend most of the day highlighting relevant portions for small businesses and their employees. Not shy about using other people’s work (always with proper attribution), here is a 50 page summary of the Law prepared by Veneables LLP, a large law firm with offices around the Country. It provides an easy to read summary of the law’s provision and has an index at the beginning to allow you to quickly find the provision you are trying to find.

Forget About 50 Pages, Give Me a Couple of Sentences – Don’t want to spend your Monday morning reading a 50 page summary of an 883 page law? We can’t imagine why not. So, here is the real abbreviated version of the section that most small businesses want to know about. One of the most important provisions is Section 1102, which sets forth the Paycheck Protection Program.

Paycheck Protection Program – Small businesses with less than 500 employees (includes full, part-time and other-basis employees) are eligible. Sole proprietors, independent contractors, and certain self-employed individuals are also included. Businesses can obtain a loan equal to FOUR TIMES the average total monthly payroll, monthly mortgage payment, monthly rent payment and any payment on other debt obligations, not to exceed $10,000,000. Thus, think of the loan being in an amount to pay your employees and pay your major operating expenses (excluding cost of materials) until the end of July. Even better is that there is a Loan Forgiveness provision to the Program.

Loan Forgiveness – If the business participating in the Payroll Protection Program retains its employees, then it shall be eligible for loan forgiveness in the amount equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8 week period after the loan on: (1) payroll costs for workers making less than $100k; (2) rent; (3) interest on a mortgage; and (4) utility payments. The Payment Protection Program will be implemented by way of an expedited process.

Expedited Process – While the exact details of how the Program will be implemented are still being determined, it is expected to be through an expedited process using local banks (as long as they are in the FDIC network) as the point of contact with the Treasury acting as a backstop. Accordingly, the business owner will take the payroll and yearly expense documents to the bank that has a pre-existing relationship with the business and its owner. The bank will review the documents, determine the loan amount and, because the funds are distributed based upon the business owners good faith relationship with the bank, the bank immediately deposits the funds in the business account. The FDIC guarantees the bank/lender against any risk. The exact details on implementation are expected by this Friday, April 3, 2020.

Get Your Books And Records Together – If you have been slacking about getting your books and records together because you figured you would do that for your tax filings and then the tax filing date was pushed forward to July, STOP EVERYTHING ELSE AND GET THEM DONE THIS WEEK. To take advantage of any of the programs already in place, just put in place and/or created in the future, you will need your business books and records to be complete. Make it easy for those people that are making the determination as to whether or not you qualify and, if you do, the amount to which are eligible.

Treasury Secretary Mnuchin VideoWatch Steve Mnuchin, Secretary of the US Treasury, explain the parts of the CARES Act and its implementation as it relates to small businesses.

Medical Data Inconsistencies – We did not post the County or State COVID-19 numbers this morning because there are inconsistencies between the numbers being reported by the responsible government agencies. Is it only us that thinks that this data should be extremely accurate at all times? How do policy makers make decisions without accurate data? If their data is correct, then why the inconsistencies?

$10,000 Advance/Grant For EIDL Applicants – Somewhere in the 883 page legislative forest is a provision for an advance of $10,000 to Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) applicants within 3 days of applying for the loan. WOW! Even more WOW is that the advance becomes a grant that does NOT have to be repaid even if the business is subsequently denied the EIDL. The 10 grand would, however, be subtracted by the amount a business has forgiven as part of Paycheck Protection Program. Get your EIDL application in now!!!

EIDL And Paycheck Protection Program Loan – If you were on the ball, applied and receive(d) an EIDL between January 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, then you are still allowed to apply for a loan pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program. Or you can refinance the EIDL you received into the Paycheck Protection Program loan.

FDA and Hydroxychloroquine – On Sunday, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (“EUA”) for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, inexpensive anti-malarial drugs that have been in use since the 1950s. To facilitate its distribution, the US Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) announced that it accepted 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate donated by Sandoz, the Novartis generics and biosimilars division, and one million doses of chloroquine phosphate donated by Bayer Pharmaceuticals. The HHS statement states that hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate products donated to the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) [is]to be distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.

Hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Z-Paks SuccessDr. Vladimir Zelenko has successfully treated 699 COVID-19 patients using a drug cocktail of hydroxychloroquine, in combination with azithromycin (Z-Pak), an antibiotic to treat secondary infections, and zinc sulfate. Of the 699 treated, the results have been: zero patients died; zero patients intubated; and hospitalizations. Incredibly the cost of treatment is $20 over five days. Similar success with the drugs has also been observed at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC. Call your Governor if you are a COVID-19 patient in Nevada or Michigan.

FDA and Lab-In-A-Box – Abbott reports that it has received emergency use authorization for a variant of its toaster-sized ID NOW lab-in-a-box that can provide positive results in as soon as five minutes, and all-clear results in 13 minutes. Abbott also states that it is in the midst of ramping up production and expects to deliver 50,000 of the tests per day in the US as of next week. However, one of its greatest advantages may be its existing footprint. The ID NOW platform already has the “largest” molecular testing presence in the US, and is already “widely available” in doctors’ offices and emergency rooms.

Survivor ExtraordinaireA 101 year old Italian man has been released from the hospital after recovering from COVID-19.

Investigate Them AllABC News reports that the Department of Justice is investigating the stock trades made by NC Senator. According to Senate records, Senators Feinstein (California), Inhofe (Oklahoma) and Loeffler (Georgia) all made sales of stocks just before the markets crashed. If there is one issue that should be blind to party affiliation, it is this.

“You Got Rats On The West Side”Crowds of New Yorkers gathered on the West Side of Manhattan to watch the USNS Comfort travel up the Hudson River to dock at Pier 90. The Rolling Stones, “Shattered”, Some Girls, Rolling Stones Records 1978.