Coronavirus (COVID-19)

AGC of America will continue to monitor the situation and update the information online accordingly.  The new site is located here: https://www.agc.org/coronavirus. 

Latest Updates On The Coronavirus Pandemic From ENR

All,

 

Several updated below. First and foremost, thank you for your continued support of AGCA’s advocacy efforts. Details on those engagement levels and the latest from D.C., below.  --Jimmy

AGC of America Action Updates for the Week of August 3, 2020 

  • No Government Relations or Public Affairs alerts/press releases/statements scheduled.

  • THANK YOU to AGC Chapters for helping generate nearly 15,000 messages from AGC members to Capitol Hill & POTUS.
    • Since sending the Infrastructure Investment Action Alert on July 30, AGCA and AGC Chapters have engaged 3,715 individuals within the membership who collectively sent their U.S. Senators, Representative and President Trump 14,607 messages on the need for including construction investment in the next COVID-relief bill for transportation, school, hospital, water and broadband infrastructure.
  • The AGCA Construction Advocacy Fund’s (CAF) social media campaign targets public engagement in support of infrastructure investment.
    • With few legislative days and opportunities remaining before the November election, the Construction Advocacy Fund (CAF) has been pouring significant resources into the Americans for Better Infrastructure campaign geared towards mobilizing the greater public’s support (to complement AGCA and AGC Chapter engagement of the construction industry’s support) for infrastructure investment in the next COVID relief bill.
    • In the last two weeks alone, that campaign has generated on social media nearly 4 million impressions, reached more than 832,000 Facebook accounts and produced 37,896 clicks to AGCA’s action alert.
    • The campaign targeted public engagement with key members of Congress, including but not limited to those from House and Senate Leadership or on the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, among others. Districts covered include members of Congress from: Alabama, California, Colorado, Kentucky, Ohio, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Texas, West Virginia, and Vermont.
    • To learn more about this campaign, contact Brian Turmail. To learn how your Chapter can support the Construction Advocacy Fund, contact David Ashinoff or click here.   

 

 AGC of America Capitol Hill Update

 

  • COVID RELIEF: Chances fade for COVID agreement in August. On August 10, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) announced that the House would not hold votes again until September 14. While this does not preclude a vote before then on COVID relief legislation—as members of the House and Senate remain on a 24 hour advanced-notice of such a vote—it’s a fairly significant sign that an agreement before then is unlikely. As it stands, most members of the House and Senate have returned home for the month. Majority Leader Hoyer’s announcement came on the heels of a weekend during which White House and Congressional Democratic negotiators did not negotiate and President Trump signed several executive actions that—to varying degrees—test the limits of presidential authority.

 

    • COVID EXECUTIVE ACTIONS: What matters to the construction industry? On August 8, in an effort to pressure agreement on a COVID relief agreement, President Trump issued several executive actions touching on the deferral of payroll tax obligations, establishment of a new disaster relief program to provide additional funds to the unemployed; blocking evictions and addressing student loan debt payments. Of most interest to the construction industry—like any employer—is the payroll tax presidential memorandum discussed below.  

      • The president has directed the Secretary of the Treasury to DEFER (not forgive) the withholding, deposit and payment of certain payroll taxes paid from Sept. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020.
        • The authority under which this deferral is ordered come from the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7508A, which allows only for the granting of a delay in payments or other actions in response to a disaster declaration. This was the same authority, for example, under which the IRS delayed the payment of taxes and filing of returns for the 2019 tax year. There is no grant of authority in the IRC to entirely forgive any tax as a result of a disaster.
      • Specifically, the presidential memorandum:
        • applies to employees who “generally” make less than $4,000 on a pre-tax basis every two weeks, which works out to an annual salary of $104,000;
        • defers the employee’s obligation to pay a 6.2% Social Security tax per paycheck (the 1.45% Medicare tax will still have to be paid by all employees on all wages); and
        • instructs the Treasury Department to look into how the federal government can forgive the deferred tax payment. Forgiveness of that payment, however, will require legislation from Congress. Unless legislation is enacted stating otherwise, those tax payments are due at the beginning of 2021.
      • What does this mean for employers? At least one major law firm has an alert instructing clients NOT to take immediate action to implement the deferral, as the IRS must issue guidance. Many have pointed a litany of logistical challenges of implementing the deferral.
        • Given the uncertainties and without implementing guidance, it is not clear whether any employer would take advantage of the deferral. It is also unclear whether there is any requirement that employers must temporarily cease withholding the employee’s share of the tax in addition to not depositing and paying the tax. IRS guidance would have to be issued that requires an employer to do all three steps, otherwise an employer could simply continue to withhold the amounts from employee wages and hold onto the withheld amounts to pay the taxes in 2021.
      • NOTE: Employers are already allowed to defer 50% of their portion of payroll tax payments due during the period that begins on March 27, 2020, and ends Dec. 31, 2020, delayed until Dec. 31, 2021, and the other 50% until Dec. 31, 2022, under the CARES Act. It should, again, be noted that the CARES Act only allowed for those payments to be deferred and NOT forgiven.
      • Deferring payroll tax obligations.
         
  • TRANSPORTATION: Pushing back against suspending/repealing user fees that generate Highway Trust Fund revenues. On August 8, AGC along with other transportation stakeholders called on Congress (letter attached) to oppose any temporary suspension or permanent repeal of dedicated federal user fees that generate revenue for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in the COVID-19 legislative package that is currently being negotiated.
    • Late last week, AGCA learned of an advancing legislative effort among some in trucking industry to temporarily suspend the federal excise tax on the purchase of new heavy trucks and trailers. Those in support of this suspension called for the lost revenue to be backfilled by Congress. However, AGCA fears that a temporary suspension of any HTF funding mechanism could become permanent. The amount of revenue generated by this tax for the HTF can vary fiscal year to fiscal year. In fiscal year 2019, the tax generated approximately $5 billion in revenue for the HTF.

    • While AGCA recognizes the need to provide economic relief on a multitude of fronts to the broader transportation community during this time, we cannot support any further exacerbation of the impending insolvency of the HTF and the loss of dedicated federal user fees.



Tracking developing industry impacts as COVID-19 forces closures and interrupts global business

• COVID-19 Intensifies Infrastructure Funding Problem, ASCE Says

• Boston Implements Full Construction Reopening Plan


All,

The SBA and Treasury have released a revised PPP loan forgiveness application (implementing the fixes from the AGC-backed Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act enacted June 5).

The agencies also released a streamlined  “EZ version” of loan forgiveness application that may be used in limited circumstances outlined in the email from Treasury below.

AGC of America will review these new documents and provide any insights with you worth your and members’ attention.

