Coronavirus Government Response Update—New Paycheck Protection Program FAQs Released


Welcome to the Coronavirus Government Response Update. This information is intended to keep ISSA members up to date on fast-moving government affairs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other public policy issues important to the cleaning industry. Today’s update touches on the release of a new Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQ, the U.S. Treasury Department seeking an additional US$250 billion for the PPP, the U.S. Federal Reserve providing financing for small-business stimulus loans, and more.

New Paycheck Protection Program FAQs Released
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury released answers to updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) relating to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) on the Department of the Treasury website. This is likely only the first batch of updated FAQs, which are intended to be updated periodically. The FAQs constitute binding interpretive guidance and may be relied upon by borrowers.

Treasury’s Mnuchin Seeks Additional $250 Billion to Replenish Small-Business Coronavirus Program
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin asked congressional leaders to swiftly commit an additional $250 billion to replenish the new $349 billion small-business coronavirus program that is being overwhelmed by surging demand. U.S. President Donald Trump said banks have processed $70 billion in taxpayer-backed loans for 250,000 small businesses since Friday, as companies seek emergency help to deal with the enormous business disruption caused by the pandemic.

Fed to Provide Financing for Small-Business Stimulus Loans
The Federal Reserve said it will create a program to help speed the flow of funds to small companies through the government’s coronavirus stimulus, marking its latest step to shield the U.S. economy from the pandemic. The facility will provide term financing to banks against loans issued under the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, the Fed said in a brief statement. The $349 billion program is a centerpiece to the $2.2 trillion legislation that President Trump signed into law March 23. 

Senate Democrats Propose $25,000 Hazard-Pay Plan for Essential Workers
U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and other Democrats are proposing to give doctors, nurses and other essential workers, such as grocery store clerks, up to $25,000 in hazard pay as part of the phase four coronavirus relief bill. The bonus pay, which would amount to a $13-per-hour raise, would also go to truck drivers and custodians, who Democrats say are also essential to keeping the health care system and economy running during the crisis. It would stretch from the start of the public health emergency to the end of the year.

Pennsylvania Sets COVID-19 Cleaning Rules for Big Buildings
Pennsylvania’s health secretary issued new standards for cleaning large buildings that remain open during the COVID-19 shutdown. Dr. Rachel Levine’s order, which applies to building that are at least 50,000 square feet, requires building owners to maintain usual cleaning and follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines to routinely clean and disinfect areas that are often touched. The types of buildings covered by Levine’s order include warehouses, factories, offices, airports, grocery stores, government facilities, hotels, colleges and universities, and residential buildings that have 50 units or more.

Other links of interest