Accountants + Business Advisors

COVID-19 and Your Business’ Finances: Sunday, March 22 Update

3.22.20

COVID-19 and Your Business’ Finances: Sunday, March 22 Update

Sunday, March 22, 2020

By Chuck Mullen, Chairman

Remember the good old days, like in February, when going to the office was admirable and staying home in sweatpants was just something you didn’t talk about? My, how life has changed in a couple of short weeks. Apple Growth Partners remains committed to bringing you regular updates as they occur with federal and state mandates, including, of course, as they relate to finances. Here are our rubber-gloved, handpicked topics of the day:

“Stay at Home” aka “Lockdown” aka “Shelter-in-Place” comes to Ohio: Effective Monday night at 11:59 pm and until April 6, Ohio will be operating under what’s known as a “Stay at Home” directive, noncompliance with which is a misdemeanor enforceable by local law enforcement and health departments.  In other words, it’s an order, not a guideline or a suggestion. However, it’s not a complete lockdown; it’s actually somewhat liberal in that it allows for some travel, and it also allows for a variety of “essential” businesses to remain open, as designated by the Department of Homeland Security. The full directive can be found here. If you have questions about this directive, call us, or your attorney, or consult with your industry trade association, much of the directive is somewhat open for interpretation.

Federally Held Student Loans…take a couple months off, but do tell someone first: The Office of Federal Student Aid is honoring a promise recently made by President Trump, and that is, effective March 13 and continuing for at least 60 days thereafter, the interest rate on federally held student loans will be reset to 0%, and borrowers have the option of requesting a forbearance of payments during that period.  The 0% interest rate is automatic for all federally held student loans, but the forbearance of payment requires a phone call or online request of the loan servicer.

Some notable organizations have an idea for business financial aid: The AICPA, along with Intuit, Paychex and the International Franchise Association, have collectively developed a neat idea to get aid money from the federal government directly into business payroll bank accounts, by utilizing the payroll systems the companies already utilize…the Administration and Congress are now being urged to act on this idea. The money flow would be fast because it would utilize a distribution system that is firmly already in place (payroll systems), and the monies could be used to fund payroll during the pandemic.  Stay tuned on this developing story.

And now you’re up to date for today….more to come on the trillions of dollars being negotiated on Capitol Hill this weekend. On Friday, we were talking about a $1 trillion tax relief bill…and in just a couple of days, that bill has morphed into a multi-trillion dollar package that will include $4 trillion in Federal Reserve business loan liquidity to resuscitate businesses damaged by COVID-19.  Stay tuned….it’s a doozy. Also, you can find our first update article for business owners here, the second update here, and as always, resources for business owners on our website.

We realize that there is an exorbitant amount of information of the COVID-19 legislation that is posted to the web and being circulated.  Apple Growth Partners wants to provide you with accurate and current information to assist your planning. Remember, the legislative process is not completed once the legislation is passed. Regulatory guidance from federal agencies such as the Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, Department of Health and Human Services, and the Internal Revenue Service will be necessary to fully explain the value and impact that these provisions might have on your business, your employees and yourself.