December 23, 2020
Congress has passed, and President Trump is expected to sign, legislation providing additional COVID-19 relief. Here are some of the key provisions dealers should be aware of:
Voluntary Extension of FFCRA Leave Requirements.
The emergency paid sick leave or expanded Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was set to expire on December 31, 2020. Under this new legislation, FFCRA leave is no longer required, but if covered employers voluntarily provide these benefits, they are eligible to take the tax credit for the leave taken through March 31, 2021.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Extension.
The legislation provides $284.5 billion for a second round of PPP loans for eligible businesses, defining eligibility for second-draw PPP loans as:
- small businesses with no more than 300 employees
- can demonstrate at least a 25% reduction in gross revenues between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020
Loans are limited to $2 million.
The loan forgiveness process has been simplified for this second round of loans. Importantly, the bill also explicitly makes business expenses paid for by PPP loans deductible.
Unemployment Insurance (UI).
The legislation provides $300/week in increased federal unemployment benefits (a prior increase of $600/week expired in July). Under the legislation, all UI recipients will receive an additional $300 per week through March 14, 2021.
Some VADA members have begun to ask about vaccines for essential employees. As it looks at expanding beyond the first group of Americans to get the vaccine (heath care workers and long-term care facility residents, or “Phase 1a”), the CDC will be making recommendations for additional vaccination phases. The next phase under discussion would potentially include essential workers and is defined as:
- Phase 1b – Frontline essential workers: first responders (e.g., firefighters and police officers), corrections officers, food and agricultural workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, and those who work in the education sector (teachers and support staff members) as well as child care workers.
- Phase 1c – All other essential workers: workers in transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing (e.g., construction), finance (e.g., bank tellers), information technology and communications, energy, legal, media, and public safety (e.g., engineers), and public health workers.
We will keep you updated on when essential employees at dealerships can expect to receive vaccinations. (In Virginia, automotive parts, accessories, and tire retailers as well as automotive repair facilities are defined as “essential retail businesses.”)
Here are some resources for information on vaccines: