Tips For Employers

Governor Wolf’s administration announces the opening of construction businesses beginning May 1

PA Department of Labor and Industry has issued the following FAQ guidelines for businesses in the construction industry. Click here to download.

Interim Guidance for Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 

To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect  them and the community.

View more information here 

Employees Commuting

Some employers are providing their employees with a letter stating their company is a life-sustaining company to show any members of law enforcement, in the event they are questioned on their commute to the worksite.

Please note: having a letter is not currently required and local enforcement is aware of/utilizing the Updated Industry Operation Guidance List as they do enforcement. Providing employees with a letter is a current “best-practice” for employers who are deemed life-sustaining or have a waiver and would like to provide their employees with some kind of documentation. This is up to the discretion of individual companies.

YCEA has drafted a template, as an example of a best practice that other employers have implemented to inform their employees. Please feel free to use at your discretion. Please click here for the template.

As an added cover, businesses can provide their employees with the Updated Industry Operation Guidance List that shares businesses what may continue physical operations in relation to the Governor’s Executive Order mandating closures for COVID-19 mitigation.

 

As of April 3, 5:00 pm: The State closed the Waiver Application Process on Friday, April 3. The State’s Life-Sustaining Business FAQ provides further guidance on the Governor’s Executive Order. Businesses seeking further guidance and clarification from PA Department of Community & Economic Development can contact its customer service resource account at ra-dcedcs@pa.gov.

Business Protocols for Employees Return from Traveling

Employees returning from travel should:

  1. Self-monitor for symptoms like, fever, cough, or trouble breathing.
  2. Call 1-877-PA-HEALTH (1-877-724-3258) immediately if they become sick.
  3. Tell their doctor’s office or emergency room before arriving that they have become sick after visiting a country at high risk of COVID-19.
  4. Know how to self-monitor and practice social distancing.

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to the disease in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

(Ref. COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR BUSINESS).

 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) published its first round of implementation guidance for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The guidance addresses critical questions such as:

  • How does an employer count its number of employees to determine coverage?
  • How can small businesses obtain an exemption?
  • How does an employer count hours for part-time employees?
  • How does an employer calculate wages employees are entitled to under the FFCRA?

There are three documents: guidance for employers, guidance for employees, and a set of FAQs. Among the most helpful FAQs are #2 (how to count employees); #4 (how a small business with fewer than 50 employees can take advantage of the exemption), and #10 (how the two types of leave interact). The initial WHD guidance is available in three-parts:

The guidance announced today is just the first round of information and compliance assistance to come from WHD. A workplace poster required for most employers will be published later this week, along with additional fact sheets and more Q&A.

WHD provides additional information on common issues employers and employees face when responding to COVID-19, and its effects on wages and hours worked under the Fair Labor Standards Act and job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

 

Information for Manufacturers

MANTEC has created a group forum for manufacturers in Central PA to connect with one another in this time, as well as The Manufacturers’ Association HR Policies and FAQ Guide.

Share Facts About COVID-19

Know the facts and limit spread of rumors – CDC fact sheet.

  • For most people, the risk of becoming seriously ill from the virus that causes COVID-19 is believed to be low.
  • Someone who has completed quarantine or isolation does not pose a risk of infection to others.
  • The disease can make anyone sick regardless of race or ethnicity.
  • Practice common hygiene practices to limit exposure.
  • Know the signs: fever, cough, shortness of breath.

(Ref: Share Facts About COVID-19)
(Ref: Stigma and Resilience)

Shared Work Program

A Shared-Work plan is available to any employer through the PA Department of Labor & Industry to allow an employer to temporarily reduce the work hours of a group of employees and divide the available hours equally rather than laying off any employees during a temporary slowdown. There must be at least two participating employees, determined without regard to corporate officers. Employees covered by a shared work plan will receive a portion unemployment benefits while they work reduced hours.

How does the program work?

  • Identify employees whose work can be reduced by 20-40%. The range percentage must be the same for all employees.
  • You have filed all unemployment tax reports and paid off all amounts due under PA Law.
  • You have paid wages for the last 12 consecutive quarters.
  • Agree to not hire new employees during the period of the plan.
  • File an online application at www.uctax.pa.gov,and agree to file claims for partial unemployment benefits for your affected employees.

For more information contact: Sharedwork@pa.gov, call 877-785-1531 or visit UC PA Gov for more details.

Resources for the Workplace

Here are some helpful resources from the U.S Chamber for employers to use in their places of business:

Customizable Workplace Flyer

Workplace Tips for Employers

Eligibility and Criteria

For more information, please visit the website.
Updated 3.3.21
Subject to Change

Background
On February 5th, Governor Wolf signed into law Act 1, legislation that set aside $145 million in funds to aid hospitality industry businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. York County will receive $5.08 million to award to hospitality businesses with the NAICS designation 721(Accommodations) and 722 (Food Services and Drinking Places), and to cover administrative costs for operating the program. The York County Economic Development Corporation serves as the Certified Economic Development Organization (“CEDO”) for York County and is an affiliated entity of the York County Economic Alliance (“YCEA”). As such, the County of York has contracted with the York County Economic Alliance and its affiliated entity York County Economic Development Corporation as the authorized CEDO to administer this program. Most of the guidelines for eligibility and criteria for this funding program were created by the legislation included in Act 1 of 2021.

YoCo CHIRP Eligibility

  1. The YoCo CHIRP (COVID-19 Hospitality Industry Recovery Program) Fund is awarding grants to eligible hospitality businesses ranging from $5,000 to $50,000 that do not require repayment to alleviate revenue losses and pay eligible operating expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic incurred commencing on March 1, 2020, to the date of application submission.
  2. An eligible business must have been in operation by or prior to February 15, 2020.
  3. An eligible business must be a for-profit entity and not a publicly traded company.
  4. An eligible business must not have a tangible net worth more than $15 million as of February 15, 2020.
  5. An eligible business must have 300 or fewer full-time equivalent employees (FTE’s).
  6. An eligible business must have a physical location in York County, Pennsylvania and must file a federal and state tax return. The grant program’s priority will be to exhaust all funds to individual award recipients before funding multiple entities with common ownership.
  7. An eligible business must have a NAICS designation within the accommodation sector (721) or Food Services and Drinking Places sector (722). These are the ONLY eligible NAICS codes, pursuant to PA Act 1 of 2021.
  8. An eligible business may be structured as a C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership, or sole proprietorship.
  9. An eligible business must be open, or have a plan to reopen, and cannot cease operations following check disbursement.\
  10. Grant awards may not be used to pay the same eligible operating expenses for which an eligible business received payment, reimbursement, or loan forgiveness from the CARES Act of 2020, Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, or the COVID-19 Emergency Supplement to the General Appropriations Act of 2019. Receipt of a prior Federal or Commonwealth grant does not disqualify an applicant.
  11. An eligible business must demonstrate:

If the business started between prior to January 1, 2019:
A reduction in annual revenue decline of 25% or reduction in quarterly revenues of 25% or greater when comparing quarterly revenues from the same quarters in 2019 and 2020.

If the business started between July 1-December 31, 2019:
Quarter 3 or Quarter 4 revenue of 2019 must show at least a 25% decline compared to any quarter in 2020.

If the business started between October 1-December 31, 2019:
Quarter 4 revenue of 2019 must show at least a 25% decline compared to any quarter in 2020.

If the business started between January 1-February 15, 2020:
The entity must demonstrate at least a 25% revenue decline when comparing the first quarter of 2020 to any other quarter in 2020.

2019 Business Quarters are defined as such:
Q1 2019: January 1 - March 31
Q2 2019: April 1 - June 30
Q3 2019: July 1 - September 30
Q4 2019: October 1 - December 31

2020 Business Quarters are defined as such:
Q1 2020: January 1 - March 31
Q2 2020: April 1 - June 30
Q3 2020: July 1 - September 30
Q4 2020: October 1 - December 31

Ineligible Applicants

● Businesses that do not have a physical location in York County, Pennsylvania.
● Government-owned entities or elected official offices.
● Businesses that have ceased operations with no plan to reopen.
● Businesses that spend more than 51% of their budgeted expenses engaged in political or lobbying activities.
Applicant or business currently in bankruptcy proceedings or guilty of criminal fraud felony within the last five years or under current investigation for fraud.
● Businesses delinquent with 2019, or prior years, County Hotel Tax or County Property Tax with no documented plan for repayment (not on a payment plan).
● Nonprofit Organizations
● Applicants not in the specified eligible hospitality NAICS codes pursuant to PA Act 1 of 2021.

Other YoCo CHIRP Grant Details
Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000 and do not require repayment for businesses adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The YCEA will provide application assistance and technical support, subject to the release and indemnity set forth in the applicant certification. The YCEA staff is NOT permitted to submit the application on the applicant’s behalf.

Grant funds are eligible to be used for COVID-19 expenses as defined by Act 1 to alleviate revenue losses and pay eligible operating expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic incurred from March 1, 2020 to the date of the application submission.

Eligible businesses must agree and complete an applicant certification form at the time of submitting an application.

Applications will not be reviewed until the application window has closed on March 31st at 5:00 p.m. It is anticipated that the total application funding request will exceed the amount of funding available to disburse. In which case, applications will be compiled, reviewed, and scored. A list of recommended approvals will be presented to the County Commissioners for their approval. This list will be presented using unique identification numbers to ensure anonymity of the applicant, until a final award has been made. If funding is awarded, the applicant will be notified. A grant contract will be required to be executed prior to fund disbursement. Upon execution of a grant contract, the grant award will be transferred electronically via ACH. Upon completion of the program and all funding disbursements made, the cumulative award list will be made public in accordance with the Pennsylvania Right to Know Law.

Grant Funding Priorities
Priority in the awarding of grants shall be given to eligible applicants that:

●  Have not received a loan or grant issued under the authority of the Commonwealth, the Commonwealth's political subdivisions, or by the Federal Government under the CARES Act

●  For example: SBA Payroll Protection Program, other SBA Disaster/Emergency Funds, PA COVID-19 Working Capital Access program, YoCo Strong Restart Grant Fund or City of York COVID-19 relief program.

●  Were subject to closure by the proclamation of disaster emergency issued by the Governor on March 6, 2020, and any renewal of the state of disaster emergency; or can demonstrate one of the following:
●  A reduction in revenue:

●  A reduction in gross receipts of 50% or more for the period beginning after March 31, 2020, and ending before Dec. 31, 2020, in comparison to the period beginning after March 31, 2019, and ending before Dec. 31, 2019.
●  If the eligible applicant was not in operation during the entire comparison period, but was in operation on Feb. 15, 2020, a monthly average reduction in revenue of 50 percent or more for the period beginning after March 31, 2020, and ending before Dec. 31, 2020, in comparison to the period beginning after Jan. 1, 2020, and ending before April 1, 2020.
●  Historically disadvantaged businesses federally defined as businesses that are 51% or more owned and operated by persons of color.
●  Businesses that are 51% or more owned by a woman or armed service veteran.

Although applicants meeting these criteria will receive prioritization, we encourage all eligible applicants to apply and anticipate awarding grants outside these prioritization areas.

Funding Tiers
Grant requests shall be the lower of the: (1) eligible grant amount based on the revenue or, (2) the amount of eligible expenses incurred between March 1, 2020 and date of application submission, not already paid for with other government COVID relief funding programs, including but not limited to: SBA Payroll Protection Program, other SBA Disaster/Emergency Funds, PA COVID-19 Working Capital Access program, YoCo Strong Restart Grant Fund or City of York COVID-19 relief program.

Grant awards will range from $5,000 to $50,000 per applicant in $5,000 increments. Award amounts may be adjusted to accommodate grant eligibility and application demand as necessary.

Annual RevenueGrant Amount
Up to $25,000$5,000
$25,001 -$50,000-Up to $10,000
$50,001 - $100,000Up to $15,000
$100,001- $250,000Up to $20,000
$250,001 - $500,000Up to $25,000
$500,001- $750,000Up to $30,000
$750,001 - $1,000,000Up to $35,000
$1,000,001 - $1,500,000Up to $40,000
$1,500,001 - $2,500,000<Up to $45,000
Above $2,500,001Up to $50,000

Eligible Use of Funds
This grant program was established to alleviate revenue losses and pay eligible operating expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic incurred from March 1, 2020 to date of the application submission:

●  Funds can be used for working capital/operating expenses including payroll and non-payroll expenses, that are both ordinary and necessary. An ordinary expense is one that is common and accepted in an eligible applicant’s industry. A necessary expense is one that is helpful and appropriate for an eligible applicant’s trade or business. The operating expense must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and the date of application submission.