Best,
Jimmy

 

Jimmy Christianson
Vice President, Government Relations
The Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd Ste 300
Arlington, VA 22201
www.agc.org
Phone: (703) 837-5325
Email: jimmy.christianson@agc.org

 

Within the last hour, the U.S. Senate by unanimous consent passed the House-passed bill (H.R. 7010) to extend the Paycheck Protection Program.

  • Among other fixes, the bill would extend the current eight-week period during which businesses must use funds to have loans forgiven to 24 weeks or Dec. 31, whichever comes sooner.  House passed the bill May 28; it now goes to President Trump who is expected to sign it into law.

Thank you for your continued support of AGC of America in pressing for these and other federal policy priorities.

Best regards,

Jimmy

 

Jimmy Christianson
Vice President, Government Relations
The Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd Ste 300
Arlington, VA 22201
www.agc.org
Phone: (703) 837-5325
Email: jimmy.christianson@agc.org

 

CNA Classes Near me put together a handwashing guide page on their website using material from our CNA training resources to help better educate the public on the proper steps for handwashing to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases.  They shared the link with AGC members for proper hand washing techniques.
https://cnaclassesnearme.com/how-to-properly-wash-your-hands/

AGC National in connection with AGC local chapters has been working collectively to keep the construction industry operating, and doing so safely, we’ve compiled a summary of all the ways AGC has been working for members during the past two and a half months.  The list highlights AGC’s efforts and accomplishments during the past several weeks. 

Please see attached list for AGC Working for you during COVID-19.

FROM AGC NATIONAL

Good evening members,

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on AGC educational programs. Since mid-March, all of AGC’s live events have been postponed or we’ve looked for a way bring the same caliber of information to contractors in a virtual format. A new Coronavirus Special Report highlights AGC’s plans for virtual conferences for the near future, such as the upcoming Federal Contractors Virtual Conference and Construction Safety, Health & Environmental Virtual Conference. Watch HERE and listen HERE.

Please remember to complete the 7th edition of AGC of America’s coronavirus survey HERE. Your answers are extremely helpful in allowing us to measure the impacts of the coronavirus on the industry and to reinforce our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill and with the Trump administration. You can complete the survey HERE.

President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday directing federal agencies to be lenient on businesses that make good-faith attempts to follow agency guidance and regulations during the pandemic. The order would hold back agencies like OSHA from bringing enforcement actions against businesses that try to keep up with evolving guidance documents. The extent to which the order would provide protection against pandemic-related liability would be limited, but it could protect contractors from fines for civil regulatory violations. AGC is working with Congress on legislation that, ultimately, is needed to protect good actor contractors following recognized safety and health protocols against exposure liability lawsuits.

On May 19, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued their latest guidance on recording cases of COVID-19 in the workplace and interim enforcement response plan. The enforcement memos will become effective on May 26, 2020 and rescinds both previously issued memos on each topic.

Under the new recordkeeping policy (see HERE), OSHA will enforce the recordkeeping requirements for employee coronavirus illnesses for all employers. However, the agency continues to acknowledge that in many instances it remains difficult to determine whether a coronavirus illness is work-related, especially when an employee has experienced potential exposure both in and out of the workplace. Read more HERE.

AGC released the latest in its series of Coronavirus safety tips today, focusing on how to respond to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID, see safety tip HERE. With many states opening up it is more important than ever to make sure the industry is doing its part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Don’t forget to send us pictures of your crews practicing coronavirus safety measures, especially pictures of crews wearing face masks. You can send those to Brian Turmail at brian.turmail@agc.org and Sophia Valentino at sophia.valentino@agc.org.

And keep checking the AGC Connection app HERE and the AGC Coronavirus site HERE for the latest updates.

Please see attached COVID Return to Work presented by Alliant Insurance Services.

Please see the attached streamlined comprehensive document presented by Hub International that is replacing the previously released content (“Safety Plan Guidance”, “Next Steps”, “Shut down checklist” and “Resuming Operations Checklist”).  

 

OSHA Provides Guidance on Respirator Reuse and Decontamination

The interim guidance specifically targets settings in which workers need respirators such as those in healthcare where there is direct respiratory exposure with individuals who are suspected of having or have been confirmed to have COVID-19.  FULL ARTICLE

As we previously communicated, AGC partner Cintas, a provider of uniform and facility services, has bulk supplies of PPE available through the AGC Member program, including KN95 masks, hand sanitizer and contactless thermometers.

These items are only available for purchase in bulk quantity, and the feedback from Cintas’ outreach is that AGC Members are interested, but the quantity minimums are prohibitive based on need and cost.

We are aware of at least one chapter that has purchased bulk PPE (through another supplier) to make available for members in smaller quantities. We thought this was a great way to potentially provide additional service to your members so again wanted to recirculate the bulk purchasing opportunity from Cintas.

Based on our initial research, it appears that the bulk pricing from Cintas is in line with general market rates and presents a value to members. Please let us know if you find this not to be the case in your market (jeff.wilson@agc.org)  

Pricing below:

  • KN95 - minimum order qty 600 units/$2,100.00 includes shipping ($3.50 per unit)
  • Hand Sanitizer - minimum order 1 pallet which equates to 144-1 gallon containers/$5,760.00 per pallet includes shipping ($40 per gallon)
  • Contactless Thermometers - minimum order 1 case equates to 40 units/$3,160.00 per case includes shipping ($79 per unit)

Should you have an interest in this opportunity, you can contact Cintas via email at cintas@membersavings.com with SUBJECT: AGC KN95 Mask Inquires, Hand Sanitizer Inquires or Thermometer Inquires or fill out the form at https://agc.membersavings.com/.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Regards,

 

Jeff Wilson
Vice President of Marketing, Business Development
and Member Engagement
Associated General Contractors of America
wilsonj@agc.org
703-837-5370



Spirit Sanitizer is reaching out in regards to providing members of AGC Mississippi with our resources. We are currently supplying builders and contractors with Hand Sanitizer and Face Masks, in light of COVID-19.

The response from other AGC chapters and their members around the country has been amazing!

Please see the attached product page. I've also attached some documentation from the FDA. We take the quality of our product seriously. 

See the below listed information for pricing:

HAND SANITIZER - 80% Alcohol

4oz Bottle of Hand Sanitizer = $6.72 ($1.68/oz + reuse value of bottle)
8oz Bottle of Hand Sanitizer = $9.98 ($1.25/oz + reuse value of bottle)

The price per ounce for the smaller bottles is higher than if purchased by the gallon. KEEP IN MIND - These smaller bottles are extremely hard to come by, they are meant to be kept and refilled. Thank me later!

