Coronavirus Resources for Florida Small Businesses Click Here

Coronavirus Resources

FUBA’s team of experts is working hard to keep you updated on how the coronavirus impacts your business.

If you need help or have a question about the pandemic and your business, you can email our experts at fuba@fuba.org.

(This information was last updated 1/26/21.)


Another Round of PPP Loans Available For Businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans have opened back up for businesses that already received a PPP loan as well as businesses seeking their first PPP loan. The US Small Business Administration began accepting applications for first-time PPP loans (also called “first draw” PPP loans) on January 11, 2021, and they began accepting applications for second PPP loans (also called “second draw” PPP loans) on January 13, 2021.

To apply for either a first draw or second draw PPP loan, you will need to deal with your bank or credit union. Like last time, many banks are only issuing PPP loans to existing customers. To be matched with a bank in your area, you can use the Small Business Administration’s lender match tool.

Eligibility for First Draw PPP Loans:

If your business has 500 or fewer employees and did not receive a PPP loan last year, you can apply for a First Draw PPP loan through any bank or credit union. Use Form 2483. The bank may have its own version of this form, but this is the basic information that will be required. The amount your business is eligible to receive for a First Draw PPP Loan is 2.5 times your average monthly payroll.

Eligibility for Second Draw PPP Loans:

If your business has fewer than 300 employees and you previously received a PPP loan, you can apply for Second Draw PPP Loan if you can demonstrate that your business had a 25% reduction in gross revenues from 2019 to 2020.­ This is calculated by comparing your company’s gross receipts from any one quarter of 2020 to the same quarter of 2019, or you can use your company’s 2020 tax return as compared to the 2019 return. You also must have spent your first PPP loan on eligible expenses. Use Form 2483-SD to apply for a Second Draw PPP Loan.

Both First and Second PPP Loans:

  • Funding runs through March 31, 2021, or until the allocated funds run out.
    ­
  • Loans are forgivable and don’t have to be paid back if you spend at least 60% of the money on payroll costs. Like last time, payroll costs include salary/wages, health insurance, retirement, paid leave, and state unemployment taxes, but the list of allowable payroll costs has been expanded to include group health payments made by employers for vision, dental, disability, and life insurance for their employees.
    ­
  • You can spend the remaining 40% of your PPP loan on other business expenses: rent, utilities (including phone and internet bills), and mortgage interest.­ The list of allowable expenses under this category has also been expanded and now includes other business necessities like supplier costs for essential goods; worker safety protections related to COVID-19 like protective equipment or Plexiglas barriers; property damage from riots or protests; and certain other “back office” expenses like business software/computing, accounting, etc.
    ­
  • Like the original PPP loans, the amount of forgiveness will be reduced if you lay off employees or reduce employee salaries.

For more information, please visit the Small Business Administration’s website.


PPP Loan Forgiveness

Loans Under $150,000

The forgiveness process for PPP loans under $150,000 has been simplified.  No calculations or supporting documentation are needed.  You will just need to fill out Form 3508S and list your loan amount, the number of your employees, and the estimated amount of the PPP loan that your business spent on payroll costs.  You are not required to submit any supporting documentation.   

Loans Over $150,000

If your business received a PPP loan over $150,000, there are two loan forgiveness applications available. If your business had to lay off employees or reduce employee wages during the pandemic, you will need to use Form 3508.

If your business did not reduce the number of employees or their wages by more than 25%, you can use a simplified application – Form 3508EZ.

Deadline to Apply for Forgiveness (for all PPP Loans)

The deadline to apply for PPP forgiveness is 10 months after the end of your loan’s “covered period.” The covered period is the length of time that you must spend your loan after receiving it. 

If you received your PPP loan before June 5, 2020, your loan’s covered period is either 8 weeks or 24 weeks after the date you received your loan, whichever you choose. If you received your PPP loan after June 5, 2020, your loan’s covered period is 24 weeks after the date you received your loan.
 
If you do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months of the end of your loan’s covered period, your PPP loan will become an actual loan that you will have to pay back with a 1% interest rate for a term of 2 years (if your loan was approved prior to June 5, 2020) or 5 years (if your loan was approved after June 5, 2020).

For more information about PPP loan forgiveness, including all forgiveness applications, visit the Small Business Administration’s website


Early in the pandemic, the United States Congress passed a law that required employers to provide two weeks (up to 10 weeks in certain circumstances) of paid leave from work for employees dealing with COVID. This law, called the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), expired at the end of 2020. Congress did not choose to renew the paid leave law at the end of 2020, so employers are no longer required to provide paid COVID-related leave under the FFCRA to their employees.

While this COVID-related paid leave is no longer required, employers may voluntarily choose to offer their employees paid COVID-related time off from work and receive tax credits for any paid leave they provide. Employees are still entitled to only 80 hours of leave, so employers cannot take tax credits for leave provided to employees who have already taken their 80 hours of paid leave.


Face Coverings Required in Many Florida Cities and Counties

As the number of COVID-19 cases rise in Florida, more and more cities and counties in Florida are passing local ordinances that require masks or face coverings to be worn in public, which includes businesses. 

Some of these local laws require employers to post a notice telling their employees and customers that they must wear a mask or face covering while inside the business. As a service to our members, FUBA has designed a generic mask poster for our members to use if their local area requires a mask poster.  This poster can be printed here in English and here in Spanish.

Even if your business is not located in an area where masks are required, you may choose to require that all customers and employees wear masks, and you might want to put several of these mask posters up at your workplace as reminders. 

Both OSHA and the CDC recommend the use of masks or face coverings to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. For more information from the CDC, click here. For more information from OSHA, click here.


CDC Guidance for Employers with Suspected or Confirmed COVID Cases

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has issued guidance for employers that have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at their workplace. This is a summary of the CDC’s information. Details can be found at the CDC’s website.

What should I do if an employee comes to work with COVID-19 symptoms?

Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home. Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home.

Sick employees should follow the CDC recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to stop home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.

Employers should not require sick employees to provide a COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or return to work. Healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner.

What should I do if an employee is suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19?

In most cases, you do not need to shut down your workplace. But you should close off any areas that the sick person used for prolonged periods of time.

In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, you should determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions:

  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform the other employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but should maintain confidentiality by not revealing the name of the employee who tested positive.
  • Employees who test positive for COVID-19 should not come to work and should isolate at home if they do not need to be hospitalized and follow the CDC recommended steps.
  • Workplaces should follow the CDC’s recommended precautions for people exposed to COVID and tell potentially exposed employees to stay home for 14 days and self-monitor for symptoms.

Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to stop home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider.

If employees have been exposed but are not showing symptoms, should I allow them to work?

Employees may have been exposed if they have been within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time.

Exposed employees who do not have symptoms should remain at home and practice social distancing for 14 days.

All other employees should self-monitor for symptoms and wear cloth face coverings when in public. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home.

What should I do if I find out several days later, after an employee worked, that they were diagnosed with COVID?

If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee was in the workplace, you should clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick employee following the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

If it has been 7 or more days since the sick employee was in the workplace, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the workplace.

Other employees may have been exposed if they were in within 6 feet of the sick employee for a prolonged period of time (longer than 15 minutes):

  • If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, you should inform the other employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality by not revealing the name of the employee who tested positive.­
  • Employees who have symptoms should self-isolate and follow the CDC recommended steps.
  • Employees who were potentially exposed but have no symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.
  • Employees not considered exposed should self-monitor for symptoms. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home.

When should an employee suspected or confirmed with having COVID-19 return to work?

Employers do not need to require a sick employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to return to work. Employees with COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop home isolation and return to work when they have met one of the following criteria:

Persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms may return to work if:

  • They have gone at least 3 days (72 hours) without a fever and have improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath); and
  • At least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared.

OR

  • They have no fever and
  • They have improvement in respiratory symptoms (cough, shortness of breath), and
  • They have negative results from at least two consecutive COVID tests done at least 24 hours apart.

People who test positive for COVID-19 but don’t have symptoms may return to work if:

  • At least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test assuming they have not subsequently developed symptoms since then.

OR

  • They have negative results from at least two consecutive COVID tests done at least 24 hours apart.

Should Businesses Screen Employees For Symptoms of COVID-19?

The goal of screening your employees for COVID-19 symptoms is to identify employees who may be sick so you can prevent them from coming to work, which protects your other employees from exposure to the coronavirus.  Screening employees for symptoms of COVID-19 is an optional strategy that employers may use; it is not mandatory.

Screening employees is not completely effective at stopping COVID-19 because asymptomatic individuals or individuals with mild non-specific symptoms may not realize they are infected and may pass through screening. Screening is not a replacement for protective measures such as social distancing and face coverings.

If your business decides to screen employees, you can either require employees to self-screen, or you can have an employee conduct the screening.  Here is a summary of the CDC recommendations for screening employees:

Self-Screening

For self-screening, employees screen themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and should stay home from work if:

  • The employee has symptoms of COVID-19, such as:
     
    • Fever or chills
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Muscle or body aches
    • New loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea

*Please note: Symptoms may appear between 2 and 14 days after exposure to the virus and may be mild or severe. This list does not include all possible symptoms. 

  • The employee has a fever of 100.4oF or higher
     
  • The employee is under evaluation for COVID-19 (for example, waiting for the results of a viral test to confirm infection)
     
  • The employee has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is not yet cleared to discontinue isolation

Employer Screening

If you decide to use a member of your staff to screen your employees rather than relying on them to self-screen, consider which symptoms to include in your assessment. Although there are many different symptoms that may be associated with COVID-19 (see partial list above), you may not want to treat every employee with a single non-specific symptom (e.g., a headache) as a suspected case of COVID-19 and send them home.

Consider focusing the screening questions on “new” or “unexpected” symptoms (e.g., a chronic cough would not be a positive screen) such as the following:

  • Fever or feeling feverish (chills, sweating)
  • New cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches or body aches
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • New loss of taste or smell

Protection of Screeners

Employers can use either social distancing or physical barriers to protect the employee(s) conducting the screening and minimize their contact with an employee who might be contagious.

  • Social Distancing: Ask employees to take their own temperature either before coming to work or upon arrival at work. Upon their arrival, the screener should stand at least 6 feet away from the employee and:
     
    • Ask the employee to confirm that their temperature is less than 100.4o F and confirm that they are not experiencing coughing or shortness of breath.
       
    • Make a visual inspection of the employee for signs of illness, which could include flushed cheeks or fatigue.
       
    • Screening staff do not need to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) if they can maintain a distance of 6 feet.
       
  • Barrier/Partition Controls: During screening, the screener stands behind a physical barrier, such as a glass or plastic window or partition, that can protect the screener’s face and mucous membranes from respiratory droplets that may be produced when the employee being screened sneezes, coughs, or talks. The screener should wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or, if soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Then:
     
    • Make a visual inspection of the employee for signs of illness, which could include flushed cheeks or fatigue.
       
    • Conduct temperature and symptom screening using this protocol:
       
      • Put on disposable gloves.
         
      • Check the employee’s temperature, reaching around the partition or through the window. Make sure the screener’s face stays behind the barrier at all times during the screening.
         
      • If performing a temperature check on multiple individuals, a clean pair of gloves should be used for each employee and the thermometer should be thoroughly cleaned in between each check. If disposable or non-contact thermometers are used and there is no physical contact with an individual, gloves do not need to be changed before the next check.
         
    • After screening, the employee conducting the screening should remove their gloves and wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

If screening reveals an employee has symptoms, when can they safely return to work?

The CDC finds that people with mild to moderate COVID-19 stop being infectious 10 days after their symptoms begin, so the CDC guidelines allow people to stop quarantining and return to work if at least 10 days have passed since the employee first started having symptoms and at least 24 hours have passed since they stopped having a fever.  People with more severe cases of COVID-19 or who are severely immunocompromised may be contagious up to 20 days after symptom onset, so these employees may need to continue their quarantine for 20 days. 

People who test positive for COVID-19 but who never develop symptoms may stop their isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive test.

For more information from the CDC about the length of time employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or exposed to COVID-19 should quarantine, click here.

For general guidance for businesses from the CDC, click here.

The CDC has a poster to educate your employees about the symptoms of COVID-19 here.


Resources for More Information

CDC Recommendations for Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Workplace 

ww.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

CDC Workplace Considerations for Reopening

www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/workplace-decision-tool.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery&mc_cid=b7cb52ae17&mc_eid=0485dc1c18

OSHA Guidelines on Preparing Your Workplace for Covid-19

www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

OSHA’s 7 Steps to Wearing a Mask at Work

English: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4015.pdf

Spanish: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4016.pdf

OSHA Guidance for Restaurants

English: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4017.pdf

Spanish:  www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4018.pdf

OSHA Guidance for the Construction Industry

English: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4000.pdf

Spanish: www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4001.pdf

Information from the Internal Revenue Service regarding extended filing deadlines, as well as new Employee Retention Credit to assist employers with their payroll taxes

https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Information for small businesses from the Florida Small Business Development Centers

COVID-19 Business Disaster Recovery Assistance

Guidance on the CARES Act from the US Treasury

https://home.treasury.gov/cares

Wage and Hour Issues During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Many businesses are being affected by forced closures or alternative operations to stop the spread of COVID-19, which is especially true in the entertainment and dining industry. The US Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division provides information on common issues employers face when responding to pandemics or other public health emergencies, and their effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard

The Florida Department of Health is actively updating their website on what you need to know about Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Florida to keep residents and visitors safe, informed and aware of the status of the virus. To contact the COVID-19 Call Center, call 1-866-779-6121 or email COVID-19@flhealth.gov. The call center is available 24/7.

experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429

Alert Florida

Florida’s Alert Notification Initiative. Individuals and businesses can learn how to receive emergency alerts and other public safety notifications directly from their local jurisdictions.

https://apps.floridadisaster.org/alertflorida/

The Florida Department of Revenue is monitoring developments pertaining to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following guidance from federal and state officials. The Department has established a dedicated team to address tax-related issues pertaining to COVID-19 and has created an email address, COVID19TAXHELP@FloridaRevenue.com, where you can share your questions and concerns.  The Department encourages all taxpayers to conduct their business through online services. Visit their website at FloridaRevenue.com for information and answers to your questions; use their eServices applications to file and pay taxes; or contact their call center at (850) 488-6800.

Alerts

PPP Makes Changes to Help Small Businesses

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Alerts

New Simplified Forgiveness Application For PPP Loans of $150,000 or Less

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Alerts

Another Round of PPP Loans Available For Businesses

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Alerts

Paid Leave For COVID Expires At The End Of December

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