As COVID-19 continues to spread through our country and our state, businesses are experiencing unprecedented closures and limited workforces, causing much concern about the long-term impact that COVID-19 will have. In response, agencies on both the state and federal level, have begun to issue guidance on available relief. Below are some available resources for the business community:
The U.S. Small Business Administration (“SBA”) is providing low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been impacted by Coronavirus-related economic disruptions. Connecticut has applied and been approved as an impacted area. The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable, and other bills that cannot be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%. Repayment terms are determined on a case-by-case basis, based upon each borrower’s ability to repay, up to a maximum term of 30 years. More information from the SBA can be found at this link.
Federal Reserve Main Street Lending
The U.S. Federal Reserve announced on Monday, March 23, 2020 that it will provide up to $300 billion in new financing to employers, consumers, and businesses under new lending programs that it is establishing to support the U.S. economy in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The details of the lending programs are still being finalized. More information from the Fed is available at this link.
DECD Bridge Loans
The Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development (“DECD”) has indicated that low interest bridge loans will be available to qualifying businesses. According to the DECD Commissioner, additional detail on the loan program is anticipated as early as Monday.
DECD Small Business Express Loan Payment Deferral
DECD announced earlier this week that it will defer all Small Business Express loans for three months. The Small Business Express program has approximately 800 outstanding loans, with an aggregate balance of $110 million. The majority of the outstanding loans have five years of payments remaining.
DECD COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit
DECD has launched an Emergency Response Unit that will assist businesses in navigating the crisis and in developing new resources. The Emergency Response Unit can be reached by telephone at 860-500-2333.
Connecticut Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services (DRS) is extending the filing and payment deadline for personal income tax returns 90 days, to July 15, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The extension also applies to Connecticut estimated income tax payments for the first and second quarters of 2020. This extension for Connecticut personal income tax return filing and payment aligns with the U.S. Treasury’s announcement on Friday, March 20th, in which it indicated that federal income tax filings and payments would be extended until July 15, 2020. More information from DRS is available at this link.
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services granted an automatic extension of Connecticut filing deadlines for certain annual state tax returns as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The filing deadlines for the following annual tax returns due on or after March 15, 2020, and before June 1, 2020, are extended by 30 days. The payment deadlines associated with these returns are all extended to June 15, 2020.
- 2019 Form CT-1065/CT-1120 SI Connecticut Pass-Through Entity Tax Return – filing date extended to April 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
- 2019 Form CT-990T Connecticut Unrelated Business Income Tax Return – filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
- 2019 Form CT-1120 and CT-1120CU Connecticut Corporation Business Return – filing date extended to June 15, 2020; payment deadline extended to June 15, 2020
More information from DRS is available at this link.
Federal Tax Filing and Payment Deadlines
The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) postponed the deadline for making most Federal income tax payments due on April 15, 2020 until July 15, 2020. Most corporations can postpone payment of up to $10,000,000 of tax liability and most other taxpayers, including individuals, can postpone payment of up to $1,000,000 of tax liability. The IRS has also extended the individual tax filing deadline until July 15, 2020. More information from the IRS is available at this link.
Refundable Payroll Tax Credits for Employers Providing Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act provides many American workers up to 12 weeks of paid FMLA leave and two weeks of paid sick leave for certain reasons related to COVID-19. Employers are required to pay these amounts to eligible employees, and the IRS is providing two new refundable payroll tax credits to reimburse the employers. The new credits are available to employers with fewer than 500 employees and are designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar, for the cost of providing COVID-19 related leave to their employees. Eligible employers that provide emergency paid sick leave and emergency paid family and medical leave under the Act will receive an immediate dollar-for-dollar tax offset against payroll tax liability. To the extent that a refund is owed, the IRS will send the refund as quickly as possible. More information from the IRS about the refundable payroll tax credits is available at this link. More information from Carmody about the requirement for employers to provide paid leave is available at this link.
Supply Chain Interruption
The Department of Consumer Protection has provided contact information for FEMA’s National Business Emergency Operations Center for businesses that are experiencing issues relating to supply chains, delivery of goods, or business continuity. The National Business Emergency Operations Center, a 24-hour operation, can be reached by email at NBEOC@fema.dha.gov.
Export-Import Bank of the United States
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (“EXIM”) has announced relief measures for exporters and financial institutions in the United States, comprised of a variety of waivers, extensions, and streamlined processing requirements related to the Working Capital Guarantee Program, the Multi-Buyer and Single-Buyer Short-Term Insurance Program, and the Medium-Term Single-Buyer Insurance Policies issued to exporters. EXIM’s relief provisions were announced March 12, 2020 and are being offered for an initial 30-day period, with further extensions and accommodations possible at EXIM’s discretion. Additional information about EXIM’s relief measures is available at this link.
Department of Banking Guidance
The Department of Banking issued guidance on March 17 that state-chartered banking institutions and credit unions should make efforts to work with borrowers, which may include easing terms for new loans, waving overdraft fees, increasing the number of allowed money market withdrawals, waiving CD early withdrawal penalties, waiving late fees for loan balances, and offering payment accommodations. The Department indicated that financial institutions making prudent modifications to existing loans will not be subject to regulatory criticism. The full Department of Banking guidance can be obtained at this link.
We are diligently monitoring for further information and guidance. Should you have any questions, please contact your regular Carmody attorney or any of our team members below:
Thomas R. Candrick, Jr.
(203) 784-3103; firstname.lastname@example.org
(203) 575-2621; email@example.com
Matthew H. Gaul
(203) 784-3106; firstname.lastname@example.org
Joseph L. Kinsella
(203) 575-2645; email@example.com
Mark J. Malaspina
(203) 575-2625; firstname.lastname@example.org
Ann H. Zucker
(203) 252-2652; email@example.com
Wesley D. Cain
(203) 784-3105; firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie E. Cummings
(203) 575-2649; email@example.com
Kevin G. Palumberi
(203) 252-2692; firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly G. Wheeler
(203) 784-3158; email@example.com