The International Window Film Association (IWFA) recently announced an update on government programs that can aid members of the industry. The association’s physical office is closed and work is currently being done from home offices, according to the IWFA.
The association provided summaries for some of the programs being rolled out on the federal and state levels to assist businesses and employees with their current financial burdens due to COVID-19. The IWFA highlighted the following:
- General Advice for Individual Member Companies
The IWFA recommends individual member companies: print out copies of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, post in key areas of the business and give it to staff to read and take home to share. Companies should also tell its employees they have the right to ask the customer if they are feeling well if they go out on a sales call or to perform an installation, according to the IWFA.
- Delay of Federal Tax Filings and Payments
The Treasury Department announced a three-month automatic postponement for filing federal income tax returns and making federal income tax payments.
- Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
The FFCRA was signed into law on March 18, 2020. All of the benefits may expire on December 31, 2020. It is primarily for emergency paid leave from work. Full-time employees can get up to 80 hours of paid leave, which would be covered by the US Government (not a monetary burden on employers). The maximum benefit is $511 per day, or a total of $5,110.
- Canadian Program
Canada offers an economic rescue program totaling more than $50 billion for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit program aimed at helping unemployed workers.
- CARES Act
The largest stimulus program in U.S. history called the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the CARES Act includes an expansion of unemployment benefits, direct payments to taxpayers and hundreds of billions of dollars in aid to companies, hospitals and state and local governments.
According to the terms in the CARES Act, Americans will receive a one-time direct deposit of up to $1,200, and married couples will get $2,400, plus an additional $500 per child. The payments will be available for incomes up to $75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for married couples. This is true even for those who have no income, as well as those whose income comes entirely from non-taxable, means-tested benefit programs, such as Social Security.
The Act also extends unemployment insurance through December 31, 2020 for eligible workers and grants an additional $600 per week on top of what state programs pay for four months. It will apply to traditional workers as well as those who are self-employed and 1099 contract workers. The CARES Act waives the 10% early retirement withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes, retroactive to Jan. 1, 2020
Small Business Loans
$350 billion is being dedicated to prevent layoffs and business closures while workers have to stay home during the outbreak. Companies with 500 employees or fewer that maintain their payroll during coronavirus can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow assistance. If employers maintain payroll, the portion of the loans used for covered payroll costs, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, and utilities would be forgiven.