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In Recovery? Market Commentary from Ashley Vice, CFA, CFP

9 minute read Here’s what 2020 has thrown at us so far: a global pandemic, economic depression, tens of millions unemployed, zero-percent interest rates, unprecedented monetary and fiscal stimulus, an explosion in the debt and deficit, and social unrest in the form of riots and protests. And there’s a presidential election in four months. Meanwhile the S&P 500 is essentially flat for the year. The question I get most often is “how can the markets be this strong with all that’s going on? It seems disconnected from reality.” I understand the sentiment but there’s good reason for the resilience. Widely-followed indices like the S&P...

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DOL Launches Employee Tool for Assessing FFCRA Leave Eligibility

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created an online tool to help workers determine whether they qualify for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The tool works by posing a series of questions that help employees assess whether the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA apply to their employer. Once employees learn the provisions do apply, the tool then assists them in determining whether they qualify for FFCRA paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave. The DOL is also developing a similar tool for employers. Employee Leave Under the...

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July 15 Due Date Approaches for Federal Income Tax Returns and Payments

The due date for federal income tax returns and payments is Wednesday, July 15, 2020. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the original due date for filing federal income tax returns and making tax payments was postponed by the IRS from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020. No interest, penalties, or additions to tax are incurred by taxpayers during this 90-day relief period for any return or payment postponed under this relief provision. The relief applied automatically to all taxpayers, who did not need to file any additional forms to qualify for the relief. The relief applied to federal income tax...

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Application Deadline for Small Business Loans Extended

Congress has passed legislation to extend the application deadline for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan through Aug. 8, 2020. Prior to the extension, the deadline to apply for these funds was June 30, 2020. The extension enables eligible small businesses to apply for funding for five more weeks. The legislation has been sent to President Trump, who is expected to sign the measure into law. What is THE PPP? In response to the debilitating effect the COVID-19 pandemic has had on small businesses across the country, the federal government funded a program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act...

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Post-coronavirus Return-to-Work Plans and EAPs

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has changed employees’ daily lives and routines, and even as businesses reopen, many employees are feeling the effects of the pandemic. As businesses reopen, employers must consider how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected employees, which in turn will affect their post-coronavirus return to work. As employees return to work, many are experiencing financial hardship, balancing new caregiving responsibilities, managing concerns over their physical well-being, and maintaining their mental well-being and health. During these uncertain times, employees are understandably experiencing significant stress, which can lead to lower productivity and morale, and increase their risk for health conditions, absenteeism...

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June 5th Client Call – Updates to PPP, Loan Forgiveness, Reopening & HR

When we met on the Client Call this past Friday, we were awaiting the president's signature on legislation amending terms of the PPP and loan forgiveness. As anticipated, this legislation has since been signed. We strongly encourage all to become familiar with the revised information. As discussed, HR 7010 amends the Paycheck Protection Program and Loan Forgiveness terms.  These changes include: 1. Covered period extended from 8 to 24 weeks. 2. Can spend more proceeds on non-payroll cost (60/40). Mark cautions: BE CAREFUL with this. The bill seems to create an all or nothing regarding loan forgiveness with the 60% of payroll cost. 3....

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PPP forgiveness changes coming as Senate passes House bill

The U.S. Senate passed the House version of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) legislation Wednesday night, tripling the time allotted for small businesses and other PPP loan recipients to spend the funds and still qualify for forgiveness of the loans. The bill passed in a unanimous voice vote hours after Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson initially blocked it. Among the key provisions is a change in the threshold for the amount of PPP funds required to be spent on payroll costs to qualify for forgiveness to 60% of the loan amount. The Senate approval sent the House bill, called the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act, to...

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Employee Compensation and Benefits During Closures and Furloughs

As business closures increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are faced with questions about compensation and health benefit coverage for their employees. Government relief measures may provide compensation for businesses and individuals in certain situations. In other cases, existing rules on employee rights will apply. Paid leave may be required for some employees by federal or state law. Also, some state insurance regulators are requiring insurance carriers to provide policyholders with additional flexibility regarding premiums and coverage, and some carriers are making similar changes independent of state requirements. This Compliance Overview provides a summary of the issues that employers may encounter...

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Reopening Guidance for Employers

Regulations and guidelines surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic continue to evolve. In this presentation, Legal Content Director Erica Storm for an update on compliance issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the latest information from the DOL, EEOC and OSHA on employer requirements, as well as updates on new COVID-19 relief efforts. This presentation requires a SIMA HR360 Log In.  If you are unable to log in, please attempt a password reset or contact kerri.white@simafinancialgroup.com. COVID-19_Update for Employers...

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