1 Gallon Hand Sanitizer - $100 ($0.78/oz)
55 Gallon Drum Hand Sanitizer $5,000 ($0.71/oz)

FACE MASKS

KN95 Face Mask - Minimum Purchase of 100 - $370 per 100 ($3.70/mask)
Surgical Grade Mask - Minimum Purchase of 100 - $150 per 100 ($1.50/mask)

SHIPPING

Timeframe: 3-7 Business Days

There are some associated shipping costs that vary based on product type and quantity. All of this information will be presented and transparent before any purchasing decisions are made.

IN CLOSING 

For those that are interested, you can have them contact me directly at this email address or by phone at the number listed below. If they want to expedite the process, they can email me the following information.

- Customer Name & Title
- Business Name
- Phone Number
- Email Address
- Billing Address
- Shipping Address
- Product Desired & Quantity

If you deem our products as valuable to your membership base, we would greatly appreciate you extending our information to them.

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have!

Kind regards,

Samuel O'Donnell
Spirit Sanitizer
503-329-8753
www.spiritsanitizer.com

 

All,

The Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) released version 3.0 of its guidance on Friday afternoon (please see attached document). Click here for the Released version.  AGCA will provide further guidance for Chapters shortly.

However, in sum, it confirms what we have been saying that construction is essential and, if anything, makes that more clear when it comes to both public and commercial construction. Specific highlights include:

Under the Public Works Sector, two new bullets (below) were added and listed first:

  • Workers who support the construction, maintenance, or rehabilitation of critical infrastructure.
  • Workers supporting construction materials production, testing laboratories, material delivery services, and construction inspection.

Under the Residential/Shelter Facilities and Services Sector, a previous bullet was revised as follows:

Revised bullet: Workers performing housing and commercial construction related activities, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting, and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and enable the continuity of the construction industry (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of federal government shutdown).

Old bullet:  Workers supporting the construction of housing, including those supporting government functions related to the building and development process, such as inspections, permitting and plan review services that can be modified to protect the public health, but fundamentally should continue and serve the construction of housing (e.g., allow qualified private third-party inspections in case of government shutdown).

CaresAct Reduction Formula - 04132020

On April 10, 2020, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued temporary guidance for recording cases of COVID-19 that provides relief to the construction industry. In an earlier letter to OSHA leadership, AGC, along with our industry partners on the Construction Industry Safety Coalition (CISC), requested the agency re-evaluate its decision to treat cases of employees contracting COVID-19 as recordable incidents. In the letter, industry representatives recommended that only healthcare providers, and similar professions, should be required to report these cases on their logs because they are routinely in direct contact with people with confirmed cases and are at greatest risk. In line with our request, today’s announcement provides certainty to the construction industry and helps contractors focus their response efforts on implementing good hygiene practices in their workplaces and otherwise mitigating COVID-19’s effects.

Specifically, the agency states that in areas where there is ongoing community transmission, employers other than those in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations (e.g., emergency medical, firefighting and law enforcement services), and correctional institutions may have difficulty making determinations about whether workers who contracted COVID-19 did so due to exposures at work. Accordingly, until further notice, OSHA will not enforce its recordkeeping requirements to require these employers to make work-relatedness determinations for COVID-19 cases, except where: (1) There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related; and (2) The evidence was reasonably available to the employer. Employers of workers in the healthcare industry, emergency response organizations and correctional institutions must continue to make work-relatedness determinations.

To view OSHA’s full enforcement memo, click here. For more information, please contact Kevin Cannon, Senior Director, Safety & Health Services at kevin.cannon@agc.org.

Best,
Nazia

 

Nazia Shah
Director, Safety & Health Services
The Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd Ste 300
Arlington, VA 22201
www.agc.org/safety
Phone: (703) 837-5409
Emailnazia.shah@agc.org



Be sure to check out AGC of America Safety resources at the following link:
https://www.agc.org/coronavirus/safety-health-environmental-resources


Message from State Board of Contractors regarding license renewal etc.

  • MSBOC continues to operate, but employees are working alternate shifts, alternate hours, and alternate locations to comply with recent executive orders and public health guidelines.  Routine procedures for key areas such as applications, renewals and investigations remain in place, although processing times could be delayed.
  • At an emergency board meeting held on March 27, 2020, the Board implemented certain measures that will benefit contractors during the current state of emergency.  These measures include late fee waivers and extended grace periods for renewal from March 1 through May 31, 2020. 
  • Licensed contractors are encouraged to use our online license renewal process available on our website at www.msboc.us.
  • Our testing provider, PSI, has currently closed all testing center operations.  I am in discussions with them regarding available options for reopening in light of the shelter in place order and CDC guidelines.  We are hoping to reopen by the end of the month or perhaps before then. 

    *In an effort to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, MSBOC offices will be closed to the general public until further notice.  We will continue to provide service by responding to mail, email and answering phone calls.  While we continue to provide service, please recognize that some hold times and processing times may be longer than usual.   You are encouraged to utilize our online resources and information provided on our website.  You may also email your inquiries and requests to info@msboc.us

GET CONNECTED TO THE BOARD OF CONTRACTORS!

TEXT MSBOC TO 95577 TO GET IMPORTANT NEWS & UPDATES. (STANDARD MSG RATES APPLY)

Stephanie Sills Lee | Executive Director | Mississippi State Board of Contractors
2679 Crane Ridge Drive, Suite C | Jackson, Mississippi 39216
Post Office Box 320279 | Jackson, Mississippi 39232-0279
Phone 601.354.6161 ext. 112 | Facsimile 601.354.6715
stephanie@msboc.us | www.msboc.us |https://www.facebook.com/statecontractorsbd 



Hello all,

As promised, we wanted to share with all of you the Spanish-language version of the tool kit and stand down talking points to use during tomorrow’s stand down or any subsequent stand down your chapter may organize.  Attached are the Spanish language stand down talking points for chapter use only, and below is the link the Spanish language tool kit. 

Please let us know if you have any questions or need any additional support.  And thank you in advance for all the chapters are doing to support tomorrow’s Coronavirus Safety Stand Down. We really appreciate it.

Cheers,

Brian Turmail
Vice President, Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives
AGC of America
Mobile: 703 459 0238
brian.turmail@agc.org



As an Association, we are not taking a position on inviting media to your job site; however, if you do, click here for helpful tips on how to handle media visits during this crisis or anytime.


During this time, we have discontinued in office training.  One of your Member benefits is our relationship with ClickSafety, online safety training provider.  AGC Members receive a 10% discount.  Go to this link for more details and a course catalogue.

https://www.clicksafety.com/agc/

Please see attached news release: New Trump Administration Guidance Now Allows Firms With 500 Or Fewer Employees To Qualify For Paycheck Protection Program Loans

See below for the online story:

https://www.agc.org/news/2020/04/07/new-trump-administration-guidance-now-allows-firms-500-or-fewer-employees-qualify


All,

Late last night, the U.S. Department of the Treasury issued guidance in response to AGC’s concerns regarding the SBA Paycheck Protection Program eligibility criteria, found HERE. That guidance includes the following:

Question: Does my business have to qualify as a small business concern (as defined in section 3 of the Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632) in order to participate in the PPP?

