As the nation grapples with the health and economic impact of the COVID-19, the federal government and states are providing financial assistance to small businesses impacted by the disease and the efforts to stop the spread. APMA is providing current resources that may be available to eligible podiatric offices, and we encourage you to check back often as we continue to update this page as new information becomes available in the coming days and weeks. Page last updated on March 30, 2020.
APMA exists to support the podiatry community. In light of that fundamental commitment, APMA is announcing a new, multimillion-dollar relief plan for its members. APMA will continue to assess member needs and update you. In the meantime, if you have questions, please contact APMA at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Paycheck Protection Program
Update: On March 31, the Treasury Department released guidance for borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program. APMA is analyzing the guidance and will provide advice for members in the days to come. Click below to access the document from the Treasury Department.
Starting April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply. More information is also available at https://home.treasury.gov/cares.
On March 27, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) Act was signed into law establishing the Paycheck Protection Program, a $350-billion program to help small businesses with their payroll and operating costs during the crisis. The Paycheck Protection Program will be part of the US Small Business Administration Section 7(a) loans program, and the loans can be obtained through a Section 7(a)-approved lender. US Department of Treasury and the SBA will be publishing a list of approved-lenders. In the meantime, members should contact banks that they have a relationship with, or a bank in their community. Note: Loan forgiveness is available and tax-free; learn more about the requirements and application process.
The highlights of the program include:
Loans can be used for:
Learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program by reading APMA consultant’s Hart Health Strategies Overview of Small Business Paycheck Protection.
To help the public better understand the new provisions in the law, the Senate Committee on Small Business provided answers to frequently asked questions.
Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
The CARES Act also expanded Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance Program and relaxed the eligibility requirements. EIDLs offer up to $2 million in assistance and carry an interest rate of 3.75 percent for small businesses with a 30-year term. EIDLs have been available to small businesses and the CARES Act made independent contractors and sole proprietorship eligible. Additional program highlights include:
Unlike Paycheck Protection Program, EIDLs do not have any loan forgiveness provisions. However, applicants that already applied for an EIDL loan can refinance their EIDL under the Paycheck Protection Program.
Eligible small businesses can apply for a loan at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For questions, please contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339) or email email@example.com.
Read more about both SBA Loan programs from APMA’s outside law firm Foley & Lardner, LLP. Additional information on SBA assistance and small business resources are provided by APMA’s health policy consultants Hart Health Strategies.
Yes, APMA created this state-by-state spreadsheet of state-sponsored loans to help small businesses during the pandemic.
Bank/Credit Union Lenders
Federal agencies that regulate financial institutions are encouraging these institutions to work with their customers, especially small businesses, impacted by COVID-19. Specifically, FDIC has offered the following guidance for bank customers:
"In certain situations, the FDIC is encouraging banks to allow customers to skip loan payments with no adverse consequences for the borrower, extend loan terms, and restructure loans. However, before skipping payments or otherwise operating in a manner that differs from the terms of a loan, contact your bank to determine its flexibility during this time.
Similarly, the National Credit Union Administration is advising credit unions to assist their members and work with borrowers affected by COVID-19. Recommendations include:
Debt Relief and Financial Protection
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has provided resources and guidance on how individuals can financially protect themselves, including student loan deferment and other options. Visit the CFPB COVID-19 Resource page for more details.
Business Interruption Insurance
Podiatrists should also review their insurance policies (including property/casualty insurance policies) to determine if the policy includes business interruption insurance (also known as business income coverage). This insurance is a type that may replace loss of income or pay business expenses during a disaster. Podiatrists should speak with an insurance advisor to determine whether this insurance would apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At least one state legislature is considering mandating that property insurers cover COVID-19 as part of their business interruption policy. Specifically, the New Jersey Assembly is considering AB 3844. According to the official summary:
"This bill provides a mechanism by which certain businesses that suffer losses due to interruption as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic may recover those losses from their insurer if they had a policy of business interruption insurance in force on March 9, 2020, the date on which the Governor declared a Public Health Emergency and State of Emergency in Executive Order 103. The bill would apply to businesses covered by such a policy with less than 100 eligible employees in the State of New Jersey. "Eligible employee" is defined as a full-time employee who works a normal work week of 25 or more hours."
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) included a refundable payroll tax credit to reimburse businesses for sick leave and family and medical leave wages paid to employees affected by COVID-19. For businesses that otherwise may not be able to afford the employee costs associated with COVID-19-related paid leave, the Treasury Department has stated that it will use its regulatory authority to advance funds to employers concerned about cash flow.
The bill requires employers to provide notice of eligibility for paid sick leave and family and medical leave to its employees. The Department of Labor will create a model notification within seven days following enactment of the bill.
Disclaimer: This resource is for information purposes only. APMA advises doctors of podiatric medicine to speak with an attorney or financial advisor duly licensed in their jurisdiction.