Dear Chamber Members,
Today’s COVID-19 business information compiled by your Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce Team includes: SC Bankers Association To Answer PPP Questions, Governor Renews State of Emergency 15 More Days, SCDEW Announces CARES Act Unemployment Payments
Since the announcement of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and its subsequent roll-out on April 3rd, we have continued to receive many questions about the PPP. The survey results indicated that about half of respondents planned to apply for a PPP loan, and nearly 70% wanted more information about the CARES Act. To address interest and many questions about PPP, we will participate in a webinar this week featuring David Lominack, TD Bank SC Market President and a SC Chamber Board Member, and Fred Green, President and CEO of the SC Bankers Association.
- Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Webinar
- Date: Wednesday, April 15th, 1:00 pm ET
- Presenters: David Lominack, SC Market President, TD Bank and Fred Green, President and CEO, SC Bankers Association
- Topic: PPP applications and frequently asked questions.
Yesterday, Governor McMaster issued Executive Order 2020-23, which extends the current State of Emergency for another 15 days. A state of emergency in South Carolina is only active for 15 days. The new order states that because the COVID-19 crisis continues to be an “ongoing, evolving, expanding, and accelerating public health threat” in South Carolina, the state of emergency continues. Additionally, all previous executive orders, including the “Home or Work Order,” remain in effect for the duration of the emergency or until the Governor announces otherwise.
Currently, South Carolina is one of 42 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico to have a “Stay-at-Home” order of some type in place. A federal plan to return to normal is not yet in place, but many states and researchers plan to begin developing that plan. For instance, the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) recently published “National coronavirus response: A road map to reopening,” written by several public health experts. That report recommends:
To gradually move away from a reliance on physical distancing as our primary tool for controlling future spread, we need:
- Better data to identify areas of spread and the rate of exposure and immunity in the population;
- Improvements in state and local health care system capabilities, public-health infrastructure for early outbreak identification, case containment, and adequate medical supplies; and
- Therapeutic, prophylactic, and preventive treatments and better-informed medical interventions that give us the tools to protect the most vulnerable people and help rescue those who may become very sick.
The Chamber is in constant contact with organizations throughout the country that are exploring best practices to make recommendations when South Carolina officials are ready to start considering reopening operations.
The SC Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW) recently announced details regarding the roll-out of the increased unemployment payments as part of the CARES Act and answered many more questions about the implementation of that legislation.
Some highlights include:
- The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments of an additional $600 for COVID-19 related claims begin going out to individuals this week.
- SCDEW will begin taking claims no later than next week for individuals who were previously ineligible (independent contractors, gig economy workers, etc.), as part of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program.
- The agency is still working out details regarding the payment of an additional 13 weeks of unemployment to those who have already used their 20 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits but anticipates details and implementation will begin in the next few weeks.
Make sure to check out SCDEW’s new resource for more information regarding unemployment benefits related to COVID-19.
These and other resources for businesses are available on our website here.
As always, we will keep you up-to-date on any further information as it becomes available. Please feel free to reach out with questions here
Don’t forget about our Small Business Hotline for all your questions regarding the Payroll Protection Program, the CARES Act or any of the Governors recent orders. Let us help you navigate the facts over fear.
Have a great day,
Chris Hardy, CCE, IOM
President & CEO