Coronavirus Updates

Lockhart EDC will be posting information regarding the ongoing novel Coronavirus pandemic.  

Please check back often for information regarding the Coronavirus and resources available.

 

Lockhart COVID-19 Economic Recovery Grant Application

 

Lockhart COVID-19 Economic Recovery Loan Application

 

Governor's Strike Force To Open Texas - Full Report

The following link will download the Governor's Strike Force to Open Texas Report.  The report details the guidelines to which businesses should follow as the state reopens.  Please download it, read it, and follow it to keep everyone safe. Download it HERE

 

COVID-19 Small Business Assistance

The following link will download a Small Business Assistance document which is a document with resources beyond loans to help your business through this pandemic. Download it HERE

 

COVID-19 Small Business Easy Links Document

The following link will download a Small Business Easy Links document which is a simple place to get to the places you need to apply for the loans being offered by the federal government.  Download it HERE

 

COVID-19 Small Business Guide & Checklist

The following link will download a Small Business Guide & Checklist from the US Chamber of Commerce.  The guide walks you, as a small business owner, through the CARES Act.  Download it HERE

 

COVID-19 Resource Guide (Updated 4.13.20)

All LEDC has compiled a comprehensive document of relevant information and links for easy reference.  We will update it as needed so check back often.  Download it HERE

 


CARES Act

On March 27, the federal CARES Act was signed into law, providing over $2.2 trillion in federal stimulus spending to aid the U.S. economy.

Expanded Unemployment Insurance, Tax Rebates, and Business Tax Provisions for Individuals:

  • The CARES Act created a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program.
  • All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 married), who are not a dependent of another taxpayer and have a work-eligible social security number, are eligible for the full $1,200 ($2,400 married) check, plus an additional $500 per child. For example, a family of 4 could receive up to $3,400.
  • Direct cash assistance
    • $1,200 direct cash payments for individuals (i.e. $2,400 for a married couple) who earn up to $75,000 per year.
      • The amount of the cash assistance scales down for individuals earning more than $75,000, and phases out completely at $99,000.
      • Individuals or couples get an additional $500 paid per child.
      • The $1,200 benefit does not count as taxable income.
      • People filing as “head of household” on their taxes will receive the benefit if they earn $112,500 or less.
    • The IRS will use a taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (gross income, minus deductions) from their 2018 return or their 2019 return (current tax year) to determine the size of the check.
  • Enhanced unemployment insurance benefits
    • CARES added thirteen more weeks of UI benefits, and a $600 weekly enhancement of benefit for four months.
    • The UI funding is being released to state agencies for administration. In Texas, the agency is the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
    • The “work search” requirement and “waiting week” have been waived, but it can still take two weeks for a person to receive their benefits at this time. The use of direct deposit is highly recommended.
  • Contract/freelance/gig economy/part-time workers will be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits for the first time

Large employers (more than 500 employees): Additional Market Loan Program (Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020)

While the Paycheck Protection Program summarized above is the primary loan program for small businesses with less than 500 employees, the Coronavirus Economic Stabilization Act of 2020 under the CARES Act would provide the largest potential impact with up to $454 billion available to provide liquidity to covered businesses, including in the hospitality sector (an additional $46 billion are earmarked for specific industries).  The program provides $454 billion in financing to banks and other lenders that make direct loans or guarantees to certain eligible businesses on market terms. 

If your businesses was forced to close by state or local government: 50% Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

The CARES Act provides eligible employers with a refundable payroll tax credit equal to 50% of certain “qualified wages” (including certain health plan expenses) paid to its employees beginning March 13, 2020 through December 31, 2020, if the employer is engaged in an active trade or business in 2020, and the wages are paid while the operation of that trade or business is fully or partially suspended due to a governmental order related to COVID-19; or, during the period beginning in the first quarter in which gross receipts for that trade or business are less than 50% of gross receipts for the same calendar quarter of 2019 and ending at the end of the first subsequent quarter in which gross receipts are more than 80% for the same calendar quarter of 2019.

