This article was originally published on May 8, 2020 by our friends at The HR Firm in Ventura and republished with their permission.

Safely Reopening Ventura County

On May 7th Ventura County issued a press release announcing that the County would be moving to Stage 2 effective May 8th. Retail businesses such as clothing stores, bookstores, sporting goods stores and florists, for example, will be allowed to reopen to provide curbside delivery only. This means that customers will not be allowed to enter these establishments.

Before reopening these businesses must confirm that they meet the following criteria:

  1. The business is one of the designated industries permitted to reopen by the State of California and the Ventura County Health Officer order.
  2. A detailed risk assessment has been performed per state guidelines
  3. A written COVID-19 prevention plan has been written and posted at the business
  4. A system for control and screening has been put in place
  5. Disinfecting protocols have been implemented and meet the standards set forth by the California Department of Public Health
  6. All employees have been trained on how to minimize the spread of COVID-19 including how to screen themselves.
  7. An on-duty employee will be responsible for monitoring compliance with the plan
  8. Compliance poster hotline flyer has been posted in a location visible to the public and employees
  9. Completion of the attestation form

You received your PPP Loan, now what?

Yes, we said loan! The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is forgivable provided you meet certain criteria. If you do not meet the requirements of the loan then you must make payments to repay your PPP.

There are two steps you must meet to have your PPP forgiven:

  1. You must spend your PPP funds on the correct things
  2. You must track and prove your spending

Spending your PPP funds on the right things:

  • Spend at least 75% of your PPP on payroll costs
    • Salaries
    • Wages
    • Vacation pay
    • Parental and family leave
    • Medical benefits
    • Sick Leave
    • Other health benefits
  • Spend the remaining 25% of your PPP on approved expenses
    • Mortgage interest*
    • Rent
    • Utilities
Tracking your expenses

In order to prove your PPP expenses and qualify for forgiveness, we recommend the following six steps:

  1. Record the PPP deposit as a loan on your books
  2. Over the next eight weeks, complete your bookkeeping on all financial transactions
    • Record the expense amount
    • Record the vendor/payee
    • Record the “category” of the expense (Utilities, Rent, Payroll, etc)
    • Record the date of the transaction
    • Record the purpose of the transaction
    • Store the receipt or official record (such as payroll records)
  3. At the end of eight weeks, add up the total amount spent on forgivable categories
  4. Apply for forgiveness through your lender
  5. Once the amount of forgiveness has been confirmed by your lender, adjust the amount out of the “Loan” section of your ledger, into a “Non-Taxable Gains” ledger
  6. If you did not get full forgiveness of the loan, any remaining amounts will stay in the “Loan” category on your books

*In order for the mortgage interest, rent and utilities to be forgivable, the mortgage/rent/utilities expenses had to be in effect before February 15, 2020.

Self-Employment

If you are self-employed, you can still qualify for PPP, even if you do not have employees. You can get a PPP loan based on 2019 net profit. Instead of spending 75% of the loan on payroll, eight weeks’ worth of your 2019 net profit can automatically be forgiven, being treated as a replacement for profit. For the remainder of the funds you will need to follow the “Tracking your expenses” checklist.

Safety Corner

We are entering into the summer months and excessive heat is something that employers must account for. Especially if you are a business who works outside such as construction, landscaping, agriculture… Or, a business such as a restaurant with a kitchen that heats up or manufacturing where you may have equipment generating heat. OSHA is very specific about what safety precautions you must take to insure the health and safety of your employees.

Anytime the temperature reaches 80 degrees or more excessive heat procedures must be enacted. This includes providing extra breaks, cool drinking water, shade & seating, increased observation…among others.

Failure to follow these procedures could lead to fines and possible criminal charges.

If you would like more information about Excessive Heat Protocol, please let us know at www.thehrfirm.com and we will provide you with the information.

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