Pasadena Business Association
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  • 30 Mar 2020 8:57 AM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    Employee Notice on Families First Coronavirus Response Act

    For the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) passed into law last week, the US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division requires all covered employers to now post a notice of the FFCRA requirements in conspicuous places on their premises.

    Important note: The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective on April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020.

    Important note for employers with teleworkers: the DOL says employers "may satisfy this requirement by emailing or direct mailing this notice to employees, or posting this notice on an employee information internal or external website."

    The FFCRA requires employers with 500 or fewer employees to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19.

    Special note for small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees): these companies "may qualify for exemption from the requirement to provide leave due to school closings or child care unavailability if the leave requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern." We are still waiting for specific guidelines regarding this exemption.

    Primary DOL guidelines in posting the required notice in your workplace are:

    • You are not required to post this notice in multiple languages (but DOL is working now on translations)
    • The FFCRA poster applies only to your current employees
    • You need to give notice of the FFCRA requirements to new hires
    • This poster and all DOL workplace posters are free of charge and downloadable anytime

    More key resources about the FFCRA:

    The FFCRA Poster

    Main employer requirements of the FFCRA

    FFCRA Poster – Frequently Asked Questions

    FFCRA – Questions and Answers


  • 27 Mar 2020 1:32 PM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    The PBA received the following message from the Comptroller of Maryland office.

    With strict social distancing measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19, this is understandably a very difficult time for businesses across Maryland. On behalf of Comptroller Franchot, I want to reach out and make sure you were aware of some of the actions our agency is taking to help businesses during this unprecedented situation.

    ·       Extension of Business Tax Filing Deadlines: The Comptroller has extended business-related tax filing deadlines to June 1st, 2020. The June 1st extension applies to certain business returns with due dates during the months of March, April and May 2020 for businesses filing sales and use tax, withholding tax, and admissions & amusement tax, as well as alcohol, tobacco and motor fuel excise taxes, tire recycling fee and bay restoration fee returns. Business taxpayers who file and pay by the extended due date will receive a waiver of interest and penalties.

    ·       Extension of Income Tax Filing Deadline: Following the national decision to extend the federal income tax payment deadline to July 15, 2020, Comptroller Franchot applied the same relief to Maryland income taxpayers. No interest or penalty for late payments will be imposed if 2019 tax payments are made by July 15, 2020.

    ·       Rainy Day Fund Relief for Small Businesses: Comptroller Franchot has called for Governor Hogan and legislative leaders to use at least $500 million from the state’s Rainy Day Fund for additional support. He’s been as strong an advocate as anyone for maintaining this account over the years, but during a torrential downpour, now is the time to use those funds to help our friends and neighbors.

    ·       Easing Alcohol Regulations: To help our craft brewers and distilleries, our agency has suspended the enforcement of limits on how much beer and distilled spirits customers can buy from Maryland-based craft breweries and distilleries for carryout and delivery. The Comptroller also helped the Governor’s Office craft an Executive Order that allows restaurants, bars, breweries, wineries, distilleries and other licensed alcohol manufacturers to deliver off-premises.

    ·       Encouraging Carryout: Comptroller Franchot and our office compiled a county-by-county list of area restaurants and other facilities that are offering carryout, curbside or delivery service at www.marylandtaxes.gov

    We want to be of help to you during this difficult time. If you have any feedback about how we can better support businesses in your jurisdiction, please don’t hesitate to respond to Awalinskas@marylandtaxes.gov. If you have questions about the extended business filing deadline, please email taxpayerrelief@marylandtaxes.gov or call the Ombudsman at 410-260-4020.

  • 27 Mar 2020 11:39 AM | Christine Richardson (Administrator)










  • 25 Mar 2020 4:36 PM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    Delegate Nic Kipke wrote to the PBA with the following information and resources.

    I hope you are doing well and handling the current situation as well as can be expected.  Our situation is hard on all of us in many ways. Our family is self-quarantining at home but I am available by email, phone, and through social media to answer questions and help in any way possible (nicholaus.kipke@house.state.md.us is the best way to contact me).

