Relief programs in December 2021

Relief programs in December 2021 https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/time_money_balance.jpg

Relief programs in October 2021 – info and updates 

This is a brief list of programs created to help businesses and employees impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. This list is updated regularly to reflect the current status and ensure accuracy. The list includes a status update on federal and state relief programs and tax credits provided by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Washington State Department of Commerce.  

Contact your tax advisor for more information possible financial relief options for your business. Members of the Washington Hospitality Association also receive a 30-minute consultation each year with experts from our Advisory Network. Simply call 800.225.7166 and we’ll connect you to one of our Advisory Network tax consultants.  

 

Ongoing relief  

Update: Working Washington grants for businesses impacted by U.S.-Canadian border closure

Current status

A new grant program launched Oct. 4 that is intended to help small businesses hurting due to the U.S.-Canada border closure. According to the Washington State Department of Commerce, the grants are open to businesses who have experienced hardship directly related to border restrictions. The border has been closed to most travelers since March 2020. Applications will be accepted until October 18.

Who is eligible?

Eligible businesses must have reported annual revenues of $5 million or less in 2019 to the Department of Revenue and be located in Clallam, Jefferson, San Juan, Island, Skagit, Whatcom, Okanogan, Ferry, Stevens or Pend Oreille counties. Grants will be up to $50,000 and take into account whether the business has received a previous Working Washington grant.

A number of factors determine prioritization for the grants, including proximity to the border. You can read more about the grants and apply on the Washington State Department of Commerce grant page here.

Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) 

Update: Introducing the ERTC Support Center

The ERTC is one of the best relief programs still available to businesses, but it can be complicated and time consuming. With this in mind, the Washington Hospitality Association partnered with Adesso Capital to provide members with the help they need to qualify for up to $33,000 per employee – without the headache. You can talk to one of Adesso’s tax experts by calling 888-856-0630 or you can get the conversation started online here.

Current status 

Eligible employers can receive up to $5,000 per employee for a calendar quarter in 2020, and up to $7,000 per employee and per quarter for 2021. 

The Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) was originally included in the CARES Act to provide a tax credit for employers who pay qualified wages to employees during the pandemic. It has since been extended so eligible employers can apply for the credit for qualified wages paid in each quarter until January 1, 2022. 

Who is eligible?  

An employer may be eligible for an ERTC if the business was fully or partially suspended by a COVID-19 related government order, or: 

  • If in 2020 gross receipts fell by 50% or more versus the comparable quarter in 2019. If an employer’s gross receipts rose above 80% versus a comparable quarter in 2019, it did not qualify for an ERTC for that quarter. 
  • If in 2021 gross receipts for the current or preceding quarter are below 80% of the comparable quarter in 2019. When an employer’s gross receipts go above 80% of the comparable quarter, it will not qualify for an ERTC in the next quarter. 

Eligible employers may include those that also took out forgivable PPP loans, but borrowers cannot claim an ERTC for the same payroll costs used to qualify for PPP loan forgiveness. 

How do you calculate your credit?  

For 2021, eligible employers may claim a refundable tax credit against what they pay in Social Security tax on the qualified wages paid in an eligible quarter between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2021. The credit is capped at 70% of $10,000 in qualified wages paid per employee per quarter (or $7,000) for up to four qualifying quarters.  

Helpful resources 

  • The National Restaurant Association published this page with examples of how the ERTC can be used.  
  • You will need to prove that your business was affected by a government order to qualify. This timeline shows Washington state shutdown orders until July 2021. 

The IRS offers the following guidance that has been updated to reflect the changes made by multiple federal relief acts.   

Work Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC) 

Current status 

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) gives employers a tax break for hiring certain hard-to-place job seekers. The WOTC is not a new incentive (the federal program was created in 1996), but the current job climate makes the program especially relevant.  

Individuals who have been unemployed for at least 27 weeks are eligible for the credit. You may qualify for this federal tax incentive by hiring military veterans, public assistance recipients that qualify for SNAP (food stamps) or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) requirements, and formerly incarcerated individuals.  

How to apply  

Employers or their representatives must submit applications within 28 days of the job start date. You can apply for the credits online and will need your SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account. You will also need a WOTC account, which can be created by navigating from eServices to the WOTC sign-in page and selecting “new employer” or “new representative.”   

