The City of Vestavia Hills, in conjunction with the Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce, is working diligently to proactively support and protect our residential and business communities in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Beginning April 3, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply, and beginning April 10, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply.
PPP loans will be available through June 30, 2020 or until the funds run out. Due to expected high demand, Treasury recommends that applications be submitted as soon as possible. The CARES Act permits the PPP’s forgivable loans to pay for up to eight weeks of payroll costs, including benefits and other costs. In addition to payroll, recipients also can use PPP funds to pay interest on mortgages, rent and utilities.
Small businesses applying for PPP loans must submit documentation to establish loan eligibility, including payroll records and/or payroll tax filings. The interim final rule issued April 2, 2020 clarified that the SBA will allow lenders to rely on the borrower’s documentation to determine if the borrower is eligible for the loans. Lenders can accept e-signatures and e-consents. Lenders who comply with the obligations laid out in the interim final rule will not be held responsible if the borrower submits fraudulent or inaccurate information.
Beware of scams! If something sounds too good to be true, IT IS!
Prior to beginning the application process:
– Speak with your Banker and/or CPA for guidance on what is needed for completion of the application
– Gather the following documents: Most recent completed Federal tax return; 2019 Year-end P&L (if 2019 Tax Return is not available); Verification for Payroll for year-end 2019
– For purposes of the PPP application, include any of the following paid by the company in the monthly payroll calculation: W-2 and 1099 wages paid; Health and Life benefits; Retirement benefits
Application & Other Important Links
Emergency Loans for Small Businesses
Congress has approved $350 billion in emergency loans for small businesses to help them keep workers employed. In fact, if small businesses maintain or later restore their payrolls, they may not have to repay some — or possibly any — of the loan. Click here for a guide and checklist from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help your small business through the process.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans
As of March 21, 2020, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) issued a statewide declaration for Alabama which opens the Economic Injury Disaster Loans to eligible small businesses in the state. This program offers low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Click HERE for more information.
– SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses (as defined by industry NAICS codes), small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and most private non-profit organizations that have suffered working capital losses due to the declared disaster.
– SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans offer up to $2 million in assistance per small business. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
– SBA offers loans with long-term repayments in order to keep payments affordable, up to a maximum of 30 years.
Application: Apply online HERE
Additionally, the Alabama Small Business Development Center (ASBDC) is an official outreach partner of the SBA and can serve as a resource regarding these loans. Visit their website for information including a webinar that has more information on the application process. The Birmingham Business Alliance’s Resource Page also has additional information for businesses regarding COVID-19.
Orders, Proclamations & Advisories
Following are links to the most recent orders and proclamations, with the most recent at the top of the list:
- March 29, 2020: President Trump announced federal guidance urging social distancing will stay in place through April 30.
- March 27, 2020: Amended Order of the Alabama Department of Public Health issuing statewide social distancing measures. Click here for clarification of this ADPH order as it relates to businesses.
- March 25, 2020: FEMA Advisory
- March 23, 2020: Proclamation by the the Governor postponing certain state tax obligations
- March 23, 2020 (effective at 5pm): Order of the Jefferson County Health Officer suspending certain public gatherings and closing non-essential businesses and services
- March 20, 2020: Amended Order of the Jefferson County Health Officer suspending certain public gatherings and closing non-essential businesses and services
- March 19, 2020: Order of the Jefferson County Health Officer suspending certain public gatherings and closing non-essential businesses and services
- March 19, 2020: Order of the State Health Officer Suspending Certain Public Gatherings
- March 18, 2020: Proclamation by the Governor outlining measures of relief during the state health emergency.
- March 18, 2020: Order of the State Department of Revenue waiving late payment penalties for small businesses.
- March 13, 2020: Order Suspending In-Person Court Proceedings
Additional Resources for Business Owners & Employers
- Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce: The Vestavia Hills Chamber of Commerce has compiled Restaurant, Retail and Service Guides to assist residents in supporting locally owned and/or operated businesses. Vestavia Hills businesses and/or Chamber members can be added to these guides list by entering their info at https://bit.ly/3b7SMDe.
- Alabama Department of Revenue: Effective March 18, 2020, the Alabama Department of Revenue has ordered that late payment penalties assessed by the State of Alabama shall be waived for small retail businesses whose monthly retail sales during the previous calendar year averaged $62,500 or less who are unable to timely pay their February, March and April 2020 state sales tax liabilities. Late payment penalties will be waived for these taxpayers through June 1, 2020. The City of Vestavia Hills will adhere to this order as issued on behalf of the state and will waive late payment penalties for small retail businesses that meet this criteria.
- Alabama Department of Insurance: The Alabama Department of Insurance has generated a this page as guidance to health insurance carriers responding to the COVID-19 virus.
- Alabama Department of Labor: The Department announced that Alabama workers not able to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible to file unemployment benefits.
- Centers for Disease Control: This page is dedicated to assisting businesses and employers in planning, preparing and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Internal Revenue Service: The IRS has established this special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus.
- The United Way of Central Alabama: This United Way of Central Alabama page provides details on available resources for those impacted by the Coronavirus.