SUPREME COURT OF OHIO TOLLING ORDER
For those of you with questions regarding the tolling order recently signed by Governor Dewine, please click here.
On March 27th The Ohio Supreme Court issued a tolling order. Click here to read the complete FAQ on that order. The most pressing of the Q&A are here.
UPDATES FROM WHITE HOUSE CORONAVIRUS TASK FORCE
Earlier this week, HUD Secretary Dr. Ben Carson was added to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. All federal agencies are working aggressively on a multi-layered, cross-agency public health response to this evolving situation.
While the risk of infections for Americans remains low, we are encouraging Multifamily owners and agents, and Public Housing Authorities, to make the information below available to residents. We further encourage Multifamily owners, agents, Performance Based Contract Administrators, FHA lenders, and all stakeholders to make this same information available to their employees:
Stakeholders are reminded to ensure that their responses remain faithful to obligations under the Constitution, Fair Housing Act and related regulations. Exigencies associated with important and timely response to issues surrounding COVID-19 are not the basis for unlawful discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, disability or familial status.
DIRECT LINK TO STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENT WEBSITES FOR UPDATES
Indiana Health Department: https://www.in.gov/coronavirus/
Kentucky Health Department: https://healthalerts.ky.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
Ohio Health Department: https://odh.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/odh/media-center/ODH-News-Releases/COVID-19-ODH-Call-center
OHIO STAY-AT-HOME ORDER
Ohio Governor DeWine has ordered a stay-at-home order for the state of Ohio. Click here for details.
Everyone has been asking questions recently like, “Am I in an essential business?” and of course, “Am I an essential employee?” Well for those involved in Housing, the answer is YES! Think back to college and the discussion of Maslow’s Hierarchy. At the very base, the beginning of needs, is food and shelter. So to all those providing housing, YOU ARE ESSENTIAL. What is often overlooked, is that those providing products and services to housing are also essential! Apartment Association members, welcome to front and center of the priority list with food and medical.
How do we know? Please review Governor DeWine’s Stay-At-Home-Order from March 22nd. Item 9 “Essential Infrastructure” the terms “building management and maintenance” are used to reference the need for ALL buildings to be maintained. Yes, commercial and residential. The consequences of not doing so could be catastrophic. Additionally, under section 12 K “Critical Trades” copied below, commercial property and residential operations and maintenance are exempted specifically.
“Building and Construction Tradesmen and Tradeswomen, and other trades including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff for commercial and government properties, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, moving and relocation services, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities and Essential Businesses and Operations.”
I am told this is consistent with Federal guidelines around emergency operations. Through all of this, please keep in mind, with the Governor’s Order specifically, to the extent feasible, utilize social distancing precautions. This may mean limited hours, appointments rather than walk-ins, and emergency focus on maintenance repairs. But they are to continue. Be safe, and try to follow the spirit of the law as much as the letter of the law. The Governor knows that human interaction is not always possible at 6’ distances, but the goal is to minimize the spread of Covid-19.
Please allow tele-work as much as possible and minimize travel to that which is necessary – understanding that maintaining our responsibilities to our residents is essential. You are essential.
Thank you for what you do!
Be safe out there and take care.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN "ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE" AND ESSENTIAL "BUSINESSES AND SERVICES?"
The Department of Homeland Security, which provides guidance on the "Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” has developed an initial list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.” Click here to learn more and view the list.
IRS: EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT AVAILABLE FOR MANY BUSINESSES FINANCIALLY IMPACTED BY COVID-19
The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service today launched the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. For full details, click here.
ADVISORY MEMO ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
As the nation comes together to slow the spread of Covid-19, on March 16, the president issued updated Coronavirus Guidance for America that highlighted the importance of the critical infrastructure workforce. Click here to see the memo and please note the top of page 15 for help in clarification on which services and employees are essential.
COVID-19 PREPAREDNESS FOR APARTMENT FIRMS
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is currently monitoring a rapidly evolving outbreak of coronavirus, (COVID-19), which is causing respiratory illness in populations across the globe, including in the U.S. The CDC and the World Health Organization have now designated the outbreak as a pandemic.
As cases of the novel coronavirus, (COVID-19) spread across the country, apartment firms need to prepare for potential impact to their communities and to address employee and resident concerns of potential exposure at their properties or workplaces. They also need to take measures to help stop the spread of the virus.