Answer: No. In addition to small business concerns [which in construction are generally determined by an average gross annual income test], a business is eligible for a PPP loan if the business has 500 or fewer employees whose principal place of residence is in the United States, or the business meets the SBA employee-based size standards for the industry in which it operates (if applicable).

The new guidance also states that “[b]orrowers . . . may rely on the guidance provided in this document as SBA’s interpretation of the CARES Act” and its interim final rule. At the time it posted this guidance, the Treasury Department also made a point of reaching out to AGC and notifying the association of its action. HERE is a copy of that notice.

While the new Treasury Department guidance appears to clear the way for construction firms that employ 500 or fewer people to qualify for the new Paycheck Protection Program loans, its fix is, at best, procedurally sloppy. AGC will work with the SBA to ensure its regulations and guidance are harmonized with this Treasury guidance.

 

Jimmy Christianson
Vice President, Government Relations
The Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd Ste 300
Arlington, VA 22201
www.agc.org

Phone: (703) 837-5325
Email: jimmy.christianson@agc.org

 

FISHER BROWN BOTTRELL

We are pleased to inform you that Trustmark’s application portal for the SBA Paycheck Protection Program is now available. Applications will only be accepted through this online portal, which utilizes DocuSign technology for a safe, secure and expedited process.

If you choose to take advantage of this opportunity through the SBA, complete the online application and submit the required documentation. Our team will review the application package as quickly as possible and then submit it to the SBA on your behalf. If there are questions about your application or further information is necessary, one of our team members will contact you. When the SBA loan approval is received by Trustmark, we will provide your loan documentation through DocuSign for your review and electronic signature.

For a listing of required documentation or additional information on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program, visit trustmark.com/caresact. Once you have the required documentation gathered and are ready to complete an application, apply at trustmark.com/caresact or CLICK HERE TO BEGIN.

We anticipate a short turnaround period from application to loan closing, however, the SBA has not provided an estimated timeframe for this process. We appreciate your business and thank you for the opportunity to help you get your business back on track.

 

We wanted to provide you with Part VIII webinar recording and slides in our series: Navigating the Outbreak: Factors that Construction Companies Need to Consider, as They Strive for Business Continuity.

Part VIII: What You Need to Watch, as the Outbreak Continues to Unfold

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Please look for additional information from AGC of America in the near future about how to register for the upcoming series of webinars that will provide additional, in-depth information about the coronavirus and its impacts on the construction industry.

In Case You Missed It:

Part I: Your Federal and State Legal Obligations to Provide Paid and/or Unpaid Leave to Your Employees

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Part II: What the Federal and Many State Labor and Employment Laws Are Likely to Require of You, as You Adjust Your Operations to Meet the Latest Contingencies

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Part III: The Contractual and Related Legal Protections and Risks for Construction Companies

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Part IV: How to Protect Your People and Your Projects

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Part V: The Components of a Comprehensive Project Continuity Plan

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Part VI: Insurance Coverage and Claims for Losses Resulting from the Outbreak

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Part VII: The Additional Pressure that the Outbreak Could be Putting on Your Information Technology

Watch Recording | Download Slides

Sincerely,

Your AGC of America Team

 

 

Message from the Attorney General

 

This country was built on the ingenuity and hard work of small businesses. The Coronavirus pandemic has hit them hard and they are hurting – as are the 58.9 million men and women who work for them. Help is on the way, but it’s hard to navigate the funds that are available while trying to keep your business afloat. Here are some answers to some of the questions small business owners are asking:

 

What are the Economic Injury Disaster Loans?

Governor Reeves’ request for a disaster declaration was granted on March 20. As a result, small business owners can apply for an Economic Injury Loan advance of up to $10,000. These working capital loans can be as large as $2 million. The loans may be used for any regular operational business expenses related to the loss of revenue from the Coronavirus pandemic, such as payroll, sick leave, inventory, production costs, rents or mortgages, etc. 

Interest rates are 3.75% for small businesses and 2.75% for non-profits. Typically, this program requires a personal guarantee; but in these circumstances, that requirement has been modified or eliminated. Funds can be available within 3 days of a successful application and the advance does not have to be repaid. The loan application can be found here: Click Here .

What is SBA 7(a) debt relief?

The Small Business Administration will help small businesses by providing debt relief through its 7(a) loan program. Under this program, SBA will pay the principal and interest on new 7(a) loans issued before September 27, 2020. SBA will also pay the principal and interest of current 7(a) loans for up to 6 months.

What is the SBA Express Bridge Loan Pilot Program?

This pilot program is for small businesses that currently have a business relationship with an SBA express lender. It streamlines the paperwork to provide quick access to loans of up to $25,000. The proceeds can be repaid in full or in part by the proceeds from an Economic Injury Disaster Loan. The program expires September 30, 2020.

How can my employees access the new paid leave benefits?

Through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), employees can access paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for reasons related to Coronavirus. These provisions apply to those who work for certain public employers and private employers with fewer than 500 employees. There are exemptions for employers with fewer than 50 employees if the leave would jeopardize the viability of the business. The program starts on April 1 and applies through December 31, 2020.

All employees who work for these covered employers are eligible for 2 weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave if related to the Coronavirus. That is, if an employee is unable to work (or telework) and needs leave because of

·     An isolation or quarantine order,
·     A health care provider’s direction to quarantine,
·     Coronavirus symptoms while awaiting a medical diagnosis
·     A need to care for someone in quarantine,
·     A need to care for a child whose school or child care is closed,
·     Or another reason specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of Labor and Treasury.

In addition, employees who have been employed for at least 30 days are eligible for an additional 10 weeks of paid family leave to care for a child, again, related to the Coronavirus. You can read more about the leave provisions of the FFCRA on the Department of Labor website: Click Here

I am proud of the many businesses – large and small – that are working hard to find innovative ways to help their employees and their customers through this crisis. We will get through this together and emerge stronger than ever.

 

Horne COVID-19 Resource Hub

State of Mississippi Executive Order by Governor

Essential Businesses same previous declaration 1463 https://www.msema.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Executive-Order-1466.pdf

Please find the attached document from our friends at MDOT. The contents of which should help you, an “Essential Business or Operation” as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cyber & Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and Mississippi Governor’s Executive Order No. 1463.

MDOT provides guidance within the document which should permit you and your employees continue to function in their regular work capacity during the Statewide Shelter in Place Order.


