Important COVID-19 Resources

Sheehan Phinney Client Advisories:

CARES Act Tax Benefits for Individuals
By: Peter Beach, March 30, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was enacted on March 27, 2020. This article discusses the tax relief provisions for individuals that are contained in the Act. Recovery Rebates The bill provides a $1,200 refundable tax credit for individuals ($2,400 for taxpayers filing

CARES Act Tax Benefits for Businesses
By: Peter Beach, March 30, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was enacted on March 27, 2020. This article discusses the tax relief provisions for businesses that are contained in the Act. Employee retention credit for employers The CARES Act provides a refundable payroll tax credit for

Update on Federal and Northern New England State Tax Efforts to Reduce the Economic Impact of COVID-19
By: Peter Beach & Mark Dell’Orfano, March 30, 2020
At this time, the state of New Hampshire has not extended the deadline to file or pay any tax administered by the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration. However, the DRA continues to monitor the situation and will communicate any

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (Cares) Act and Unemployment Benefits – Summary
By: David McGrath, March 30, 2020
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act enhances and extends unemployment benefits for many workers in three basic ways: Increases typical unemployment insurance benefits (UIB) by $600 per week through July 31, 2020; Establishes a program to provide 13 weeks of UIB for workers

Paycheck Protection Program
By: Colleen Lyons, March 28, 2020
One of the most significant new programs for businesses under the CARES Act is the new Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).  This program will be administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and is designed to help eligible businesses continue to pay operational costs like

Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Discretion During the COVID-19 Pandemic
By: Tom Burack, Lynn Preston & Robert Lucic, March 27, 2020
On March 26, 2020, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a temporary policy laying out how the agency will exercise its enforcement discretion in addressing environmental noncompliance matters that arise under federal environmental laws during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Hampshire Orders Workplace Closures, Orders Residents to Stay Home
By: Alexander Pyle, March 27, 2020
On March 26, 2020, Governor Sununu issued an order requiring businesses and other organizations that do not provide essential services to close their physical workplaces, commencing at 11:59 p.m. on March 27, 2020 and continuing until 12:01 a.m. on May 4, 2020. The order also requires all

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (The Cares Act)
March 27, 2020
On March 26, 2020, the Senate passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”), the third federal stimulus package designed to address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. If, as expected, the current bill

Governor Sununu’s Emergency Order #9, issued on March 19th, 2020 regarding: Emergency Healthcare System Relief Fund
By: Katherine Hanna, March 26, 2020
On March 19, 2020, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #19, which establishes the Emergency Healthcare System Relief Fund. “The Order creates a $50M fund to provide emergency relief to hospitals and other healthcare providers that are serving an essential component of the State’s healthcare system during

COVID-19: Key Considerations for Business Owners and Managers
By: Paul Reuland and Alex Pyle, March 26, 2020
Across the country, owners and managers of companies of all sizes types face a number of challenges as they assess the impact of COVID-19 (the “Coronavirus”) on their businesses and what steps can be taken to mitigate harm. With the myriad new laws, regulations

Remote Notarizations in NH During This State of Emergency – Don’t Forget the Formalities When Notarizing Documents
By: JP Harris, March, 25 2020 (Updated 3/26/20)
As many companies attempt to do business with a largely remote workforce, many transactions are coming together with electronic signatures.  Fortunately, laws already in place facilitate the electronic signing process.  One aspect of signing documents that has not “gone digital,” though, is the formality of notarizing signatures. 

COVID-19 Construction Update
By: John Perten, March 26, 2020
Governor Baker’s emergency order shutting down all brick & mortar businesses went into effect at noon on 3/24. As previously reported, the order raises as many questions as it answers. As to the construction industry, we continue to think that the order is ambiguous but it appears

Construction Bond Claims, Mechanics Liens, and COVID-19
By: John Perten, March 26, 2020
It is likely that with the COVID-19 crisis, many projects will be delayed or cancelled.  It is also likely that given the financial impact on contractors and developers, many parties will be unable to meet their financial and performance obligations even when the crisis abates. If there

