Banking & Finance Law Report

Archives: COVID-19

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Paycheck Protection Program closes; new FAQs on loan forgiveness released

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is now closed to new applicants. While talks on extending or changing the program have stalled on Capitol Hill, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued 23 more frequently asked questions specifically related to loan forgiveness. These FAQs are contained in a separate list from the previously released FAQs last updated on June 25, 2020 that focused on PPP loan eligibility and similar questions. My colleagues Jack Beeler, Jack Meadows and Cat Rice explain in this Porter Wright Law Alert.

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Force majeure is the clause du jour in commercial leasing during the pandemic

“Force majeure” clauses are enjoying their day in the sun this year. Historically a boilerplate contract provision that excused performance in the event of some “act of God,” “war or insurrection,” or other unforeseen calamity likely never to occur, force majeure clauses were for years more frequently invoked by contracts professors and bar examiners than in the real world. COVID-19 changed that. Now, as businesses across the economic spectrum grapple with unprecedented supply-chain disruptions, employee unavailability, mandatory quarantines, government shutdown orders, and other impacts of the outbreak, force majeure has become the contract clause du jour. My colleagues Jared Klaus and Matt Moberg explain in this Porter Wright Law Alert.…

Wage withholding in a remote working environment

Employers generally must withhold income taxes on behalf of employees based on where the employee works. Typically this determination is simplified by the location of the employer’s offices. The COVID-19 pandemic and corresponding stay-at-home orders have altered the working situations for most Americans. Employers must now consider the impact of employees working remotely and confirm that income tax withholding is properly executed given these unprecedented circumstances.

My colleague Gary Schulte explains in this Employer Law Report blog.

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SBA issues two more borrower-friendly PPP forgiveness applications

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued two new borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) forgiveness applications: the EZ Application and a revised Forgiveness Application. The changes come in response to the recent passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act as well as pressure to simplify the forgiveness process for borrowers. My colleagues Jack Beeler, Jack Meadows and Cat Rice explain the two new options and additional changes to the forgiveness program in this Porter Wright Law Alert.

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Main Street Lending Program terms updated

The U.S. Treasury Department’s Main Street Lending Program is expected to be up and running within days.  The program is intended to provide financing opportunities to small and medium–sized businesses. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced details on the program on April 9, 2020 and updated the terms recently with a second set of FAQs. My colleagues Jack Beeler and Jack Meadows explain in this Porter Wright Law Alert.…

Antitrust concerns, price gouging, hoarding and protecting your business during the COVID-19 pandemic

We’ve seen some incredible collaborations and innovations during the COVID-19 pandemic. We have also seen price volatility during these uncertain times.  While these may not be top of mind for some, antitrust law and consumer protection law still apply and ignoring them could be costly for businesses down the road.  Porter Wright’s Jay Levine discussed these topics with partner Allen Carter in a three-part Antitrust Law Source podcast series focused on antitrust law and price gouging.…

Think twice before hitting “record”

It is simple enough: press record and you can easily share your internal video conference call, re-watch it later, or forget it and move on. You move on until you receive a discovery request or a subpoena for information if the company is sued. Now, your internal video call is discoverable and may be seen by those outside your intended viewership.

My colleagues Abby Chin and Molly Crabtree delve into this issue on the Technology Law Source blog.…

Paycheck protection: Lender considerations before round two

Lenders are getting some much-deserved rest after enduring nearly two weeks of processing applications for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which ran out of funds in the early hours of Thursday, April 15 – tax day. The program has been sharply criticized by lenders and borrowers alike, citing confusing guidance and technological glitches with the SBA e-Trans system, to the overwhelming sense that the program was underfunded and biased given the expanded eligibility criteria.…

How to claim COVID-19 tax credits via payroll

Employers may claim the Employee Retention Tax Credit and the tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for relief during the COVID-19 pandemic. They do this first, by reducing the employer portion of Social Security taxes, and then, by reducing the employer’s payroll deposits in an amount equal to the refundable portion of the accrued credits, instead of depositing said amount with the IRS.

My colleagues Victoria Hanohano-HongGerhard SchulteMark Snider and Dave Tumen explain to to claim these credits via payroll in this Employer Law Report blog.…

UPDATE: Additional information released about delayed federal tax filing and payment deadlines

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released additional information on the delayed payment and filing deadlines to ease the burden on taxpayers during the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve written previously about the deferral of the federal income tax payments and filing obligations and initial guidance released last month. Ohio has also followed the federal government in the deferral, which we’ve written about here.…

Main Street Lending Program

On April 9, 2020, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced the details for a “Main Street Lending Program” intended to provide financing opportunities to small- and medium–sized businesses. Secretary Mnuchin said, “The Main Street Business Lending Program will make a significant difference for the 40,000 medium-sized businesses that employ 35 million Americans.”

My colleagues Jack Beeler, Jack Meadows and Cassandra Rice summarize the program and eligibility in this Law Alert.

Emergency orders: COVID-19 and distressed commercial leases

Distressed commercial tenants and their landlords may find themselves in tense situations during the COVID-19 pandemic. As those parties consider how to handle their lease obligations, they should consider, among other things, the varying contours of recent executive and emergency orders. As shown below, orders from various jurisdictions have taken different approaches to addressing the pandemic’s impact on commercial tenants.…

Important update on the Payroll Protection Program

Since the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security CARES Act, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury Department have released a series of interim final rules and updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) (as of April 8, 2020) regarding Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These updates provide critical guidance and information to borrowers and lenders alike in the implementation of the highly sought after program. My colleague Cassandra Rice describes some of the key clarifications to the program in this Employee Benefits Law Report blog.

UPDATE: SBA loan eligibility FAQs

Certain government programs, including SBA loan programs, are reserved for “small businesses.” In order to qualify for those programs, a business must satisfy both the SBA’s definition of a “small business concern” as well as the size standards for a small business. My colleague Jack Meadows offers answers to some frequently asked questions in this Employee Benefits blog post.

Workplace exposure to COVID-19: Can employers be liable?

As COVID-19 cases continue to mount nationwide, so have lawsuits relating to fallout from the virus. On April 6, 2020, in one of the first COVID-19-related lawsuits of its kind, the estate of an Illinois Walmart Supercenter employee sued Walmart and the premises owner for wrongful death in Toney Evans v. Walmart, Inc., et al. My colleague Brodie Butland details the lawsuit in this Employer Law Report blog.…

The CARES Act: Changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code

On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act into law. Among other things, the CARES Act made some important changes to the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Specifically, the CARES Act modified subchapter V of the bankruptcy code to make it more widely available to small businesses. The Small Business Reorganization Act (SBRA), which became effective on Feb. 19, 2020, created subchapter V. It was enacted to eliminate hindrances that might deter a small business from reorganizing under chapter 11.…

Financial relief for small businesses under the CARES Act & eligibility FAQs

The third phase of COVID-19 legislation was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, and has been named the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). For small businesses, this legislation means that $349 billion in stimulus dollars is heading out to eligible small businesses, sole proprietors, ESOPs, non-profits, veterans organizations, and other tribal business concerns, to provide assistance maintaining payroll and employee benefits, along with overhead costs. My colleague Cassandra Rice detailed the options in this Law Alert.

Eligible businesses should carefully review the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) eligibility requirements for each program, which our colleague Jack Meadows laid out in this Law Alert.…

Ohio extends income tax filing and payment deadline

The Ohio Department of Taxation announced on March 27, 2020 that Ohio will be following the federal government and IRS in extending the deadline to file and pay state income tax. Please refer to our prior post for more information on the federal deadline change.

The Ohio deadline for state income taxes is now July 15, 2020, rather than April 15. This extension is intended to help taxpayers deal with the economic impact of COVID-19 and the public safety measures that have been adopted.…

IRS clarifies information about delayed federal tax filing and payment deadlines

On April 15, 2020 we posted an update to this blog, “UPDATE: Additional information released about delayed federal tax filing and payment deadlines.” Click here to read the update.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased strain placed on individuals and business taxpayers during this time, the IRS has pushed back certain payment and filing deadlines to ease the burden on taxpayers. The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced that the federal income tax filing due date is automatically extended from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020.…

Tax credits available under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to make payments for COVID-19 related FMLA leave and paid sick leave required by the act. To lessen this financial burden to employers, the act provides for refundable tax credits to offset payroll taxes. My colleague Victoria Hanohano-hong details the credits in her post on the Employee Benefits Law Report Blog.

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