  • The credit is equal to 50 percent of qualified wages (including health expenses) paid to an employee after March 12, 2020 in each calendar quarter, up to a total of $10,000 per employee for all quarters.
  • The credit is taken against employment taxes, with any excess refunded to the employer.
  • For employers with 100 or fewer employees (measured by average employment in 2019), the credit applies if the employer had to fully or partially suspend operations due to an order from a governmental authority, or had a decline in revenue for any calendar quarter in 2020 of 50% compared to the same quarter in 2019.
  • For employers with over 100 employees, the same conditions apply, but the credit applies only to wages paid to employees who are on the payroll but not working.
  • The credit covers qualified wages paid after March 12, 2020 to December 31, 2020. The credit expires when (1) the full $10,000 per employee maximum is reached, or (2) when revenue for a quarter in 2020 is above 80% of gross receipts for the same quarter in 2019.

Other Tax Provisions

Payroll Tax Payment Extensions – The CARES Act will postpone the deadline for payment of the employer portion of the 6.2% employer share of the Social Security tax (but not the 1.45% employer share of the Medicare tax) from the date of the bill’s enactment through the end of 2020.  The deferred amounts would be payable over the following two years, with 50% payable by December 31, 2021 and the remaining 50% by December 31, 2022.

  • Delay of estimated tax payments for corporations until October 15, 2020.
  • Defers Payroll Tax payment; half paid on Dec 31, 2021 and other half on Dec 31, 2022.
  • 5-year carryback for Net Operating Losses (Includes special treatment for REITS)
  • Increases Section 163j business expensing from 30% limitation to 50% of taxable income for 2019 and 2020.

*Thanks for the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association


CARES Act

On March 27, the federal CARES Act was signed into law, providing over $2.2 trillion in federal stimulus spending to aid the U.S. economy. One of the most important aspects is the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Here is what we know about it.

Forgivable loans: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The PPP is perhaps the most valuable program in the CARES Act for businesses with fewer than 500 employees. This SBA loan provides assistance to businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis to help keep employees working. If the business meets the necessary conditions of the loan, a portion of it will be forgivable. Here are the basics of what you need to know about the PPP.

Loan periods:  

PPP loans can be made between February 15, 2020, and June 30, 2020. For PPP loan forgiveness purposes, the “covered period” is the eight-week period beginning on the date of the loan.

Loan eligibility:  

A hotel business must have less than 500 employees and have been operating on February 15, 2020. In addition to a corporation, the “business” can also be a sole proprietor or a self-employed individual to be eligible for a PPP loan.

Loan size, term, rate, and where to get a loan:

The maximum loan size is equal to 250 percent of the hotel’s average monthly payroll costs during the February 15, 2019 – June 30, 2019 time period.  If you were not in business during that time, the maximum loan is equal to 250 percent of your average monthly payroll costs between January 1, 2020 and February 29, 2020. 

The absolute cap is $10 million per loan.

The loan will mature within 10 years of issue.

The interest rate for a PPP loan will not exceed 4 percent.

Lenders include banks and credit unions, so businesses do not have to deal exclusively with the SBA if they would prefer to use a private party broker.

Loan forgiveness.

The best benefit of a PPP loan is that a portion of the loan may be forgivable within a year from the loan date.  

The amount of forgiveness on a covered loan is equal to the sum of the following payroll costs incurred during the covered 8-week period (8 weeks starting from the loan date) compared to the previous year’s time period, proportionate to maintaining employees and wages (excluding compensation over $100,000 per employee).  These costs include payroll costs, plus any payment of interest on any covered mortgage obligation (not including any prepayment or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation), plus any payment on any covered rent obligation, plus any covered utility payment. See the calculation information below.

“Payroll costs” include the sum of payments of any compensation with respect to employees, including:

  • salary, wage, commission or similar compensation
  • payment of cash tips or equivalent
  • payment for vacation, parental, family, medical or sick leave
  • allowance for dismissal or separation
  • payment required for the provision of group health care benefits, including insurance premiums
  • payment of any retirement benefit, or
  • payment of state or local tax assessed on the compensation of employees.

“Payroll costs” do not include the following:

  • the compensation of an individual employee in excess of an annual salary of $100,000, as prorated for the covered period (i.e. compensation above the $100,000 threshold),
  • taxes imposed or withheld under Chapters 21 (Social Security and Medicare taxes, employee and employer portion), or 24 (withholding obligations from employees) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • any compensation of an employee whose principal place of residence is outside of the United States
  • qualified sick leave wages and qualified family leave wages, in each case, for which a credit is allowed under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

How to calculate loan forgiveness eligibility:

The forgivable amount is the sum of the following costs incurred during the eight-week period after the loan’s origination date, subject to certain exclusions.  

