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Category: New Legislation

RESTAURANT REVITALIZATION FUND ADDRESSED IN ARPA

Under Section 5003 of the ARPA, certain food service businesses are eligible to apply and receive a tax-free federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund grant (“RRF Grant”). While the amount of the grant provided to the eligible entity depends on the “pandemic-related revenue loss of eligible entity,” the amount cannot exceed $10 million and is limited to $5 million per physical location of the eligible entity. Generally, the revenue loss is calculated based on gross receipts during 2020 subtracted from gross receipts in 2019.  The following food services businesses are eligible to apply for an RRF Grant: a restaurant, food stand, food truck, food cart, caterer, saloon, inn, tavern, bar, lounge, brewpub, tasting […]

ARPA AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION CREDIT

On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) extending and expanding the employee retention credit (“ERC”), originally implemented as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) and extended by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“CAA”).  The ERC is a refundable credit applied against payroll taxes based on certain “qualified wages” not exceeding 70% of up to $10,000 per employee, per quarter, paid by an eligible employer.    In the original 2020 CARES Act, the ERC was capped at 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid per employee, per year (or $5,000 per employee).  The CAA increased […]

UPDATED EIDL ADVANCE

The Targeted EIDL Advance was created under the December 2020 Consolidated Appropriations Act to provide support businesses most heavily impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Advance is limited to: small businesses in low-income communities that suffered a substantial economic loss; defined as 30% or more, due to the pandemic; may not have received advance funds previously; if previously received an EIDL Advance, but did not receive the full $10,000, eligble to request up to the full $10,000. The American Rescue Plan, signed into law on March 11, 2021, includes $10 billion in funding for Targeted EIDL Advances and an additional $5 billion to fund $5,000 supplemental grants for businesses with ten […]

THE AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN ACT AND THE SSBCI

The American Rescue Plan Act (“ARPA”) reauthorized State Small Business Credit Initiative (“SSBCI”) and allocated $10 billion toward funding the program for state and tribal governments.  The original SSBCI was a $1.5 billion program authorized through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 and aimed at strengthening state programs supporting financing small businesses and entrepreneurs. Administered by the Department of Treasury, the SSBCI allowed states to use the funds for a wide variety of debt and investment programs and provided the states many options to use financial entities to provide the financing to the small businesses. About one-third of the program’s funds were used for equity investments. Over the course of three […]

SMALL BUSINESS ADMIN PREPARES FOR SHUTTERED VENUE OPERATORS GRANTS

The newly passed American Rescue Plan (“ARP”) revised and expanded the Shuttered Venue Operators Grants program initially passed under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021.  The available amount of grants increased to over $16 billion.  Additionally, grant applicants no longer need to choose between a PPP loan and the Shuttered Venue Operator Grants.  If a venue received a PPP loan after December 27, 2020, the amount of the PPP loan will be deducted from the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.  However, venues will become ineligible for a PPP loan AFTER they receive a Shuttered Venue. The American Rescue Plan did not amend the entities qualifying for the grants or the priority of […]

CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY ACT

To prevent the illicit use of “shell companies” concealing illegal activity or facilitating money laundering and tax evasion, Congress enacted the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”) on January 1, 2021.  Although the law garnered little fanfare, it creates a registry of “beneficial owners” and imposes strict reporting to the Financial Crimes and Enforcement Center’s (“FinCEN”) anti-money laundering regulations.  “Beneficial Owners” include individuals who (i) exercise “substantial control” over the entity, or (ii) own or control twenty-five percent of the reporting company’s ownership interests.  “Substantial control” and “ownership interests” measurements are not defined, but the forthcoming CTA Regulations will hopefully provide some clarity.  Individuals acting solely as an employee of an entity, […]

EMPLOYER OPTIONS DURING BAD WEATHER

Not one RLF attorney or staff member can remember a time when the entire 268,820 square miles of Texas was covered in a winter storm warning, much less covered to some degree in ice and snow, and dealing with the aftermath of power and water outages. That just doesn’t happen here. But in 2021 fashion, it did! And now, San Antonians have a lot of questions to work through. While there are legal conditions regarding pay and employment, there are also the “human factors” that will influence payroll decisions during the week of forced closure. What is required by Texas employment law if your business closed due to bad weather, […]

UPDATES TO PPP and COVID-19 RELIEF BILL

The first round of Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loans provided much needed capital to businesses struggling through the pandemic. President Biden and the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (the “Act”) have provided further assistance to employers. The Act allows employers with fewer than 300 employees a “second draw” of PPP loan funds, subject to certain criteria.  The Act also expands several areas such as eligibility, allowable expenses, and forgiveness. For the two-week period from February 24, 2021-March 10, 2021, only businesses with less than twenty employees may apply for PPP loans.  An additional $1 Billion in PPP funds was set aside for businesses in low-income areas and independent contractors, sole proprietors, […]

UPDATES ON ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOANS AND ADVANCES

The CARES Act provided targeted funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (commonly referred to as “EIDL Loans”) for those with economic injury related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Under CARES, eligible businesses were able to request an advance on the EIDL Loan of not more than $10,000.  The advance did not have to be paid back and the potential borrower could keep the advance even if they were denied or chose not to accept the EIDL Loan.  The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 signed into law on December 27, 2020  (the “Act”) included a new round of funding for EIDL Loans and advances along clarifications regarding new and existing EIDL Loans. […]

UPDATES TO COVID PAID SICK LEAVE

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), signed into law on March 18, 2020, required employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees twelve weeks of paid leave through a combination of “Emergency Family Medical Leave” and “Emergency Paid Sick Leave” in certain COVID-related scenarios.  The FFCRA provided a dollar-for-dollar tax credit for the sick-leave paid for by eligible employers.  Although many expected the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 would extend the FFCRA mandate, it eliminated the mandate while extending the tax credit eligibility.  Employers only option was to offer paid sick leave as defined under the FFCRA to their employees through March 31, 2021.  The Biden Administration’s “American Rescue […]