To help them do that, NMHC has compiled an overview of suggested apartment owner preparations and considerations. NMHC recognizes that the broad array of company types, sizes and geographic locations that make up the apartment industry discourages a one-size-fits-all approach to planning.
Also note that this overview is not to be construed as legal guidance. Instead, it is meant to be a starting point for your company-specific plan. We encourage firms to seek expert consultation in the development of their plan to ensure comprehensive coverage.
Given the fast nature evolution of this situation, NMHC encourages firms to monitor our “Coronavirus Resources for Apartment Firms” landing page, which includes links to resources from the Center for Disease Control (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Labor (DOL), Environment Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Housing and Urban Development and other organizations. We strongly recommend regularly visiting these sites for the latest news on this outbreak.
We also recommend firms sign up for NMHC’s Emergency Preparedness Listserv to both ask questions and learn from what other firms are sharing. More information is available here.
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE HERE.
COVID-19 JOB SEARCH RESOURCE
Today, Lt. Governor Husted announced that the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation has developed a website specifically geared toward matching essential businesses with Ohioans who are able and willing to work as an essential employee during the COVID-19 crisis.
Both essential businesses and current job seekers can visitCoronavirus.Ohio.gov/JobSearch to post and search.
The site features a highly-streamlined interface with only two main links – one for essential businesses, and one for job seekers. Applicants can search through jobs in their area, their region, and the entire state.
Though many businesses and public places across Ohio and the nation have had to close during the COVID-19 crisis in order to promote social distancing and slow the spread of the virus, there are many businesses, such as grocery stores, healthcare facilities, pharmacies, delivery companies, and many other types of businesses that are essential to ensuring the health and wellbeing of Ohioans during the crisis. These companies are in high need for workers during this time.
The site is a project of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation, which Lt. Governor Husted leads as its director. The Development Services Agency (Development) and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS) both aided in the site’s creation. Coronavirus.Ohio.gov/Jobs, like the entire coronavirus webpage, sits on the InnovateOhio Platform.
With questions, please email the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation atWorkforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.
Please regularly visit Coronavirus.Ohio.Gov/BusinessHelp for the most complete and up-to-date information about resources available for Ohio businesses, individuals, and families. Listed below are just a few.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COVID-19:
Please visit www.Coronavirus.Ohio.gov for the most up-to-date information from the Ohio Department of Health.
For any questions you have about COVID-19, please call 1 (833) 4-ASK-ODH from 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m (7 days/week).
Governor DeWine is holding daily press briefings at 2:00 p.m. to deliver the most recent updates as well as give updated guidance for the state’s response. These press events are carried live atwww.OhioChannel.org.
ACROSS GREATER CINCINNATI, RENTERS WORRY ABOUT EVICTION IN THE TIME OF COVID-19
Courtesy of WCPO
Officials in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana all have taken steps to try and slow the pace of evictions in the wake of the economic shockwaves the new coronavirus has created. But lawyers say the fundamental rules still apply.
Tenants must pay their rent. If they don’t pay, and they don’t work out an arrangement with their landlords, they face eviction, said Nick DiNardo, managing attorney for the housing and consumer practice group at the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio LLC.
“Part of the challenge here is that people don’t really have any safeguards,” he said. “Tenants are still legally required to offer their rent for April. Even if you’re out of work, that’s not a defense to nonpayment of rent.”
Most landlords want to keep their tenants in place and are doing their best to work with them to create payment plans if necessary, said Charles Tassell, a landlord who is director of government affairs for the Greater Cincinnati Northern Kentucky Apartment Association.
“Around here, most people really are just saying, ‘OK, we’ve got to figure this out,’” Tassell said. “That really is the attitude behind what we’re seeing on the property owner’s side and, quite frankly, a lot of the residents.”
“We’re all kind of in triage mode right now,” said John Lenhart, managing director of KJL Properties, which owns Green Valley Apartments. “It’s almost kind of a team response with the property managers and the tenants, in a way, working together to make sure we all survive.”
See the full story here.
NAA UPDATE AND FAQS
The National Apartment Association recently did a webinar with the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM). Click here to see link to the FAQs from the webinar as well as here for an updated as needed link to the COVID-19 information on the NAA website.
SUMMARY OF BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES DURING COVID-19 OUTBREAK
Some suggested Best Management Practices:
Above all: please follow CDC, federal, state, and local guidance, including posting signage as to what you are doing, and where people can get more information.
Along those lines, please consider:
Apply for Small Business Administration loans if needed, or at least get on their radar.
Review your disaster preparedness plan, update accordingly with home and cell numbers.
Be prepared for text and email, as phone circuits may become overloaded.
Many cities are moving to a triage process for inspections, with federal inspections suspended.
SAMPLE POLICY LETTER TO RESIDENTS
This is a sample policy letter to use for concerned residents. Please adapt to your individual use but always consult with your legal team.
Click here for a guide to local resources to help your residents and community.
GCNKAA Outreach Rental Assistance Programs
Additional Rental Assistance Programs
HUD ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL PROCEDURAL UPDATES DUE TO COVID-19
Updates to a Multifamily Q&A Document Provide Clarification during COVID-19 Outbreak
HUD provided an updated COVID-19 Q&A on March 24, 2020, which provided additional information regarding the following topics:
Updates to HUD Guidance on Recertifications Related to Collection of Signatures for TRACS Submissions
On March 24, 2020, HUD published guidance on the impact of COVID-19 on the Annual Recertifications and Interim Recertification related to the collection of signatures and TRACS submissions.
HUD provides that if a tenant is unable or unwilling to come into the office to sign an annual re-certification the owner/agent may submit the AR to the TRACS using one of the following three (3) extenuating circumstances codes:
1 = Medical (medical staff have quarantined the tenant)
2 = Late annual certification due to accommodation or extenuating circumstances
10 = Other
The owner/agent must obtain a signature from the tenant and submit a corrected certification to TRACS once the pandemic has passed.
OHIO CLOSES ALL GYMS AND FITNESS CENTERS
As of March 17, all gym and fitness centers should be closed down. This is true for apartment communities as well.
The closure is in place for Ohio and is consistent with National CDC instructions. We are waiting for guidance in Ohio and Kentucky.
Click here for more information.
KENTUCKY SUPREME COURT
Please be aware that due to the Corona Virus, the Kentucky Supreme Court has determined only absolutely necessary court dockets would continue in session. All others are suspended through April 10. This includes eviction dockets across the state of Kentucky.
Please click here to see more details.
We will continue to provided additional updates as they become available.
If you have any questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
REAC INSPECTIONS NOTICE
Until further notice, REAC is postponing all property inspections for all PIH and Multifamily properties. Where there is an exigent circumstance or reason to believe that there is a threat to life or property at a specific location, inspections will be conducted by HUD quality assurance inspectors in compliance with CDC guidelines. If you have any questions, please contact our Technical Assistance Center at 1-888-245-4860 or email at REAC_TAC@hud.gov.
HAMILTON COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING TO CLOSE TO PUBLIC EFFECTIVE MARCH 19, 2020
Click here for more information
CITY OF CINCINNATI BUILDING & INSPECTIONS
Please be advised, due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, the Department of Buildings and Inspections (B&I) has made several changes to our service delivery model.
Effective Monday, March 23, our lobby has been closed and the public will have limited access to the Permit Center. In an effort to protect the public and continue to offer essential services to the public, we have moved a majority of building permit plan submissions to an electronic platform. You can find more information here https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/buildings/submitting-your-application/electronic-document-submission/.
In addition, we will be triaging non-emergency complaints via phone. The inspector will contact the complainant via the phone to discuss the issue and the inspector will request photos of the complaint. Once the complaint is verified by the photos, the inspector will contact the property owner to discuss the issue(s). If the owner acknowledges the issue and submits a workplan, the inspector will monitor the issues via the approved workplan. Once the owner has identified that the issue has been resolved and photos have been submitted and verified, the case will be closed.
If an inspection is required, the inspector will schedule the inspection with the owner or occupant. They will also ask if anyone is displaying any symptoms outlined by the CDC. When the inspector arrives they will be wearing gloves and will ask to maintain at least a 6ft distance during the inspection.
To limit contact and practice social distancing, these steps are necessary. For more information about B&I’s COVID-19 response visit https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/buildings/covid-19-response/.
FBI PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT
The FBI has reported a rise in fraud schemes related to Covid-19. See details here.
CyberSecurity Basics for Telework
FED CUTS RATES TO ZERO AS COVID-19 WEIGHS ON MARKETS
The Fed responded on Sunday to the deteriorating economic outlook and market disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here for more information.