What Constitutes “Essential Services” and Does My Business and Workforce Qualify?
By: Michael Lambert, March 25, 2020
With many state and municipal governments restricting “brick and mortar” business to “Essential Services” or permitting only an “Essential Workforce” to be physically present at a place of employment, more questions are being asked than answered. Does my company fall within the list of “Essential Services?” Are

Don’t Forget About Cybersecurity with Increased Telecommuting
By: JP Harris, March 25, 2020
In the last several weeks, many businesses have significantly increased the number of telecommuters to implement social distancing in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  Increasing outside access to the company’s network and dispersing access to company data to more remote workers increases legal risk that must be

The Reimbursement/Credit Process Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
By: Mark Ventola, March 25, 2020
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “Act”) was signed into law on March 18, 2020. Two of the most important, and discussed, requirements of the Act are that employers provide emergency paid sick and family leave for absences that are related to COVID-19 for employees

Federal and State Tax Efforts to Reduce the Impact of COVID-19
By: Mark Dell’Orfano and Peter Beach, March 24, 2020
On March 20, 2020, the IRS issued revised tax guidance for 2019, granting tax filers and advisers coping with the COVID-19 pandemic additional time – until July 15, 2020 – to file tax returns and make required tax payments, without interest or penalties. The 

Don’t Be Discouraged by “Your Insurance Does Not Cover This”
By: Michael Lambert, March 24, 2020
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to wreak havoc on businesses throughout the world, many business owners have reached out to their insurance brokers or companies to inquire about coverage for the mounting losses. The first response businesses are likely to hear will include: Business interruption coverage does

Massachusetts Orders Workplace Closures and Restricts Gatherings of More Than 10
By: Alexander Pyle, March 24, 2020
On March 23, 2020, Governor Baker issued an order requiring non-essential businesses to close their physical workplaces, commencing at 12:00 noon on March 24, 2020 and continuing until 12:00 noon on April 7, 2020.  The order also generally prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people throughout the

Client Alert for Persons in The Construction Industry
By: John Perten, March 23, 2020
We now know that it is just a matter of time before this current crisis either shuts your jobs down completely or, at a minimum, causes massive delays. Today, March 23rd, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shut down all non-essential businesses effective 

COVID-19 Medicare Provider Enrollment Relief: CMS Update and FAQs
By: Andrew Eills, March 23, 2020
Expedited healthcare provider enrollment in Medicare is crucial to increasing the availability of physicians and non-physician practitioners. CMS has issued, as of March 23, 2020, responses to questions concerning new flexible Medicare enrollment procedures occasioned by the Covid-19 national emergency. CMS is employing its authority under

Federal Government Joins New Hampshire In Prohibiting Foreclosures
By: James LaMontagne, March 23, 2020
On March 17, 2020, New Hampshire Governor Christopher Sununu issued Emergency Order #4 pursuant to Executive Order 2020-04 prohibiting all judicial and non-judicial foreclosure actions under New Hampshire RSA 479 or any other applicable law, rule or regulation during New Hampshire’s State of Emergency.  Emergency Order #4

Government’s Ability to Sway Insurance Coverage for COVID-19 Losses is Limited
By: Michael Lambert, March 23, 2020
An insurance policy is a contract between the insured and the insurance company.  The terms of that contract, and the obligations of both parties, are set forth in detail in the insurance policy.  While the government can legislate what can and cannot be included in these contracts 

Health Professional Licensing Update: Practicing Medicine Across State Lines Without a License to Respond to COVID-19
By: Andrew Eills, March 23, 2020
The spread of COVID-19 will require many healthcare professionals to counter the potential surge of patients with the disease.  These professionals are on the front lines of the pandemic and their services will be needed throughout the country. Regulatory developments to ensure that patients have access to

Recent Actions to Support Small Massachusetts Businesses Affected by COVID-19
By: Alexander Pyle, March 23, 2020
In recent days the Governor and other governmental agencies have taken a number of steps to provide support and relief to Massachusetts businesses affected by the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic.  Some of the most significant of these small business measures are the following: SBA Disaster Declaration On March 

What Employers Need to Know About the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
By: Liz Bailey and Karen Whitley, March 20, 2020
On March 18, 2020, President Trump signed into law the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (H.R. 6201) (“the Act”) after this legislation passed in the Senate.  The Act takes effect “not later than 15 days after its enactment,” or April 2, 2020. 