BKD website:  COVID-19 Tax & Accounting Resource Center

(Contains information with financial information, sharing tax and compliance changes, new regulations & answering questions about different organization’s needs)

BKD will be offering weekly webinar series to help mitigate the inevitable financial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  The webinar this week may be particularly interesting to your members as it addresses small businesses & general business planning opportunities.  I’ve included a list of our upcoming webinars and plan to continue to send you links to register as they are posted.

 April 2nd:  SBA Loans, Payroll Tax Credits & General Business Planning Considerations

BKD COVID-19 Weekly Webinar Series

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm CST

Upcoming Webinars (I’ll send you the links to these below as soon as they are posted)

April 9Cash Flow Projections
April 16Loan Modifications Available for Commercial Clients
April 23Details coming soon

If you haven’t already, feel free to subscribe to BKD’s Thoughtware where you can receive news and alerts regarding your particular industry: https://www.bkd.com/thoughtware

 

Fisher Brown Bottrell

We know that the last several weeks have brought about many changes to your business operations, and we are here to help. Trustmark, our parent company, is an SBA Preferred Lender and will be providing small business loans through the Paycheck Protection Program established as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This program is designed to provide economic support to businesses by offering loans to enable companies to retain employees and pay certain operational expenses incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Paycheck Protection Program eliminates many of the requirements of a typical SBA loan and expands the types of businesses that are eligible for relief. Below is a summary of the criteria for loans under this program.

Business Operations

Covers business operations from 2/15/2020 – 6/30/2020; loan must be originated by 6/30/2020

Expenditures eligible for forgiveness over an eight-week period (begins after loan origination)

  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Interest payments on any mortgage obligations or other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020 (but not any payments or prepayments of principal)
  • Payroll costs

Loan Amount

Eligible maximum loan amount is capped at the lesser of 2.5 x average payroll costs or $10 million (for definition of payroll costs, click here)

  • Payroll costs are calculated as follows:
    • Existing business - 2.5 x average monthly payroll costs for previous 12 months
    • Less than one year in operation - 2.5 x January and February 2020 average monthly payroll costs
    • Seasonal business - 2.5 x average monthly payroll costs incurred during the 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or at the election of the applicant, March 1, 2019

Interest Rate

Fixed interest rate of 0.50%

Maturity

Two (2) years from origination on any balance not forgiven

Fees

No fees to the borrower

Collateral/Guaranty

No collateral or personal guaranty required

Forgiveness

  • The loan can be 100% forgiven, if certain qualifications are met
  • Amount eligible for forgiveness is dependent on the number of employees on 2/15/2020 compared to 6/30/2020
  • Automatic six-month deferment from origination date

Eligibility

Loans under the PPP are available to a wider range of eligible companies than the typical SBA loan:

  • Open to for profit and non-profit businesses (non-profit is classified as a 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(19) organization) with less than 500 employees
  • If SBA normal size standard under NAICS code allows for greater than 500 employees, the larger company will also be eligible
  • Open to self-employed or individual contractors

The SBA is currently working to provide further clarification points, as this is a fluid situation. Once the SBA makes the PPP loan application, (and any required forms) available, it will be posted on trustmark.com/caresact, where eligible applicants can complete the application online.

We’re here to help you get your business back on track. Contact your FBBI Account Manager, visit trustmark.com/caresact or contact 866.870.9598 to be connected to a lender near you to learn more about this new loan program.

Subject: To Continue to Operate, You Must Continue to Operate Safely

A Note from AGC of America CEO Stephen E. Sandherr

Dear AGC Members:

I have always been extremely proud that one of the defining characteristics of the commercial construction industry is your unwavering commitment to the safety and health of every construction worker. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, your workers and the American public are relying on you to continue that commitment to safety. Indeed, as AGC of America and our network of chapters have been mostly successful in ensuring that construction operations continue in many parts of the country, the obligation to safeguard your workers has grown.

Federal, state, and local officials have relied on our assurances that the steps your firms are taking, including social distancing, the use of PPE and monitoring who enters your jobsites, creates a safer environment than exists in other industries. These officials have taken us at our word and allowed many types of construction projects to continue because they know this industry has a long history of complying with complex and ever-changing safety rules and regulations.

I urge all of you to make sure that every member of your team is following the guidance and safety requirements public health and safety officials have provided to make sure your workers are protected from the coronavirus. There is no margin for error when it comes to protecting your workforce. Any lapse in safety protocols can, and likely will, prompt government officials to reverse the industry’s ability to continue to operate with the stroke of a pen. That is why you, as construction CEO’s and senior executives, need to ensure that safe practices are known, understood, and followed by everyone.

AGC has resources to assist in that effort and will continue to share those safety resources to any and all members of the construction community, regardless of whether they are members of our association.

The public is counting on all of us to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And I want to thank all of you in advance for making sure your workers remain healthy and safe during these very challenging times.

 

All,

Based on the questions received over the weekend, I have updated our CARES Act analysis as it applied to small business eligibility for the new SBA loan program. Those changes are noted below.

AGC is working on addressing what it fears will be significant confusion among the industry as it relates to newly enacted programs/mandates and the multitude of ways employees may be counted under them.

  • A business is eligible for such a loan if it employs 500 employees or fewer, or if the business is in an industry that has an employee-based size standard through SBA that is higher than 500 employees. Under SBA size standards, construction contractor firms are generally defined as a small business according to their gross receipts (see Sector 23: Construction on linked website), not their number of employees. As such, AGC assumes and has asked the SBA to make clear in guidance that construction contractor firms whose small business size standard is determined by gross receipts should simply determine if it has 500 employees or fewer to qualify for these loans. Construction supplies and manufacturers have small business size standards that are generally defined by the number of employees the firms employ.
    • NOTE: AGC is concerned that there will be confusion among the construction industry because there will be two different regime of rules for calculating how a construction firm has fewer than 500 employees: one for the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid leave mandates as guided by the Fair Labor Standards Act; and the other the new this new small business loan program under the federal Small Business Act and regulations. Construction firms must use caution and be alert that if they are mandated to provide the FFCRA paid leave, they may not necessarily be able to apply for these new SBA loans. Firms should seek legal counsel for guidance. AGC will be working with the SBA and Congress to help mitigate this confusion and seek clarity and standardization among the new programs recently enacted whose applicability is based on a firm’s number of employees.



All, 

The DOL has yet again added to their guidance regarding the emergency paid sick and family medical leave as mandated by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).  We expect this to continue daily until the effective date of Wednesday, April 1 (and perhaps after that even).

The recent update explains further the factors for the exemption for employer of under 50, but still not the exact process to gain the exemption. Follow this link: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions

They also released a version of the poster in Spanish even though it is not require to be posted in additional languages. Found here: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/WHD/Pandemic/1422-spanish.pdf

Best,

Jimmy 

Jimmy Christianson
Vice President, Government Relations
The Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd Ste 300
Arlington, VA 22201
www.agc.org

Phone: (703) 837-5325
Email: jimmy.christianson@agc.org

 



Chapters,

Good news!  AGC has been pushing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to declare construction an essential industry, and they have just released new guidance that does just that.

