As we continue to adjust our lives to the daily changes of COVID-19, Mayor Piko will be available to meet with Centennial residents every Tuesday in April from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. virtually. These meetings provide an opportunity for Centennial citizens to share their ideas, concerns or questions with an elected official.
If you are interested in scheduling a time to speak with Mayor Piko please complete this form. Once the form is submitted, you will be contacted by a member of City staff to schedule a time for you to speak with Mayor Piko. The Mayor will be available Tuesday mornings on April 7, 14, 21, 28.
Please complete the form by noon the Monday before. For example, if you would like to schedule time with Mayor Piko on April 7, you must complete the web form by noon on Monday, April 6. If you have questions please contact Naomi Lowell at 303-754-3341.
Shared from https://www.fisherphillips.com/resources-alerts-10-point-plan-for-restaurant-and-hospitality
Restaurants and hospitality businesses are on the front lines of dealing with the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. What should you consider in the coming days, weeks, and months to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis? Below we have provided both an update on the latest federal and state rules relating to coronavirus and a 10-point plan you should review and consider adopting.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act Ushers In Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Family and Medical Leave
In an effort to boost the government’s response to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18, 2020. It includes many provisions which would drastically affect restaurant and hospitality employers, such as paid sick leave for employees impacted by COVID-19 and those serving as caregivers for individuals with COVID-19. Here are some of the highlights of the law.
Paid And Unpaid Leave For Coronavirus-Related Reasons
There are several provisions relating to employees who are forced to miss work because of the COVID-19 outbreak, including an emergency expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), a new federal paid sick leave law, and other new rights.
Emergency Family And Medical Leave Expansion Act
This provision requires employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide employees (regardless of the employee’s duration of employment prior to leave) with 80 hours of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate for leave for reasons 1, 2 and 3 listed below (capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate per person) or two-thirds the employee’s regular rate for leave for reasons 4, 5 and 6 listed below (capped at $200 per day and $2000 in the aggregate per person).
This section provides a series of refundable tax credits for employers who are required to provide the Emergency Paid Sick Leave and Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave described above. These tax credits are allowed against the tax imposed by Internal Revenue Code Section 3111(a), which deals with the employer portion of Social Security taxes. While this limits application of the tax credit, employers will be reimbursed if their costs for qualified sick leave or qualified family leave wages exceed the taxes they would owe.
Specifically, employers are entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified sick leave wages paid by employers for each calendar quarter in adherence with the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.
Similarly, employers are entitled to a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of the qualified family leave wages paid by employers for each calendar quarter in accordance with the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.
Coverage For Testing For COVID-19
This section requires private health plans to provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, including the cost of a provider, urgent care center and emergency room visits in order to receive testing. Coverage must be provided at no cost to the employee and any others covered under the employee’s health plan.
State, County, and City “Shelter-in-Place Orders
While the federal government has elected not to issue significant restrictions on business operations, numerous states, cities, and counties have taken initiative to issue their own orders, requiring residents to stay at home. Most orders have directives for restaurants and bars including limiting restaurants to take-out and delivery services only. While the industry is quickly adjusting to those imitations, there are other implications for your employees who need to travel to and from work, and for your administrative staff who keep payroll, accounting, and other essential functions running.
It is essential that hospitality employers review their state and local orders to determine whether the business falls within the exceptions usually set forth for obtaining food, supplies, and operating essential parts of the business. Most of the orders encourages Essential Businesses to stay open, subject to proper social distancing, and the closure Non-Essential Businesses except for Minimum Basic Operations – such as securing inventory, maintaining payroll, and ensuring continued operations so employees can work from home. These orders generally establish civil and criminal sanctions for violations.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the CARES Act into law. The most significant provision of the CARES Act for employers establishes new “paycheck protection” loans administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA) to help employers continue to cover payroll costs and other expenses during the COVID-19 crisis. The covered period for loans is February 15, 2020 through June 30, 2020.
Significantly, businesses with a NAICS Code 72 (hospitality industry) that employ not more than 500 employees “per physical location” are eligible for a loan. In other words, a franchisee with 2,000 employees, but no more than 500 at one location, could qualify for the loans.
The Small Business Administration has eligibility guidelines (“affiliation rules”) to determine whether a business qualifies as “small.” Presently, these affiliation rules have been waived for:
The loans may be used for payroll costs, healthcare, rent, utilities, and other debts incurred by the business. Notably, the definition of “payroll” costs excludes leave payments made pursuant to the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Reimbursement for those leave payments is made through the tax credit process enacted as part of that legislation. These “paycheck protection” loans are available for other payroll expenses and other costs.
Loan amounts will be available based on a formula. The amounts available will be the lesser of:
The amount of the forgiveness for the loans will be reduced if the employer:
Unemployment Insurance Provisions
The hospitality and restaurant industry has seen an unprecedented number of layoffs, furloughs, and terminations of staff. These employees are the lifeblood of the business. The CARES Act provides some much needs benefits for workers in the industry and expands unemployment assistance by creating a Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through December 31, 2020.
For weeks of unemployment, partial unemployment, or inability to work caused by COVID-19 between January 27 and December 31, the Act provides covered individuals with unemployment benefit assistance when they are not entitled to any other unemployment compensation or waiting period credit. For this, the weekly benefit amount is generally the amount determined under state law plus an additional $600 until July 31. Although the additional $600 per week is only available for the next four months, the maximum entitlement was expanded to 39 weeks rather than the 26 weeks typical of most states.
Covered individuals under this provision generally include those who provide self-certification the individual is otherwise able to work and available to work and is unemployed, partially unemployed, or unable to work for one of the following reasons:
10 Ways Restaurant And Hospitality Employers Should Respond To The Pandemic
Restaurant and Hospitality Employers are faced with a multitude of other issues during this crisis, such as FMLA treatment, workers’ compensation, and WARN layoffs. For further information, contact your Fisher Phillips attorney or review our Comprehensive and Updated FAQs. We will continue to monitor this rapidly developing situation and provide updates as appropriate. Make sure you are subscribed to Fisher Phillips’ alert system to gather the most up-to-date information.
This Legal Alert provides an overview of a specific developing situation. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.
Copyright ©2020 Fisher Phillips LLP. All rights reserved.
DENVER - Gov. Jared Polis provided an update on Colorado’s response to COVID-19 as well as information on current cases in Colorado, including the number of cases, hospitalizations, and fatalities. Gov. Polis was also joined by Dr. Marc Moss, head of pulmonology at the University of Colorado - Anschutz Medical Campus and a doctor at UC Health who came to represent the thousands of medical professionals working on the front lines in Colorado.
While the virus is still spreading rapidly in Colorado, our community will start to see the effects of the recent steps we’ve taken in the coming days and weeks. In the near-term, it is crucial that we all stay home whenever possible to avoid jeopardizing the health of their friends, family, and community,” said Governor Jared Polis. “During this challenging time, though we must be distant physically from one another for our health, I encourage Coloradans to remain close to our loved ones through different forms of communication like telephone and video chat and through acts of kindness.”
“As a pulmonary specialist, I have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re seeing this virus significantly impact Coloradans of all ages and we are now caring for an unprecedented number of critically ill patients,” said Dr. Marc Moss. “Our health care system is preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. We continue working alongside our fellow health care workers to ensure we are doing everything we can to care for our patients.”
The Governor continued to urge Coloradans to stay home. Gov. Polis discussed the supplies that the state Colorado has requested from the federal government, what has been distributed thus far and what the remaining need it currently has and what is needed for Colorado to effectively slow the spread of the virus and protect the health and safety of Coloradans.
The Governor also discussed state traffic data as an important proxy to demonstrate the impact of recent social distancing and stay-at-home measures. Colorado has seen a 60% reduction of cars on the road over the last four weeks. This data was collected across the state on interstates, U.S. and state highways, and other roads from a network of more than 50 automatic traffic recorders (ATRs). These ATRs provide traffic count data that can be analyzed hourly, daily, and weekly and used to compare current traffic levels to baseline levels. Traffic levels can show changes in behavior, whether that’s a reduction in weekday work commuting, and changes in weekend driving that may be associated with errands or recreation. Between March 1-25, the average daily volume of vehicles is decreasing by 400 cars per day. View the presentation here.
On Saturday, March 28, the federal government approved a Major Disaster Declaration request for Colorado, unlocking access to more federal resources for the state. This designation, combined with the legislation passed by Congress and signed by the President, is welcome relief on both the emergency management front and the economic front. The Governor has held daily calls with Colorado’s federal delegation.
On Sunday, March 22, Gov. Polis announced the creation of the Innovation Response Team (IRT). Today he announced the appointment of Sarah Tuneberg, an entrepreneur and emergency manager with more than a decade of public health and emergency management experience, as the Director of the IRT. The IRT is building a mass testing program for the COVID-19 virus, creating a suite of services for citizens under isolation or quarantine, developing mobile and other technologies to help track the spread of the virus and support infected citizens, and developing locally-sourced alternatives for constrained critical medical supplies.
Watch today’s press conference here.
Payroll Vault is offering a free Human Resource Support Center Library of Materials for 3 months to all fellow South Metro Denver Chamber members. Keep up to date with paid leave requirements by FFCRA and have access to other COVID-19 resources. New Info on the Payroll Tax Credit, FAQs, Work From Home Policies, Communications, and More. Please contact Janice Holmes at [email protected] or 303-437-7784 to get started.
The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act recently passed by Congress is the largest U.S. stimulus package ever to provide economic relief to businesses and workers affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The bill offers the following aid for small businesses (those with less than 500 employees), 501(c)3s, sole proprietors and independent contractors. The federal government is currently developing the application process for each:
Small Business Emergency EIDL Grants
Small Business Emergency Grants are direct grants for businesses that apply for but do not qualify for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program see below).
Paycheck Protection Loans
The legislation allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses that maintain their payroll during this emergency. These loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.
For borrowers who already had SBA 7A loans in place before COVID-19, $17 billion is allocated to have SBA step in and make six months of principal and interest payments for all SBA-backed business loans.
Payroll Tax Credit
A payroll tax credit for wages paid by businesses that fully or partially close due to Coronavirus.
Payroll Tax Deferral
Allows businesses to a deferral for payroll taxes owed in 2020. Half would be payable in December 2021 and the other half in December 2022. Businesses receiving other EIDL or Paycheck Protection Loans would not be eligible.
LEARN MORE HERE
SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL)
Working capital loans to help small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture, and most private, nonprofit organizations of all sizes meet their ordinary and necessary financial obligations that cannot be met as a direct result of the outbreak of COVID-19. These loans are intended to assist through the disaster recovery period.
From Sue Sandstrom, Arapahoe County Treasurer
As the elected official tasked with the collection and distribution of property taxes for Arapahoe County, I want to keep individuals and businesses apprised of the current options available for the payment of those taxes.
All property tax payment due dates and interest rates are determined by Colorado state statutes, and my office must follow those statutes. Due to the financial difficulties associated with this extraordinary health crisis, the Governor is able to issue Executive Orders that allow temporary variances from those statutes. On March 20, the Governor issued Executive Order D 2020 012, which gives me, as the County Treasurer, some flexibility in collecting interest on tax payments.
Businesses and individuals in Arapahoe County, who intended to pay their property taxes in one installment due April 30, now have the option of paying in two installments. The first installment (one half of the total tax due) may be paid with no interest added if paid by April 20. The second installment will then be due June 15. Hopefully, this will provide some relief by spreading out the tax payments and lengthening the time allowed to pay without interest. To take advantage of this relief, the tax payment must be made by check or cash, via mail or deposited in the secure drop box in front of the Arapahoe County Administrative Building at 5334 S. Prince Street in Littleton. Online and over-the-phone payments do not qualify for the interest waiver.
As of the day of this writing, March 27, no adjustments to tax payment due dates or additional late interest waivers have been made. Full payments made after April 30 and second half payments made after June 15, will accrue statutory interest.
The above information does not apply to mass payments, title company payments and delinquent payments for prior years.
For additional information, visit please www.arapahoegov.com or call the Arapahoe County Treasurer’s office at 303-795-4550.
Gov. Polis: COVID-19 Relief Fund Accepting Grant Applications
DENVER - Last week, Governor Jared Polis announced the launch of joint efforts to raise relief funds and volunteer efforts to address this public health crisis.
Help Colorado Now has raised $7.7 million dollars from nearly 4,000 individuals, foundations and companies since the fund launched. More than 9,000 volunteers including 2,000 health care volunteers have signed up to date.
“This is exciting news at a tough time for our state, and this milestone could not have been achieved without the support and spirit of Coloradans,” said Gov. Polis. “This is an opportunity to reflect on what we can achieve when we work together and how we can help our fellow Coloradans and small businesses bounce back stronger than ever. I’m thankful for the support these efforts have received to date. Let’s all continue to rise to the challenge.”
The grant process has now begun and will be on a rolling basis. Those interested in applying for relief funds up to $25K can apply here.
Coloradans can donate or sign up to volunteer at www.HelpColoradoNow.org. The Colorado COVID Relief Fund's purpose is to raise funds and coordinate the allocation of those contributions. Funds raised will be used to support the needs of communities impacted by COVID-19 in both response and recovery. Organizations helping with the response to COVID-19 are now eligible to apply for funds.
The fund will support work in three categories: prevention, impact, and recovery efforts. This will include things like medical and cleaning supplies, food services, early childhood education, small business support, behavioral health services, and more. The fund will not provide direct assistance to individuals, but to community-based organizations providing direct assistance.
Coloradans who can’t donate money are encouraged to donate their time by volunteering. Many people have skills that can be applied during this time, especially former health care workers who could return to the workforce to assist with the demand. In addition to funding and volunteers, the Governor continues to encourage healthy donors to donate blood to prevent a shortage in Colorado. Coloradans can visit Vitalant.org or click here to find a blood drive or donation center in their area.
The Colorado COVID Relief Fund is hosted by the State of Colorado and Mile High United Way. The effort is co-chaired by Rick Sakpin and Roxane White. Additionally, the Colorado Health Foundation assisted in getting the application process up and running. The fund is overseen by a committee of community leaders from across Colorado and will be providing aid to support Colorado communities and organizations affected by the recent outbreak of COVID-19.
Dear Centennial community,
I am sure you are well aware that we are under a Stay-At-Home Order through April 11. Below is a list I found helpful in identifying what is permitted vs. not permitted during a Stay-At-Home Order. *This is not a comprehensive list so please refer to the order for a complete list of essential activities and services, as well as social distancing requirements.
For more information about the state’s order, please visit: covid19.colorado.gov
Starting today, a new call service, 2-1-1 is available, Monday – Friday from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. By calling 2-1-1 or 866-760-6489 you will help manage the overwhelming number of calls received by 911 operators and the Tri-County Health Department. So please call 2-1-1 to help you with all your COVID-19 needs. You can also reach out online at 211Colorado.org.
The City has a lot of information related to COVID-19 available on the City website, www.centennialco.gov/covid19. You can also find a list of restaurants providing delivery, walk-up, carry out, drive-through, or drive-up services in Centennial. This list continues to grow so please know it is not comprehensive but please check it out and enjoy some food and drink from our local establishments this weekend. View the list at www.centennialco.gov/thinklocal.
We’re also encouraging our community to share how you’re managing all of the uncertainty in the world while following the Stay-At-Home Order and the recommended social distancing. Share your stories, experiences and inspirational messages at #WeAreOneCentennial on the City’s Facebook and Twitter pages (@CentennialGov).
The City continues to closely monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and take the appropriate precautions recommended by Tri-County Health and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). For questions please use the City’s website to report a problem or call the City’s 24-hr Citizen Response Center at 303-325-8000; call volumes may become heavy. For resources and additional information about COVID, visit centennialco.gov/covid19.
During this challenging time, please feel free to reach out to me directly.
Stay safe and let's all look out for each other
Email me at: [email protected]v
The worldwide COVID-19 outbreak is a quickly changing, uncertain situation. You may be seeing hourly updates about travel bans, upticks in cases, and restrictions on day-to-day life – all of which are affecting your business. It’s an unprecedented challenge for you as a business owner to keep your staff (and yourself) healthy and your business running as smoothly as possible.
Summit Payments is here to assist you as much as we possibly can. To help small businesses lower their monthly expenses, we are providing a free merchant services account reviews to all Chamber members. Merchant processing fees are a huge expense for any business and your account should be reviewed once a quarter, just like your phone or cable bill. This month, we are featuring the Cash Discount Program. This program will allow businesses to eliminate merchant processing fees by passing along a small service fee to the consumer for credit card transactions. We have partnered with Zero Fee Solutions and they have agreed to only charge businesses $10 a month and Summit Payments has agreed provide a free terminal that is specific for this program. This is being provided to our clients as a month to month program, so you may rest assured there is no commitment.
We have also teamed up with a global online small business lending company OnDeck to provide fast and low interest business loans. They provide several types of loans based on your needs and have an A+ rating on Better Business Bureau. We have setup special agreements for our clients, so please let us know if this is an option you would like to explore.
In addition, we are providing some information and several government assistance programs for small businesses during the COVID-19 Outbreak.
Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have any questions or need assistance with any of these programs.
Again, please know we are here to help in anyway. We will all get through this together.
Jefferson County, Colo. -- Three public health departments serving more than 2 million residents across the Metro Denver region joined together to issue Stay-At-Home Public Health Orders in their counties today, effective March 26 at 8:00 a.m. until April 17 at 11:59 p.m. unless officials determine it is in the interest of public health to expire at an earlier date and time. The departments include Boulder County Public Health, Jefferson County Public Health and Tri-County Health Department (which serves Adams, Arapahoe and Douglas Counties).
“There is widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the Metro Denver area, and we must take bold actions to stop the spread of this virus,” said John M. Douglas, Jr., MD, executive director of Tri-County Health Department. “With each passing day, we run a growing risk of greater transmission and illness and quickly overwhelming our hospitals, which are really a resource for our entire region and state. When this happens, not everyone may get the care they need. It’s a real possibility in Colorado — and a situation which has already occurred in countries such as Italy — and which is threatening to happen in major U.S. cities in other areas of our country. We understand the toll that measures to address the pandemic are having on our communities, and we want to reassure residents that this step is temporary, and a critical one to get us closer to recovery.”
These Stay-At-Home Orders are in addition to other recently issued public health orders that promote social distancing, such as those from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. While beneficial, we do not believe they have done enough to slow transmission. The Stay-At-Home Orders go a step further by requiring individuals to do their part by staying at home and away from others.
The Public Health Orders require that all people in each county stay at their place of residence, and that they make every effort possible to conduct only essential activities necessary to maintain health and well-being, such as getting groceries, obtaining medical supplies or medication, and/or engaging in outdoor activities like walking, hiking or running while following other social distancing practices.
Work to provide essential business and government services or perform essential public infrastructure construction, including housing, is also permitted. People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence except to seek medical care.
“Scientific evidence shows that we must act now, at this stage of the COVID-19 emergency, in order to save lives in the long-run. It will give us the time we need to test comprehensively and to slow the spread of the virus to prevent our health care system from being overwhelmed,” said Jeff Zayach, Boulder County Public Health executive director.
“The virus is easily spread through person-to-person contact, and the risk of transmission is much greater when people are in close proximity,” said Dr. Mark B. Johnson, Jefferson County Public Health executive director. “This order will help protect everyone in our community by ensuring social distancing measures are followed. By taking this action now, we can start to flatten the pandemic curve.”
Examples of Activities Permitted and Not Permitted Under the Stay-At-Home Orders*
During the stay-at-home period, we encourage our communities to stay connected with one another and take steps to maintain health and well-being. Here are some ideas: