Is PPP in the Home Stretch or Due for Extension?

As the calendar takes us deeper into March, the current iteration of the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is closer to its scheduled March 31 expiration – but reports of its death may be exaggerated as pressure is building nationally to extend the program. With the House passing the American Rescue Act of…

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A Rose by Any Other Name

Parliamentarian rulings be damned, Senate democrats are looking at different options to circumvent the ruling of the Senate Parliamentarian last week that a provision in the House-passed American Rescue Act of 2021 (Covid-19 relief bill) is ineligible for passage under budget reconciliation rules (which only require 50 democratic votes for passage rather than 60 votes…

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Turning the Corner – Or Enough’s Enough?

As we pass the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus pandemic hitting the United States in earnest and the accompanying business lockdowns, mask mandates and social distance dictates, many elected officials are moving to get back to normal. Atop the list seems to be Texas Governor Greg Abbott issued an Executive Order this past Tuesday rescinding…

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Hazard Pay for Frontline Workers

If as the old sayings go, Orange is the new Black, and 50 is the new 40, then hazard pay for ‘frontline workers’ is the new paid sick leave. Currently the benefit – between $4 and $5 more an hour – is mostly limited to grocery workers, but some have already talked about the need…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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,…

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