ISSA Advocacy Recap—Paycheck Protection Program ReopenedJanuary 15, 2021
Welcome to the ISSA Advocacy Recap, our regular roundup of the latest public policy issues impacting the cleaning industry. This week’s recap touches on the Paycheck Protection Program reopening, U.S. President-elect Joe Biden announcing an emergency COVID-19 relief plan, Virginia becoming the first U.S. state to enact a permanent workplace virus standard, and more.
Paycheck Protection Program Reopened January 11
On January 8, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the U.S. Department of Treasury, announced the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) would re-open the week of January 11 for new borrowers and some existing PPP borrowers. The initial wave of loans issued on Monday, January 11, and Wednesday, January 13 were only available to community financial institutions, but the PPP will open up to all eligible lenders shortly thereafter. SBA will reopen the PPP loan portal to PPP-eligible lenders with US$1 billion or less in assets for First and Second Draw applications on Friday, January 15. The portal will fully open on Tuesday, January 19 to all participating PPP lenders to submit First and Second Draw loan applications to SBA.
Biden Introduces Emergency COVID-19 Relief Plan
President-elect Biden outlined a US$1.9 trillion stimulus package proposal, saying bold investment was needed to jump-start the economy and accelerate the distribution of vaccines to bring the coronavirus under control, Reuters reported. The aid package includes $415 billion to bolster the response to the virus and the rollout of COVID-19 vaccines, some $1 trillion in direct relief to households, and roughly $440 billion for small businesses and communities hard hit by the pandemic. The proposal also calls on Congress to free up funding for and authorize the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue COVID 19-specific safety rules employers must follow to protect their workers from the virus—and for it to cover public workers, who are typically not under the agency’s jurisdiction. ISSA is generally supportive of one federal COVID-19 workplace standard. The association looks forward to working with the new administration and Congress on this important issue to safely reopen our economy.
Virginia: First Permanent Workplace Virus Standard in U.S.
ISSA updated its COVID-19 Emergency Workplace Standards resource to include information about Virginia becoming the first state in the nation to enact a permanent rule requiring employers to take steps to protect workers from COVID-19 infection on the job. The Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board voted to approve the measure on January 13, ensuring protections for workers will continue when the state’s emergency temporary standard expires on January 26. Virginia was the first U.S. state to enact a temporary COVID-19 emergency workplace rule last year, sparking a trend of states taking similar action in the absence of such a move by OSHA.
Wisconsin Senate Approves COVID-19 Relief with Liability Shield
The Wisconsin Senate overwhelmingly passed a scaled-down COVID-19 relief package, drawing a pledge from Governor Tony Evers (D) that he will sign the measure if it clears the Assembly, according to The Associated Press. However, that scenario appeared unlikely after a key Republican leader in that chamber declared the package falls short of what the GOP wants. The Republican-controlled legislature passed a COVID-19 relief deal in April but took no further action to address the pandemic all summer and fall. Evers and Republican legislative leaders began talking with each other about a second package late last year but could not come up with an agreement.
New ISSA Advocacy Webinar Recording Now Available
How will the recently enacted federal COVID-19 relief package and elections impact the cleaning industry? Find out by viewing this recording of ISSA’s latest advocacy webinar, “What the 2020 Elections Mean for the Cleaning Industry in 2021.” Access to the webinar (originally recorded January 13) is available to ISSA Plus and Premium members.
Other links of interest
- California Business Community Urges State Lawmakers to Reimburse Employers for COVID-related Expenses
- Campaign Seeks to Thank U.S. Capitol Custodial Staff
- Cleaning Professionals Play Important First Step in White House Transition
- ISSA Issues Updated State Liability Map
- Bertrand to Become EPA Acting Administrator on January 20
- Who is Katherine Tai, the Nominee for U.S. Trade Representative?