1)  Add the following costs for the eight-week covered period:

  • payroll costs (as previously described)
  • payments of interest on any liability of the borrower that is a mortgage on real or personal property and that were incurred before February 15, 2020 (covered mortgage obligation)
  • payments on any rent obligated under a leasing agreement in force before February 15, 2020 (covered rent obligations)
  • payments for a service for the distribution of electricity, gas, water, transportation, telephone or internet access for which service began before February 15, 2020 (covered utility payments).

2) Divide the average number of full-time equivalent (FTE) employees per month during the eight-week covered period by either of the following (chosen by the borrower):

(a) The average number of FTE employees per month employed by the borrower during the same eight-week period in 2019, or

(b) The average number of FTE employees per month employed by the borrower during the period beginning on January 1, 220 and ending on February 29, 2020.

3) Multiply the added costs from in Step 1) by the FTE calculation completed in Step 2) above. The result is the maximum loan forgiveness available, but note that if your total payroll expenses on workers making less than $100,000 annually decreases by more than 25 percent in the eight-week covered period, the maximum loan forgiveness will be decreased by the same amount of payroll tax reductions. If you have already laid off some employees, you can still be forgiven for the full amount of your payroll cost if you rehire your employees by June 30, 2020.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and the PPP

If you took out an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020 and you want to refinance that loan into a PPP loan, you will add the outstanding EIDL loan amount to the payroll sum.

FAQ:  Below is some common questions hoteliers are asking regarding the PPP.

Can a hotel use the PPP loan proceeds to pay other expenses like insurance premiums, franchise fees, or property taxes?

If you use the PPP loan proceeds for other hotel operating expenses aside from what is eligible above, this portion of the loan will not be forgiven. The eligible items for forgiveness are noted above. When you apply through your lender for forgiveness on your loan, the application must include:

  • Documentation verifying the number of employees on payroll and pay rates, including IRS payroll tax filings and State income, payroll and unemployment insurance filings;
  • Documentation verifying payments on covered mortgage obligations, lease obligations, and utilities; and 
  • Certification from a representative of your business or organization that is authorized to certify that the documentation provided is true and that the amount that is being forgiven was used in accordance with the program’s guidelines for use.

If we are not obligated to pay back the loan for 12 months, does the loan accrue interest during those 12 months?  Or does interest start to accrue after the 12-month period?

If the full principal of the PPP loan is forgiven, the borrower is not responsible for the interest accrued in the 8-week covered period. The remainder of the loan that is not forgiven will operate according to the loan terms agreed upon by you and the lender, at a 4% max interest.

Can I receive multiple loans under the CARES ACT? (Economic Injury Disaster Loan, Emergency Grant, and PPP)?

It appears that the Emergency Economic Injury Grant recipients and those who receive loan payment relief through the Small Business Debt Relief Program may apply for and take out a PPP loan. Meaning, you could possibly obtain both if approved. Notably, the SBA lender you choose to obtain your loans through will be able to answer the specifics on what you can loan and what you cannot. 

If I received money under the Emergency Injury Disaster Loan, do I have to refinance that into my potential PPP loan?

Refinancing your EIDL loan is an option and is not a requirement for the forgiveness portion. However, you would want to talk with your lender about what would make the most sense for you. 

Who can show me what the terms of the loan would look like on each loan?

We highly recommend that you find a lender who will be able to offer these types of loans when they soon become available. The lender will be able to discuss the terms on each loan and what that would look like specifically for you. 

 

*Thanks for the Texas Hotel & Lodging Association

 


Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Update

https://comptroller.texas.gov/about/emergency/

Help is AvailableMarch 24, 2020

These are challenging times for businesses all over the nation. The Texas Comptroller’s office knows that during periods of economic hardship, paying or remitting taxes and fees on time can feel like an extra burden when there’s so much uncertainty. We’re thankful to those businesses that were able to remit state and local sales taxes they collected from customers in February on the March 20, 2020, due date.