●  Examples include, but are not limited to

●  Payroll costs, costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during periods of paid sick, medical, or family leave, and insurance premiums.
●  Working capital for the purpose of paying mortgage principal and interest payments (but not mortgage prepayments); and principal and interest payments on any other debt obligations that were incurred before February 15, 2020.
●  Rent payments, utility payments.

●  For rent, lease or mortgage payments, the obligation must have been in force before February 15, 2020. A mortgage or lease agreement in force before February 15, 2020 that was refinanced or restructured after February 15, 2020 is deemed in force and is still eligible. For utility costs, service must have begun before February 15, 2020.
●  Working capital for the purpose of covering the costs of re-opening business operations after being fully or partially closed due to the state-mandated business closure period as long as the expense was incurred due to COVID-19.
●  Any expenses (costs) incurred related to the expense of implementing COVID-19 preventative measures, including but not limited to specialized equipment, barriers, PPE, and employee training expenses to ensure compliance with state and federal CDC guidelines for reopening.
●  Any COVID-19 related expenses not already paid for with other government COVID relief funding programs, including but not limited to: SBA Payroll Protection Program, other SBA Disaster/Emergency Funds, PA COVID-19 Working Capital Access program, YoCo Strong Restart Grant Fund or City of York COVID-19 relief program.

Grant awards may not be used to pay the same eligible operating expenses for which an eligible business received payment, reimbursement, or loan forgiveness from other government COVID relief funding programs, including but not limited to: SBA Payroll Protection Program, other SBA Disaster/Emergency Funds, PA COVID-19 Working Capital Access program, YoCo Strong Restart Grant Fund or City of York COVID-19 relief program.

Receipt of a prior Federal or Commonwealth grant does not disqualify an applicant.

Documents Needed to Apply
The following documents will help the applicant prepare their application and will be needed at the time of submission. It is possible that the applicant will be required to provide additional documentation throughout the review period.

●  Applicant businesses will be required to submit their filed business 2019 tax return – must be in an electronic form for online upload, such as PDF or JPEG

●  If the applicant does not have a 2019 tax return due to starting their business in 2020 prior to February 15, 2020 then a Profit and Loss (P&L) statement for the entire year shall be permitted. In addition, the applicant shall provide a profit and loss statement from January 1, 2021 through the date of application. The P&Ls must be provided in an electronic form for online upload, such as PDF or JPEG.

●  If you are unsure how to prepare these documents, there will be a series of webinars on https://www.preparedyork.com/chirp/ for you to attend and learn how to prepare these documents.

●  Applicant will also need to provide internal financial statements showing revenue for 2019 and 2020.

●  A template is available in Spanish and English on https://www.preparedyork.com/chirp/.

●  Any form of acceptable government-issued photo ID for primary business owner; must be in an electronic form for online upload, such as PDF or JPEG.
●  Signed Application certification
●  W-9 with business mailing address, and a business voided check to process grant check if selected as a recipient.
●  Proof of tax payment plan- required only if the applicant is found delinquent on 2019, or prior years, York County property tax or 2019, or prior years, County Hotel Excise Tax. Please call the York County Tax Claim Bureau office at 717-771-9232 if you believe you are delinquent on your 2019 business property/hotel tax.


Revenue Tier List
Annual Revenue Grant Amount
Up to $25,000 $5,000
$25,001 -$50,000 Up to $10,000
$50,001 - $100,000 Up to $15,000
$100,001- $250,000 Up to $20,000
$250,001 - $500,000 Up to $25,000
$500,001- $750,000 Up to $30,000
$750,001 - $1,000,000 Up to $35,000
$1,000,001 - $1,500,000 Up to $40,000
$1,500,001 - $2,500,000 Up to $45,000
Above $2,500,001 Up to $50,000
 
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