White House Unveils Vaccine Mandate, More Help for Small Businesses
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or require any workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result on at least a weekly basis before coming to work.
According to a Sept. 9 announcement from the White House, OSHA also will issue an Emergency Temporary Standard to implement this requirement, which is estimated to impact more than 80 million workers.
“The president’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to substantially increase the number of Americans covered by vaccination requirements,” according to the White House’s statement.
The plan also “will provide paid time off for vaccination for most workers in the country.”
Tire dealers, have you been tracking how many of your employees are vaccinated? If so, what's your percentage? #VaccineMandate— Modern Tire Dealer (@MTDMagazine) September 10, 2021
The White House also announced that the Biden Administration “will help more than 150,000 small businesses by strengthening the COVID Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, which provides long-term, low-cost loans.
“The improvements will allow more businesses to get greater and more flexible support from the $150 billion in loanable funds still available in the program.
“First, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will increase the maximum amount of funding a small business can borrow through this program from $500,000 to $2 million, which can be used to hire and retain employees, purchase inventory and equipment, and pay off higher-interest debt.
An SBA analysis of current COVID EIDL borrowers who qualify for the increase shows that more than 80% have 25 employees or less.
“SBA will ensure that no small business has to start repaying these loans until two years after they receive the funding, so small businesses can get through the pandemic without having to worry about making payments.
“Next, SBA will make it easier for small businesses with multiple locations in hard-hit sectors like restaurants, hotels, and gyms to access these loans.
“To ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that truly need help, SBA has implemented tightened controls and will collaborate closely with the SBA Inspector General to monitor the program.
“And lastly, to ensure that Main Street businesses have additional time to access remaining funds, SBA will offer a 30-day exclusive window of access where only small businesses seeking loans of $500,000 or less will receive awards after the new improved loan product launches.
Through the PPP, the SBA has made more than 11 million loans to small businesses that can be forgiven “and taken off of their books if they use the funds to keep employees on payroll."
In order to receive loan forgiveness, borrowers have to complete an application with their PPP lender.
“The president’s plan will make it easier for more than 3.5 million PPP borrowers with loans of $150,000 or less to get their loans wiped clean. Under the new streamlined approach, SBA sends a pre-completed application form to the borrower who can review, sign, and send back to SBA, which then works with the lender to complete the forgiveness process.”
The SBA expects more than 2.5 million additional small businesses to take advantage of this streamlined process in the months ahead, “helping them avoid needless bureaucracy and avoid costly principal and interest payments on their loans.”