New Guidance version 2.0 can be found here: https://www.cisa.gov/sites/default/files/publications/CISA_Guidance_on_the_Essential_Critical_Infrastructure_Workforce_Version_2.0_Updated.pdf

Construction now appears 25 times in version 2.0 document compared to 4 in the previous version.  Most of those additions appear to be in the Energy (13 compared to zero) and Communications and Information Technology (4 compared to 2).  New sectors that now reference construction include: “OTHER COMMUNITY- OR GOVERNMENT-BASED OPERATIONS AND ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS” – (2) and “RESIDENTIAL/SHELTER FACILITIES AND SERVICES” – (3).

There’s now a second reference to construction in the “PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT SERVICES” and they have reordered the bullets. 

Repair now appears 16 times compared to 8 in the previous version.

The titles for certain sectors are also different.  For example, it used to be “PUBLIC WORKS” and now reads “PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT SERVICES.”

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Christi Beatty
Vice President, Chapter Services & Member Engagement
AGC of America
703-837-5343 (direct)
703-675-4884 (mobile)

 

BIPEC - COVID19 

https://mailchi.mp/1647872e44f1/bipec-covid-19-updates-march-1097510?e=f3aba2966f

 

Chapters,

Earlier this week, we provided you with a resource we have since updated with some new language– the Pre-Screening Questionnaire on Proactive Measures for Addressing COVID – 19.

We recognize that every construction project is unique and what is feasible and appropriate for any one project will depend on its unique characteristics. That said, the questionnaire includes questions that construction contractors may want to ask of all employees, visitors and vendors, prior to allowing them to enter any one jobsite.

If you have posted the original document on your website or are sharing it with members, please be sure to use this new updated version, which can be found here:

https://www.agc.org/sites/default/files/Files/Safety%20%26%20Health/AGC%20COVID-19%20Questionnaire%20and%20Tips_03.26.2020_0.pdf

As always, thank you for your partnership in helping members keep their workers safe and healthy.

Christi Beatty
Vice President, Chapter Services & Member Engagement
AGC of America
703-837-5343 (direct)
703-675-4884 (mobile)

 

DOL Issues More Guidance on Emergency Paid Leave Requirements

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced more guidance to provide information to workers and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the emergency paid leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.

The new guidance includes two new posters, one for federal workers and one for all other employees, that will fulfill notice requirements for employers obligated to inform employees about their rights under this new law. It also includes questions and answers about posting requirements, and a Field Assistance Bulletin describing WHD’s 30-day non-enforcement policy. The new guidance addresses critical issues such as whether employers may post required notice electronically, whether employers must provide notice of this law to recently laid-off individuals, when FFCRA applies to federal workers and when enforcement of the new rules will begin.

Jimmy Christianson
Vice President, Government Relations
The Associated General Contractors of America
2300 Wilson Blvd Ste 300
Arlington, VA 22201
www.agc.org

Phone: (703) 837-5325
Email: jimmy.christianson@agc.org


A Note from AGC of America CEO Stephen E. Sandherr
 Subject: To Continue to Operate, You Must Continue to Operate Safely

Dear AGC Members:

I have always been extremely proud that one of the defining characteristics of the commercial construction industry is your unwavering commitment to the safety and health of every construction worker. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, your workers and the American public are relying on you to continue that commitment to safety. Indeed, as AGC of America and our network of chapters have been mostly successful in ensuring that construction operations continue in many parts of the country, the obligation to safeguard your workers has grown.

Federal, state, and local officials have relied on our assurances that the steps your firms are taking, including social distancing, the use of PPE and monitoring who enters your jobsites, creates a safer environment than exists in other industries. These officials have taken us at our word and allowed many types of construction projects to continue because they know this industry has a long history of complying with complex and ever-changing safety rules and regulations.

I urge all of you to make sure that every member of your team is following the guidance and safety requirements public health and safety officials have provided to make sure your workers are protected from the coronavirus. There is no margin for error when it comes to protecting your workforce. Any lapse in safety protocols can, and likely will, prompt government officials to reverse the industry’s ability to continue to operate with the stroke of a pen. That is why you, as construction CEO’s and senior executives, need to ensure that safe practices are known, understood, and followed by everyone.

AGC has resources to assist in that effort and will continue to share those safety resources to any and all members of the construction community, regardless of whether they are members of our association.

The public is counting on all of us to do our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. And I want to thank all of you in advance for making sure your workers remain healthy and safe during these very challenging times.

 

Hub International Construction Risk Management COVID-19

Update from AGC National - Final Letter/Act Attached

Moments ago, the U.S. Senate passed the largest economic aid package in our nation’s history. On a 96-0 vote, the $2 trillion bill—the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) which is attached—now moves to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration tomorrow.  

Notably, given the ongoing pandemic, the House has not been called back to Washington, D.C., this week. Nevertheless, it is expected that the bill will pass the House on a unanimous consent voice vote (a procedure under which all lawmakers would not be required to return to Capitol Hill).  Any single House member, however, could thwart the bill’s passage by objecting to the motion for unanimous consent of the bill. If it passes the House, the president is expected to sign it into law tomorrow.  

There is much for the industry to like in the bill, and also much for it to desire. That is why, ultimately, AGC of America (AGCA) neither endorsed nor opposed the 880 page bill. Please see the attached AGCA letter for more details. We will update you further on key bill provisions and issues throughout the remainder of the week. 

Before I sign off for the night, I want to thank everyone who has been working on the AGCA GR team for the better part of three weeks—days, nights and weekends—many of whom have families with small children and apparently extremely understanding spouses. Since before we left for the National Convention the week of March 9, these folks have been working at full tilt to help our members and chapters at every turn on the unfortunate crisis our industry and nation faces. Thank you (and you are not done yet 😉). 

Lastly, I want to thank you all at the chapters. You have also done some amazing things over the last several weeks for your members. And, from everything we hear, they appreciate it and so do we at AGCA. 

Jimmy 

Governor of Mississippi Executive Order - March 24, 2020

Today, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) announced its first round of published guidance to provide information to employers about meeting their requirements to offer emergency paid sick leave and paid family medical leave offered by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) when it takes effect on April 1, 2020.   

The guidance – provided in a Fact Sheet for Employees, a Fact Sheet for Employers and a Questions and Answers document – addresses critical questions, such as how an employer must count the number of their employees to determine coverage; how small businesses can obtain an exemption; how to count hours for part-time employees; and how to calculate the wages employees are entitled to under this law.  

The most important document is the Q&A one.