FEDERAL TAX CREDIT GUIDANCE FOR PAID SICK AND FAMILY MEDICAL LEAVE
This document, prepared by the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation, provides a technical explanation of Division G, “Tax Credits for Paid Sick and Paid Family and Medical Leave,” of H.R. 6201, the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (the “bill”) as received in the Senate on March 17, 2020. Click here to see details.
SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES AND NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS
The Ohio Development Services Agency is working this week to qualify Ohio for the U.S. Small Business Administration's (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. This program provides low-interest loans up to $2 million in order to help businesses overcome the temporary loss of revenue during the state of emergency.
Non-profit organizations in Ohio will also be eligible for low-interest loans through the SBA's Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
Businesses impacted by the current public health crisis can contact BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.gov for more information. Additional details about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program is available at SBA.gov/Disaster.
CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS AGREE TO CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE PACKAGE WITH FUNDING FOR HOMELESSNESS AND HOUSING
Click here for more details.
THE SMALL BUSINESS OWNER'S GUIDE TO CARES ACT
The programs and initiatives in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act that was just passed by Congress are intended to assist business owners with whatever needs they have right now. When implemented, there will be many new resources available for small businesses, as well as certain non-profits and other employers. This guide provides information about the major programs and initiatives that will soon be available from the Small Business Administration (SBA) to address these needs, as well as some additional tax provisions that are outside the scope of SBA. Click here to see more details. Act now to file for SBA disaster relief grants and loans as there are limited funds, and a limited number of applications will be accepted by SBA.
UPDATED SBA PHASE III OR CARES ACT
The following three documents provide insight into the new Small Business Administration program that was passed today, referred to as the Phase III legislation or Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Payment Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness is one of the KEY sections of the law allocated over $350 Billion. There is a 1 pages descriptor of the program (& 2 other programs), and a 2 page FAQ, as well as a third 7-pg document that details Title 1 of the bill, that is the SBA programs. Banks and Credit Unions may not have material to start these loans until next week sometime, however they are typically set up to address Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) grants.
Property owners: if you are in a situation where you are not receiving rent - please consider applying for these programs ASAP! The funds will not last long, especially with forgiveness for payroll and contractor bills.
SMALLL BUSINESS LOANS ("PAYCHECK PROTECTION LOANS") THROUGH CARES ACT
Application Businesses: businesses with fewer than 500 employees — including sole proprietors and nonprofits.
Access: $350 billion in loans under Section 7 of the Small Business Act during the “covered period,” which runs from February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
Guarantee: fully guaranteed by the federal government through December 31, 2020 (returning to an 85% guarantee for loans greater than $150,000 after that date),
Loan Amount Eligible:
LESSERof the following:
“Payroll Costs”equal the sum of the following:
“Payroll Costs”are NOT the following:
Allowable Uses of Loan: proceeds may be used to cover payroll, mortgage payments, rent, utilities, and any other debt service requirements.
Loan Forgiveness of Paycheck Protection Loans
· mortgage interest,
· certain utility payments.
How to Get Forgiveness:
Reducing Forgiveness Amount: However, the amount that may be forgiven if the employer either:
Provided, however, this reduction can be avoided, however, if the employer rehires or increases the employee’s pay within an allotted time period.
THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT: WHAT EMPLOYERS NEED TO KNOW
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was approved by Congress and signed by President Trump. There are a number of provisions in the law that will directly impact many employers. Key portions of the bill are discussed below.
Expanded Leave Under the FMLA (for employers with fewer than 500 employees)
The FFCRA amends the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide for a new type of family leave related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It provides for 12 weeks of FMLA leave to care for a minor son or daughter if the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to an emergency declared by a federal, state, or local authority related to COVID-19.
Employees will become eligible for this leave after only 30 days of service – as opposed the 12 months for most FMLA leave. This portion of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act applies to private sector employers with less than 500 employees, and to all public sector employers. The coronavirus FMLA leave will be two (2) weeks of unpaid leave with the potential for ten (10) subsequent weeks of leave paid at two-thirds of the employees regular pay (capped at $200/day). During the unpaid portion of the leave, employees are permitted to substitute available paid vacation, personal, medical, or sick leave for the unpaid leave.
Employers will be given tax credits for FMLA leave wages paid under this new provision. (See below)
Under the law, the Department of Labor (DOL) has the authority to issue regulations to: (1) exclude health care providers and emergency responders from the benefits of this law; and (2) to exclude businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of this law when compliance with the law would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.
