AFSA's Coronavirus Update

corona virus update

On May 13, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and U.S. Small Business Administration issued guidance to address their threats of auditing PPP loan borrowers for a failure to show good faith need for their loans. The new guidance provides a critical safe harbor provision for firms that self-certified their need for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans that totaled less than $2 million. In addition, the new guidance provides a mechanism to allow firms that: (a) received loans of $2 million or more; and (2) are later found to have not met the good faith need certification to repay, seemingly without penalty, those loans. Read more
New guidance for business owners features six "decisions trees" to determine readiness to relaunch, including being in line with state and federal orders and preparedness to protect at-risk staff. Read more

President Donald Trump signed a $484 billion coronavirus relief package into law Friday. The bill puts $370 billion into aid for small businesses trying to keep employees on payroll as they shutter to slow COVID-19′s spread. Read more.

Construction corporate, union and trade group executives are among 200 business chiefs President Donald Trump hosted on April 15 for the first meeting of advisory groups quickly assembled to advise his plan to restart the COVID-19 stalled U.S. economy, which he targets for May 1. Read more.
The U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued interim guidance for enforcing OSHA's record-keeping requirements (29 CFR Part 1904) as it relates to recording cases of COVID-19. Under OSHA's record-keeping requirements, COVID-19 is a recordable illness, and employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if the case:
  • Is confirmed as a COVID-19 illness;
  • Is work-related as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5; and
  • Involves one or more of the general recording criteria in 29 CFR 1904.7, such as medical treatment beyond first aid or days away from work.
Visit OSHA's COVID-19 webpage.

The Construction Industry Safety Coalition have prepared a COVID-19 response plan for construction. The response plan is available in ENGLISH and SPANISH and includes:

  • Sample COVID-19 Exposure Prevention, Preparedness and Response Plan for Construction
  • Template Letter: Essential Industry Employee (notification)
  • Template Letter: Employee Notification (of potential exposure)
  • COVID-19 Checklist for Employers and Employees
  • COVID-19 Toolbox Talk

Microsoft Word documents also are available in ENGLISH and SPANISH for editing and personalization for your company.


A major construction contractors’ group says that a new U.S. Small Business Administration regulation for implementing a crucial loan program created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES, Act conflicts with the text of the statute and could hamper many construction firms hit by the coronavirus' economic blow from applying for the loans. Read more

The Paycheck Protection Program is a loan designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program will be available through June 30, 2020.

On March 25, the U.S. Senate passed the largest economic aid package in our nation’s history. On a 96 to 0 vote, the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed the Senate and is expected to be approved by the House and signed into law. Read more.
As government officials on all levels across the globe issue travel directives and ask non-essential employees to work remotely during the pandemic, once fully occupied buildings are near vacant or dramatically underused. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) urged officials to ensure that fire protection and life safety systems be maintained in all commercial and multi-occupancy residential buildings throughout this global pandemic. They further urge that the personnel and vendors that service those systems be deemed essential. Read more
Attachments
NFPA Covid-19 recommendations.pdf NFPA Covid-19 Recommendations
Negotiations between congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin yielded a deal early Wednesday, clearing the way for lawmakers to a vote on a $2 trillion stimulus package designed to halt economic damage from the coronavirus outbreak. Read more
In response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic affecting the small business community across the country, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury. Substantial economic injury means the business is unable to meet its obligations and to pay its ordinary and necessary operating expenses. $50 billion in funding has been set aside for the program. Read more
With the continued spread of COVID-19 and its overwhelming effect on the global economy, we anticipate companies will experience complex accounting and reporting issues across multiple areas of their financial statements.  Read more

The SEC issued an exemptive order (the Order) on March 4, 2020 providing conditional relief for registrants that are impacted by the coronavirus (COVID-19) and are unable to file on a timely basis. Read more
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Strategic Response to the COVID-19 Crisis

Recorded April 9, 2020

There are decisions that successful fire protection companies can and will make to minimize disruption and come out of this pandemic more successful than ever. This 60-minute webinar explores some of the decisions that best of class companies will make.

ACTION ITEM

 

Keeping your business and staff going is a top concern right now. As you adapt to the spread of COVID-19, we want to keep you moving forward.

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued guidance regarding what it considers the nation’s “critical infrastructure industries." This designation helps to avoid major disruptions in operations, transportation, and supplies.

The AFSA board and staff have been working to develop an action plan to get fire sprinkler professionals included, so our members can continue to operate. They are looking to address state governors and federal legislators to include fire sprinkler activity as a "critical infrastructure industry" under "shelter in place" executive orders.

Below is a link to a customizable letter to send your elected officials along with links to find their contact information. We want to make sure that your elected officials hear our voices and continue to let fire sprinkler operations proceed. We request that all members please forward their state specific letters to any government contacts you may have and post to your social media!

Please use the templates below to urge your election officials to support Sprinklers!


We’re facing these uncertain times together. Our staff is available Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central by phone (214) 349-5965 or email, or anytime online via our website, firesprinkler.org. As always, please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or if there is anything we can do to help.

Please, don’t hesitate to reach out.