Coronavirus Government Response Update—Arizona Issues New Guidelines for Business Reopenings

August 12, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—Arizona Issues New Guidelines for Business Reopenings

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 Arizona Governor Doug Ducey’s guidelines for the reopening of paused businesses, the optimistic yet costly outlook for small businesses, new liability protections in Georgia, and more.

Arizona Issues Guidelines for ‘Paused Businesses’ to Reopen
Arizona Governor Ducey issued guidelines Monday for gyms, theaters, water parks, tubing, bars, and nightclubs to reopen using a red, yellow, and green benchmark system. The guidelines, including those for sanitizer and enhanced cleaning, will be assigned on a county-by-county basis. Once able to reopen, businesses will need to complete an attestation form to ensure their compliance and the understanding that they will be shut down otherwise.

Small Businesses Optimistic About Future, Feeling Strain of Coronavirus-Related Workplace Safety Costs
The coronavirus pandemic is still seething in the U.S., yet 64% of small business owners on Main Street are “confident that they can survive for more than a year under current conditions” according to a recent survey. The amount is nearly double the 34% that held this view when asked backed in April. Also, 46% of the respondents expect to see their company’s revenue rise over the next year. However, the high cost of cleaning supplies, sanitation, and personal protective equipment is a big issue that many small businesses are facing, as 33% of small business owners say coronavirus safety measures are cutting into their profits.

Significant Liability Protections Now in Effect in Georgia
The Georgia COVID-19 Pandemic Business Safety Act (GCPBSA), which protects health care providers, businesses, and nonprofits and from COVID-19 exposure claims went into effect August 7. According to Bloomberg Law, the GCPBSA limits liability claims brought by customers, employees, or members of the public who contract or allege exposure to coronavirus to cases where the entity showed gross negligence or similar disregard for health and safety standards.

Payroll Tax Delay to Boost Take-Home Pay, But Don’t Spend It Yet
U.S. President Donald Trump’s payroll tax suspension announced Saturday is supposed to take effect next month. According to NPR, “Employers are supposed to stop withholding the payroll tax on September 1, but for many it won’t be that easy. Companies need guidance from the IRS on exactly who is eligible to have their taxes suspended and how to keep track so those taxes can eventually be repaid.”

Why Trump’s Unemployment Boost May Only be $300 a Week for Many
In accordance with the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief rules, Trump’s “lost wages” program to replace the expired US$600 weekly federal unemployment bonus with a $400 per-week bonus said states would be required to put up 25% of the advertised replacement benefit. According to Roll Call, “the Labor Department is giving states some significant wiggle room so they don’t have to part with any cash they weren’t going to previously: They can simply count $100 of regular state unemployment benefits as their 25% matching share.”

What’s Keeping Washington From a Virus Deal, Explained
The odds that a COVID-19 relief deal would soon be reached were already looking poor, but with President Trump’s series of executive orders and the distraction of upcoming national political conventions, an agreement appears nowhere in sight. “The urgency has evaporated now that rank-and-file lawmakers have been set free for the August recess, and while both sides still want an agreement – and pressure is likely to remain high–it’s looking more like a September legislating effort than an August one,” reported AP News.

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