    Silver lining: Family time!

    Many are financially hurt, stressed, and a growing number of people are becoming ill with COVID-19 in our area. The number of people infected with COVID-19 saw its biggest single-day increase today, and more people are beginning to need care in a hospital. This leads our health officials to tell us that this is about to get a lot worse. 

    Fortunately, slowing the spread has allowed for medical preparations that other areas of the world did not have time for.  In Maryland there are thousands of new hospital beds available in temporary hospitals that have been built by the Maryland National Guard.  Companies like Ford, Tesla, GM, Everlywell, and 3M have taken on the challenge of increasing supply of respirators, tests, and personal protection supplies like face masks which are finally beginning to reach the market.  Even Sagamore Distillery has suspended making Rye Whiskey and is now making hand sanitizer for Johns Hopkins.

    While some continue to think that the risk is overblown, I want everyone to know that we can't allow what is happening to people in countries like China, Italy, and Spain to happen here.  If we have to deal with a deadly health pandemic, we are very fortunate that we are dealing with it in the United States of America and we all need to pull together to get through this. Everyone needs to do their part to make sure they are equipped to hunker down and survive several more weeks or longer like this.  Please take special care to quarantine yourself if you have any health conditions or are at risk.  If you think you may be infected CALL your doctor before going so that they can prepare for your visit.  To learn more about that click here:   https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/#Background. Please remember that even if you are young and healthy and not experiencing any symptoms you could still be a carrier, so we all must stay home and follow social distancing guidelines when you must go out.

    I've also seen many ways that people are coming together to help one another out.  There are scores of people sewing masks for health workers (click here for a free pattern to use), free food being made available to the homeless and the needy, just yesterday Chairman of the Maryland GOP Dirk & Councilwoman Jessica Haire offered $10,000 to support local Anne Arundel County restaurants with free meals for locals, and Pasadena Boat Works donated 14,000 medical face masks which are critically needed.

     

    Congress is working on a package to support states, employers, and individuals deal with the financial effects of this.  The plan seems to be close to final passage and I am hopeful it will provide much needed relief. Also the state has stepped up with many resources, here are some helpful links that may be of interest to you:  

    Helpful links

    Executive orders & legal guidance for businesses:

    https://governor.maryland.gov/covid-19-pandemic-orders-and-guidance/

    Health Information & Maryland COVID-19 #s: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/

    School meal site locator for students:  https://mars.msde.maryland.gov/mars_sitesearch/ 

    Want to volunteer to help? 

    https://governor.maryland.gov/marylandunites/

    To report safety concerns about hospitals and other health care facilities, contact the Maryland Office of Health Care Quality: 

    https://health.maryland.gov/ohcq/Pages/home.aspx   

    The University of Maryland Medical System has opened a free call line that is open to the public 24/7 to answer questions related to COVID-19. Calls will be answered and routed by an Operator. A Registered Nurse will then connect with callers to answer their questions. The call line number is 1-888-713-0711. For more information, visit

    https://www.umms.org/coronavirus/nurse-call-line.

    Business resources

    General business questions:

    https://businessexpress.maryland.gov/coronavirus

    Unemployment questions: 

    https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/uicovidfaqs.shtml

    Layoff aversion:

    https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/covidlafund.shtml

    Grants & loans for employees with 50 or fewer employees:

    https://commerce.maryland.gov/

    For employers with 50 employees or larger:

    https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance

    So many people have contacted me recently with questions and I can tell there’s tons of anxiety, stress and uncertainty right now; I feel it too. Remember, other generations faced hardships like this and some far worse including many that went on for years. We know this will be short lived and we have incredible national resources to help us overcome the challenge. We will get through this.

    Stay healthy!

    Sincerely,


    Delegate Nic Kipke


  • 25 Mar 2020 2:09 PM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    Anne Arundel County Police Department has provided us with the following links and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic:

    The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is providing critical information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), its spread, and protection measures for you and your family. 

    COVID-19 AND YOU WEBSITE

    Please follow this link to the official Anne Arundel County Government site for the latest information that may affect you and your family.

    ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY LINK

    As we continue to try to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, people are scrambling to find trustworthy information about the spread of the disease, how they can protect themselves, how they can get tested, and more.

    We understand the importance of reliable and timely information. For that reason the Guardian Shield will not be posting specific information about the virus and public containment efforts. It is important that we speak as a single source of information. All official information should derive from the Anne Arundel County Department of Health or the official County Government spokesman.

    We want everyone to know that we continue to totally staff our patrol functions and things appear to be going smoothly. We thank everyone for their cooperation and efforts during this historic national emergency. Your understanding makes our function so much easier.

    We are thankful that thus far we have seen no discernible increase in criminal activity. Understand though that certain opportunists will try to take advantage of the situation. If you have a business, please make sure it is secured as much as possible and your alarm systems are properly functioning. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE MONEY IN CASH REGISTERS OR OFFICE DESK DRAWERS.

    Speaking of opportunists, the scammers and fraudsters are hard at work. There is no cure for COVID-19 and there are no door to door test kits sales. Many of the frauds rely on age old methods to take advantage of people, particularly the vulnerable and elderly community. The Baltimore Gas and Electric Company is not demanding telephone payments to avoid disruption. There is no website or telephone service to assure you have first option at the government programs being enacted. Only rely on official government websites for that information. And the Internal Revenue Service is not soliciting information relating to this year's tax filing deadline extension.

    BEWARE ... BEWARE ... BEWARE

    Remember, do not rely on social media posts as official information. A link to both the Health Department and County Government is at the top of this bulletin. These are your official sources of information.

    FOLLOW SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES AND USE PROTECTION EQUIPMENT.


  • 24 Mar 2020 9:48 AM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    Our friends at Anne Arundel Workforce Development have notified us of the COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund established by the Maryland Department of Labor.

    Here is the link for more information.  An excerpt is below

    https://www.dllr.state.md.us/employment/covidlafund.shtml

    Governor Larry Hogan and the Maryland Department of Labor have launched the new COVID-19 Layoff Aversion Fund, which is designed to support businesses undergoing economic stresses due to the pandemic by preventing or minimizing the duration of unemployment resulting from layoffs. The award (up to $50,000 per applicant), will be a quick deployable benefit and customizable to the specific needs of your business to minimize the need for layoffs.

    Labor is accepting grant applications from small businesses for awards from now through 30 days after the State of Emergency ends (subject to funding availability).

    How can it help me?

    •  Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing remote access (ex. computers, printers, etc.) equipment to allow employees to work remotely from home versus being laid off;
    •  Providing funds to cover the cost of purchasing software or programs that an employee would need to use from home;
    •  Supporting businesses that take advantage of the Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing Program by supplementing the employee’s income and benefits;
    •  Providing funds to cover the costs of cleaning/sanitization services so that small businesses are able to keep employees at work on site, but only if a frequent deep cleaning to prevent exposure occurred;
    •  Paying for liability insurance for restaurants that convert to delivery while under emergency circumstances;
    •  Providing funds for training or professional development opportunities for employees to avoid layoffs; and
    •  Adopting other creative approaches and strategies to reduce or eliminate the need for layoffs in the small business community.

    NOTE: This funding is not for rent or employee wages (unless approved for Unemployment Insurance Work Sharing participation).


  • 23 Mar 2020 1:14 PM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    Non Essential Businesses Ordered To Shut Down by 5pm Tonight, 3/23/2020

    At his daily press conference today, Governor Larry Hogan advised that he signed an executive order to shut down all non essential businesses as of 5pm today.

    He said he was using the federal guidelines on what is considered essential.  Those guidelines can be found using this ling:

    https://www.cisa.gov/publication/guidance-essential-critical-infrastructure-workforce

    His office also put our their own release with guidance which can be found here:

    OLC-Interpretive-Guidance-COVID19-04.pdf

    Governor Hogan also pointed out that millions of dollars in aid and low interest loans were made available to help businesses affected by these shut downs.  Information can be found at this link:

    https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-fund-programs

    Please let us know if there is anything the PBA can do for you or your business to get through these tough times.