In response to some national permitting and inspection issues, Bob requested the current policy at the bureau of buildings.  It is listed below.  Be Safe!

 
The Bureau of Building continues to work. Most of our project managers are working remotely. We would encourage contractors to use tele meetings where possible and abide by CDC guidelines with limiting groups to 10 or less.  We've moved our bid openings to Room 145, ground floor so no one is required to come up the elevators. We are establishing call-in-tele-meeting numbers so those who are interested can call into bid openings to hear proceedings.

Also we can receive documents that are dropped off at the ground floor security desks.

Accounting is also considered essential and continues to work with limited staff.

We'll continue in this mode of operation until instructed otherwise.

 Thanks,

 Calvin R. Sibley AIA

 Director

 Bureau of Building, Grounds and Real Property Management

 Department of Finance and Administration

 Calvin.Sibley@dfa.ms.gov

 601-359-3894 Office 601-826-8793 Mobile

 -----------------------------------

 501 North West Street, Suite 1401B

 Jackson, MS 39201

 

Governor Cuomo has issued guidance on essential services and businesses under his “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order, which requires non-essential businesses to close in-office functions effective 8pm Sunday. 

The Governor’s order declares construction as “essential” and updated guidance posted by Empire State Development further states that “essential businesses or entities, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.”

Guidance on essential services states:

 “Construction, Including:

  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers 
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes”

The language in the original guidance has generated a great deal of questions and uncertainty from the industry and membership.  AGC NYS sought to have the guidance for the Executive Order clarified to definitively answer these questions.  We are advised that individual agencies are providing guidance and direction to contractors on how to proceed. 

NYSDOT issued a document stating that, “the Executive Order provides that essential businesses and services not subject to the in- person restrictions include transportation infrastructure including vendors that provide essential services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government. The Department is continuing implementation of its capital program as an essential government function and will continue to let and construct projects. The companies awarded such contracts including subcontractors, suppliers, vendors and specialty firms are all exempt for work to support the capital program.”

The MTA has subsequently issued similar guidance, as well as the Thruway Authority

We have requested that other construction agencies provide guidance to contractors in similar fashion.

We are advised and hearing from members that the MTA, State University Construction Fund, Thruway Authority, DASNY and other public agencies are directing contractors to proceed with work.

At this time, we are continuing to seek additional clarification about how Governor’s Executive Order applies to local government and private construction as well, but believe in the absence of delineation or limitation of “construction” in the issued ESD Guidance, that a reasonable reading of the Executive Order gives a contractor or construction-related firm a basis to affirm that they are exempt from the in-person restrictions.  There are conflicting reports about particular private projects being told to proceed, while others are apparently being directed to stop work.

We also advise that contractors on such projects should communicate closely with their owners on these matters, as there is continuing confusion and conflicting information on these matters. 

We understand that in some project-specific instances, ESD Regional Directors have been able to provide clarity by deeming individual projects “essential.”  You can find the list of ESD Regional Directors at this link.

In all cases, contractors and related firms should be following all relevant public health guidelines and reducing density wherever possible to take all precautions against the spread and transmission of COVID-19.  Additional information and resources can be found on our AGC NYS COVID-19 Resources Page, which is being updated regularly.

We will continue to communicate to the membership if/when additional details or clarification becomes available.

  

For Immediate Release: 3/20/2020

GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO

 

GOVERNOR CUOMO ISSUES GUIDANCE ON ESSENTIAL SERVICES UNDER THE 'NEW YORK STATE ON PAUSE' EXECUTIVE ORDER  

Earlier today, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced he is signing the "New York State on PAUSE" executive order, a 10-point policy to assure uniform safety for everyone. It includes a new directive that all non-essential businesses statewide must close in-office personnel functions effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 22. Guidance on essential services under the executive order is as follows:

ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES OR ENTITIES, including any for profit or non-profit, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure, are not subject to the in-person restriction.

(Essential Businesses must continue to comply with the guidance and directives for maintaining a clean and safe work environment issued by the Department of Health).

This guidance is issued by the New York State Department of Economic Development d/b/a Empire State Development and applies to each business location individually and is intended to assist businesses in determining whether they are an essential business and steps to request such designation. With respect to business or entities that operate or provide both essential and non-essential services, supplies or support, only those lines and/or business operations that are necessary to support the essential services, supplies, or support are exempt from the restrictions. 

For purposes of Executive Order 202.6, "Essential Business," means:

 

  1. Essential Health Care Operations, Including:
  • research and laboratory services
  • hospitals
  • walk-in-care health facilities
  • emergency veterinary and livestock services
  • elder care
  • medical wholesale and distribution
  • home health care workers or aides for the elderly
  • doctor and emergency dental
  • nursing homes, or residential health care facilities or congregate care facilities
  • medical supplies and equipment manufacturers and providers

  1. Essential Infrastructure, Including:
  • utilities including power generation, fuel supply and transmission
  • public water and wastewater
  • telecommunications and data centers
  • airports/airlines
  • transportation infrastructure such as bus, rail, or for-hire vehicles, garages
  • hotels, and places of accommodation

 

  1. Essential Manufacturing, Including:
  • food processing, manufacturing agents, including all foods and beverages
  • chemicals
  • medical equipment/instruments
  • pharmaceuticals
  • sanitary products
  • telecommunications
  • microelectronics/semi-conductor
  • agriculture/farms
  • household paper products

 

  1. Essential Retail, Including:
  • grocery stores including all food and beverage stores
  • pharmacies
  • convenience stores
  • farmer's markets
  • gas stations
  • restaurants/bars (but only for take-out/delivery)
  • hardware and building material stores

 

  1. Essential Services, Including:
  • trash and recycling collection, processing and disposal
  • mail and shipping services
  • laundromats
  • building cleaning and maintenance
  • child care services
  • auto repair
  • warehouse/distribution and fulfillment
  • funeral homes, crematoriums and cemeteries
  • storage for essential businesses
  • animal shelters

 

  1. News Media

  2. Financial Institutions, Including:
  • banks
  • insurance
  • payroll
  • accounting
  • services related to financial markets

 

  1. Providers of Basic Necessities to Economically Disadvantaged Populations, Including:
  • homeless shelters and congregate care facilities
  • food banks
  • human services providers whose function includes the direct care of patients in state-licensed or funded voluntary programs; the care, protection, custody and oversight of individuals both in the community and in state-licensed residential facilities; those operating community shelters and other critical human services agencies providing direct care or support

  1. Construction, Including:
  • skilled trades such as electricians, plumbers 
  • other related construction firms and professionals for essential infrastructure or for emergency repair and safety purposes

 

  1. Defense
  • defense and national security-related operations supporting the U.S. Government or a contractor to the US government

 

  1. Essential Services Necessary to Maintain the Safety, Sanitation and Essential Operations of Residences or Other Essential Businesses, Including:
  • law enforcement
  • fire prevention and response
  • building code enforcement
  • security
  • emergency management and response
  • building cleaners or janitors
  • general maintenance whether employed by the entity directly or a vendor
  • automotive repair
  • disinfection

 

  1. Vendors that Provide Essential Services or Products, Including Logistics and Technology Support, Child Care and Services:
  • logistics
  • technology support for online services
  • child care programs and services
  • government owned or leased buildings
  • essential government services

 

If the function of your business is not listed above, but you believe that it is essential or it is an entity providing essential services or functions, you may request designation as an essential business.

Houses of worship are not ordered closed however it is strongly recommended no congregate services be held and social distance maintained. 

Businesses and entities that provide other essential services must implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet.

Requests by businesses to be designated an essential function as described above, should only be made if they are NOT covered by the guidance.

To request designation as an essential business, please click here.

Restrictions on requesting designation as an essential business:

  • Any business that only has a single occupant/employee (i.e. gas station) has been deemed exempt and need not submit a request to be designated as an essential business.
  • Businesses ordered to close on Monday, March 15, 2020 under the restrictions on any gathering with 50 or more participants, including but not limited to, bars, restaurants, gyms, movie theaters, casinos, auditoriums, concerts, conferences, worship services, sporting events, and physical fitness centers, are presumed to be compliant with NYS issued restrictions and must remain closed and are not eligible for designation as an essential business for purposes of this guidance. 

 

For Guidance on cleaning and disinfection of facilities, refer to the New York State Department of Health Interim Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection of Public and Private Facilities for COVID -19 at: 

http://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/docs/cleaning_guidance _general_building.pdf.

For further information: New York State Department of Health's COVID-19 Webpage https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/home

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Webpage:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/

 

Local health department contact information can be found at: https://www.health.ny.gov/contact/contact_information/index.htm

Governor Tate Reeves requested a disaster declaration by the U.S. Small Business Administration on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

This request will provide low-interest, Economic Injury Disaster Loans to small businesses and non-profits that have been severely impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing.

You must provide the request to your county emergency management agency. You can find your county EMA contact information at this link https://www.msema.org/county-ema/. Your county emergency management agency should then submit to the MEMA State Coordinating Officer, Todd DeMuth, at tdemuth@mema.ms.gov. The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency will then hand over to the Small Business Administration.

“Our county emergency management directors are working tirelessly with our small businesses across the state to ensure they suffer as little as possible during this pandemic. We urge small businesses to work quickly and efficiently to turn in their paperwork to our agency,” says MEMA Director Greg Michel.

The links below will take you to the required worksheet and instructions.

Estimated Disaster Economic Injury Worksheet

How to Request a SBA EIDL Declaration_Updated_03_11_2020 original

Derek Easley
President & CEO, BIPEC
Office – 601-353-4941
Cell – 601-259-7689
derek@bipec.org
www.bipec.org
Business and Industry Political Education Committee
825 N. President Street
PO Box 23021
Jackson, MS 39225-3021

NEW! AGC Survey of State DOT Response to COVID-19

AGC chapters report that generally speaking most state DOT construction programs are moving ahead as scheduled and are not directly impacted by COVID-19 related shutdowns. Many state office personnel are telecommuting but, in most states, construction inspectors are considered essential and, therefore, are reporting to work and visiting on-going projects.

Read more

NEW! Defense and Civilian Agencies Respond to AGC's Request for Guidance for Direct Federal Contractors

USACE, GSA, and others provide guidance and planning for potential contract impacts due COVID-19. To read more, please click here.

COVID-19 Recommended Practices for Construction Jobsites

  • Personal Responsibilities
  • Social Distancing
  • Jobsite / Office Practices
  • Managing Sick Employees
  • Government Resources
  • Vendor Resources

For detailed practices, click here.

OSHA Provides Guidance on Recording Workplace Exposures to COVID-19 

OSHA recordkeeping requirements at 29 CFR Part 1904(link is external) mandate covered employers record certain work-related injuries and illnesses on their OSHA 300 log.

COVID-19 can be a recordable illness if a worker is infected as a result of performing their work-related duties. However, employers are only responsible for recording cases of COVID-19 if all of the following are met:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19 (see CDC information(link is external) on persons under investigation and presumptive positive and laboratory-confirmed cases of COVID-19);

  2. The case is work-related, as defined by 29 CFR 1904.5(link is external); and

  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR 1904.7(link is external) (e.g. medical treatment beyond first-aid, days away from work).

For more information, click here.

 

AGC Opposes House-Passed Paid Leave Proposal

In a March 16, 2020 letter to the Senate, AGC stressed the need to address the 14 weeks of employer-fronted paid leave mandated under the House-passed H.R. 6201, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and to offer workable solutions.

AGC cannot support a Senate product that includes this House-passed proposal in H.R. 6201 and reserves the right to record the vote on legislation including such a proposal as an AGC “Key Vote” for the education of its membership.

To read the complete letter, click here. Tell Your U.S. Senators to Oppose Employer-Fronted Paid Leave Mandate here(link is external).

AGC has assembled general guidance and links to information from our federal agency partners and health organizations. AGC will continue to monitor the situation and update the information on this page accordingly.

What is COVID-19?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that are common in people and many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely, animal coronaviruses can infect people and then spread between people such as with MERS-CoV(link is external)SARS-CoV(link is external), and now with this new virus (named SARS-CoV-2). The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person in China and some limited person-to-person transmission has been reported in countries outside China, including the United States. However, respiratory illnesses like seasonal flu, are currently widespread in many US communities.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases.

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure*:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

*This is based on what has been seen previously as the incubation period of MERS(link is external)-CoV viruses.

Call your healthcare professional if you develop symptoms, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or onging community spread of COVID-19(link is external).

What Should Employers Do?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging businesses to begin preparations for the spread of the Coronavirus in the United States. In order to assist you in these preparations, you are encouraged to take the following steps:

  • Follow the CDC recommendations for employers: 
    • Employer Guidance: PREPARE NOW(link is external).
    • Emphasize staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette, and hand hygiene by all employees.
    • Perform routine environmental cleaning.
    • Update your absenteeism policy and communicate the requirements.
    • Update your work from home policy and communicate the requirements.
  • Planning Considerations
    • Prepare for increased absenteeism
      • Cross train employees to handle other functions
      • Encourage employees to develop contingency plans for child care in the event there are long term closures of schools and day care centers
    • Prepare for business interruption
      • Identify alternative suppliers
      • Prioritize certain customers
      • Prepare to shut down certain functions

Additional Resources

The information on this page was updated on March 18, 2020. 

 

Industry Priorities: