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March 31, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: Initial Guidance Issued on Federal Economic Assistance Programs

We continue our efforts to keep you informed of key legal developments relating to COVID-19. Below we highlight key dates, deadlines and developments for federal, state, and local legislation and programs.


Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”)

The FFCRA goes into effect tomorrow, April 1, 2020. In our previous updates we have highlighted key provisions in FFCRA that could affect our clients such as Emergency Paid Sick Time and Extended Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) coverage. Click HERE to view the Department of Labor’s guidelines on FFCRA. Click HERE for a link to the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and FMLA required employer notice.

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”)

Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). More details regarding PPP are trickling out. Today the U.S. Department of the Treasury (the “U.S. Treasury”) released an information sheet about the program. The program is targeting April 3rd as the initial application availability date. As we have discussed in prior bulletins, the portion of the loan used to pay payroll costs, rent, utilities, and other designated expenses is forgivable, subject to reduction based on an employee retention ratio. The portion of the loan that is not forgiven will have a two-year term and will bear interest at 0.5%. All payments under these loans will be deferred for 6 months. In its information sheet today, the U.S. Treasury stressed its goal of expedited loan approval and disbursement. See HERE.

Aviation Industry Loans. The U.S. Treasury also just issued guidance and application forms for payroll support loans for air carriers and air service contractors. Please reach out to us if you have questions about your eligibility for this relief. We encourage all eligible businesses to apply by 5PM EDT Friday, April 3rd. See HERE.

Additionally, the U.S. Treasury has issued preliminary procedures and minimum requirements for loans to air carriers, eligible FAA-certified businesses and national security-related businesses. See HERE. This initial guidance will be supplemented with more information and loan application forms soon. We will keep you updated on developments.

Procurement Opportunities

For those contractors thinking about bidding on federal work, we encourage you to prepare for upcoming opportunities by registering HERE in the federal System for Award Management (SAM) system.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' (“USACE”) announced plans to convert parts of McCormick Place into a 3,000-bed COVID-19 Alternate Care Facility, for which contracting opportunities have yet to be posted. However, vendors with the ability to perform or supply services related to the “build-out” or retrofit of existing space (arenas, convention centers, dormitories, hotels, or other facilities) into alternate care facilities, Field Medical Units, and Temporary Medical Enclosures have been requested to send capabilities statements to USACE. Click HERE for more information.

Additionally, there may also be opportunities with the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Click HERE for FEMA's procurement site.


Stay-at-Home Order Extended

Governor JB Pritzker announced that he will sign a 30-day extension of the state's disaster proclamation on April 1st. The extension of the disaster proclamation will extend both the stay-at-home order as well as the closure all Illinois K-12 schools through the end of April. Click HERE to read the full press release.

Hospitality Emergency Grant Program Deadline: April 1st

The deadline for the Hospitality Emergency Grant Program is tomorrow, April 1st at 5PM CDT. The $14 million fund is available to bars and restaurants with 2019 revenues of $1 million or less and hotels with 2019 revenues of less than $8 million. Bars and restaurants which had less than $500,000 in 2019 revenues are eligible to receive up to $10,000 from the grant program. Bars and restaurants with between $500,000 and $1 million in 2019 revenues are eligible to receive up to $25,000. Eligible hotels can receive up to $50,000. Click HERE for more information on the grant program and for a link to the application.

Chicago Resiliency Fund Application

The Chicago Resiliency Fund application opened today. Eligible businesses can receive up to the lesser of 2019 Q4 revenues or $50,000. Click HERE for more details to apply.

We will continue to send periodic updates on topics that may be helpful to your businesses. If you have a particular issue that you’d like us to address, please let us know.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.

Gery Chico, Jon Leach, and Alpita Shah

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