- CISA Guidelines Updated
- Paycheck Protection Program
- Small Business Administration
- Other Useful Information
CISA Guidelines - Foresty as an Essential Business
In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, most states immediately designated the forest products industry as an essential service to match the Federal CISA Guidance. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued their Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Guidance on March 19, 2020 and published three additional updates to reflect the changing landscape of the nation’s COVID-19 response.
Earlier versions of the document gave guidance to state, local, tribal, and territorial jurisdictions, and the private sector on defining essential critical infrastructure workers. Guidance included promoting the ability of such workers to continue to work during periods of community restriction, access management, social distancing, or closure orders/directives is crucial to community resilience and continuity of essential functions.
While earlier versions were primarily intended to help officials and organizations identify essential work functions in order to allow them access to their workplaces during times of community restrictions, the most recent version, Version 4.0, identifies those essential workers that require specialized risk management strategies to ensure that they can work safely. The CISA Guidance is available HERE.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reversed its workplace pandemic guidance in November, 2020, to remove a provision that allowed essential workers thought to have been exposed to COVID-19 but not exhibiting symptoms to stay on the job without quarantining. Read more HERE.
The deadline to apply for PPP loans was May 31, 2021.
PPP Loan Forgiveness
Borrowers of both First Draw and Second Draw PPP loans may be eligible for loan forgiveness. The SBA has a recommended process of applying for loan forgiveness, which includes:
- Contact your PPP Lender and complete the correct form.
- Compile your documentation.
- Submit the forgiveness form and documentation to your PPP Lender.
- Continue to communicate with your Lender throughout the process.
A more in depth look at the loan forgiveness process and the necessary forms and instructions are available at the SBA website.
The stimulus package passed by the Senate on March 26, 2020 included an expansion of the SBA loans. Eligibility for SBA loans includes businesses that are less than 500 employees which include sole proprietors, contractors, and other self-employed individuals. Covered loans include payroll costs, costs related to certain group health benefits, and employee salaries.
The SBA is currently taking applications from businesses that are impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. FRA has gathered some resources to help navigate the SBA process.
- The CARES Act established several new temporary programs to address the COVID-10 crisis. A summary of these funding options is available HERE.
- To find out if you qualify for the SBA Loans click HERE.
- You can begin the process to file a loan application with the SBA HERE.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is extending its COVID-19 waivers – including the hours of service waiver and the CDL, CLP, and medical card validity extensions – through August 31. The current waivers, issued in February, are set to expire on May 31. This hours of service extension includes the same regulatory relief for motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to COVID-19, as included in the February 17 declaration. The waiver only applies to drivers hauling:
- livestock and livestock feed;
- medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19;
- vaccines, constituent products, and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines, related to the prevention of COVID-19;
- supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation, and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants; and
- food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
White House Guidelines
The Biden Administration has released their plan to address COVID-19.To review, click HERE.
State-by-State Business Reopening Guidelines
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a state-by-state guide navigating the status of the reopening process. Their guidelines include an interactive map that lets you select your specific state. Reopening information provided includes:
- Effective Date of Reopening
- Topline Guidance
- Employee Screening Guidance
- Social Distancing Guidance
- PPE Requirements
- Cleaning/Sanitation Procedures
- Vulnerable Population Accommodations
- And Sector-Specific Guidance
To review the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s State-by-State Business Reopening Guidelines, click HERE.
Current Status of COVID-19 Cases by Jurisdiction
Johns Hopkins University has created a visualization that shows the current state-by-state status of COVID-19 cases. It also demonstrates each state’s growth and decline in cases. Access the map of the United States HERE.