  • 20 Mar 2020 12:41 PM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    The PBA received this information from the Police Department:

    Some of the scams I’ve seen across the country thus far are:

    • Cellphone apps providing a COVID-19 tracking map. Running in the background of these apps is a customized version of SpyMax which allows control of your phone’s information. Information suggests as many as 30 of these fraudulent apps have been identified.
    • Phishing emails and phone calls impersonating entities such as the World Health Organization and government authorities.
    • Misinformation being sent via text, social media and emails.
    • Products claiming to be a vaccine or cure for COVID-19.
    • Claims that you can reserve COVID-19 vaccine and get ahead of others.
    • Investment scams claiming COVID-19 has created financial opportunities.
    • Shopping sites readily offering products you know are nearly impossible to get.
    • Calls claiming to represent the federal government's proposed stimulus package. 
    • Persons in lab coats offering to perform COVID-19 testing door to door.
    • The American Red Cross is not offering home tests.
    • And no you don't need to buy COVID-19 software to protect your computer from the virus

      Protect yourself...

    • Don’t let anyone pressure you into making any decisions.
    • Don’t click on internet sources you don’t know.
    • Never respond to unsolicited emails, text messages or social media messages from strangers. Immediately delete them.
    • KEEP YOUR COMPUTER SECURITY (ANTI-VIRUS AND MALWARE) SOFTWARE UP TO DATE.
    • If you plan to make any donations make sure you know the charity and assure your donation is going to its intended cause.


  • 18 Mar 2020 1:25 PM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    We received the following from the Maryland Department of Commerce in regards to SBA Loan information for business affected by the current coronavirus crisis.

    FROM KELLY SCHULZ, Maryland Secretary of Commerce

    "I highly recommend that all of your impacted businesses go to  https://businessexpress.maryland.gov/

    It is a portal that was set up Friday and we are posting all updated information as we receive it. Additionally, please have your clients use Secretary.Commerce@maryland.gov to ask specific questions. This is a collaborative effort for all agencies to be able to quickly and collaboratively answer questions. Their are FAQs on the portal. If you could help to  widely distribute this information, it would be greatly appreciated. Obviously, thousands of businesses have the same questions and concerns and we need to address them all. 

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for getting this in front of them and their staff. Trust me....it will save them so much time because everyone has a question right now. "

    Additional Information:

    Maryland COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund Programs for Businesses
    Maryland has authorized $130 million in loan and grant funding for small businesses and manufacturers that have been negatively impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). This emergency assistance provides interim relief and proceeds that can be used to pay cash operating expenses including payroll, suppliers, rent, fixed debt payments and other mission critical cash operating costs.

    If you are a Maryland-based business impacted by the Coronavirus with under 50 full- and part-time employees, or a Maryland manufacturer, check out the programs below to see if you qualify for assistance.

    Details and further information on the emergency relief programs can be found at:

    https://commerce.maryland.gov/fund/maryland-small-business-covid-19-emergency-relief-fund-programs

    FROM THE SBA - Baltimore Office
    Our contact at the SBA sent this link and advised that SBA loans would fall under the category of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program.  This program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million to give you vital economic support to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue you are experiencing. 

    Here is the link for the  Disaster Loans: SBA.gov/Disaster.


  • 11 Mar 2020 9:58 AM | Jerry Nicklow (Administrator)

    Attention PBA Members and Pasadena community:

    The Anne Arundel County Department of Health is providing this information about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), its spread, and protection measures for you and your family. More information is available at:

    ANNE ARUNDEL COUNTY HEALTH COVID-19 INFORMATION WEBSITE


    The AA County Health Department has put together a nice frequently asked questions page about the coronavirus (COVID-19).   

    They answer what it is and where it started as well as what to do to avoid catching or spreading the virus.

    But with all of the attention given to the coronavirus, most of the advice comes down to doing what we were told to do as kids when it comes to hygiene and washing or hands.

    Be Safe, Be Happy and Be Healthy.


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