Recent Changes to Federal Telehealth Laws in Response to the COVID-19 Outbreak
By: Jason Gregoire, March 20, 2020
Health care consumers have likely heard of, or received some aspect of their care through, “telemedicine” or “telehealth” applications, software, or phone services. What many of these consumers do not know, however, is that state and federal insurance and licensing laws have lagged behind technological advances.

Critical Lease Issues in COVID-19 Crisis
By: Bruce Bagdasarian, March 20, 2020
The current crisis has created unprecedented pressure on the retail and hospitality industries.  With people staying at home, except for an occasional trip to the grocery market, and with some cities closing down restaurants, except perhaps for take-out, restaurants and brick and mortar retail are reeling, other

Force Majeure and Contract Considerations During the Coronavirus Pandemic
By: Paul Durham and Mark Dell’Orfano, March 20, 2020
The response of governments, regulators, and public health organizations to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve on a daily and, at times, hourly basis. Businesses worldwide are moving rapidly to preserve the health and wellbeing of their employees and customers while also maintaining

Insurance Coverage Issues Abound
By: Michael Lambert, March 20, 2020
With the incredible disruption to businesses, large and small, executives across the country are scouring their insurance policies to see if the premiums they have been paying for years might have been worth it.  Business interruption insurance, trade disruption insurance and civil authority coverage may all provide

US SBA Offers Financial Assistance to Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus
By: Paul Reuland, March 19, 2020
The U.S. Small Business Administration (the “SBA”) is currently accepting applications for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (“EIDL”) from businesses impacted by the Coronavirus.  It is expected that demand for these loans will be high and processing times will be significantly delayed.

Federal Government Takes Fiscal Actions to Reduce Impact of COVID-19 on Businesses
By: Mark Dell’Orfano and Peter Beach, March 18, 2020
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that as part of the federal government’s response to the Coronavirus, the Internal Revenue Service will give filers an additional ninety days to pay income taxes due up to $1 million in taxes owed. Read more for additional forms of government relief.

Are Your Estate Planning Documents Ready?
By: Brad Cook, March 18, 2020
In these uncertain times, where many clients and their employees are at home, this is a reminder that for those who do not have their durable powers of attorney for healthcare and living wills prepared and signed, along with other estate planning documents, Sheehan Phinney’s estate planning group stands ready.

SBA Announces Disaster-Assistance Loan Program in Response to Coronavirus
By: Christopher Candon, March 13, 2020
In the wake of recent natural disasters (Hurricanes Michael and Florence), the SBA offered federal loans to assist small businesses impacted by such events. On Thursday, the SBA stated that it will provide disaster-assistance loans for up to $2 million to small businesses affected by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

COVID-19: HIPAA Covered Entity and Business Associate Disclosure Rules
By: Andrew Eills and Jason Gregoire, March 13, 2020
With President Trump’s implementation of a travel ban on European travelers, calls for a ban on large gatherings, the creation of “exclusion zones,” recommendations for “social distancing,” the cancellation of festivals and sporting events, colleges and universities sending students home for the semester, a stock market in decline, and 37 confirmed US deaths, we are just beginning to feel the effects of the coronavirus (the disease known as “COVID-19”).

COVID-19 Preparedness: Basic Employment Law Questions Answered
By: Mark Ventola and Brian Bouchard, March 11, 2020
As more and more cases of COVID-19 appear across the United States, employers should begin preparing for COVID-19 and how it may affect their workforce.

Additional Resources:

NH Government 

MA Government

CDC

OSHA

WHO

SBA

US Chamber

EEOC

Department of Health and Human Services

Department of Labor

CMS

 

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These articles are intended to serve as a summary of the issues outlined herein. While they may include some general guidance, they are not intended as, nor are they a substitute for, legal advice.