Author: Sam O

Nonprofit Entities May Be Eligible to Apply for Financial Assistance

Nonprofit entities, including religious organizations and veteran organizations, suffering from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis, are eligible to apply for financial assistance in the form of Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”) Paycheck Protection Program loans and SBA Economic Injury Disaster loans. In addition to these loan programs, CARES has deemed nonprofit entities eligible to defer payment of its share of social security taxes and possibly receive an employee-retention tax credit. Moreover, CARES expanded unemployment benefits to employees of nonprofit and religious organizations that were laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

If your nonprofit or religious organization has questions about CARES or needs assistance in considering and/or applying for these loan programs and/or other relief efforts, Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP is available to promptly assist you. Please contact Paul T. Rushton (prushton@rjglaw.com), Lee S. Piatt (lpiatt@rjglaw.com) or Christyan Telech (ctelech@rjglaw.com) of our Business & Finance Department to discuss the available options.

BUSINESSES AFFECTED BY COVID-19 SHOULD GIVE IMMEDIATE CONSIDERATION TO PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM LOAN

As the COVID-19 virus continues to affect the health of our communities and the operation of the economy, Federal, state and local governmental authorities, as well as certain for-profit and non-profit organizations, have established loan programs and/or other relief efforts to assist eligible businesses that have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus crisis.
 
For example, pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES”), the Federal government has created the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) that is designed to make loans available to small businesses to encourage employee retention and assist employers in meeting ongoing payroll and debt obligations. PPP loans are guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and made through existing SBA-approved lenders.
 
There are minimal requirements for eligibility for a PPP loan. In general, the borrower must have less than 500 employees and make a good-faith certification that the COVID-19 crisis necessitated the PPP borrowing and that the PPP loan will be used only for specified purposes, including certain interest payments, payroll costs, employee group health care benefits, rent, and utility payments. PPP loans do not require the posting of collateral security and have a maximum rate of interest of 4%. PPP loans are also eligible for full or partial forgiveness.
 
Starting on April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for PPP loans through lenders that have previously offered SBA loans. Beginning on April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for PPP loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. The current end date for PPL loan applications is June 30, 2020.
 
Because it is anticipated that the demand for PPP loans will be high and that the existing funding for the PPP will be insufficient to meet the anticipated PPL loan applications, it is strongly recommended that eligible borrowers submit an application for a PPP loan through a SBA-approved lender promptly following the opening of the window for PPP applications (i.e. on April 3, 2020 for eligible small businesses and sole proprietors and on April 10, 2020 for eligible independent contractors and self-employed individuals).
 
If you are interested in confirming your eligibility for a PPP loan, obtaining assistance with your PPP loan application, identifying a SBA-approved lender and/or learning more about other loan programs and relief assistance, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP and its Business & Finance Department are available to assist you. Please feel free to contact any of the partners in our Business & Finance Department, including Paul T. Rushton at prushton@rjglaw.com, Steven P. Roth at sroth@rjglaw.com, or Lee S. Piatt at lpiatt@rjglaw.com. We are available to promptly assist you with these very important issues. Stay safe and healthy.

DCED SECRETARY ANNOUNCES APRIL 3, 2020 DEADLINE FOR WAIVER APPLICATIONS FROM GOVERNOR’S ORDER

In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020. Governor Wolf’s office and the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED) also established a procedure by which a non-life sustaining business can seek a waiver from this requirement that, if granted, allows the business to continue to maintain its physical operations.
 
The Secretary of the DCED recently announced that the deadline for submitting a waiver application for such purpose will close on Friday, April 3rd, at 5:00 p.m. Accordingly, any non-life-sustaining business in Pennsylvania that desires to seek a waiver from the Governor’s Order must submit a waiver application to the DCED no later than 5 p.m. tomorrow.
 
Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP and its Business & Finance Department are available to promptly assist you in these uncertain times and guide you through the waiver process. Please contact Paul T. Rushton, the Chair of RJG’s Business & Finance Department, at prushton@rjglaw.com as soon as possible in advance of this deadline if you desire to consider and/or submit a waiver application.

RJG Quarantine and Construction

Governor Wolf’s Order and Its Effects on the Construction Industry

In response to the rapid spread of COVID-19, Governor Tom Wolf ordered all non-life-sustaining businesses in Pennsylvania to close their physical locations as of 8:00 p.m. on March 19, 2020. This order was issued in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. Additionally, Governor Wolf published a list that details the industries, sectors, subsectors, and industry groups that may continue physical operations, and those that may not. The list can be accessed by clicking this link: www.governor.pa.gov/newsroom/all-non-life-sustaining-businesses-in-pennsylvania-to-close-physical-locations-as-of-8-pm-today-to-slow-spread-of-covid-19/ .

Pursuant to the Governor’s Order and list, businesses involved in the construction of buildings, heavy and civil engineering construction, and specialty trade contractors may not continue physical operations. An exception was made for emergency repairs. Some construction project owners have obtained waivers from the Governor in order to continue construction on projects. This puts contractors in a difficult position of having to staff the project. The Governor’s Order will have a major impact on the construction industry, businesses involved in construction, and current construction projects. Construction projects commonly have one or multiple contracts detailing the rights and obligations of contractors. These contracts contain clauses dealing with dates for completion, schedules, delays, extensions, and damages for non-compliance.

In light of the Governor’s Order, these provisions contained in construction contracts will become extremely relevant for Pennsylvania contractors and businesses in the construction industry. If not addressed properly and fairly by the parties involved, it is possible that a number of claims and litigation may arise as a result of delays incurred on construction projects due to the Governor’s Order.

Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald is ready, willing, and able to review construction contracts and determine the rights and obligations under those contracts. Moreover, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald’s Litigation Department has extensive experience in handling construction claims and disputes, and the ability to achieve positive results without litigation.

If you are interested in learning more about these services, please visit https://www.rjglaw.com/litigation/ or call (570) 826-5600. You can also contact Attorney Robert D. Schaub at rschaub@rjglaw.com or Attorney TJ Jensen at ajensen@rjglaw.com

RJG Coronavirus - We Can Help You

Is your Business Complying with Recent Governmental Orders Aimed at Combating COVID-19?

As businesses struggle to understand and comply with the various governmental orders intended to combat, and new laws intended to address the economic impact of, COVID-19 (the Coronavirus), they should seek legal counsel to assist them in properly complying with those orders and understanding the requirements and implications of those new laws. In a rapidly changing climate, Rosenn, Jenkins & Greenwald’s Labor & Employment Department is available to assist business owners in fulfilling their obligations under these new requirements and in making any necessary business decisions as a result of these new requirements. If you require assistance with these matters, please contact Jim Valentine or Kieran Casey of our Labor & Employment Department at jvalentine@rjglaw.com or kcasey@rjglaw.com.

RJG - Clean and Green

Is your Property Eligible for the Clean and Green program?

In 1974, The Pennsylvania General Assembly enacted the “Clean and Green” program. This preferential tax assessment program was designed to to encourage protection of the Commonwealth’s valuable farmland, forestland and open spaces. Attorney Thomas J. MacNeely, who serves as the Chairman of our Real Estate Department, has helped various clients secure “Clean and Green” approval for their properties with the Tax Assessor’s Office. His efforts have resulted in these clients saving hundreds of thousands of dollars in real estate taxes.

If you are interested in learning more about the Clean and Green program and if your property is eligible for it, please contact Attorney MacNeely at 570-826-5662.

RJG is Proud to Support Dinner For Kids

RJG Supports Dinners for Kids

Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald LLP is proud to support Dinners for Kids! This organization, founded nine years ago by David and Edna Tevet, has provided more than 300,000 meals to feed insecure children in the Greater Wyoming Valley. Currently more than 160 children receive 6 dinner meals each week, 52 weeks per year, delivered to their homes by volunteers at no cost to their families.

This is possible thanks to the financial support of our community and the many volunteers who package and deliver the meals. Contributing to this essential financial support, the Dinners for Kids third annual dinner will be held on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 on Misericordia University’s campus @ 5:30 PM.

We would also like to congratulate Misericordia University’s Dr. Thomas & Vanessa Botzman, as well as Joe DeVizia, who will be honored at the event! To learn more or donate, please visit www.Dinners4Kids.org.

WVAC Cooking for a Cause

WVCA Hosts Another Successful Cooking For a Cause Event

Congratulations to the Wyoming Valley Children’s Association (WVCA) on their successful Cooking for a Cause event! Cooking For A Cause is an annual event hosted by the Brotherhood of Chefs, an organization that was formed around 10 years ago, made up of regional professional chefs, who wanted to make a difference in children’s lives who attend WVCA. Through their passion for food, the Cooking For A Cause event was formed and the evening features a gourmet, progressive dinner – where all proceeds from the event are donated to WVCA programs. The WVCA provides the highest quality early childhood education to ensure the greatest developmental potential of all children in partnership with their families, including therapeutic and support services as needed.

Attorneys Paul Rushton and Bob Schaub attended this wonderful event. To learn more about the amazing work WVCA does, please visit www.wvcakids.org

RJG Supports the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department

RJG Supports the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department

Rosenn Jenkins & Greenwald, LLP is proud to support the men and women of the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department who work hard to protect our city every day. Recently, we showed our support by purchasing an ad on the Wilkes-Barre City Police Department magnet along with a number of businesses in the area. The purchase of this ad goes to directly support the Community Policing Program, which will help our youth to gain a better understanding of the everlasting effect of drugs and violence.