News

Layoff Form Spreadsheet

This is from the Department of Workforce Development regarding an incorrect form sent earlier this week. 
The Layoff Form spreadsheet sent to you earlier this week has been rescinded due to it asking for a full SSN.  The current corrected one is attached, and please resend to Chamber Members/Employers,  along with the link below that will take them to the “Large Layoffs Due to COVID-19” webpage where it has additional information, and also has a link to download the DWD Layoffs spreadsheet.

Below is the statement from Indy concerning the corrected form.

—The layoff form has been updated. Please advise your folks to visit the site and download the current form at https://www.in.gov/dwd/4011.htm


FIRST GLANCE AT THE STIMULUS BILL

First Glance Breakdown

A deal was reached early this morning on the third and largest COVID-19 aid bill, a stimulus package designed to help the ailing economy and ease the burden on families and workers. At over $2 trillion dollars, there is simply nothing in our past to compare it to as we move further into uncharted territory. 

For economic developers, the bill contains many items of interest. Below, we offer a first glance breakdown by agency or program. (You can also view this breakdown as a PDF here). The situation remains fluid as the Senate continues to debate a few remaining sticking points, but we believe this to be fairly close to what their final bill will look like in terms of scope. After the Senate concludes their business on the bill, the House must also act before it can be sent to the president and made law. The Senate and the administration have been collaborating closely with House leadership over the previous weeks in a bid to ensure smooth, quick adoption of the Senate bill once it clears that chamber. Of course, we cannot be certain that will be the case, so please take all of that into consideration when reading the information below.


COVID-19 Resources – Press Release

Executive Order: 20-08 Stay at Home

COVID-19 RESOURCES

For Immediate Release:
Monday, March 23, 2020

Hotline opens Tuesday to help business and industry with Stay-at-Home Order

Indiana will open a call center to field industry questions about Governor Eric J. Holcomb’s Executive Order 20-08, which provides for essential and non-essential business operations, infrastructure and government functions while the state observes a stay-at-home order from March 25-April 7.

The Critical Industries Hotline will open Tuesday at 9 a.m. to help guide businesses and industries with the executive order.

This center, reachable by calling 877-820-0890 or by emailing covidresponse@iedc.in.gov, is for business and industry questions only.

Please read Gov. Holcomb’s executive order and this FAQ page to clarify restrictions and acceptable activities and services under Monday’s Executive Order.

All of Gov. Holcomb’s Executive Orders can found here.


CISA Guidance

CISA Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce

MEMORANDUM ON IDENTIFICATION OF ESSENTIAL CRITICAL
INFRASTRUCTURE WORKERS DURING COVID-19 RESPONSE
FROM: Christopher C. Krebs

Director
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA)

As the Nation comes together to slow the spread of COVID-19, on March 16th, the President issued
updated Coronavirus Guidance for America. This guidance states that:
“If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of
Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you
have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule.”

qThe Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) executes the Secretary of Homeland
Security’s responsibilities as assigned under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to provide strategic
guidance, promote a national unity of effort, and coordinate the overall federal effort to ensure the
security and resilience of the Nation’s critical infrastructure. CISA uses trusted partnerships with
both the public and private sectors to deliver infrastructure resilience assistance and guidance to a
broad range of partners.

 


Gov. Holcomb Takes More Actions to Protect Hoosiers During Public Emergency

Gov. Holcomb Takes More Action to Protect Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Eric J. Holcomb took additional unprecedented actions today to protect and support Hoosiers during the COVID-19 outbreak by signing executive orders that extend the closure of schools, provide economic relief and protections for individuals and businesses, and expand unemployment insurance benefits for those impacted by job loss.

“Every day we learn more about how to tackle this monster. We are being thoughtful about how to approach every action we are taking in this national public health emergency and putting Hoosiers’ health and safety first,” said Gov. Holcomb.

Daily COVID-19 testing capacity in Indiana has expanded with the addition of a new partnership between the Indiana State Department of Health and Eli Lilly and Company, and at least one other entity has initiated testing this week. In the past 24 hours, about 200 tests have been completed.

“As we increase the number of tests analyzed each day, no one should be caught off guard that the number of positive cases will increase,” said Dr. Kris Box, state health commissioner. “This will help us know where community spread is occurring in Indiana and help us mobilize resources in affected areas.”

Here is a summary of covered actions. The Executive Orders, which contain additional actions, will be found at this link: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm

State of Emergency Extension

  • The Governor will extend the current state of emergency an additional 30 days when it expires on April 5.

K-12 schools

  • All K-12 public schools will remain closed until May 1. Non-public schools are also ordered closed. This date may be revised to extend through the end of the 2019-2020 school year if circumstances warrant.
  • All-state mandated assessments will be canceled for the current academic year. The governor has contacted U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to share the state’s plan and also has asked the Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Jennifer McCormick to pursue any federal waivers needed to cancel the requirements for accountability, chronic absenteeism and state-mandated assessments.

Economy

  • The state of Indiana will align with the federal government to delay state income tax payments from April 15 to July 15. The U.S. Treasury extended the deadline to pay federal income tax by 90 days.
  • Penalties will be waived for 60 days for property tax paid after May 11. The state will work with counties that may experience cash flow stress because of the delay.
  • The state will not immediately move forward with using $300 million in reserves to pay for several capital projects approved in the just-concluded legislative session and instead maintain flexibility to utilize the funds as needed for relief efforts and to maintain current services. The state will consider using bonding authority to move forward with the just-approved capital projects.
  • Providers of essential utility services such as gas and electric, broadband, telecom, water and wastewater services are prohibited from discontinuing service to any customer during the public health emergency.
  • The state’s application to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) was approved on Wednesday. This program provides targeted, low-interest loans of up to $2 million to help small businesses and nonprofits overcome the temporary loss of revenue as a result of coronavirus. See more at SBA.gov/Disaster.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits

  • The state will interpret Indiana’s unemployment laws to the broadest extent possible to cover Hoosiers who are out of work because of COVID-19.
  • Benefits will be paid to individuals who file their initial unemployment claims late.
  • The Department of Workforce Development will allow individuals to continue to accrue unemployment eligibility if they take work leave because of COVID-19.
  • DWD will seek federal authorization to provide unemployment benefits for those who are not otherwise eligible for unemployment, such individuals who have recently started a job.
  • For employers, DWD will not assess certain experience rate penalties because of employees who receive unemployment benefits because of COVID-19.

Housing

  • No residential eviction proceedings or foreclosure actions may be initiated during the public health emergency. This does not relieve the individual of obligations to pay rent or mortgage payments.
  • All public housing authorities are requested to extend deadlines for housing assistance recipients and required documentation to show eligibility for housing programs.
  • The Indiana Department of Financial Institutions and Indiana Community Housing Development Authority are required to work with financial institutions to identify tools to help promote housing stability.

Social Services

  • Participants in the Healthy Indiana Plan (HIP) and the Children’s Health Insurance Program are not required to make premium payments.
  • Job search requirements are waived for those applying for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) benefits.
  • The Family and Social Services Administration will seek a federal waiver to extend renewals for existing Medicaid and HIP recipients.
  • Telehealth services for mental health, substance use disorder and prescribing for Medicaid covered services will be expanded.

Insurance

  • The commissioner of the state Department of Insurance will request that insurers institute a 60-day moratorium on policy cancellations for non-payment of premiums. This does not suspend a policyholder’s obligation to make payments.
  • The commissioner will ask health insurers to cover COVID-19 testing without requiring prior authorization.
  • The commissioner will request that health insurers not increase prices or coverage costs that involve medical care for COVID-19.

Bureau of Motor Vehicles

  • To limit the number of in-branch transactions, late fees will be waived for several driver’s licenses and identification card renewals, vehicle registrations, titles, and certain other transactions.
  • Other operational changes in branches are being instituted to provide for the safety of employees and customers in branches, such as spacing between terminals and limiting the number of customers in the lobby.

Veterans

  • Requirements have been relaxed for veterans to qualify for awards from the Military Family Relief Fund.
  • Awards in excess of $2,500 may be approved by the IDVA director during the public health emergency.

Health and Professional Licensing

  • Mental health professionals are permitted to practice via telemedicine.
  • Advance Practice Registered Nurses are allowed to provide services in multiple locations.
  • The state health commissioner may waive requirements of the nursing home certificate of need statute to respond to COVID-19 issues for long-term care facilities.

More information may be found at the ISDH website at in.gov/coronavirus/ and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.


SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Indiana Small Businesses Economically Impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please see the attached SBA disaster assistance news release (English and Spanish) for Indiana due to the Coronavirus disaster declaration.   The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Indiana small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza announced today. SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act that was recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Eric J. Holcomb on March 17, 2020.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Indiana; and the contiguous counties of Clark, Cook, Crawford, Edgar, Gallatin, Iroquois, Kankakee, Lawrence, Vermilion, Wabash, White and Will in Illinois; Boone, Breckinridge, Carroll, Daviess, Gallatin, Hancock, Hardin, Henderson, Jefferson, Meade, Oldham, Trimble and Union in Kentucky; Berrien, Branch, Cass, Hillsdale and Saint Joseph in Michigan; and Butler, Darke, Defiance, Hamilton, Mercer, Paulding, Preble, Van Wert and Williams in Ohio.

