Senate Parliamentarian Spikes Minimum Wage

Last night, Elizabeth MacDonough, the Senate Parliamentarian, ruled that a federal minimum wage increase would be ineligible under reconciliation rules, effectively killing it as a component of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. To be eligible for action in the US Senate via reconciliation under the so-called Byrd Rule (authored by and named for…

Read More »

SBA, Biden Announce Changes to PPP

This week, the White House and Small Business Administration (SBA) announced significant changes were being made to the parameters of the Paycheck Protection Program. The changes largely serve to make the program even more attractive to small businesses with an extra focus on those located in underserved and minority communities. Primary amongst the changes is…

Read More »

House Readies COVID Relief for Vote Today

Notwithstanding the ruling by the Senate Parliamentarian, the US House is expected to give final approval to Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 as soon as today, with some questions still remaining as to what the final bill will ultimately include. As of this writing, the legislation, which cleared the House Budget…

Read More »

Minimum Wage Very Much in Play

Although even the President himself opined a few weeks ago that the minimum wage increase would likely be stripped out of the American Rescue Plan Act, the issue is still very much alive and could possibly be passed as part of the $1.9 trillion relief bill. Prevailing wisdom had the wage hike dead once Senator…

Read More »

Alabama, Indiana Enact Business Liability Shields

When Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb signed SB.1 into law last week, the Hoosier State became the most recent to enact a liability shield law to protect businesses from lawsuits regarding the coronavirus pandemic. The new Indiana law provides protection from frivolous lawsuits for businesses, schools, health care providers, governments and other entities from lawsuits alleging…

Read More »

Wisconsin Amends Tax Law for PPP

An ongoing problem with the acceptance of Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness has been with the tax treatment by a business’ home state of the forgiven monies and the expenses the PPP funds have paid for. While the federal government addressed the issue with the passage if the most recent COVID relief bill in December,…

Read More »

SBA Expands Its Menu of Assistance

Perhaps its other programs have been overshadowed by the popularity of the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program, but the Small Business Administration is now offering an expanded menu of help for small businesses. When Congress approved an additional $284 billion for PPP loans in December, it also expanded the benefits…

Read More »

Competing Minimum Wage Proposals

With the Biden administration and Congressional leadership continuing to push to more than double the federal minimum wage (currently $7.25/hour) to $15 per hour, a different approach is expected to be introduced next week in the US Senate. Republican Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) are planning to propose legislation next week that…

Read More »

Boston Café Wins Rent Reprieve in Court

A Massachusetts Superior Court judge has ruled that a London-based Caffe Nero chain café cannot be forced to backpay rent for the months during the early days of the pandemic when they were shut down by a state mandate. Judge Kenneth Salinger ruled that the café, which closed permanently in October, was still legally bound…

Read More »

SBA Rolling Out Fixes to PPP Round 2

Complaints from various industry groups about the roll-out of the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program may be finally yielding favorable results, as the Small Business Administration (SBA) announced this week it was loosening the reins on participating lending institutions. On Wednesday, in the hope of speeding up the process, the SBA said it…

Read More »