We understand that virtually all of our taxpayers are doing their best to remain in compliance and be responsible in submitting the taxes they collected from their customers. With that in mind, our agency is here to offer assistance to those businesses that are struggling to pay the full amount of sales taxes they collected in February.

For businesses that find themselves in this situation, our agency is offering assistance in the form of short-term payment agreements and, in most instances, waivers of penalties and interest.

We ask that you contact our Enforcement Hotline at 800-252-8880 to learn about your options for remaining in compliance and avoiding interest and late fees on taxes due.

We strongly encourage you to use our online tools, tutorials and other resources for tax services, and establish 24/7 account access on Webfile.

We’re standing by to help Texas businesses during these difficult times.


 

 

Governor Abbott Requests Major Disaster Declaration from White House

AUSTIN -  Governor Greg Abbott today sent a letter to President Trump requesting a presidential declaration of a major disaster in Texas based on the continued impact of COVID-19. This action follows on the heels of a series of proactive measures, including declaring a state of disaster for all 254 Texas counties on March 13, 2020.

Filed in accordance with the Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, the request is based in part on Governor Abbott’s conclusion that the ongoing COVID-19 incident is of such severity and magnitude that supplementary federal assistance is necessary to save lives, to protect property, public health, and safety, and to lessen or avert the threat of a larger disaster.

“Texas is all-in on our response to COVID-19 and we need Washington’s financial assistance as provided for under the law to support our efforts to limit the spread of this virus,” said Governor Abbott. “COVID-19-related expenses and obligations are already exceeding $50 million and that will only rise as our efforts continue. Additional federal funding is essential for us to maintain our aggressive course of action to protect our state.”

In his letter, the Governor specifically requested Individual Assistance Crisis Counseling and Public Assistance Category B (Emergency Protective Measures) including Direct Federal Assistance for all 254 counties in Texas, noting that, as of March 23rd, Texas has 352 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with eight related deaths.

Governor Abbott’s letter also detailed the state’s efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19, including executing the state's emergency management plan and issuing multiple executive orders, in accordance with guidelines from President Trump and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These include:

  • mandatory avoidance of social gatherings of more than 10 people;
  • mandatory avoidance of dine-in eating and drinking at bars or restaurants, and of gyms or massage establishments;
  • prohibition on non-critical visits to nursing homes, retirement or long-term care facilities; and
  • the temporary closure of in-person school operations.

The Governor has also issued multiple waivers of state law to remove barriers limiting the response to this pandemic and activated the Texas National Guard to be prepared to assist with response efforts for COVID-19. To date, more than 466 Texas jurisdictions have submitted local disaster declarations, a number that is expected to rise.

The requested federal aid would be used to overcome the current shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), needed medical equipment and testing supplies as well as looming shortages of hospital beds, medical equipment, and a healthy and adequate cadre of medical personnel.

The letter also designated Chief Nim Kidd as the Governor’s Authorized Representative and State Coordinating Officer, tasked with continuing his coordination with FEMA on all matters related to COVID-19.

View the Governor's letter.

Texas has been approved by the SBA for Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Go to SBA.gov/disaster to start your application and see if you qualify.

More Resources for Businesses and Employees

Please visit the Governor's website for more Coronavirus business assistance links, including the SBA, Texas Workforce Commission, and others for more information.

https://gov.texas.gov/business/page/coronavirus

Governor Abbott Declares Public Health Disaster - 3/19/2020

At a noon CDT new conference, Texas Governor Greg Abbott banned dine-in eating, gatherings of 10+ across state through executive order.  School are also closed statewide during this time.  Drive-through still allowed, no shelter-in-place rule beginning tomorrow at midnight and ending on April 3rd.

Small Business Association Emergency Disaster Loan

SBA provides low-interest disaster loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. 

Businesses that plan on seeking an SBA emergency loan should click HERE fill out the form and turn it into TDEMPARecovery@tdem.texas.gov. This form is not required, but is a convenience in clarifying the supporting documentation the state is required to submit to the U.S. Small Business Administration when requesting an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration. This information in any other format would also be acceptable.

When SBA Disaster Loans are available, small businesses will need to apply directly to SBA’s Disaster Assistance page https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance