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COVID

New Cobra Subsidy Under ARPA Effective April 1st

On March 11, President Biden signed the American Rescue Act Plan of 2021 (ARPA) into law. Subsidy Overview The sweeping $1.9 trillion package includes a range of policies to provide additional pandemic relief. Among the provisions of the most interest to employers, ARPA provides for a 100% COBRA subsidy for up to six months for anyone who lost health coverage because of an involuntary termination or involuntary reduction in hours. ARPA also provides a “second chance” election for those who did not initially elect COBRA or who let their COBRA coverage lapse. ARPA subsidies cover the full cost of COBRA or State Continuation premiums from April...

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American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: Impact on Healthcare

President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) into law on March 11, 2021. Along with providing financial relief for individuals, state and local governments, schools, businesses and for other purposes, the law contains the following measures of special interest to employers and their employees: A subsidy for COBRA premiums, funded through employer tax credits Expansion of subsidy for ACA premiums Increase in DCAP contribution limits Action Steps Employers should review the ARPA’s provisions to identify any requirements and opportunities that apply to them. Employers are also advised to watch for official guidance on the implementation of the...

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Supporting Employees’ Caregiving Responsibilities Amidst a Pandemic

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, day cares and schools shut their doors. Months later, child care centers remain closed in many parts of the country, which means that parents are tasked with juggling caregiving and work responsibilities. In fact, according to a survey from Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 60% of U.S. parents report that they’ve had no outside help with child care during the pandemic. Balancing work and caregiving responsibilities can be difficult and can contribute to decreased productivity, poor mental health and increased stress among employees. As a potential second wave of COVID-19 cases looms in the future, schools...

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The New Normal: How COVID-19 Has Reshaped the Workplace

This video series explores the lasting effects the coronavirus pandemic has had on workplaces across the country. This video can help employers identify ways to keep operations running smoothly after reopening their businesses. [video width="1920" height="1080" mp4="https://simafinancialgroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/NewNormal_COVID19-Reshaping-Workplace.mp4"][/video]...

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Latest News on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Paycheck Protection Program is an SBA loan designed to enable businesses to keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The SBA routinely updates their site with important information regarding the program and loan forgiveness.  SIMA encourages clients to consult the SBA website for the latest. Notice: Paycheck Protection Program closed August 8, 2020 Paycheck Protection Program Loan Information Loan Details and Forgiveness Who Can Apply Lender Forms and Guidance Additional Program Information Other Assistance  ...

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President Trump Orders Payroll Tax Deferment

On Aug. 8, 2020, President Donald J. Trump ordered the U.S. Department of Treasury (the Department) to defer collecting certain payroll taxes from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31, 2020. Because the order is for a deferral, the unpaid taxes will need to be recouped at a later time, unless the Department can find an avenue to eliminate the obligation to pay the taxes. Eligibility for Deferred Payroll Taxes Under the order, employers will be able to defer taxes that help pay for Social Security and Medicare for individuals who receive less than $4,000 during any bi-weekly pay period (the equivalent of $104,000...

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Be Alert About Email Phishing Scams – Bad Actors Seeking to Take Advantage through “SBA Loan Application”

In the wake of emergency assistance available to help small businesses in response to the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), the SBA is urging disaster loan applicants seeking federal aid to be alert to phishing campaigns and scams. These malicious actors are impersonating the SBA and its Office of Disaster Assistance to collect personally identifiable information (PII) for fraudulent purposes. The SBA is particularly concerned about scam emails that are targeting applicants of the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program asking them to verify their accounts using a third-party online platform to collect personally identifiable information. Watch Out for Phony Emails Asking for Your...

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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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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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