Coping with COVID-19 – Together – as an Industry

Coming to terms with the new normal – which seems nothing even remotely close to normal – since the Coronavirus pandemic has hit, has been challenging, to say the least. We at NextGen are proud to be part of your team, and not only when it comes to your facility and campus security. As we all try to navigate this “new normal” and figure out how to best protect our employees and businesses, we’re here for you, and are keeping a watchful eye out for advice and resources to help your organization through these difficult days.

A wonderful source of information for our industry through this crisis, as always, is the Security Industry Association (SIA). Based on the valuable information they’ve gathered, we’re pleased to share here with you a summary and key benefits of the New COVID-19 Stimulus Law “Phase 2”.

On March 18, President Trump enacted H.R. 6201, more commonly referred to as “Phase 2,” which provides economic stimulus and relief to the American workforce impacted by COVID-19. Here we share with you SIA’s key takeaways of H.R. 6201, summarizing the key provisions that will impact the business operations of Security Industry Association (SIA) members, including tax credits for employers, employee paid leave and unemployment insurance.

The package contains a refundable payroll tax credit to reimburse local businesses for paid sick leave and family and medical leave wages paid to employees that are affected by COVID-19. Regarding cash flow issues, the U.S Treasury Department stated that “employers will be able to use cash deposited with the IRS to pay sick leave wages. Additionally, for businesses that would not have sufficient taxes to draw from, Treasury will use its regulatory authority to make advances to small businesses to cover such costs.”

The law permits the U.S. Secretary of Labor to exempt businesses with fewer than 50 employees from Family and Medical Leave Act requirements where it creates significant hardship.

Click here for a detailed summary of H.R. 6201 provided by the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee

Additional provisions that impact our industry include the self-employed tax credit. It provides 100% of self-employed individuals’ sick-leave equivalent or 67 percent if they were taking care of a sick family member or child if their school was closed. In addition according to SIA:

An individual’s sick-leave equivalent amount will be the lesser of their average daily self-employment income, or $511 per day if caring for themselves or $200 if caring for a family member. An employer shall provide paid leave for each day of leave that an employee takes after taking the initial 10 days unpaid (or electing to substitute any accrued vacation leave, personal leave or medical or sick leave for unpaid leave).

Self-employed individuals could receive a family leave credit for as many as 50 days for the lesser of $200 or their average daily self-employment income.

As it pertains to Unemployment Insurance, we will provide updates, based on the newly passed ‘Phase 3’ Coronavirus Stimulus Package.

Congress and the Trump administration have now passed three COVID-19 aid packages.  Phase 1 allowed $1 billion in loan subsidies to be made available to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations which have been impacted by financial losses. Here we’ve outlined SIA’s updates on Phase 2. With the ‘Phase 3’ Coronavirus Stimulus Package just being signed into law on March 25th, we will continue to stay informed and look to SIA for further details on how this unprecedented Relief Bill will impact our industry, and we will pass this important information on to you.

As an industry, we are all collectively concerned about how these important Relief Bills will affect us all and our economic health moving forward, and we will continue to keep you apprised of how they unfold. But most importantly, we must hold fast to our commitment, as an industry comprised of human beings committed to providing life safety and security solutions, to stay in front of this invisible enemy. We will continue to stand together to weather these unforeseen difficult times.

Each and every one of us at NextGen extend our heartfelt wishes to all to stay healthy, stay safe, and stay optimistic. Here’s to the day we can put the COVID-19 pandemic in our rear view mirror and get back to business as usual. Together, we WILL get through this very tough time.