Coronavirus Government Response Update—Momentum Builds for Small Business Program Changes

May 8, 2020 Coronavirus Government Response Update—Momentum Builds for Small Business Program Changes

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 momentum building for small business program changes, ISSA urging OSHA’s General Industry Standards be revised, interim instruction for USMCA implementation, and more.

Momentum Builds for Small Business Program Changes
Bipartisan support is growing for a fix to the massive new small business lending program created in March that would let recipients spend less on payroll and still qualify for debt forgiveness. Businesses have complained that the forgivable loans offered under the so-called Paycheck Protection Program come with too many strings attached. The Small Business Administration, which runs the program, has required that at least 75 percent of the loan money be spent on payroll to meet a congressional objective of keeping workers employed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ISSA Urges Revision of OSHA’s General Industry Standards
ISSA submitted comments to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to revise OSHA General Industry Standards to require employers to establish and implement a routine cleaning, disinfection, and hand hygiene program. ISSA’s comments responded to a DOL invitation to participate in the department’s “Opening America’s Workplaces Again National Online Dialogue.”

Interim Instructions Released for USMCA Implementation
The US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) is set to take effect July 1 and the U.S. government has released interim instructions covering areas such as marking rules and staging regimes for passenger vehicles and light trucks. President Donald Trump also has issued an executive order to create an interagency labor panel that would ensure Mexico follows labor rules under the agreement.

A Record 20.5 Million Jobs Lost in April
Non-agricultural payrolls fell by 20.5 million in April and the unemployment rate rose to 14.7%, both post-World War II records. Economists had been expecting a loss of 21.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate to surge to 16%. The “real” unemployment rate, which includes workers not looking for jobs and the underemployed, surged to 22.8%.

Other links of interest