Today's Three Things to Know: Paycheck Protection Program Guidance, Non-Essential FAQs, SC Businesses Making A Difference feat. Spinx

 

April 1, 2020

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Today’s COVID-19 business information compiled by your SC Chamber Team includes Paycheck Protection Program Guidance, Non-Essential FAQs, SC Businesses Making A Difference feat. Spinx


Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Small Businesses begins Friday, April 3rd

  • The US Department of the Treasury (US Treasury) issued guidance yesterday about the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was included for small businesses as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Response, and Economic Security (CARES) Act:
    • “The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations…as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.” -US Treasury
  • According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), under this program:
    • Eligible recipients may qualify for a loan up to $10 million determined by eight weeks of prior average payroll plus an additional 25% of that amount.
    • Loan payments defer for six months.
    • If you maintain your workforce, SBA will forgive the portion of the loan proceeds used to cover the first eight weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination.
  • Review these webpages for detailed information:
  • If interested in applying for the PPP:
    • Contact your financial institution to see if they are an SBA lender or would like to become one. Many SC banks are currently approved SBA lenders, and you can expect many more to become an SBA lender soon.

Answering Your Questions on Governor McMaster’s Closure of “Non-essential Businesses”

Yesterday, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-17, requiring “non-essential” businesses in South Carolina to close for 15 days beginning today at 5:00 pm to help limit the spread of COVID-19. In response to this order, we sent you the list of businesses deemed “non-essential” that must close, and are again included here. The SC Chamber Team has received dozens of questions from members about this executive order, which we attempt to answer below. We also asked the SC Department of Commerce about preparing and posting FAQs, which they have indicated they will do. 

  • When does the Governor’s order to close non-essential businesses go into effect?
    • April 1st at 5:00 pm.
  • How long is the order to close non-essential businesses effective?
    •  April 1st at 5:00 pm to April 16th at 5:00 pm.
  • I’m confused by what the press is reporting and the SCEMD alert sent yesterday, did the Governor’s order require non-essential businesses to close or just those on the list?
    • Only businesses on the list must close per the Governor’s order. See the full list. Businesses are in three categories, “entertainment venues and facilities,” “recreational and athletic facilities and activities,” and “close-contact service providers.”
  • If I’m not sure whether or not I am an essential business, who can I contact?
    • First, the order only closes “non-essential businesses” and only those on the list, as explained in bullet 3. Second, if after reviewing the list, you are still uncertain about whether your business needs to close, then you can complete the “Essential Business Clarification” form via the Department of Commerce’s website, email covid19sc@sccommerce.com, or call 803-734-2873. The department will review the request, and the business will receive a determination within 24 hours. Finally, the Governor’s Office clarified: “If a business is not explicitly addressed in the governor’s executive order, the business should continue normal operations until a determination is made.”
  • Will the Governor eventually expand the list of non-essential businesses that must close?
    • The Governor has indicated that he will continue to issue more restrictive measures if the data and science show more must be done to stop the spread of COVID-19, including a stay-at-home order which could close more businesses.
  • Some cities have stay-at-home ordinances in effect, like Columbia and Charleston. If I am a business in a city with a stay-at-home ordinance, what order should I follow?
    • The Governor’s order states that his order “supersedes and preempts” any part of a local ordinance that conflicts with his order. If your business is required to close under a local ordinance but can stay open under the Governor’s order, then we suggest you contact the SC Department of Commerce per bullet 4 for more clarification. Keep in mind that the SC Attorney General has issued an advisory opinion that states local stay-at-home ordinances are still valid until a court determines they violate state law. Attorney General Wilson believes state law only grants the Governor these types of emergency powers.

SC Businesses Making A Difference Videos: Spinx

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Member Company: Spinx

Click the image below to view our video on Spinx’s response to COVID-19