Importantly, the rest of the FMLA rules remain intact. For example, a person who has been employed between 30 days and 1 year is not eligible for unpaid FMLA leave for any other reason.
New Required Emergency Paid Sick Leave (all employers except private employers with more than 499 employees)
The FFCRA also requires employers to provide two weeks of paid sick time to employees for certain reasons related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Like the FMLA expansion, it applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees and to all public employers. Unlike the new type of FMLA leave, there is no length of service requirement. Rather, employees are eligible for paid sick leave immediately upon hire. Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid sick time. Part-time employees are entitled to paid sick time in an amount equal to the average number of hours they work in a two-week period.
Under the law, paid sick time must be provided when an employee is unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because the employee:
Employers are required to post a notice regarding these new paid sick time requirements in a conspicuous place in the workplace. Just like with the new FMLA leave, the DOL has the authority to issue regulations to: (1) exclude health care providers and emergency responders from the benefits of this law; (2) exclude businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the requirements of this law when compliance with the law would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern; and (3) carry out the purposes of this law.
Both the FMLA amendment and new paid sick time requirements will take effect 15 days after the enactment of the law. These provisions are temporary will expire at the end of 2020.
Health Insurance Expansion Related to Testing for COVID-19The law also impacts all group health plan sponsors. In particular, group health plans are required to provide coverage for testing for COVID-19 without cost sharing.
The law provides for the following:
This provision of the law is effective on March 18, 2020, but only for those tests and services performed on or after March 18, 2020.
The law provides for a refundable payroll tax credit for the employers subject to the expanded FMLA and required Emergency Paid Sick Leave discussed above. The tax credits will be applied against FICA taxes (Medicare and Social Security). The tax credit includes not only the required paid leave amounts, but also to a portion of the health plan cost allocable to the paid leave. This shifts some of the cost of the health plan coverage expansion to the federal government. However, this tax credit only applies to the employers that are required to provide the expanded FMLA and required emergency paid sick leave. Employers that voluntarily provide this type of benefit will not be eligible for the tax credit.
Details on this tax credit and how it will be allocated will be provided in future guidance issued by the Treasury Department.
ENHANCED UNEMPLOYMENT AID FOR OHIOANS:
The Governor has issued an executive order, which will grant the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) with the authority to accept and grant requests for unemployment compensation suspending the normal 1-week waiting period.
This order will also give relief to applicants who are not offered paid leave through their job, as well as those who have been quarantined by a medical professional, their employer, or whose employers must temporarily close. Those who apply for unemployment under these circumstances will be exempt from the requirement that they be actively seeking work.
For more information, please go to Unemployment.Ohio.gov or JFS.Ohio.gov/Coronavirus.
SharedWork Ohio is an alternative to layoffs for employers. It allows workers to remain employed and employers to retain their staff during times of reduced business activity. Under a SharedWork Ohio plan, employers reduce hours to avert a layoff. The participating employee works the reduced hours, and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services provides an unemployment insurance benefit proportionate to their reduced hours.
Interested employers should provide the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services with a list of participating employees and specify their normal weekly hours of work, not to exceed 40 hours and not including overtime. Part-time employees may be eligible, but all employees in an affected unit must have their hours reduced by the same reduction percentage. For more information, please visit JFS.Ohio.gov/SharedWorkOhio.
We encourage Ohio employers to take advantage of the State of Ohio’s TechCred program and upskill their employees while they may be unable to perform their typical day-to-day duties. Many of these trainings can be completed online.
TechCred offers employers up to $2,000 in reimbursement for every technology-focused credential earned by an employee, up to $30,000 per employer per round. These technology-focused credentials take a year or less to complete and prepare current and future employees for the technology jobs Ohio employers need.
The current application period is open through March 31st on TechCred.Ohio.Gov. If a business has questions about the program they should email Workforce@OWT.Ohio.gov.
FROM THE GREATER CINCINNATI REGIONAL CHAMBER
(March 18, 2020) - The Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber’s top priority is to ensure the safety of our members, employees, and the region at large. This daily email serves to ensure our members and partners have the most up-to-date information. Here you will find updates from federal, state, and local government officials.
GOVERNOR DEWINE, LT. GOVERNOR HUSTED SUBMIT FORMAL REQUEST FOR FEDERAL ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
(COLUMBUS, Ohio)—On Tuesday afternoon, Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted sent a letter and application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to qualify the State of Ohio for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. This federal program will enable small businesses and non-profits throughout the state impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19 to apply for low-interest loans up to $2 million in assistance that can provide vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.
“We understand the steps being taken to keep all Ohioans safe will have a significant impact on businesses across the state, which is why we are leaving no stone unturned to identify every possible way we can support them during this time,” said Governor DeWine. “Ohioans are resilient. We will get us through this.”
The Economic Injury Disaster Loans may be used by Ohio small business owners and non-profits to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
Once the state is qualified for the program, Ohio Development Services Agency (Development) will work with the SBA to notify entities that the they can now apply for loans. To keep payments affordable, these loans are long-term, with up to a maximum of 30 years for repayment. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay.
“We know Ohio businesses are struggling and we are going to do everything we can to help them,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “We have taken quick steps to ensure the health and safety of Ohioans, and we are going to give that same attention to ensuring our businesses are successful and jobs remain available. I encourage the SBA to quickly approve our application.”
Development coordinated with the Ohio Emergency Management Agency and reached out to local businesses for information to compile the application.
“In the last three days, more than 1,500 businesses have shared their stories with us about the challenges they are facing, which informed our application for these disaster loans,” said Lydia Mihalik, Director of Development. “The need is urgent, and we are moving quickly to support Ohio’s small businesses and non-profits.”
As efforts to combat the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus continue, Governor DeWine and his administration will continue to identify ways to support the state’s small businesses and non-profits. Any of these entities impacted by the ongoing health crisis are encouraged to contact Development at BusinessHelp@Development.Ohio.Gov for assistance.
Additional information about the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan program is available atSBA.gov/Disaster.
GOVERNOR BESHEAR TAKES DECISIVE ACTION TO LIMIT SPREAD OF COVID-19: GUIDANCE FOR CLOSURE ON PUBLIC-FACING BUSINESSES AND GOVERNMENT OFFICES
FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 17, 2020) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear announced additional steps to contain and limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“It’s my job to protect my family and friends, but I believe it’s all of our civic duty to protect our communities,” Gov. Beshear said. “I will use every resource in this state, every dollar at my disposal, every personnel that we have, to do everything we can to protect everyone’s loved ones if we see a spike that is significant. Kentucky, we’ll need your help. We’ll need your help staying calm. We’ll need volunteers and we know you’ll respond. We will get through this together.”
Gov. Beshear reminded Kentuckians to remain calm, have faith and to continue doing their patriotic duty by following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to protect the most vulnerable, which includes seniors and those with chronic conditions including heart, lung or kidney disease. He also delivered a special message to children, offering tips to relieve stress and anxiety, maintain a routine and stay active. Click here to see full guidance.
KENTUCKY GOVERNOR BESHEAR EXECUTIVE ORDER CLOSING ALL NON-LIFE SUSTAINING BUSINESSES
As you are aware, last night Governor Beshear announced the closing of all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. I have had many emails and phone calls asking if multi-family housing was an essential business. I want to clarify that multi-family housing is an essential business and apartment buildings is listed in the federal critical infrastructure sector. Gov. Beshear also listed “Housing” in his list of businesses that can remain open. See Gov. Beshear’d order which was just released:
3/24/2020: Announced Gov. Beshear will sign an executive order closing all non-life-sustaining businesses to in-person traffic by Thursday at 8 p.m. Businesses that can stay open still need to practice safe social distancing. The businesses that can stay open include: grocery stores, drug stores and pharmacies, banks, hardware stores, agricultural operations, gas stations, media, businesses needed for transportation, logistics, shipping, delivery and pick-up, housing, building and construction, laundry, financial services, home-based care and services, professional services, manufacturing and other businesses key to national interests or life-sustaining goods or services, and those covered under the federal critical infrastructure sector.
"Housing, Buildings and Construction. To ensure Kentuckians can reman Healthy at Home, businesses providing contruction or mainteance of residential, commerical, or governmental structures, including but not limited to plumbers, electricians, exterminators, cleaning and janitorial staff, security staff, operating engineers, HVAC, painting, landscaping, moving and relocation services, necessary for sustaining the safety, sanitation and operation of structures."
To read the entire Executive Order, click here.
Thus, Apartment community staff are exempt from the executive order. You must practice safe social distancing:
· Where possible, limit in-person transactions between staff and residents. Consider implementing digital payment and maintenance requests or offer secure drop boxes. Note: Please review applicable state laws, which may prohibit landlords from mandating that residents pay rent online.
· Suspend all non-essential maintenance and repairs. Service requests should be categorized between essential (HVAC, hot water, plumbing, etc.) and non-urgent (upgrades, cosmetic repairs, etc.).
· Share staffing updates with residents and ensure emergency contact information is available. When possible, use multiple communication platforms such as email, community bulletin boards and notices to individual units.
· Contact vendors to determine availability for emergency maintenance needs. Ensure alternative arrangements are available.
· Continue move-out walk-through inspections when requested by residents, per legal requirements. However, follow appropriate social distancing protocols. Ensure the residents desire inspections in the current environment and, if the request is withdrawn, get it in writing.
· Consider providing virtual and low-contact showings to prospective residents. These could include virtual tours or allowing a prospect to enter and tour a unit on their own. Be sure to disinfect high-touch surfaces between showings (including door knobs, light switches, etc.).
Please refer to your company policies and procedures regarding this information.
ALSO ON THE KENTUCKY SIDE
Federal Government Response
The Federal Government is working to pass an emergency relief bill in response to the coronavirus. The House already passed a relief bill, and it is our understanding the Senate is planning on passing it as well in the coming days to give relief as soon as possible. Leader McConnell announced at a press conference this afternoon that the Senate is creating a task force and will be proposing additional legislation, originating in the Senate, to further stimulate the economy and address concerns from the House relief bill.
The US Chamber of Commerce created a very helpful summary to help businesses understand the proposal to help deal with the current crisis. Click here to read the summary.
In the coming days, we will keep everyone posted on the status of these bills. Leader McConnell committed today that the Senate will not adjourn, and will stay at work, until this is addressed.
How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance
We’ve had a number of questions from members about what to do if you have employees that need to either be laid off or furloughed due to the current situation. We are directing folks to the Kentucky Career Centers. There is one in Covington and one in Florence. Click here to view the link from the Kentucky Career Center you can share with employees.
Gov. Beshear directed state officials on Monday to begin waiving the state’s mandatory one week waiting period for unemployment benefits for people who lost their jobs because of the virus. He also eliminated the requirement for those people to search for work while they receive benefits.
Normally, folks receiving their unemployment checks would receive their first check two weeks after they first apply, and it would only be for one week. Beshear has ordered that they deliver payment for both weeks.
Employees can apply for unemployment benefits online or by phone, by calling 502-875-0442 or visiting the Kentucky Career Center’s unemployment benefits page at https://kcc.ky.gov/career.
Please understand their systems are being overrun with people filing. Be patient with system as the Kentucky Career Center works through the increased volume.
Where can I find information on getting a small business loan?
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury from COVID-19. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that a business cannot pay due to COVID-19. Terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay. Apply for an EIDL at www.sba.gov/disaster. Due to website traffic, please exercise patience. For additional information, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center. Call 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or e-mail email@example.com
KENTUCKY SENATOR RAND PAUL LAUNCHES COVID-19 RESOURCES PAGE
Click here to see up-to-date information for the state of Kentucky.
UPDATES FROM THE NORTHERN KENTUCKY CHAMBER
In response to the COVID-19 – also known as novel coronavirus – pandemic, the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce (NKY Chamber) is actively working to provide up-to-date information to ensure the safety of our members and our region. This page will be updated daily with information from federal, state and local government agencies and officials. Click here for updates.
U.S. SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION DISASTER LOANS
Gov. Beshear announced the state has qualified for U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance. With that certification now in place, small businesses, for-profit contractors and private non-profits anywhere in Kentucky that have been harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to apply for low-interest SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans. www.sba.gov/disaster.
PROPER USAGE OF THE N95 MASKS
If you or staff are going to the point of utilizing N95 masks, please review the following information to do so properly.
RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYEES AND RESIDENTS
Stay Calm and Carry On: COVID-19 Recommendations for Property Managers by Elaine Simpson
What To Do If Your Resident is Exposed to COVID-19 from the National Apartment Association
Until Further Notice by Elaine Simpson
HELP FROM OUR VENDORS
Below are some links to how some of our vendor members can help you:
Belfor Property Restoration