Resources 

This article talks more about eligibility and incentive amounts.  

The Washington State Employment Security Department has more information here.  

Paid Family and Medical Leave 

Current status 

The federal Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act that provided relief to employers expired on Dec. 31, 2020, but Washington state has grants available for small businesses. 

Small business assistance grants provide small employers (150 or fewer employees) with grant money to help cover costs associated with an employee taking Paid Family and Medical Leave. 

There are grants of up to $3,000 for employers who added an employee to their payroll temporarily to replace an existing employee on leave, and grants (of up to $1,000) that help cover other wage related costs or equipment purchases. 

Employers are allowed to apply for one grant per employee on leave up to 10 grants each year. 

How to apply 

Log-in to your Paid Leave employer account and click “More” on the top ribbon. Then navigate to the business assistance grant information and application page. 

Resources 

The ESD website explains the grants and goes over the eligibility requirements here. 

This federal page has the most recent information about paid leave as it relates to the pandemic.  

Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) 

Current status 

You can still apply for an Economic Injury and Disaster Loan (EIDL) until Dec. 31, 2021. The loans offered under the program are designed to give economic relief to small businesses that are experiencing a temporary loss of revenue, and most U.S. small businesses with 500 or fewer employees are eligible. Payments for loans made in 2021 are not due until 18 months after the date of the note. 

UPDATE – 9/9/21

Additional EIDL changes were announced on Sept. 9, 2021 that are favorable for hospitality businesses. The changes include:

  • Raising the loan cap to $2 million per loan
  • Raising the aggregate loan cap to $10 million
  • Simplifying the affiliation rules
  • Allowing 24 months of deferred payment
  • Allowing use of funds to pay down prior commercial debt and scheduled payments on federal debt

The National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Lodging Association both worked to ensure that changes to the EIDL program would have the maximum benefit for members. You can read more about national efforts on behalf of hoteliers here and restaurateurs here.

For more information on how you can benefit from the EIDL program, check out this webinar led by the National Restaurant Association earlier this summer and a group letter urging SBA Administrator Guzman to adopt changes to the EIDL program.  

How to apply 

You can start the application here. The SBA estimates that it should take just over two hours to complete.  

Resources: 

Read more about the payment schedule and loan deferment here. 

Learn the details of the loan on the SBA website here. 

Small Business flex fund 

Current status 

Small businesses that experienced economic hardship due to the pandemic can still apply for the Washington State Department of Commerce Small Business Flex Fund. Businesses must have fewer than 50 employees and annual revenues of less than $3 million, and can borrow up to $150 million. There are 60- and 72-month loan options, but you will have to apply in 2021 to receive the 72-month loan term.  

How to apply 

You can learn more about the fund here and start the application on the fund’s website here. 

 

 

Programs no longer accepting applicants 

Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) 

The Shuttered Venue Operators (SVOG) includes over $16 billion in grants to eligible businesses such as live venue operators or promoters, theater operators and some museums and zoos. The SBA stopped taking new applicants on August 20, 2021.  

What now? If you are an active applicant or awardee, you can still access the portal that you used to apply. Log in to your account here.   

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) 

Current status: The SBA stopped taking applications for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in May of 2021, but applicants have 10 months after the end of their covered loan period to apply for forgiveness.  

How to apply for forgiveness 

Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) 

Current status 

The SBA closed the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) after receiving more than 362,000 applications. While the RRF is officially closed, multiple bills to replenish the fund by up to $60 billion are being debated in Congress right now.  

Your stories are critical to getting additional RRF funding approved by Congress! If you were approved for RRF but didn’t receive grant funds, please reach out to the Washington Hospitality Association’s Grassroots Coordinator Jordan Caron at jordanc@wahospitality.org to share your story.  

You can also tell Congress to act now and replenish the fund here.  

Resources for technical questions 

SBA call-center support: (open 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. EST Mon-Fri): 1-844-279-8898 

Members: should contact their territory manager for assistance or email communications@wahospitality.org. 

SBA Seattle District Office: 206-553-7310 
Spokane: 509-353-2800  

 

Other closed Washington state relief programs