SC Chamber Releases “Business in the Era of COVID-19: A Guide for Moving Your Business Forward,” accelerateSC Task Force Subcommittees Present Final Reports, Paycheck Protection Program Recent Stats
Email to COVID-19 Mailing List: May 20th
Today’s COVID-19 business information compiled by your SC Chamber Team includes: SC Chamber Releases “Business in the Era of COVID-19: A Guide for Moving Your Business Forward,” accelerateSC Task Force Subcommittees Present Final Reports, Paycheck Protection Program Recent Stats
ICYMI: SC Chamber member Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd (HSB) has prepared a comprehensive summary of the new PPP application and instructions, which you can read here. HSB will also be hosting a webinar on Thursday, May 21st, at 3 pm to discuss the application and instructions. Please register here.
Today, the SC Chamber released a new guide for employers operating during the pandemic entitled “Business in the Era of COVID-19: A Guide for Moving Your Business Forward.” The guide includes best practices, answers frequently asked questions and explains potential liability risks employers are facing in reopening and ramping up business during the pandemic.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and planning for future businesses reopening in South Carolina, the SC Chamber organized a working group of legal experts from law firms that serve on the SC Chamber Legal Committee. The group focused on workplace topics and questions that employers are now confronting in the era of COVID-19. These topics include:
- Workplace Safety: What Employers Need to Know to Keep Workplaces Safe and Reduce Risks of Exposure Liability
- Premises Liability: What Employers Need to Know to Reduce Risks of Premises Liability
- Employment Practices: What Employers Need to Know when Managing Employees
- Workers’ Compensation: What Employers Need to Know about Workplace Injury Claims
- Manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): What Manufacturers Need to Know to Make PPE and Reduce Products Liability Risks
The working group was tasked with developing a list of best practices, answering frequently asked questions, and identifying potential liability risks for employers, which the Chamber then combined into a single resource for businesses.
We are hopeful that this new guide will be a helpful resource to all employers, but especially to those small and mid-size businesses that may not have legal counsel on staff to advise them as they get back to work.
Yesterday, the full accelerateSC Task Force met, and each subcommittee chair delivered their final reports. Some of the main takeaways for business are as follows:
- The Response subcommittee has created guidelines for several business industries and will be finalizing several more (including one for childcare centers and tourist attractions) in the next few days. They also emphasized the need for liability protection for businesses as they reopen.
- The Protection subcommittee continued to recommend increased testing and contact tracing.
- The Resources subcommittee proposed recommendations for allocating the $1.9 billion in federal CARES Act money for SC. The recommendations included some of the SC Chamber’s top priorities:
- $500 million for replenishing the state’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
- Over $100 million for broadband/internet accessibility
- $250,000 for a statewide broadband plan
- $80 million for broadband infrastructure
- $20 million for statewide hotspots
The recommendations in each of the reports will be combined by task force director James Burns and presented to the Governor and the full accelerateSC task force next week. The Governor sends his final recommendations for spending the CARES Act dollars to the General Assembly, which, based on the provisions of the Continuing Resolution, will have the ultimate authority over how to allocate the money.
SC Chamber President and CEO Ted Pitts praised the subcommittees for their work, saying:
“We appreciate the accelerateSC Task Force subcommittees for including many of the SC Chamber’s ‘Relief and Recovery Agenda for SC Businesses’ priorities in their recommendations. To restart our state’s economy, we need to create certainty for our job creators wherever we can. Keeping unemployment tax rates low for employers by utilizing CARES Act funds for our trust fund and providing guidelines and liability protections for businesses are all important. We have an opportunity to improve broadband access across the state – leveling the playing field and allowing South Carolina to become a leader in e-learning, telemedicine, and teleworking expansion.”
The Small Business Administration (SBA) released updated loan approval numbers through May 16th for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which first became available to businesses on April 3rd, 2020.
- Approval of 4,341,145 loans
- Approval of $513.3 billion in loans
- 5,496 lenders have processed approved loans
- Overall average loan size is $118,000
- PPP Round 2 Lender Segments:
|Lender Size||Lender Count Round 2||Approved Loans Round 2||Approved Dollars Round 2|
|$10-50B in Assets||93||380,446||$28,627,209,083|
|<$10B in Assets||5,361||1,135,624||$63,960,481,693|
- Approval of 252,340 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) for a total of $24.87 billion
In South Carolina:
- Approval of 57,179 loans
- Approval of $5.64 billion in loans
- Approval of 2,973 EIDL for a total of $276.3 million
DON'T MISS: A webinar with SC Chamber member Fisher Phillips: How Unions are Using COVID-19 for Organizing and What Employers Should Be Doing Now. The webinar will be held on May 27th at 9:00 am. Register here.