Congress is already discussing the contents of “phase four” relief and recovery legislation. So while our focus is on the quick implementation of the “phase three” CARES Act provisions, which will be a lifeline for many employers and employees, the National Association of Manufacturers is also moving quickly so that we can achieve more progress when Congress reconvenes. It was just 22 days ago that the NAM proactively released our “COVID-19 Policy Action Plan Recommendations.” We’ve already secured many of the goals outlined, and we intend on getting much more done for you.
Here are some of the other recent developments:
New Treasury Guidance on Small Business Loan Program, Employee Retention Credit
Just this afternoon, the Treasury Department issued new guidance on the CARES Act’s $350 billion loan fund for small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for loans through the “Paycheck Protection Program” starting April 3, while self-employed individuals and independent contractors can apply starting April 10. More detailed information for borrowers can be found here and an application can be found here.
MIResponds: Helping You Fill Open Positions
The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce and education partner of the NAM, is hearing from many of you about open positions as your businesses ramp up production to meet the needs of our country’s COVID-19 response. To answer your call, the MI is tapping into its workforce development partner network to help companies fill their open positions. If your company has open positions and you would like to get the word out about these jobs, or if you have a reskilling or upskilling story you want told as you and your workforce gear up for this response, send an email to MIresponds@nam.org.
Paid Leave Requirements go into Effect Tomorrow, April 1
Starting tomorrow, April 1, businesses with fewer than 500 employees will need to provide employees with paid time off for a variety of reasons relating to COVID-19. Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, eligible employers will need to provide two weeks of paid leave for workers who are quarantined (due to federal, state or local government order or advice of a health care provider) and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. Eligible employers will also need to provide up to 10 weeks of paid leave for workers who need to care for children whose school or child care facilities are closed. Read more about the Department of Labor’s employer requirements here. Employers will have to post notice of these changes in a similar manner to other poster requirements. Businesses with fewer than 50 employees and those that produce medical products or COVID-19-related medical equipment may be eligible to receive exemptions from the paid leave requirements. Read more about exemptions here.
Read the NAM’s comments urging the DOL to quickly clarify the paid leave requirements and reduce unnecessary regulatory costs here.
NAM Monitoring Global Essential Business Guidance
In addition to our work at the state and local level, which we have shared with you, the NAM is actively monitoring essential business and critical infrastructure actions that affect our members’ operations globally, with a particular focus on the importance of North American supply chains. Yesterday, Mexico issued a summary presentation with guidance regarding essential infrastructure and operations, and you can read the unofficial English translation here.
We will continue to monitor essential business and critical infrastructure actions in Canada, Mexico and globally, with regular updates to be included in the NAM’s critical infrastructure guidance compendium document here. Contact NAM Senior Director of International Economic Affairs Ken Monahan with any questions.
Recap of NAM–MLC Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers Webinar
A recording of Friday’s NAM and Manufacturing Leadership Council–hosted call with the Small Business Investor Alliance discussing the challenges facing small and medium-sized manufacturers is available here.