04/06/20: WBE Tools, Resources, Information and Connections Bulletin March 6 – April 10, 2020

Corporate Member Resources

Small business owners show an incredible amount of courage and grit to run their business every day—and we understand it’s taking every ounce of that strength to problem solve in today’s uncertain time. We want to provide immediate ways to help. Please see a compilation of resources at this link.

CVS Health is excited to announce that they are now accepting applications for the 6th Annual Executive Learning Series for Diverse Suppliers. This year’s program will begin on June 11th, 2020, and as in previous years, will consist of a combination of in-person classes, executive coaching, and online learning.

They have worked diligently with their colleagues at the Center for Workforce & Professional Development at the Roger Williams University College to enhance this year’s program, based on feedback from participants in previous years. Included are:

    • Refinements to the curriculum and class schedule
    • Additional coaching from CVS Health Procurement
    • Early access and a walk-through of the mock RFP

Applications are being accepted at 2020 CVS Health Executive Learning Series Application from Wednesday, April 1st through Friday, April 24th.  Selected participants will be notified during the week of May 18th.

We are confident that this program will significantly expand opportunities for all participants – whether with CVS Health or other companies similarly committed to enhancing supplier diversity.

Here is what a previous graduate had to say:

“The learnings from the CVS Executive Learning Series was incredibly powerful and will make a big difference as we continue to move forward in either pivoting into new industries and/or pursuing key clients…I enjoyed not only the material covered but the relationship and friendship that I now share with my fellow cohorts.  It’s amazing the way CVS selected because there are synergies based on our collective capabilities and I am pursuing discussions with some, where I think we can go after significant business to deliver on the supplier diversity mission – economic impact in our communicates.” – Betty Manetta, President & CEO of Argent Associates, Inc.

In this spirit, we are distributing to you, our certified diverse supplier members, their Invitation Letter and encourage you to apply. Also, the following documents are attached to serve as additional resources:

We all know all this information is still unfolding daily so we urge you to review other resources so you can make the most informed decisions for your particular situation.

General

  • IRS issues FAQs on receiving tax credits for Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
  • The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES ACT
  • UPDATE: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
  • Paycheck Protection Program launched to help small businesses keep their workforce employed.
  • S. Chamber of Commerce: Coronavirus Emergency Loans Small Business Guide and Checklist
  • What exempt organizations need to know about federal responses to COVID-19. Read the Alert.
  • COVID-19 Response Checklist for Nonprofit Organizations
  • Disability:IN launches their COVID-19 Resources webpage
  • The SBA is hiring temporary employees to assist with disaster relief efforts during these unprecedented times. The positions include:
    • Call Center Customer Service Representative
    • Document Preparation/Legal Review/Loan Closings
    • Loan Processing/Credit Analysis/Mortgage Underwriting
    • Program Support
    • Apply Today.

Webinars and Townhalls

  • Tuesday April 7 at 9:30 a.m. ET – Live Hotsheet Webinar “Where is the money. The inside scoop on contracting during COVID-19 and how MBE’s can benefit from the stimulus package.” hosted by Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council Business Consortium. Register.
  • Wednesday, April 8 at 11:00am ET – City of Baltimore Web Services (AWS) Shares Remote Working Tools. Join Here or Dial-in at (855) 552 – 4463 Meeting ID: 5309 37 4391.
  • Wednesday, April 8 at 12 p.m. ET: Stories of Resilience: A Conversation with Mark Cuban. Register.
  • Wednesday April 8 at 12:30 p.m. ET: Virtual Lunch Hour with Judith Gerberg sharing tips on Managing Stress of this Moment. RSVP to judith@gerberg.com. Judith Gerberg, MA, LMHC, NCC, ATR-LM-BC* expertly guides individuals to find purpose in their life’s work and is an innovator in change and stress management. Judith works with the whole person
  • Wednesday, April 8 at 2 p.m. ET: KPMG COVID-19 Relief Provisions: What Non-profits Need to Know. Register.
  • A conversation with Senator Tim Kaine: Join us onThursday, April 9th at 1:30 pm for a conference call with Senator Tim Kaine and The Virginia Hispanic Chamber in regards to the recent updates for businesses and individuals pertaining to the economic impact of COVID-19. RSVP.
  • Thursday, April 9 at 2 p.m. ET: Cyber safeguards for a remote-work environment. Register.
  • Tuesday, April at 21 p.m. ET: Managing Travel During a Crisis. Register.

Connecticut

  • The State of Connecticut has updated the resources available to business owners on their Business Resource page.
  • Governor Lamont has issued new executive orders in response to COVID-19. Read More.
  • Governor Lamont Announces Mortgage Payment Relief During COVID-19 Crisis. https://youtu.be/AnidXG5aAYQ
  • The Connecticut Department of Revenue Serviceshas extended the sales-tax filing deadline for businesses that generate less than $150,000 in annual sales-tax liabilities. Read More.
  • Phone, Internet Companies in Connecticut avoiding termination, making changes to benefit people working, learning from home during coronavirus outbreak: The #coronavirusoutbreak is forcing more people to use TV & internet at home and hampering some people’s ability to pay their bills. In response, telecom companies are adding new services and pledging no shutoffs during the crisis. Read More.

New Jersey

  • In response to the economic challenges being faced by New Jersey Small and Medium sized businesses and non-profits (collectively “SMEs”), the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has created the Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program. (Application now open here)

New York

  • Federal Reserve Bank of New York Launches Resource Hub for coronavirus.
  • To help small businesses deal with the impact of COVID-19, the City has launched the NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Program. This program is available to New York City businesses with fewer than 100 employees that can demonstrate at least a 25% decrease in revenue as a result of COVID-19. Eligible businesses can apply for an interest-free loan up to $75,000.
  • Assistance & Guidance for Businesses Impacted Due to Novel Coronavirus: Businesses with fewer than 100 employees who have seen sales decreases of 25% or more are eligible to apply for zero interest loans of up to $75,000 to help ensure business continuity. Learn more about the NYC Small Business Continuity Loan Fund: gov/covid19biz

Maryland

    • Paycheck Protection Program

Starting on April 3rd, small businesses with 500 or fewer employees can apply for zero-fee loans of up to $10 million to cover 8 weeks of payroll and other operating expenses like mortgage, rent and utility costs under the Paycheck Protection Program. Eligible businesses include sole proprietorship and independent contractors; it also includes nonprofits, veterans organizations and tribal businesses.

This program is retroactive to February 15th, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls.

Businesses will not have to pay back the loan so long as they use at least 75% of the money on payroll costs over the first two months of the loan. The total amount of forgiveness will be reduced if your workforce is drawn down through attrition or if wages are reduced.

Any part of the borrowed money not forgiven will have to be repaid over two years at a 0.5% interest rate. There’s an automatic six-month deferral on payments for all borrowers.

Businesses can apply for these loans through existing Small Business Administration (SBA) lenders. Loans will be available through June 30, 2020.

More information about the Paycheck Protection Loan Program and other resources for small businesses can be found: here.

    • Economic Injury Disaster Loans

Congress has expanded eligibility for SBA economic injury disaster loans (EIDL) and provides an emergency grant of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits – which functions as an advance on the loan. This grant is available within 3 days of applying, and does not have to be paid back if the loan is denied.

EIDLs are loans up to $2 million with interest rates of 3.75% for businesses and 2.75% for nonprofits, and principal and interest payments deferred up to 4 years. These loans can be used to cover paid sick leave, increased costs, rent or mortgage payments, and maintain payroll.

A small business may apply for an EIDL grant and a Paycheck Protection loan.

You can apply for an EIDL online with the SBA: here.

    • Debt Relief for New and Existing Borrowers

Small businesses with SBA 7(a), 504, and microloans, or who take a loan out in the next 6 months, will automatically receive debt relief. SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. SBA borrowers may also seek an extension of the duration of their loan and delay certain reporting requirements.

Paycheck Protection loans and SBA disaster loans are not eligible – payments are already deferred under those loans.

Check in with your lender to discuss how this will apply to your business.

    • Help for Contractors

Government contractors have access to a number of relief options and protections. Agencies will be able to modify terms and conditions of a contract and to reimburse contractors at a billing rate of up to 40 hours per week of any paid leave, including sick leave.

Eligible contractors are those whose employees or subcontractors cannot perform work on site and cannot telework due to federal facilities closing because of COVID-19.

Contact your agency’s contracting officer, as well as the agency’s Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization (OSDBU) for more information.

    • Employee Retention Tax Credit
      Congress created a refundable payroll tax credit for businesses, large and small, that retain their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. The tax credit is equal to 50% of wages and compensation.  There is an overall limit on wages per employee of $10,000. The credit is provided through December 31, 2020.

The Department of the Treasury is authorized to advance payment of the employee retention tax credit. This tax credit is not available if the employer takes an SBA paycheck protection loan.

    • Payroll Tax DelayEmployers (both businesses and nonprofits) may delay paying the employer-portion of payroll taxes through the end of 2020. The deferred amount is due in two installments – 50% is due before December 31, 2021, and the other 50% is due before December 31, 2022.

Deferral is not available if the employer takes an SBA paycheck protection loan.

    • Advance Payments of Tax Credits for Paid LeaveCongress has allowed the Treasury to send advance payments of tax credits available to employers that are required to provide up to 12 weeks of coronavirus-related paid leave to their employees.
    • Delay for Single Employer Pension PlansSingle employer pension plans are allowed to delay quarterly contributions for 2020 until the end of the year. Employers may also use 2019 funded status for the purposes of determining funding-based limits on plan benefits for the plan years that include 2020.
    • Additional Federal ResourcesFor more information about SBA loan programs, please visit the Small Business Administration website.

If you need additional assistance, please reach out to your local Small Business Development Center, Women’s Business Center, SCORE chapter, or SBA District Office. Find local assistance here

For more information about tax issues, please check the IRS’s website.

    • In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic – and in support of our State’s healthcare workers and first responders – the Maryland Department of General Services, Office of State Procurement, is introducing a new Request for Information (RFI) template in eMaryland Marketplace Advantage (eMMA). This template allows registered vendors to provide information on their ability to provide hospital and medical supplies, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other related supplies and equipment required to assist with the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The template is focused on the most critically needed items including ventilators, N-95 masks, facial protection, medical grade hospital beds, and general PPE. Vendors will be asked to provide information about quantities available, shipping capabilities, country of origin, and product-specific information (e.g., OEM part number, etc.).

What do you need to do?

If your company would like to be considered as a vendor to the State for COVID-19 related supplies, please:

      • Ensure your company is registered on eMMA (click here to view the Quick Reference Guide to register on eMMA).
      • Update your company’s profile to indicate the appropriate commodity code (42000000 – Medical Equipment and Accessories and Supplies) for these types of supplies.
      • Visit the eMMA Public Solicitations page and search for solicitations for COVID-19 supplies.
      • Click here to view the Quick Reference Guide to view open solicitations.

Next steps and support

Thank you for your support as we work together on behalf of all Marylanders. Please contact eMMAC19support@nitorpartners.com (our eMMA implementation partner) with any questions or concerns.

    • The Montgomery County Council approved $20 million in emergency funding to provide grants to small businesses and nonprofits that have been impacted by COVID-19. At least 25% of the funds are required to go to restaurants and retail storefronts; that figure can be higher. See recent news releases for details >

County at Work on Application Process

The County is now developing the application process for accessing those funds; we will share the application on our website and newsletter when it becomes available. Here are some key items to know:

        • Businesses and nonprofits with up to 100 employees can apply for a maximum grant of $75,000
        • Funds may be used to cover employee wages and benefits, taxes, debt, rent, and other operating expenses
        • The principal place of business must be in the county
          • Sole proprietorships are eligible
          • Includes mini-grants of up to $2,500 to cover technology equipment and software purchases for remote work

Maryland Resources
The Maryland Department of Commerce is offering three new business assistance programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More information on each can be found below.

Washington DC

  • The Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) is enhancing the security and improving access to our online resources. Access DC is a key component of DCRA’s Vision 2020 digital transformation to make every DCRA service available securely on-demand. As part of this implementation, user email addresses will be verified so they can be safely used as Access DC usernames for sign-in to DCRA’s online services. The Access DC account will be all you need to access any of DCRA’s online systems.

In the coming weeks, DCRA will begin protecting its online service applications with Access DC. You will notice that Access DC will be required to access some applications that previously allowed unsecured access.

Signing up for an Access DC account is easy. Simply visit accessdc.dcra.dc.gov and click the sign up link.

Access DC benefits:

    • Access DC simplifies interactions with DCRA. Instead of having multiple accounts with passwords to remember, your single Access DC account will be used for every DCRA online system.
    • Access DC enhances security by verifying email addresses of all users, and protects DCRA’s online services with an access management platform conforming to the U.S. government’s stringent FedRAMP security standards.
    • The Access DC account is easy to obtain. You can sign up for an account in just a few minutes, and if you ever forget your login information, self-guided prompts will help you recover it instantly.

Virginia

WBE -Provided Resources

  • WBE company, the Creter Group would like to extend to all WBENC and WPEO members through April 24th.  They have several off-the-shelf virtual classroom workshops facilitated by professionals on a variety of topics.  They are offering 3 of them FOR FREE through April 24th to help anyone navigating the virtual world.  The workshops are Virtual Facilitation, Virtual Instructor-led Training and Teleworking/Work-from-Home.  Click here and enter code VIRTUALFREE when checking out to bring the total to zero.
  • The Barbour Group, LLC and Alliance for Hispanic Commercial Contractors in partnership with Alan Paquette, President of Construction AnalytiX, has compiled a summary and links of financial relief options afforded to small businesses and employees.  After you read through this document you have any questions, send your questions to Karen Barbour at Karen@thebarbourgroup.com and Alan will respond.  They will wait until they have several questions before responding.  If your question is urgent, they will get back to you as promptly as possible given how much additional research your response needs.
    • Also, they have an attorney on board, Andrew Winick, that can place loan applications on your behalf until the financial institutions report back that they are at full capacity.  He is working directly with several institutions. They wish to be a valuable resource to you and help you through this trying time. We want to save your business.  Please stay safe and well.  Click here:  COVID-19 Financial Relief Options for Small Businesses and Employees
  • COVID19 has put a stop to “business as usual.” Companies are revisiting their travel plans and policies as well as sick leave and remote work policies. The implications for supplier diversity is that events may be smaller or cancelled completely. This mini-mastermind shows you how to use your certification when you can’t leave home and how be in a good position when you can leave home. https://www.diversitymasterminds.com/product-page/mini-mastermind-business-unusual WBEs will receive a playbook to strategize their certification, opportunities to attend live sessions with Masterminds Liz and Heather and will become part of the Diversity Masterminds community.

Tools You Can Use

  • On-demand recording: Obtaining COVID-19 financial relief.
  • Resources for COVID-19 Communications
  • From disruption to recovery: A road map for businesses impacted by coronavirus. Read Insight.
  • Tax Implications of the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill for Individuals and Businesses. Marcum’s Tax & Business Services leaders discuss the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) and how the stimulus provisions may benefit you. Watch Webinar.
  • How to Access the SBA and Other Ways of Preserving Value in Your Business. While the coronavirus is threatening our health, the response and shut down of business operations is threatening our economy. Our government is responding with loans, a federal stimulus, and responses to the timing of tax filings and payments. Watch Webinar.
  • How Might the Value of your Business be Impacted as a Result of the Coronavirus Crisis. Marcum’s National Business Valuation leaders are going to discuss combatting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) disruption with resilience and perspective. Watch Webinar.
  • 6 Habits Every Telecommuter Should Implement to Build Rapport
  • Latina Style, Inc. is providing access to their previous webinars:
  • SBA DISASTER LOAN FOR SMALL BUSINESS AND NON-PROFITS Password: ZhYX5KVD
  • BOOSTING YOUR BUSINESS VISIBILITY EVEN WHEN NOT IN THE OFFICE – 03.26.20 Password: 5DxYyPS5
  • Work From Home Tip: Are you homeschooling AND working? Here is a tip for you! MAXIMIZE FLEXIBILITY: When possible, organize your work around your family’s needs and childcare opportunities. Save less critical tasks for times when distraction is likely, and reserve more high-stakes assignments for when you are distraction-free.
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