COVID-19

Frequently Asked Questions

Federal US Government  |  Small Business  |  Essential Services  |  Disinfection Services

 

Federal US Government Related FAQs

 

Are there any loan programs that will help mid-sized businesses?

Yes, the Main Street Lending program is available to businesses with less than 10,000 or fewer employees OR up to $2.5 billion in revenue. For more details on the program, go here.

The Chamber of Commerce has prepared a document on eligibility available here. The loan program is not yet accepting applications.

 

How do I know how much stimulus money I will receive?  

Click here to calculate your stimulus check.

 

Where can I get more information about the stimulus checks?

The IRS will always have the most up to date information. Their COVID-19 stimulus check page is here.

 

My business is over 500 employees – am I eligible for exemptions from the FMLA/paid sick leave or special loans?

Under current law (including HR 2601) you are not.

 

What COVID-19 focused laws have passed Congress that impact my business?

Congress has passed two important pieces of legislation in March 2020: The CARES Act and HR 6201. The CARES Act focused on supporting businesses and individuals financially; NPMA’s breakdown of The CARES Act provisions that will impact you is here. HR 6201 focused on paid sick leave and changes to the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and goes into effect on April 2, 2020; NPMA’s breakdown of HR 6201 provisions that will impact you is here.

 

Where can I get information on The CARES Act employee retention tax credit?

NPMA is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce, which has prepared a guide for businesses who want to find out their eligibility and how to apply. You can view the guide here. The IRS has also provided guidance here.

 

Can I take the tax credit outlined in The CARES Act?

The CARES Act offers a tax credit of up to $5,000 for businesses impacted by COVID-19 that keep employees on the payroll. This cannot be taken if the business also uses the SBA disaster loans. Information on how the credit calculated and eligibility is here.

 

Where can I find an explanation of the CARES Act implications on non-profits?

NPMA is a member of the American Society for Association Executives (ASAE) which has prepared a guide for the implications in the CARES Act for non-profits. You can get answers to many of your questions here.

 

When do the paid leave/FMLA changes take effect and are they permanent?

The new rules take effect on April 2nd, 2020 and run through December 31, 2020. This is not a permanent change.

 

 

Small Business FAQs

 

I keep hearing about exemptions and loans for small businesses – do I qualify as a small business?

Small businesses have been defined in legislation as 500 employees or less (including part-time and temporary). If your business has 500 or less employees, you are eligible to apply for the “small business” exemptions and support.

 

How do I get a Small Business Loan?

You can find all the information on the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) loan options here: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19. Under the Small Business Administration and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, the SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Portions of these loans may be forgivable, and many loans are tied to keeping employees on the payroll. The SBA will have the most current information on their website.

As of 4/27, the PPP loans have been replenished and new applications are being processed.

 

Where can I find an explanation of the SBA loans?

NPMA is a member of the US Chamber of Commerce, which has prepared a guide for small businesses who want to take a small business loan from the Small Business Administration. You can get answers to many of your questions here on loan forgiveness and eligibility. The Small Business Administration has also prepared this document explaining how loan amounts are calculated.

 

How do I get a small business exemption to the paid sick leave and/or FMLA requirements?

The Department of Labor (DOL) is tasked with creating exemptions to the paid sick leave and FMLA requirements. HR 6201 states that this would not be an automatic exemption based on size so you should not assume you are automatically eligible. The DOL has said a small employer is exempt from the requirement to provide such leave when: (1) such leave would cause the small employer’s expenses and financial obligations to exceed available business revenue and cause the small employer to cease operating at a minimal capacity; (2) the absence of the employee or employees requesting such leave would pose a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capacity of the small employer because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or (3) the small employer cannot find enough other workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services the employee or employees requesting leave provide, and these labor or services are needed for the small employer to operate at a minimal capacity. Employers may deny paid emergency leave only to employees whose absence would cause one of these three scenarios, which means that leave may sometimes be denied non-uniformly. In this situation, employers are strongly urged to consult with counsel before making leave decisions so as not to accidentally implicate non-discrimination laws. Employers should carefully document the facts and circumstances of the denial and how it meets the criteria set forth above. These materials should not be sent to DOL, but rather retained in the employer’s files. For more information, you can view an analysis of the rule here. An explanation of the exemption is here.

 

What did NPMA do to help me get an exemption?

NPMA sent a letter to the Department of Labor.

 

How will I pay for complying with these FMLA/paid leave changes?

HR 6201 offers small businesses the option to take 100% of the amounts paid to employees as a refundable tax credit against the employer portion of Social Security taxes (information on this process is available here) in order to help fund these changes.

 

How do I get a Paycheck Protection Program loan?

The Department of the Treasury has released information on how to apply for the $349 billion pool of money dedicated to the Paycheck Protection Program. The Treasury has information on the program here. Information for borrowers can be found here and the application is here.

Treasury and SBA have released an FAQ document on the PPP program available here.

 

When can I apply for a Paycheck Protection Program loan?

The PPP loans through the Department of Treasury are available for small businesses and sole proprietorships on April 3rd and for independent contractors and self-employed individuals on April 10th. The funds available are on a first come first serve basis so applying early will be key. As of 4/10/20, approximately half of the funding for PPP has been allocated in loans.

 

I’ve read in the news about some companies having to return PPP loans by May 7th if they have access to “other capital.” How do I know if I have to return my PPP loan?

The Small Businesses Administration updated their FAQ on 4/29/20 (available here) to clarify eligibility in response to reports of large, publicly traded companies taking these PPP loans; the case of Shake Shack is perhaps the most publicized. Congressional intent was that these loans were for small businesses, not for major companies that are publicly traded with large reserves and access to capital markets. The SBA has clarified in their 4/29/20 FAQ Update that companies who are publicly traded and have access to capital markets are unlikely to qualify: “For example, it is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith, and such a company should be prepared to demonstrate to SBA, upon request, the basis for its certification. (SBA FAQ, pg 11Since businesses of any size can have access to lines of credit through their lending institutions and the CARES Act specifically does not say that access to a line of credit is a disqualifier, small businesses who have access to credit through their lending institutions are still eligible to get and keep a PPP loan, but they do need to show that’s it’s important for their businesses to continue functioning: “borrowers still must certify in good faith that their PPP loan request is necessary. Specifically, before submitting a PPP application, all borrowers should review carefully the required certification that ‘[c]urrent economic uncertainty makes this loan request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the Applicant.” (SBA FAQ, pg 11). It is also important for all borrowers to maintain records as required by the PPP. Each individual company is best situated to make a determination what the need is for their company.

 

Is my PPP Loan forgivable?

Up to 100% of your PPP loan can be forgiven. The SBA application for forgiveness is available here.

The Chamber of Commerce has created a step by step guide to PPP forgiveness in a  video here and an PDF here.

 

Where can I see the latest information on where masks are required?

You can view the interactive Chamber of Commerce map here.

 

 

Essential Services FAQs

 

Is there a letter than I can carry showing I’m an essential service?

If your state has listed pest control/management/exterminating as an essential service and you want to continue to operate, then you can use the attached form for your US employees with information on pest control being an essential service in states with a shelter in place order.

 

If pest control is considered an essential service, does my company have to operate?

No, the essential services designation means that businesses in that category can choose to continue to operate, not that they must.

 

 

Disinfection Services FAQs

 

Can pests like rodents or cockroaches spread coronavirus? 

There is currently NO evidence that pests of any kind (cockroaches, mosquitoes, or rodents) are vectors for the virus.  

 

What kind of license is required to apply antimicrobial products? 

License requirements vary by state.  In some places, no license is required, in others a specific antimicrobial license category has been established.  NPMA is developing a tracking document to help member companies determine their requirements. Alternatively, you may contact your state lead agency to find out what is required for this type of service.

 

What kinds of changes to service operations are pest control companies considering in light of the current situation?  

Pest control operations have been defined as “essential” at the federal, state and local levels. As such pest control activities can continue, but each business needs to determine what changes (if any) suit their clients and workforce.  Some guidance that could be considered has been published by University Extension personnel and can be accessed here: 

University of Kentucky
Northeastern IPM Center
University of Florida

 

Can I use fumigation or wide-area spraying to help control COVID-19?

From https://www.epa.gov/coronavirus/can-i-use-fumigation-or-wide-area-spraying-help-control-covid-19

EPA does not recommend use of fumigation or wide-area spraying to control COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you clean contaminated surfaces with liquid products, such as those provided on List N, to prevent the spread of disease. Read CDC's recommendations. Fumigation and wide-area spraying are not appropriate tools for cleaning contaminated surfaces.

 

The master label on file at EPA is not the same as the label on the container. Which do I use? 

When the master label is updated and approved by EPA, the container (market) label must be redrafted and then approved by each state. Some states take months to approve the new label. Only then can the revised product label be printed and applied to product containers when manufactured. After that, it can be months before the user obtains product with the new label. Always use the label which accompanies the product.