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COVID-19 FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Have a question that isn't listed below? Submit them here. 

Infographic: Alcohol carryout FAQ

 

Q: Can I still sign-up for a ServSafe certification or exam during the shelter-in-place order?

A: Yes. You may sign up for an online course or proctored exam here.

 

Q: What loan and relief options are available to restaurant owners?

A:

  • Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The CARES Act contains a key provision that provides $349 billion for small businesses through federally backed loans under a modified and expanded Small Business Administration (SBA)7(a) loan guarantee program called the Paycheck Protection Program. The goal of the PPP is to help restaurants retain and/or rehire employees by providing an eight-week loan, equal to 2.5x an average monthly payroll, with the loan amount capped at $10 million. If the employer can retain their full-time equivalent (FTE) employees without significantly reducing salaries, the borrowing employer is eligible for 100% loan forgiveness. More details below under the “Paycheck Protection Program” section.
  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). The SBA’s EIDL program is available for certain businesses located in an area affected by a disaster – such as public health disaster – that have suffered substantial economic injury as a result of such disaster. The CARES Act includes $10 billion to expand the SBA EIDL program to additional eligible businesses impacted by the COVID19 pandemic. The maximum amount available to eligible small businesses is $2 million, but the actual loan amount is limited to the economic injury as determined by the SBA. The applicant can also request an advance of not more than $10,000 within three days of when the SBA receives the applicant’s application. More details below under the “Economic Injury Disaster Loan” section.
  • Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC). The tax credit provides all businesses with a refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by employers to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. Employers with 100 or fewer employees may claim the credit for all employee wages, regardless of whether the employer is fully operating or partially or fully shut down. Companies with more than 100 employees may claim the credit for employees who are on the payroll but not currently working due to the crisis. The credit is provided for the first $10,000 of compensation, including health benefits, paid to an employee for wages paid from 3/13/2020 12/31/2020. o Employers who participate in the PPP are not eligible for ERTC.

 

Q: My business is currently closed – does that affect my eligibility for these incentives?

A: No, your business’s operating status does not necessarily change eligibility for these programs. The PPP is focused on the retention of employees on employer payrolls, even if the business remains closed. 

 

3) When do these loan programs and tax relief measures begin and where do I go to learn more?

A: Federal agencies are preparing guidance and implementing regulations for publication soon. But you can begin preparing now by reviewing what you need for loans through the Small Business Administration (SBA), tax relief details for ERTC and Payroll Tax Holidays, and discuss with your local lender and/or accounting resources. Key Aspects of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

 

Q: How do I apply for PPP loan?

A:

  • Through your local SBA-approved lender. The SBA will be providing guidance on how to apply for the PPP loan and how to find a qualified lender in your area.
  • Borrowers who have outstanding SBA loans may also want to contact their existing lenders to inquire about applying for loans under the PPP.

 

Q: What businesses are eligible for the PPP?

A: Any business in operation on February 15, 2020 with no more than 500 employees. However, a business in the restaurant, foodservice, catering, and hotel industry with more than one physical location qualifies for a single loan if it employs no more than 500 employees at each physical location if they operate under the North American Industry Classification System code beginning with 72 (Accommodation and Food Services - U.S. Census Bureau). For purposes of eligibility, the SBA’s affiliate rules are waived for businesses in the hospitality and restaurant industries, and franchises approved on the SBA’s Franchise Directory.

 

Q: What is the PPP maximum loan amount?

A:

  • Each eligible business can receive the lesser of $10 million or 2.5 times the average total monthly payroll costs incurred during the one-year period before the date of loan. For a seasonal employer, the business calculates the average total monthly payments for payroll during the 12-week period beginning February 15, 2019, or at the choice of the business, March 1, 2019, and ending June 30, 2019. There is a cap at $10 million.
  • A business can choose an eight-week period to utilize the PPP loan during the February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020 time period.

Q: Are there any collateral or personal guarantee requirements?

A: No. The Act does not require collateral or personal guarantees.

 

Q: What can you use the loan for?

A:

  • Payroll costs, including: compensation to employees; payment required for group health care benefits (including insurance premiums); retirement benefits; state and local employment taxes; interest payments on mortgage obligations; other debt obligations incurred before February 15, 2020 (but not any payments or prepayments of principal); rent; and utilities.
  • Loan funds cannot be used for employee/owner compensation over $100,000; compensation of employees with a principal place of residence outside the United States; paid leave wages already covered by Phase 1 (the Families First Coronavirus Response Act); or taxes imposed or withheld under chapters 21, 22, and 24 of the IRS code.

 

Q: How does the PPP loan forgiveness work?

A:

  • Borrowers are eligible for loan forgiveness for the covered 8-week period, commencing from the loan origination date. The amount of loan forgiveness is equal to the sum of the employer’s expenses, including: payroll costs, rent payments, utility payments, and mortgage interest payments (not including any prepayment or payment of principal on a covered mortgage obligation) made during the covered 8-week period.
  • NOTE: The amount of loan forgiveness may be reduced if the employer reduces the number of employees as compared to the prior year, or if the employer reduces the pay of any employee by more than 25% as of the last calendar quarter. Employers who rehire workers previously laid off because of the crisis will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll for the beginning of the relevant period. Importantly, forgiveness may also include additional wages paid to tipped workers.
  • Borrowers must apply for loan forgiveness through their lender, and produce the following:
    • Documentation verifying the number of Full-Time Equivalent Employees (FTEs) on payroll and pay rates for pre- and post- covered periods, including payroll tax filings reported to the IRS and state income, payroll, and unemployment insurance filings;
    • Documentation of rent, mortgage interest, and utility payment;
    • Certification that the documentation referenced above is true and correct.

 

Q: I’ve read the CARES Act requires businesses receiving federal assistance to be neutral in labor organizing activities. Do labor neutrality requirements apply to my restaurant’s participation the PPP loan program?

A: No. The certification requirements that a business will remain neutral in a union organizing effort for the term of the loan are only contained within the Economic Stabilization Fund (ESF) direct lending program.

 

Q: What businesses are eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)?

A: Businesses with not more than 500 employees, including small businesses (plus sole proprietorships), independent contractors, private non-profits, and more.

 

Q: How much would my business be eligible to receive?

A:

  • Within three days of applying for an EIDL, an eligible applicant can request an emergency advance of up to $10,000 – this is a grant payment that does not need to be repaid, even if the applicant is ultimately found to be ineligible for the EIDL.
  • EIDLs are lower interest loans of up to $2 million, with principal and interest deferment available for up to 4 years, which are available to pay for expenses that could have been met had the disaster not occurred, including payroll and other operating expenses.

 

Q: What’s the time period for an EIDL – and can I apply for that and a PPP loan?

A:

  • Emergency EIDLs are available from January 31, 2020 – December 31, 2020. Whether a business has already received an EIDL unrelated to coronavirus or if one is received for the coronavirus related EIDL (or grant) between January 31, 2020 and June 30, 2020, a business can also apply for a PPP loan. If a business ultimately receives a PPP loan or refinances an EIDL into a PPP loan, any advance amount received under the EIDL grant would be subtracted from the amount forgiven in the PPP.
  • However, a business cannot use the EIDL for the same purpose as the PPP loan. For example, if a business uses its EIDL to cover payroll for certain workers in April, its PPP loan cannot be used for payroll for those same workers in April, although you could use it for payroll in March or for different workers in April. Additional Tax Relief

 

Q: What other tax relief options are available?

A:

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit. Described on page one.
  • Qualified Improvement Property (QIP). Businesses now have the ability to write off costs for improved facilities immediately – rather than 39 years – and the QIP fix is retroactive, so many entities that made these improvements in 2018 and 2019 will now be able to amend their tax returns.
    • Tax professionals can help you determine if you should amend your 2018 and 2019 tax returns to obtain money back from the government now.
  • Modifications for Net Operating Losses (NOLs). The Act relaxes limitations on a company’s use of losses from prior years. This provision provides that a loss from 2018, 2019, or 2020 can be carried back five years.
  • Delay of Employer Payroll Taxes. Employers can delay payment of the employer share of payroll taxes via the Social Security program. The deferred employment tax be paid over the following two years, with half of the amount required to be paid by December 31, 2021 and the other half by December 31, 2022. NOTE: Deferral is not provide to employers receiving assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program.

For additional information:

 

Q: Can I still order take out/delivery from restaurants and bars?

A: Yes, restaurants and bars can continue to provide takeout and delivery, but should be closed to dine-in patrons. See an ever-growing list of restaurants offering takeout/delivery here.

 

Q: How do I sign up to have my hotel registered for use by government and healthcare entities?

A: If you are interested in leasing your properties to the federal government please fill out this online form
If you are interested in leasing your properties to the state government and/or Healthcare systems, please fill out this online form.

 

Q: How do I apply for a small business loan? 

A: Visit the SBA website here.

 

Q: When does the governor's stay-at-home order take effect?

A: Tuesday, March 24 at 11:59 p.m. ET. - Monday, April 6 at 11:59 p.m. ET, but could be extended if the outbreak warrants it.

 

Q: Is this mandatory or a recommendation?

A: This order is mandatory. For the safety of all Hoosiers, people must stay home and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

 

Q: How will this order be enforced?

A: Staying home is critical to reducing the spread of COVID-19 in your community. Adhering to the order will save lives, and it is the responsibility of every Hoosier to do their part. However, if the order is not followed, the Indiana State Police will work with local law enforcement to enforce this order. The Indiana State Department of Health and the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission will enforce the restaurant and bar restrictions.

 

Q: What is an essential business?

A: Essential businesses and services include but are not limited to grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, police stations, fire stations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, health care facilities, garbage pickup, public transit, and public service hotlines such as SNAP and HIP 2.0.  

A list can be found in the Governor’s executive order at in.gov/coronavirus.

 

Q: What is an essential activity?

A: Essential activities include but are not limited to activities for health and safety, necessary supplies and services, outdoor activity, certain types of essential work, and to take care of others.

A list can be found in the Governor’s executive order at in.gov/coronavirus.

 

Q: I work for an essential business. Will I be allowed to travel to and from work?

A: Law enforcement will not be stopping drivers on their way to and from work, traveling for an essential activity such as going to the grocery store, or just taking a walk.

 

Q: Will the grocery store/pharmacy be open?

A: Yes, grocery stores and pharmacies are essential services.

 

Q: How can I get medical care?

A: If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, stay home and call your healthcare provider.

If you suspected you have COVID-19, please call the healthcare provider in advance so that proper precautions can be taken to limit further transmission. Older patients and individuals who have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised should contact their healthcare provider early, even if their illness is mild.

If you have severe symptoms, such as persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, or bluish lips or face, contact your healthcare provider or emergency room and seek care immediately, but please call in advance if possible. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and whether you should be tested.

Nonessential medical care such as eye exams and teeth-cleaning should be postponed. When possible, health care visits should be done remotely. Contact your health care provider to see what telehealth services they provide.

 

Q: What is the guidance for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities?

A: State-operated developmental centers, intermediate care facilities for individuals with developmental disabilities and community integrated living arrangements will continue to provide care. All in-home direct care staff are considered essential staff and should continue to support individuals in the home setting.  

If you have specific questions about your support and services, reach out to your provider or individual service coordination agency.

 

Q: What if I still have to go to work?

A: You should stay home unless your work is an essential function such as a health care provider, grocery store clerk or first responder. If you have been designated essential by your employer, you should continue to go to work and practice social distancing.

A list of essential businesses can be found in the Governor’s executive order at in.gov/coronavirus.

 

Q: What if I think my business should be closed, but they’re still asking me to report to work?

A: Essential businesses will remain open during the stay-at-home order to provide services that are vital to the lives of Hoosiers. If you believe your business is nonessential but still are being asked to show up to work, you may discuss it with your employer.

 

Q: Will public transportation, ride-sharing and taxis continue?

A: Public transportation, ride-sharing and taxis should only be used for essential travel.

 

Q: Will roads in Indiana be closed?

A: No, the roads will remain open. You should only travel if it is for your health or essential work.

 

Q: Can I still take a plane out of Indiana?

A: Planes and other types of transportation should be used for essential travel.

 

Q: What if my home is not a safe environment?

A: If it is not safe for you to remain home, you are able and encouraged to find another safe place to stay during this order. Please reach out so someone can help. You can call the domestic violence hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE or your local law enforcement.

 

Q: What about homeless people who cannot stay at home?

A: The administration wants to protect the health and safety of all Hoosiers, regardless of where they live. State agencies are partnering with community organizations to ensure the homeless population has safe shelter.

 

Q: Can I visit friends and family?

A: For your safety, as well as the safety of all Hoosiers, you should remain at home to help fight the spread of COVID-19. You may visit family members who need medical or other essential assistance, such as ensuring an adequate food supply.

 

Q: Can I walk my dog or go to the veterinarian?

A: You are allowed to walk your dog and seek medical care for your pet should they require it. Practice social distancing while out on walks, maintaining at least 6 feet from other neighbors and their pets.

 

Q: Can I take my kids to the park?

A: State parks remain open, but welcome centers, inns, and other buildings are closed. Families will be able to go outside and take a walk, run or bike ride, but they should continue to practice social distancing by remaining 6 feet away from other people. Playgrounds are closed because they pose a high risk of increasing spreading the virus.

 

Q: Can I go to the hair salon, spa, nail salon, tattoo parlor or barber shop?

A: No, these businesses are ordered closed.

 

Q: Can I leave my home to do laundry?

A: Yes. Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers are considered essential businesses.

 

Q: Can I take my child to daycare?

A: Yes, daycares are considered an essential business.

 

Q: Can I pick up meals at my child’s school?

A: Yes. Schools that provide free food services to students will continue on a pickup and take-home basis.

 

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