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Eighteenth Article June 2020

Posted on January 18th, 2021

BUSINESS LAW

We are getting close to normal in Montana, which is more than we can say for many states in our country. We have only had one day in the last month with more than two new COVID infections. As a matter of fact, we have had many days with no new cases reported. As of the date of writing this article, Montana has performed over 30,000 COVID tests and only had 479 come back positive. We have the lowest infection rate per capita, by a long shot, and that is something to celebrate!

If you have been following my daily update videos on social media, and I would highly advise against it, then you have been hearing a lot of ideas about marketing, COVID cases in Montana and the handling of the EIDL and PPP Loans.

As of June 1, Governor Bullock has put Montana on Phase Two which allows for groups of up to 50 people, bars to be at 75% capacity with tables of up to 10 people, and gyms and daycares can reopen. The end of the 14-day quarantine requirement for all individuals coming into Montana from out of state ends on June 1, 2020, as well. Our national parks will be reopening, which means the return of tourism. Now we are talking about a string of changes to celebrate!

We also know that the government has issued its PPP Loan forgiveness guidance: https://www.sba.gov/sites/default/files/2020-05/3245-0407%20SBA%20Form%203508%20PPP%20Forgiveness%20Application.pdf

A couple of key takeaways is that if you received less than $2 million then you will automatically be considered to have needed the funds to survive the pandemic. The calculation for payroll is key, as is the calculation for non-payroll eligible costs. The document is short and easy to read. Some of the most important elements to your calculation are contained in the “Instructions for PPP Schedule A Worksheet.” Don’t forget to have your documents, such as bank account statements, payroll tax forms for the covered period, and payment receipts. Imagine that you are going through an income tax audit, and that is the level of documentation that you will need. There will be further guidance from the SBA in the near future. You can see a lot of these instructions in any one of my videos on Facebook or LinkedIn.

The federal government issued funds to every state for the states to use to bolster their economies and how they could help each other come out of this pandemic. Governor Bullock announced the Montana Coronavirus Relief Fund which was funded through the $1.25 billion in federal emergency CARES Act funding. Businesses could apply for up to $10,000 in grants to help stabilize their business, an innovation grant for dealing with COVID, a agriculture or food grant, a housing grant and many other types of grants. If you have not put in for these grants, then it is not too late. See application materials at: https://commerce.mt.gov/Coronavirus-Relief

Ultimately, we all have a choice in what view we choose to look at the world. We can either believe it is all doom and gloom, as the mainstream media would have us believe, or you can look for the many bright spots in life that are happening around us on a daily basis. Our communities have come together to support each other and help many businesses survive these difficult times. As of today, businesses are reopening all around us and we are seeing people come out to buy goods and services. People are spending money and they want to connect with each other in ways we never thought possible.  We are all in this together.

Want to learn from other business owners, restauranteurs, bar owners, and hoteliers by watching some fantastic business interviews at the Silverman Law Office YouTube channel. If you have any topics or questions to be covered in future business law articles, or if you would like to receive our monthly newsletter, then please email me at joel@mttaxlaw.com. Please stay safe everyone and be prepared to think long-term to get through these difficult times. 

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