The Town of Southborough values our diverse and innovative business community, and we aim to support you during this difficult time. We have provided important COVID-19 related information and resources for businesses. Please contact Marijke Munsiff, Economic Development Coordinator, at [email protected] with any questions.
Inform us of your Experiences!
The EDC is in the process of reaching out to you to enquire about specific business needs and provide relevant assistance. We would like to know what your experience has been in applying for state and federal assistance. You could also let us know by filling out the BUSINESS SURVEY HERE . This information will help us to communicate Southborough’s needs to our state and local agencies. Thank you.
Outdoor Dining Regs for businesses: https://www.southboroughtown.com/board-selectmen/pages/outdoor-covid-related-dining-regulations
Outdoor dining application: https://www.southboroughtown.com/sites/g/files/vyhlif1231/f/pages/outdoor_dining_application.pdf
CARES Act Small Business Assistance
Please see this breakdown of the major provisions for small business assistance included in the recent Congress' CARES Act.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Overview
- This is the flagship CARES Act program for Small Businesses
- Small business defined as under 500 employees and includes nonprofits, self-employed, franchise locations, and includes businesses with over 500 employees in certain industries
- Small businesses may qualify for a loan to cover 125% of 8 weeks of payroll up to $10 million
- Payment deferred for 6 months, with a 2-year maturity and 1% interest rate. No collateral or personal guarantees are required.
- Loan forgiveness if at least 75% is spent on payroll and other money is spent on rent/utilities
- Businesses cannot be forgiven for loans covering payroll above $100,000 per employee or payroll for non-resident employees
- Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease.
- Businesses encouraged to apply through banks with which they have an existing relationship
- How do I apply? You can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program through any existing SBA 7(a) lender or through any participating federally insured depository institution, federally insured credit union, or Farm Credit institution. Find a nearby participating lender by using SBA's online tool.
- What else should I know? The 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 program will be available retroactive from February 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020. Note: Sole proprietor businesses are eligible for the program and can claim their own payroll expense as part of their forgivable loan.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Loan Advance
- Small businesses and nonprofit organizations may qualify for EIDLs of up to $2 million
- Interest rate of 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits
- Small business owners are eligible to apply for an EIDL advance of up to $10,000 that does not need to be paid back. See this link for criteria and to apply: https://covid19relief.sba.gov/#/. The money would be paid out to business owners directly after submission of the application. It can be used to maintain payroll, cover paid sick leave and service other debt obligations.
Important: Remember to check the box to receive the Loan Advance when you fill out your application!
- EIDL funds must cover different expenses from PPP funds
Express Bridge Loans (EBL)
- Small businesses with a relationship with an SBA Express Lender can access up to $25,000
- A lender may charge up to 6.5% over the Prime rate, regardless of the maturity of the loan
- Maximum loan term of 7 years
- Associated fees equivalent to 7(a) loans of similar size and maturity
- Will be repaid in full or in part by proceeds from the EIDL loan
SBA Debt Relief
- The SBA will pay the principal and interest of new 7(a) loans issued prior to September 27, 2020
- The SBA will pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for a period of six months.
Employee Retention Credit
- Tax credit designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll
- For business closed by government or gross receipts below 50% of same quarter in 2019
- Applies to wages paid after March 12, 2019 and before January 1, 2021
- Refundable credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid - $5000 total cap per employee
- Employers with less than 100 employees: Based on wages paid to all employees, regardless if they worked or not. If the employees worked full time and were paid for full time work, the employer still receives the credit.
- Employers with more than 100 employees: Allowed only for wages paid to employees who did not work during the calendar quarter.
Small Business Relief
Thee Baker-Polito Administration announced administrative tax relief measures for small local businesses which have been impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, especially in the restaurant and hospitality sectors. This tax relief includes postponing the collection of regular sales tax, meals tax, and room occupancy taxes that would be due in March, April and May so that they will instead be due on June 20. Additionally, all penalties and interest that would otherwise apply will be waived.
- Businesses that paid less than $150,000 in regular sales plus meals taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief for sales and meals taxes, and business that paid less than $150,000 in room occupancy taxes in the year ending February 29, 2020 will be eligible for relief with respect to room occupancy taxes.
- The Department of Revenue is currently drafting emergency regulations to implement these administrative relief measures, and they are expected to be finalized before Friday, March 20, 2020.
WORKFORCE AND EMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE
- Governor Baker signed S.2599 to provide unemployment assistance to workers impacted by COVID-19. This legislation will allow new claims to be paid more quickly by waiving the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits.
- WorkShare program is a tool to help employers avoid layoffs during a downturn: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/workshare-information-for-employers. Workshare allows an employer to reduce hours for workers and supplement the hours with unemployment to retain full-time paid workers.
- Rapid Response program is a state-funded employment program that works closely with companies to avert layoffs and keep a skilled workforce engaged in the existing regional economy or industry: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/rapid-response-layoff-aversion
Non-Essential Business Emergency Order Extended Until May 4
Governor Baker announced extending the non-essential business emergency order and employees until May 4. The Department of Public Health’s Stay-At-Home Advisory remains in effect. An order to limit all gatherings to 10 people or less is also being extended to May 4, 2020.
The Administration also updated the “COVID-19 Essential Services” categories for businesses and other organizations that provide essential services and workforces related to COVID-19 that are permitted to operate brick and mortar facilities during the emergency. To Request Designation as an Essential Business, please click here: https://www.mass.gov/forms/essential-service-designation-request.
PAID SICK LEAVE AND FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE
Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA)
- The EPSLA requires employers to provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work for six reasons having to do with COVID-19 where the employee (1) is subject to a government quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19; (2) has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; (3) is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis; (4) is caring for an individual who is subject to an order as described in (1), or who has been advised as described in (2); (5) is caring for his or her son or daughter whose school or place of care has been closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons; or (6) is experiencing any other substantially similar condition.
- Private employers with fewer than 500 employees, as well as public agencies with one or more employees, must comply with the EPSLA, although the Secretary has authority to exempt certain employers with fewer than 50 employees from providing paid sick leave when compliance would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA)
- The EFMLEA requires employers to provide expanded paid family and medical leave to employees who are unable to work because the employee is caring for their child whose school or place of care is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency declared by a government authority.
- The EFMLEA applies to different sets of employers and employees from the other provisions of the FMLA. Private employers with fewer than 500 employees must comply with the EFMLEA, although the Secretary has the authority to exempt by rulemaking employers with fewer than 50 employees from EFMLEA's requirements when compliance would “jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”