April 20 NC COVID-19 Update
Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-home order remains in effect with new restrictions on crowd size inside stores and curbside/pickup operations. Last week Gov. Cooper outlined a path to eventually ease certain COVID-19 restrictions with great precaution. During his press conference, he stated reopening the state would require more progress in three areas: testing, tracing, and trends. A gradual reopening of the state echoes the sentiments of the President who would like to see the economy up and running. This comes as some North Carolina residents begin protesting the Stay at Home order. Last Friday 394 cases across the state were reported, which is the highest number of reported cases in one day. It is unclear when if the statewide order will be extended within the next nine days. As of now, the current order is set to expire on April 30th.
The General Assembly will reconvene on April 28. As anticipated the singular focus will be COVID-19 Relief and members will work remotely until floor votes. Speaker Moore mentioned the current goal of the state is to maximize Federal dollars prior to exhausting state resources. The current proposed bills are meant to address critical needs and can be augmented in the future if necessary. Below are excerpts of draft bills that have been produced by the House Select COVID-19 Committee.
- COVID-19 UI Response Act- This Act would provide aid to North Carolinians in response to the coronavirus crisis by increasing access to unemployment benefits, providing employers a state unemployment tax act (SUTA) tax credit, and waiving the accrual interest on certain tax payments and extending certain tax-related deadlines, as recommended by the economic support working group of the House select committee on COVID-19. In for further detail please follow the link COVID-19 UI Response Act - Economic Support
- Small Business Emergency Loans- The Small Business Administration officially ran out of funding for the Paycheck Protection Program last week, according to the administration's website. It is anticipated that more funds will be allocated to the program in phase four of the federal aid package. In North Carolina, the COVID-19 Economic subcommittee has drafted a bill that will assist small businesses by allocating 25 million dollars to Golden L.E.A.F Foundation. This organization will provide entities, with 50 employees or fewer, emergency bridge loans.
- The first 6 months after loan closing, the loans would have no payments due and an interest rate of up to 4%. Thereafter, repayment would commence and the interest rate would increase to not less than 5.5% for the rest of the loan term, which is capped at a total of 54 months and capped in an amount of $50k per recipient;
- Recipients would have to certify loaned funds were used on behalf of a business in NC and would be required to repay the loan upon receipt of federal funds, provided that doing so would not negatively impair federal funding benefits, such as federal fund repayment forgiveness or eligibility;
- Repaid loan amounts would remain eligible for new loans to qualifying businesses until six months following the date the state of emergency ends;
- Pursuant to Section 3 in the bill draft, and based on GLF having already used approximately $15M in non-State funds in an existing emergency/bridge loan program, there would be a $15M required match for the $25M appropriation in Section 4 of the bill draft. No new matching funds from GLF other than what has already been provided would be required;
- For additional information regarding this bill draft click on the link Small Business Emergency Loans