Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog > Business Continuity > Gulfshore Insurance Coronavirus Update #3: What Employers Need to Know About Their Business & COVID-19

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 keeps changing, Gulfshore Insurance is working hard to keep you updated on how it may impact your business. Here are five important updates that business owners need to know.

  1. Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program – Businesses with fewer than 100 employees that are located in Florida and are affected by COVID-19 can apply for an emergency bridge loan from the State of Florida. Loans are up to $50,000 (and up to $100,000 in special circumstances) and are interest-free for up to one year. The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) administers these loans and will work with every borrower to ensure that repayment of the loan isn’t an overwhelming burden. To be eligible, a business must have been established prior to March 9, 2020, and demonstrate economic impacts as a result of COVID-19. The application period ends May 8, 2020.
  2. U.S. Small Business Administration Disaster Loan Assistance – The U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) low-interest Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are now available to small businesses affected by the loss of revenue due to the Coronavirus that are unable to pay ordinary operating expenses. These loans are intended to provide working capital to help small businesses until normal operations resume. For more information or to apply for a loan, contact the SBA at www.sba.gov/disaster.
  3. New Paid Leave Requirement for Employees Affected by COVID-19 – A new federal law that was approved on March 20, 2020 requiring employers with fewer than 500 employees to provide paid leave for their employees in certain situations. This new law goes into effect April 2, 2020 and will end on December 31, 2020. It is possible we may see some type of exemption from the new paid leave requirement for small businesses with fewer than 50 employees, but that has not happened yet.
  4.  A New Poster Will be Required for Businesses – The new paid leave law requires all employers to provide a notice/poster to their employees explaining the new paid time off that they may be eligible for as a result of COVID-19. It is expected that the U.S. Department of Labor will publish this poster very soon.
  5. Laid-Off Employees Can Apply for Unemployment Compensation – Small businesses who have had to lay employees off due to a business closure because of COVID-19 can advise their employees to apply for unemployment compensation (also called ‘reemployment assistance’). Currently, out-of-work employees can get up to $275 a week for up to 12 weeks. The United States Congress is currently debating a law that would increase these benefits and also expand who can file for unemployment benefits (i.e., independent contractors).

The situation surrounding COVID-19 is changing every day, but Gulfshore Insurance is working hard to keep you updated on how it impacts your business. If you have any questions, please let us know.