Small business/Covid-19 FAQ
Here are some of your questions and their answers. These were put together by the County and by Rep. John Carter’s office. We appreciate their help during these times.
There have been several questions about unemployment benefits, options for workers, etc. The Texas Workforce Commission has set up a dedicated site to address those questions. There is an e-mail update list that you can sign up for on that site as well. Please also check out our Blog Post on the Shared Work program…it is a great resource.
Have any deadlines been postponed for sales tax payments?
The short answer is no. February sales tax payment is still due to the Comptroller by March 20. Here is a statement from the Comptroller on the subject: http://comptroller.
texas.gov/about/media-center/ news/2020/200317-sales-tax- virus.php
Has the deadline to file business personal property (BPP) renditions with the Appraisal District been postponed?
The Governor has not issued any orders that suspend or postpone any property tax deadlines. The Appraisal District has issued the attached press release concerning property valuation in general. Here is a link to the Williamson Central Appraisal District’s website video information on BPP renditions: https://www.wcad.
I’m worried my small business will have to close due to financial issues. Will there be more assistance?
Secretary Mnuchin has made clear immediate assistance is on the way. Moreover, H.R. 6047- the first Coronavirus bill- allowed $1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture producers, and nonprofit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. This funding could enable the Small Business Administration to provide an estimated $7 billion in loans to these entities. In addition, provides $20 million to administer these loans.
Impacted small businesses should register with the Texas Division of Emergency Management first. This registration allows counties to meet the threshold of eligibility for funds. To access the registration worksheet, click here. Once counties meet the requirements, businesses can receive funds if they apply. Businesses must apply for assistance here.
My small business can’t afford to pay sick leave.
H.R. 6201- the second Coronavirus bill, as passed by the House – includes a refundable payroll tax credit to reimburse-dollar-for-dollar-
local businesses for paid sick leave and family and medical leave wages paid to employees that are affected by COVID-19.
The leave is fully funded by the tax credit, but my small business will be interrupted by cash flow issues.
H.R. 6201 provides significant relief to businesses that otherwise may not be able to afford the employee costs associated with coronavirus-related paid leave. Treasury has broad regulatory authority to advance funds to employers to protect businesses concerned about cash flow. In a March 14 press release, Treasury stated that “employers will be able to use cash deposited with the IRS to pay sick leave wages. Additionally, for businesses that would not have sufficient taxes to draw from, Treasury will use its regulatory authority to make advances to small businesses to cover such costs.”
The legislation exempts businesses with more than 500 employees from mandated paid leave while imposing the requirement on small- and medium-sized job creators.
The benefits under H.R. 6201 are not an expense for the business, rather it operates as a benefit to both the worker and the employer. The legislation will ensure that every dollar of leave that an employer is required to pay is reimbursed-dollar-for-dollar-
by the federal government. It will allow workers to care for themselves and loved ones impacted by coronavirus. Additionally, the credit will help businesses to stay up and running. After all, workers who knowingly show up sick jeopardize the health of coworkers and business operations.
Nearly 90% of businesses with more than 500 employees offer paid sick leave to their full-time workers. To facilitate more universal coverage of paid sick leave, H.R. 6201 provides temporary federal coverage for paid sick and family leave to all employers with fewer than 500 employees.
Does the bill mandate an unaffordable extension of FMLA on my small business?
H.R. 6201 as passed by the House permits the Secretary of Labor to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from the longer-term mandate where it creates significant hardship.
What flexibility is there for states to offer unemployment insurance now to individuals that have lost their job or are unable to work due to COVID-19 crisis?
DOL has issued guidance which explains flexibility states have to provide unemployment benefits when:
- An employer temporarily ceases operations due to COVID-19, preventing employees from coming to work;
- * An individual is quarantined with the expectation of returning to work after the quarantine is over; and
- * An individual leaves employment due to a risk of exposure or infection or to care for a family member.
To find out details on your Texas’ unemployment insurance program, visit DOL’s website here.