“SBA is strongly committed to providing the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist Indiana small businesses with federal disaster loans. We will be swift in our efforts to help these small businesses recover from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus (COVID-19),” said Administrator Carranza.

SBA Customer Service Representatives will be available to answer questions about SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and explain the application process.

“Small businesses, private non-profit organizations of any size, small agricultural cooperatives and small aquaculture enterprises that have been financially impacted as a direct result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) since Jan. 31, 2020, may qualify for Economic Injury Disaster Loans of up to $2 million to help meet financial obligations and operating expenses which could have been met had the disaster not occurred,” said Carranza.

“These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. Disaster loans can provide vital economic assistance to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing,” Carranza added.

Eligibility for Economic Injury Disaster Loans is based on the financial impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The interest rate is 3.75 percent for small businesses. The interest rate for private non-profit organizations is 2.75 percent. SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years and are available to entities without the financial ability to offset the adverse impact without hardship.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard‑of‑hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX  76155.

The deadline to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020.

For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov.

For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit:  SBA.gov/coronavirus.

Please feel free to distribute this release to any of your local contacts, so we can make the widest possible distribution for those affected and those that may be interested.  We will provide updated information as it becomes available.

Regards,

Jay MacKenna
Public Affairs Specialist
Field Operations Center – East
U.S. Small Business Administration


Coronaviru Resources From Indiana Chamber of Commere

 

Federal Update (visit CincinnatiChamber.Com to sign up for their detailed daily COVID update including local, regional and national impacts)

 Stimulus Package 

  • Congress is currently working on a stimulus package of roughly $850 billion. The President and members of his administration have been consulting congressional leaders to identify the greatest needs and priorities.
  • The consensus seems to be building that the leading cause of relief will be a form of direct payment to American citizens. The prior leading proposal was a payroll tax cut, but leaders believe it will take too long to get money to Americans through this method. We do not yet know what the amount will be or how the federal government will distribute the money. We do expect that there will be income restrictions to qualify for the funds.
  • There will be targeted relief for small businesses. The details are unclear, but it looks like businesses with fewer than 500 employees are the target. This will include many of the affected industries, but particularly the restaurants and food establishments who are experiencing dramatic consequences.
  • There will also be relief for specific industries, including airlines, travel and tourism, industrial suppliers, hospitality and others. Again, details are few, but the President was adamant in his support for these businesses.

 Other Federal Initiatives 

  • The IRS is authorizing income tax deferments of up to $300 billion for 90 days after the April 15 deadline with no penalty or interest. Individuals will be able to defer up to $1 million in income taxes and corporations up to $10 million. These amounts are designed to cover most small business owners and pass-through-entities. Americans are still encouraged to file income tax returns on time as many will experience a refund.
  • The Federal Reserve is authorized to purchase commercial paper and inject an additional $1 trillion of liquidity into the economy.
  • FEMA has been activated and will start deploying responses to areas of high need.
  • The federal government is preparing to mobilize the Department of Defense if hospital capacity becomes strained, including:

·         Using the Army Corps of Engineers to renovate existing buildings and convert into a medical function.

·         Deploy military mobile field hospitals at high-volume sites.

  • Medicare is expanding telehealth services for all of its enrollees. This means that Medicare recipients can receive healthcare services from their providers remotely, reducing strain on the healthcare system. Private insurers and state-managed Medicaid programs are encouraged to do the same.
  • The Pentagon will provide 5 million respirators and 2,000 specialized ventilators to federal health authorities (HHS) to help in the response to the coronavirus pandemic.

 Testing and Supplies 

  • Testing supplies and capacity continue to increase. More testing kits are being deployed to states with high levels of outbreaks. Additionally, state departments of health can now authorize additional testing locations, including private testing facilities (such as LabCorp).
  • Remote testing facilities are also increasingly coming online throughout the country. The rollout will continue and drive-up operations will expand.
  • Industries and non-essential medical operations with PPE (personal protective equipment) are encouraged to donate it to Emergency Management Agencies. N95 masks continue to be in high demand, and industries like construction are requested to give it to the healthcare system.

 Government Aid

  • Small Business Administration survey: Information detailing your small business impact to be used to assist Gov. Holcomb in requesting an economic injury disaster declaration, identifying greatest areas of need and receiving available federal funding

 Local Government Response