Hello and Happy Wednesday!  Here is my happy thought for today: we are one day closer to the end and one day further from the beginning. Somehow it helped me finish half-marathons, so I am applying it to this marathon of uncertainty.  

On a call with Sen. Murphy and Rep. Larson, there was a re-iteration of the fact that YES, self-employed DO qualify for UI (unemployment insurance). Unfortunately, there was no further information or dates for expecting to see those funds. DOL did reply that the funds for PUA (the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance) will be for the time period of 2-2-2020 through 12-26-2020. If you receive this money, you are also eligible to, and will, receive the additional $600 per week amount. These payments ARE taxable. Please note that for your end-of-year or quarterly filings! 

One thing that stood out to me, “Individuals must first be denied from being eligible to receive, or exhaust entitlement to, regular unemployment benefits or any state or federal extended benefits before they can be found eligible for PUA benefits.” (from the DOL web site) For those of you being denied state Unemployment, please sit tight. I am guessing that this is part of the process. The state is still, as of April 12, 2020, awaiting further guidelines from the Feds.

I am reminding you that the SBA Disaster Relief loans and the PPP through CARES Act are also still viable options open if you need an income. Yes, you must complete an application and Yes, there is a good deal of paperwork. If you have any particular situation or question of concern? Please reach out to your Federal Representative’s office for assistance or the CEDF (link: https://www.cedf.com/loans/covid-19-assistance/

If your bank is NOT a 7(a) lender, other banks WILL assist for the PPP, but QuickBooks/Intuit is now a PPP-approved lender as well.
Finally, my Chamber made me aware of a minority/women-owned option for small business! The HEDCO has partnered with the state and the qualifications are as follows:

To be considered for this program, your small business must:

  • Be a for-profit business with no more than 20 full-time and/or part-time employees
  • Be a minority-owned and/or woman-owned small business (minimum 51% of minority/woman ownership required)
  • Be in good standing with the Department of Revenue Services(DRS)
  • Have been conducting business for a minimum of six-months

This link (https://www.hedcoinc.com/state-of-ct-hedco-decd-covid-19) will take you directly to their website with further information and resources for assistance and questions.  

Finally, for many of us, a concern exists about income; but once we have that handled, we may be interested in volunteering to help in our communities in some fashion. While you cannot offer massage, the state does have resources for volunteering. You may wish to first contact your town and see if there is a local need. Otherwise, https://ctresponds.ct.gov/agreement.php will link you to the state-wide site.  

I hope that this info helps and as always, PLEASE reach out directly if you have a question, concern, or need clarification. One of the best parts of all this is the conversations I have been able to have with so many of our members.

Stay safe and Stay well!
Nikki Arel, AMTA-CT Government Relations Chair