- On December 22nd, Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 assistance package. This short-term relief package is a vital step toward helping the hotel industry survive the ongoing crisis. Key hotel priorities in the bill include:
- $284 Billion in 2nd round forgivable PPP loans
- Simplified PPP loan forgiveness
- One year extension for Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR)
- Expanded and enhanced Employee Retention Tax Credit
- House Democrats, led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, released a $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief bill in a long-shot push to break the stalemate on negotiations.
- Congress has continued to negotiate the next relief package with two different bills under consideration - the Democrats' $3 Trillion HEROES Act and the Senate Republicans' $1 Trillion HEALS Act. Many of AHLA’s priorities are included in both pieces of legislation.
- Senate leadership released their long-awaited COVID 4 recovery package proposal. While this is considered a starting point for the negotiations, AHLA is encouraged to see many of AHLA’s industry priorities included in the package. The bill includes the following key components:
- AHLA recently sent a letter to Congress highlighting the industry's key priorities for consideration in the next COVID-19 relief package. These priorities include:
- Providing additional liquidity for severely impacted businesses through a targeted extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
- Creating hotel industry relief opportunities utilizing Federal Reserve and Treasury authority to expand the Main Street Lending Facility and address hotel CMBS borrowers.
- Including Limited Liability Language for Hotels and Other Places of Public Accommodation.
- Ensuring targeted tax provisions such as credits for capital expenditures, employee retention, travel, and others are included that will benefit severely injured businesses and their employees.
- AHLA signed a letter from the Economic Innovation Group (EIG), sent to Congressional leaders, urging further action on relief for small businesses. The letter focused on the need for further, longer-term aid by providing zero-interest loans and flexible usage requirements for the funds through the next legislative relief program.
- Congress has approved extending the PPP loan program through August 8. This extension will make the outstanding PPP funds available for additional applications.
- Congress took a critical step forward with the passage of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act, which was signed into law on June 5th.
- AHLA has developed a side by side comparison of the PPP enhancements included in H.R. 7010.
- The House of Representatives introduced Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (PRIA), which is critical legislation designed to mitigate business interruption and losses due to COVID-19 and future pandemics.
- Representatives Charlie Crist (D-FL) and Bill Posey (R-FL) introduced legislation that would preserve federal per diem rates from being set below a certain level amidst the COVID-19 crisis.
- The $3 Trillion Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act passed the House of Representatives. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is not expected to consider the bill in its current form.
- AHLA and over 150 national and state organizations sent a letter to Congress supporting efforts to create a targeted and limited safe harbor from liability for companies related to the transmission of COVID-19.
- Summaries of the 4 COVID-19 health and economic relief bills that have become law:
AHLA will continue to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure the hotel industry is represented and supported in any of the future legislation surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and recovery efforts.
State and Local
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) has released several interim final rules related to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the second draw of PPP loans as outlined in the recently passed Economic Aid Act.
- The U.S. Small Business Administration today announced that the deadline to apply for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program for the COVID-19 Pandemic disaster declaration is extended to Dec. 31, 2021.
- The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has released guidance on vaccinations for employers and employees. The guidance, in the form a continually updated FAQ, covers numerous laws and regulations that the EEOC has jurisdiction over.
- President Donald Trump signed four Executive Orders to help students and families struggling because of COVID-19. The action follows a breakdown in negotiations this week between Congress and the Administration. Most notably, the action includes an extension of unemployment benefits through the end of the year.
- The SBA and the Treasury Department released additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) FAQs focused on loan forgiveness.
- The DOL’s Wage and Hour Administration posted new guidance regarding COVID-19 related issues under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
- Congress sent a bipartisan letter from over 105 Members of Congress asking the Federal Reserve and Department of Treasury to create a lending facility to ease the cash crunch on borrowers.
- President Donald Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation, "Suspending Entry of Aliens who Present a Risk to the U.S. Labor Market Following the Coronavirus Outbreak." This executive action extends foreign worker restrictions put in place on April 22, 2020 through the end of the year.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) has reopened the EIDL and EIDL Advance program portal to non-agriculture industries, including hotels.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA), in consultation with the Department of Treasury, released additional PPP guidance based on revisions within the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (PPPFA). A revised PPP application reflecting these updates is now available.
- Treasury and the SBA have released their guidance on PPP Loan Forgiveness through an Interim Final Rule.
- The SBA, in consultation with Treasury, has released the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application. The SBA will also issue further regulations and guidance for borrowers, as well as for lender responsibility.
- The DOL issued additional guidance regarding eligibility of furloughed employees to receive regular unemployment or enhanced pandemic unemployment assistance (PUA) once their employer reopens for business and offers to rehire the employee.
- In response to mounting pressure from Congress, the IRS has released additional guidance regarding the employer eligibility for the ERC.
- The Federal Reserve gave an update on its monetary policy efforts and provided additional details on the Main Street Lending Facility.
- The Department of Labor issued guidance under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) for participants affected by COVID-19.
- Treasury updated its recently revised guidance into the SBA Paycheck Protection Program.
- Treasury released an interim final rule on Paycheck Protection Program related to additional eligibility criteria and requirements for Certain Pledges of Loans.
- The Federal Reserve announced specifics on the various lending facilities it is establishing.
- DOL released guidance on the enhanced UI provisions within the CARES Act and additional guidance to implement the new Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program (FPUC).
- Treasury announced an interim final rule on the SBA Paycheck Protection Program.
- DOL announced a temporary rule to provide further guidance on the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, both part of the FFCRA.