The “CARES Act” – What Tree Care Companies Need to Know  

 

On Friday March 27th, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The CARES Act is part of the largest government stimulus program of all time, and it includes provisions aimed at helping small businesses overcome the challenges the COVID-19 outbreak poses to their businesses. In total, the CARES Act contains $2 Trillion of stimulus funds, with aid going to individuals, small business, large businesses, and state and local governments, and other groups.

Under the broad category of “Small Business Relief”, the CARES Act appropriates nearly $350 billion to various programs. For TCIA members, one provision that should be reviewed closely is the “Paycheck Protection Program” (PPP) for small businesses.The PPP provides short-term cash flow assistance for small businesses (fewer than 500 employees) to help these businesses and their employees deal with the immediate economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Loans are made by lenders certified by the Small Business Administration (SBA) and guaranteed by the federal government, and the SBA will administer the PPP.The maximum loan amount is $10 million, and can be used to pay workers, interest on mortgage obligations, rent, insurance, paid sick or medical leave, utilities, and payroll related costs.

One of the most attractive features of these loans is that if employers maintain all employees at their pre-COVID-19 payroll, the loans of up to 8 weeks of payroll and other costs are forgiven. The PPP loans can be applied retroactive to February 15th, 2020, to help bring workers who may have already been laid off back onto payrolls. As more details are released on this program, TCIA will update our members with the relevant information.

You can read more on the specifics of this Act in the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship’s breakdown here: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act.

As the Small Business Administration (SBA) will be handing the administration of the PPP loans (and other disaster loans), so we encourage our members to check back to www.sba.gov often for the most up to date information.

TCIA will be closely monitoring this situation and providing our members the resources you need to navigate these uncertain times. Please continue checking back to our COVID-19 Resource page, specifically tailored to help tree care businesses respond to the pandemic.

TCIA is here for you, so please reach out to us with any questions or concerns at 603-314-5380, or email me at aobrien@tcia.org.