CORONAVIRUS | News & Updates Affecting Your Business

COVID-19 (coronavirus) with red balls

The new coronavirus (COVID-19) is changing the way we live and work across the globe. As the world responds to this disease and takes precautions to slow its spread, you and your business will likely be affected. We’re paying attention to key updates and will continue to update this page as they happen.

Here’s what you should know.

Up to $1 million in retooling grants available for Michigan businesses 

Pure Michigan Business Connect, a program through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, will offer grants to companies that temporarily shift their operations to produce medical supplies. The grants are meant to assist with retooling and manufacturing costs for items including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, ventilators, and more. Click here to learn more about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

 

Low-interest loans are now available for Kalamazoo Small Businesses

The City of Kalamazoo and United Way of the Battle Creek & Kalamazoo Region have partnered to offer loans to small businesses affected by COVID-19 in the Kalamazoo area. Supported by the Foundation for Excellence, low-interest loans are available in amounts ranging from $5,000 to $50,000. Click here to learn more about these loans and how to apply.

 

Michigan will expand access to state unemployment benefits

Date issued: 3/30/2020

Governor Whitmer recently announced plans to expand access to unemployment benefits for self-employed and low wage workers in Michigan. An agreement between the U.S. Department of Labor and the state of Michigan allows individuals who wouldn’t normally be eligible for unemployment to access Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs. For more information, including an unemployment filing schedule, click here.

 

$2 trillion stimulus bill passes in the House and Senate, signed by President Trump

Date issued: 3/27/2020

President Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on Friday, March 27. This economic stimulus package promises stimulus checks for individuals, loans for businesses, and an expansion of unemployment benefits. The House of Representatives approved the bill Friday morning, while the Senate approved the package earlier in the week on March 25.

A significant piece of the CARES Act is dedicated to supporting business operations and encouraging organizations to keep their employees employed by establishing $349 billion in loans. We’ve answered your top questions on our blog: Am I eligible for a loan? How do I apply? Click here to read about paycheck protection loans on our blog.

And, the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce dives deeper into this package. Visit their website here to learn more.

We’ll keep you updated as new information becomes available.

 

State of Michigan extends city and state income tax filing deadlines

Date issued: 3/27/2020

Governor Whitmer signed an executive order extending the state of Michigan’s city and state income tax filing deadlines on Friday, March 27. Income taxes originally due on April 15, including state income taxes, are now due July 15, 2020. Cities with an April 30 filing deadline will now have a deadline of July 31, 2020.

 

$1 million in grant funding available for Michigan small businesses

The Right Place was awarded $1 million through the Michigan Small Business Relief Grant to support small businesses impacted by the coronavirus. Eligible businesses can receive up to $10,000 to support expenses such as payroll, rent, and utilities. Businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and be able to demonstrate income loss caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Right Place estimates funds will be available by April 12, 2020. Applications for Kent, Ionia, Montcalm, Newaygo, Lake, Oceana, Barry, Mason, Mecosta, Muskegon and Osceola Counties businesses are now CLOSED.

Loans also are available for businesses in Allegan and Ottawa counties through Lakeshore Advantage. Click here for more information.

The State of Michigan has two COVID-19 relief programs – a grant program and loan program – that total $20 million in funds for small businesses. Funds are distributed through economic development organizations (EDOs). Visit the Michigan Economic Development Corp.’s website to find your local EDO and apply.

 

Treasury Department gives taxpayers an additional 90 days to file taxes and make tax payments

Date issued: 3/21/2020

In an effort to provide relief to taxpayers, the IRS and the Treasury Department have extended the April 15 Tax Day by 90 days. The new deadline to file your federal income taxes and make payments is July 15, 2020. This applies to all taxpayers, regardless of the amount they owe. You do not need to file for an extension in order to observe this new deadline. However, if the July 15 deadline can’t be met, individuals may extend their returns to Oct. 15, 2020.

Filing dates other than April 15 haven’t been extended at this time. Second quarter estimates are still due on June 15, 2020.

Click here to learn more.

 

States extend tax payment and filing deadlines

Following the IRS’ lead, individual states have begun extending their deadlines to file state income taxes and make tax payments. Click here to view a complete list of state tax filing updates from the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).

 

City of Grand Rapids extends income tax filing deadline

Date issued: 3/20/2020

The City of Grand Rapids announced they will delay their income tax filing deadline to July 31, 2020, for all individuals and businesses. Payments made up until this date will not receive penalties or interest. This deferment doesn’t apply to withholding taxes.

Additionally, the city’s online Tax Return Upload is now available to everyone.

 

Families First Coronavirus Response Act passes in House and Senate, signed into law by President Trump

Date issued: 3/19/2020

The Act guarantees free coronavirus testing, establishes paid sick leave, enhances unemployment insurance, and more. Key highlights of this Act include the expansion of the Family Medical and Leave Act (FMLA), paid sick leave, and tax credits for employers who pay qualifying wages.

According to the Act, employers must provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work because they’re experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus and/or are quarantined. Under these conditions, employees can receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at their standard rate of pay.

Employers must also offer paid sick leave to employees unable to work because they’re caring for an individual who’s quarantined or caring for a child whose school or child care provider is closed due to COVID-19. Employees can receive up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at two-thirds of their regular pay.

If employees are unable to work because they’re caring for a child whose school or child care provider is unavailable due to COVID-19, they’re eligible for extended paid family and medical leave. Employers must offer an additional 10 weeks of paid family and medical leave at two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay. Any employees who have been employed for at least 30 days are eligible to receive this benefit.

Which employers are required to provide these paid leave benefits?

Certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide paid leave. There is one exception. Small businesses with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption to provide paid family and medical leave if doing so would jeopardize the business.

These paid leave requirements are effective from April 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020. Full-time and part-time employees are eligible for paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave.

Finally, employers qualify for tax credits for the qualifying wages they pay to employees under this Act. If you have questions about how long employees can take leave under specific conditions or how to calculate their pay while on leave, please visit the Department of Labor’s website.

Have questions about the tax implications of this Act? We can help. Contact us.

 

Small businesses in Michigan can now qualify for federal disaster loans

Date issued: 3/19/2020

Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available for small businesses in Michigan. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) officially approved an Economic Injury Disaster Declaration on March 19, 2020, after a request from Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Nonprofit organizations, small businesses, and small agricultural cooperatives are eligible to apply for loans of up to $2 million. Click here to apply.

 

Michigan Department of Treasury waives penalty and interest for 30 days

Date issued: 3/17/2020

The state of Michigan is waiving penalty and interest for late tax payments or late filing of tax returns due March 20, 2020. This waiver affects taxpayers who pay and file returns on the 20th of each month.

Now, sales, use, and withholding taxpayers have an additional 30 days to make payments and file returns. The new due date is April 20, 2020. This extension doesn’t apply to accelerated sales, use, or withholding tax filers.

 

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What we're watching

Another stimulus bill could be on the horizon 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Monday, March 30, that another stimulus package is in the works. The intent of this new package is to continue providing relief from coronavirus in the form of increased medical protective equipment, further expansions of paid sick leave, and additional funding for individual states and their local governments. We’ll keep you updated when we learn more.

 

Michigan Congressman introduces act to support medical professionals and first responders 

On Friday, April 3, 2020 Congressman Bill Huizenga introduced another act to support individuals impacted by coronavirus. The act – called the Helping Emergency Responders Overcome Emergency Situations (HEROES) Act – would provide medical professionals and first responders with a four-month holiday from paying federal income taxes. Click here to read the HEROES Act.

 

A Michigan State Representative has proposed a “Sales Tax Holiday” 

State Rep. Lynn Afendoulis recently introduced a bill to temporarily waive state sales tax after the coronavirus pandemic passes. Afendoulis suggests this will incentivize spending and help the state’s econonmy recover from the current disruption. The details of this bill are still in the works.

Have questions about how the coronavirus may affect your business? Let’s talk!