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03.19.2020

In service to our clients and our communities, Hirschler lawyers are closely monitoring market and legislative developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Bookmark this page for insight and perspective that can help you prepare and protect your business as this global event evolves.

Recovery 

Freddie Mac Responds to COVID-19 with Borrower-Friendly Forbearance Agreement 

Owners of multifamily properties will see impacts from COVID-19 increase in April and subsequent months. Freddie Mac Multifamily (Freddie Mac) has announced it will offer a COVID-19 Forbearance Agreement for borrowers with Freddie Mac loans to obtain payment relief for three months.

Date: 4/4/20

Authors: Brandt Stitzer, Jeff Geiger, Rob Benaicha, Mike Terry

Summary Comparison of COVID-19 EIDL and PPP Loan Programs

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released on April 1, 2020 the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan application form and an accompanying FAQ. Businesses may apply for a PPP loan beginning Friday, April 3. Independent Contractors/Sole Proprietors may apply for a PPP loan beginning Friday, April 10.

Date: 4/2/20

Authors: Dave Lionberger, Jim Weinberg, Allie Casagrande 

Key Provisions of the New SBA Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loan Application

On Tuesday, March 31, the Small Business Administration (SBA) released the Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan application and additional information for borrowers. The documents provide more details regarding the PPP loans. The PPP provides loans designed to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll. The SBA will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is used for payroll, rent, mortgage interest, or utilities.

Date: 4/1/20

Authors:  Jim Weinberg, Andrew Lohmann, Charlie Payne, Kevin Muldowney, Allie Casagrande

Tax Provisions in the Stimulus Act Designed to Enhance Cash Flow

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the Act) provides mechanisms for businesses to improve their cash flow over the short-term with the deferral of the payment of payroll taxes, ability to claim losses against taxable income and the acceleration of depreciation expenses.

Date: 3/30/20

Authors: Jamie Canup, Dave Lionberger, Kevin Muldowney, Penn Rogers

Loan Forgiveness Under the Stimulus Act: Is Now the Time To Apply for Your First SBA Loan? (And Other Loan Benefits of the CARES Act)

With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the Act) into law this afternoon and the attendant expansion of the SBA lending program, all businesses should be asking: Is my business eligible to participate in the SBA lending programs under the Act? Should my business participate in these lending programs? Which is the best lending program for my business? Under the Act, the definition of “eligible small business” has been expanded, and the terms of the lending programs are quite generous but only available for a limited time.

Date: 3/27/20

Authors: Jim Weinberg, Charlie Payne, Andrew Lohmann, Allie Casagrande

A Restructuring Team to Help You Weather the COVID-19 Economic Storm

The COVID-19 pandemic has generated not just a health crisis of global proportions, but an economic crisis as well.  We are all painfully aware of the toll that it has taken on individuals and businesses throughout the nation, particularly small to mid-sized companies and those that were experiencing financial distress even before the pandemic. Just today, it was reported that the amount of distressed debt in the United States has doubled to $500 billion in just the past two weeks.  Layoffs, shutdowns, and closings are the new norm.

Date: 3/20/20

Authors: Larry Katz, Kristen Burgers, Britt Falabella, Steve Leach, Robbie Westermann

Employment

New DOL Regulation on Paid Leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Top Five Takeaways for Employers

Since the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) was signed into law on March 18, 2020, the Department of Labor has issued a flurry of guidance to help employers implement the emergency sick leave and emergency family and medical leave requirements of the new law. In a previous post, we explained essential aspects of the DOL guidance for employers attempting to navigate the FFCRA leave requirements. 

Date: 4/6/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Liz Burneson 

What Employers Need To Know Now About Paid Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Department of Labor has issued a series of guidance documents for employers on how to apply the FFCRA leave provisions. In light of this new information and the upcoming April compliance deadline, we answer key questions for private employers about how to manage the leave requirements under the FFCRA.

Date: 3/30/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Liz Burneson

What Companies Should Know About Unemployment Insurance Under the CARES Act

The COVID-19 pandemic has many companies evaluating whether employee furloughs or layoffs will be necessary to reduce payroll expense. While the recently enacted Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act ("CARES Act") provides a number of options for eligible companies to consider to avoid layoffs, the new law also grants enhanced unemployment benefits for workers who do suffer job loss as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Date: 3/30/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Jaime Wisegarver

Many Companies Will Need to Reduce Employee Payroll Costs Due to COVID-19- What's the Difference Between a Furlough and Layoff?

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the economy, and states across the country issue “stay at home” orders or require “non-essential” businesses to close, many employers will need to consider reducing the payroll costs associated with their workforces. Employers should consider whether a furlough or a layoff is more appropriate for their circumstances. 

Date: 3/24/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Liz Burneson, Sarah Mikowski

Protecting Employee Confidential Medical Information In The Wake of COVID-19

With the COVID-19 threat at pandemic levels, employers are concerned about their ability to inquire about an employee’s potential virus exposure and health status. Employers should be cautious with these inquiries. Given the international scope of the virus and directives from national, state and local governments, it is reasonable for employers to make more than the usual inquiries of their workforce and to consider what actions may be taken to ensure workplace safety.

Date: 3/20/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Brian Jackson

What Employers Need to Know About Paid Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). This new legislation contains a number of components designed to address the current COVID-19 pandemic, but two aspects of the FFCRA related to emergency sick leave and emergency family and medical leave will be of immediate concern to many employers. Below are answers to key questions for private employers about the FFCRA leave requirements. For specific applications of these new requirements to your workforce, when in doubt, consult experienced employment law counsel.

Date: 3/20/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Dave Lionberger

Business Contracts

Understanding Your Contractual Obligations During a Global Pandemic

Many business owners are concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on contracts that they have in place, including purchase and sale agreements, leases, construction contracts and other contracts requiring performance within a certain time frame. For any contract, the first task is to determine which state law applies (including choice of law provisions) so that the analysis can be tailored accordingly.

Date: 3/19/20

Authors: Justine Fitzgerald, Nate Story, Andrew Lohmann, Evan Clarke, Sarah Mikowksi

Workplace Safety

Pandemic Leads to New Guidance on Workplace Safety

In response to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak, EPA and OSHA have issued guidance to assist employers as they take steps to ensure a safe workplace environment for their employees. Likewise, many consultants are standing by to help employers prepare and implement or update Health and Safety Plans (HASPs) and specific cleaning protocols.

Date: 3/17/20

Authors: Lisa Goodwin, Kelly Bundy

Ten Tips for Addressing Coronavirus Concerns in Your Workplace

As cases of COVID-19 multiply across the country, with new restrictions being handed down from all levels of government on a daily and hourly basis, companies large and small face a variety of challenges in keeping their employees safe while at the same time maintaining business operations. While seeking good employment law counsel is critical as questions arise, below are ten tips for addressing personnel issues in your workplace.

Date: 3/16/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Liz Burneson

Task Force Tips

Task Force Tip: Cybersecurity and Data Privacy

In this challenging environment, businesses with remote employees need to increase vigilance with respect to cybersecurity threats.  Employees working from home present unique security risks that fraudsters, hackers and other bad digital actors are trying to exploit. 

Date: 3/24/20

Author: Rob Henley

Task Force Tip: Review Your Estate Plan

As you evaluate your business’ financial strategy in the days ahead, remember also to revisit your personal estate plan.  Members of the Hirschler estate planning team are standing by to review your current plan and to suggest changes that may be prudent in light of world events, your business needs and your personal circumstances. 

Date: 3/24/20

Author: Josh Kelly

Mergers and Acquisitions

"Material Adverse Effect” Clauses in the Context of COVID-19 and Their Impact on Loan and Acquisition Agreements

In the wake of financial pressures that businesses across the country are facing, many have tapped unused lines of credit to provide extra liquidity. Yet, for certain companies the current pandemic may raise a question as to whether or not they, as borrowers, can permissibly draw down on available lines of credit. Putting aside for a moment the financial performance covenants and other metrics borrowers must regularly achieve under their loan agreements, the current situation also raises the question of whether COVID-19 has put certain businesses into automatic default under their existing loan agreements. Businesses should be cognizant of these provisions as they make business decisions that could impact their rights and obligations under their loan documents.

Date: 3/30/20

Authors: Lisa Hedrick, Allie Casagrande

Investment Management

The Impact of Virginia's Business Closure Order on the Investment Management Industry

On Monday afternoon, March 23, Virginia Governor Northam issued an Executive Order imposing sweeping restrictions on business activity in the Commonwealth in response to the growing COVID-19 health care crisis. The restrictions include mandatory business closures for many types of businesses, potentially impacting over a million workers. [source: NRF website calculating 1.05 million retail jobs in Virginia] The Executive Order goes into effect at the end of the day on Tuesday March 24 and continues in effect until April 23.

Date: 3/24/20

Authors: Brian Farmer, Ed Klees, Jim Van Horn

SEC Provides Conditional Temporary Exemptions from Form ADV and Form PF Filing and Delivery Requirements

On March 13, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued an Order under Section 206A of the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 providing a conditional, temporary exemption from certain requirements of the Advisers Act in response to challenges created by the outbreak of COVID-19. Our IM team discusses the Order and other challenges posed by the COVID-19 outbreak in our latest alert.

Date: 3/19/20

Authors: Investment Management Group

Real Estate and Land Use

CRE Must Be CAREful with the CARES Act   

The Coronavirus Air, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act enacted last week does not treat all commercial real estate equally.   Owners of multifamily properties may face new restrictions on their collection and eviction remedies. Others will see both direct and indirect financial support from the CARES Act.

Date: 3/30/20

Authors: Jeff Geiger, Rob Benaicha, Mike Terry

We're All in This Together: Key Considerations for Lenders, Investors and Tenants in the Wake of COVID-19

Memories of the prolonged real estate down-cycle precipitated by the 2008 credit crisis are all too fresh. The lessons learned during that turbulent time should inform future discussions between lenders, investors, and tenants, as each group navigates these uncertain economic waters over the coming months. The short-term imperative is clear: the three tiers of the real estate pyramid must work together to mitigate this market disruption and ensure a soft landing once the crisis has passed and aggregate demand returns to pre-virus levels.

Date: 3/27/20

Authors: Rob Benaicha, Mike Terry, Jeff Geiger, Robbie Westermann, Larry Katz, Brandt Stitzer

Land Use Alert: Moving the Ball Forward in the Wake of COVID-19

The CDC’s recommendations on group gatherings and social distancing present a unique challenge for local governments and the development community that relies on government approvals to continue business. As the response to COVID-19 evolves in the days and weeks to come, Hirschler land use and real estate attorneys are committed to providing perspective and advice. Here are some things to keep in mind in this uncertain time.

Date: 3/17/20

Authors: Jeff Geiger, Rob Benaicha, Brian Jackson, Charlie Payne, Brandt Stitzer

Construction

Construction Law Blog: What the Virginia Temporary Stay At Home Order Means for Your Business

On March 30, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam issued Executive Order Number 55, titled “Temporary Stay at Home Order Due to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).” States across the county have enacted Stay at Home Orders, each with varying degrees of restriction. The Virginia Stay at Home order is one of the least-restrictive Stay at Home Orders in the region.

Date: 3/30/20

Authors: Liz Burneson, Courtney Paulk, Webb Moore, Nate Story, Kelly Bundy

Construction Law Blog: Ten Tips for Addressing Coronavirus Concerns In Your Workplace

As cases of COVID-19 multiply across the country, with new restrictions being handed down from all levels of government on a daily and hourly basis, companies large and small face a variety of challenges in keeping their employees safe while at the same time maintaining business operations. While seeking good employment law counsel is critical as questions arise, below are ten tips for addressing personnel issues in your workplace. 

Date: 3/25/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Liz Burneson, Courtney Paulk, Webb Moore, Nate Story, Kelly Bundy

Construction Law Blog: Closure of "Non-Essential Businesses" and "Stay at Home" Orders: What Do These Mean for the Construction Industry?

On March 23, 2020, Governor Ralph Northam announced that Virginia would be initiating new restrictions on Virginia businesses to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. This Executive Order most importantly, will not affect construction work, or the construction industry. Rather, the Order only closes certain recreational and entertainment establishments and places limits on customers in certain retail stores. 

Date: 3/24/20

Authors: Liz Burneson, Courtney Paulk, Webb Moore, Nate Story, Kelly Bundy

Construction Law Blog: What Employers Need to Know About Paid Leave Under The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 18, 2020, the President signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). This new legislation contains a number of components designed to address the current COVID-19 pandemic, but two aspects of the FFCRA related to emergency sick leave and emergency family and medical leave will be of immediate concern to many employers. Below are answers to key questions for private employers about the FFCRA leave requirements. For specific applications of these new requirements to your workforce, when in doubt, consult experienced counsel.

Date: 3/23/20

Authors: Andy Sherrod, Dave Lionberger, Liz Burneson, Courtney Paulk, Webb Moore, Nate Story, Kelly Bundy

Construction Law Blog: OSHA Guidance on Workplace Safety and Reporting in Light of COVID-19

In the ever-changing environment of the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA is offering new guidance for employers relating to workplace safety and reporting requirements. Our latest post provides readers with key takeaways from the new guidance.

Date: 3/19/20

Authors: Courtney Paulk, Webb Moore, Nate Story, Kelly Bundy, Liz Burneson

Construction Law Blog: Addressing the Coronavirus on Construction Projects

Contractors are reporting that the coronavirus (COVID-19) is starting to impact local construction projects. Clients have observed (or may soon observe) the following impacts.

Date: 3/12/20

Authors: Courtney Paulk, Webb Moore, Nate Story, Kelly Bundy, Liz Burneson

Media Contact

Kristen M. Chatterton
804.771.5637
kchatterton@hirschlerlaw.com

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