IEC New England Community,
We are dedicated to bringing you all the latest updates when it comes to COVID-19 and it’s effect on federal/state legislation, small businesses and overall lives.
Please note, we will be posting our information from credible articles, but we always will encourage you to reach out to your respective business professionals for clarity/more information.
Phase 3 Reopening Guidance: Phase 3 will now begin on October 8th.
Phase 2 Reopening Guidance: Phase 2 will now begin on June 17th.
Phase 1 Reopening Guidance: We are now in phase 1 of the CT COVID-19 reopening strategy.
Governor Lamont Issues Executive Orders
Governor Lamont has issued almost daily executive orders in response to the Covid-19 outbreak. As a result of the executive orders Connecticut has closed all schools, the presidential primaries are moved to June and businesses including bars, restaurants, movie theaters, bowling alleys, gyms, barbers and hair salons have been ordered closed. Non-essential businesses have been asked to close and allow for telecommuting. You can read the order regarding non-essential businesses here. You can read all of the Executive Orders here.
The Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) in conjunction with the Department of Public Health (DPH) has issued legally binding statewide rules for essential businesses in Connecticut. The Safe Workplace Rules for Essential Employers are effective immediately and outline various requirements for employers, including:
- General workplace rules
- Controlling contact between employees and customers
- Eliminating transmission points
- Frequent cleaning of all touch points
- Guidelines for essential employees
- Guidelines for employees who may have been in close contact with a person with symptoms of or have been diagnosed with Covid-19
- Guidelines for workplace illness
- Additional rules specific to construction sites
The additional rules specific to construction sites are as follows:
- Clean portable bathrooms no less than every 2 days.
- Require employees to travel separately to and from, and within, worksites.
- Reschedule work to maximize the amount of work being performed outdoors, limit indoor or work lacking significant fresh air.
- Shift work to limit the size of the crews on the jobsite, especially indoors.
- Rotate lunch and coffee break shifts, requiring workers to follow the CDC social distancing guidelines during meals or breaks.
- Follow all safety and health protocols when using an elevator.
- Provide an adequate supply of PPE, including but not limited to masks, gloves, hand sanitizer.
Larson recently released an update in regards to what the third Coronavirus relief bill (CARES Act) entails and answered frequent questions as well.
IEC National shares valuable resources for our members:
Please visit National’s newly created web page on Covid-19. https://www.ieci.org/coronavirus
Tax Day Deadline Will Move to July 15, Treasury Secretary Says
The deadline for Americans to file their taxes will shift from April 15 to July 15, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Twitter Friday. The Trump administration previously announced that most individuals and businesses would be allowed to delay paying their federal tax bills for 90 days as part of an emergency relief plan amid the coronavirus pandemic. But Americans had still been told to file their taxes by tax day. In a follow-up tweet Friday, Mnuchin called for those who were expecting a tax refund to still file right away.
Federated Insurance in collaboration with Enquiron has provided the following valuable documents:
Employer FAQ’s - click here
Families First Act - click here
Rules for Employers - click here
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has released a guide on what workplaces can do to prepare for COVID-19. This guidance recommends businesses create a workplace response plan for if someone is exposed to COVID-19 or tests positive. It also includes encouraging preventative measures, from hand washing and routine cleaning of desks, to setting up a remote platform to work from to increase social distancing. Full article here.
COVID-19 Resources for Small Business Owners
How to Get More Information:
Small businesses can learn more about the program and apply for financial assistance at www.sba.gov/disaster or call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955.
Small businesses with questions about this SBA loan program or other assistance provided at the state-level can call 860-500-2333 to speak directly with a DECD representative or go to https://www.sba.gov/page/coronavirus-covid-19-small-business-guidance-loan-resources.
Businesses can also stay informed on news and guidance related to COVID-19 and its impact on Connecticut by visiting the state’s dedicated coronavirus website at ct.gov/coronavirus.
Federal Bill (H. 6201 “Family First Coronavirus Response Act”)
Became Public Law No 116-127 3/18/2020
This bill responds to the coronavirus outbreak by providing paid sick leave and free coronavirus testing, expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits, and requiring employers to provide additional protections for health care workers. More information about the details of the bill can be found here.
Additional Information Links for Businesses:
SBA: COVID-19 Resources
The Governor has also announced the creation of a new State of Connecticut Joint Information Center (JIC) to provide information on developments related to COVID-19. This is a live assistance resource and not a website for you to use.
The JIC is intended to provide all stakeholders with specific information related to the COVID-19 outbreak in CT.
COVID-19 Awareness for Employees
Below are some links and resources from the CDC to provide assistance for the following concerns (not all topics have links but they are covered by the information you’ll find in the 4 links below):
- Business Pandemic Planning Checklist
- “What you need to know” about COVID-19
- COVID-19 prevention and treatment
- How to maintain operations during a pandemic
- Preparing the workplace for COVID-19
- Template for building a formal business continuity plan
- What to communicate to employees
- How to protect employees
- Recommendations for a response plan