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Corporate
SBA Issues Revised Application and Guidance on Paycheck Protection Program
 by Patrick Hayes and Mahek Bhojani    Last night, the Small Business Administration released an interim final rule clarifying and providing supplemental guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program authorized by the CARES Act of 2020. Specifically, the supplemental guidance clarifies the following points:
  • For purposes of calculating “Average Monthly Payroll,” borrowers must use the average monthly payroll for 2019, excluding costs over $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee;
  • Since independent contractors can apply for their own Paycheck Protection Program loan, independent contractors do not count as employees for the purposes of loan calculations;
  • The maturity date on the loan 2 years at a 1% interest rate;
  • Payments are deferred for six months following the date of disbursement.  Interest does accrue during the deferral period;
  • Lenders will be compensated based on the balance of the financing outstanding at the time of final disbursement:
    • Loans $350,000 and under: 5.00%
    • Loans greater than $350,000 to $2 million: 3.00%
    • Loans greater than $2 million: 1.00%
  • Agent fees will be out of lender fees. The agent-lender fee schedule and additional lender guidance is available here;
  • Not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs; and
  • To request loan forgiveness, borrowers must submit a request and provide supporting documentation to the SBA lender servicing the loan. The lender must make a decision on the forgiveness of the loan within 60 days.
As of today, April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for and receive loans to cover payroll and other certain expenses. The most recent Paycheck Protection Program application is available here. Further guidance issued by the Treasury Department for borrowers is available here. All eligible recipients should seek guidance from their SBA lender regarding the documents required to apply for the program.

We encourage all of eligible recipients to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program as soon as possible, as the funds are being disbursed on a “first come, first serve” basis.

To print this article click here.
Houston and Dallas Extend "Stay Home, Work Safe" Orders 
by Sara McEown  This week, two of the largest metropolitan areas in Texas have extended their respective “stay home” orders:  

Harris County and City of Houston:  Harris County Judge Lina Hildago announced earlier this week that Harris County was extending its Stay Home – Work Safe Order until April 30.  

Dallas County and the City of Dallas:  Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins announced today that the Dallas County Commissioners voted to extend Dallas’ Stay Home Stay Safe Order to May 20

What this means for you – the Stay Home Orders that were previously put in place and were set to expire today in both Dallas and Harris County have been extended in their entirety.  As of publication, there were no substantive changes to the previous orders in Harris County.   Dallas County also issued additional, amended orders on April 2, in summary which:
  1.  Adds safety rules for manufacturers and distributors
  2. Caps late fees for rent at $15/month
  3. Requires employees of essential businesses to telecommute when possible
  4. Prohibits employers from requiring negative COVID test of physician note before recovered employee can go back to work
  5. Clarifies that limits on purchases of toilet paper and other essential items do not apply to Essential Businesses and Government Offices
The amended order is intended to provide guidance for businesses that meet the standards of Critical Manufacturers and Distributors under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastructure.  A summary of the amended order can be found here:  Dallas County Safer at Home Order.

It is anticipated that the City of Austin and Travis County also extend its orders, and we will provide an update if and when they do. 

Notably, Harris and Dallas County have started strictly enforcing the Stay Home Orders.  The enforcement includes ordering businesses to close that are not considered “essential services” under the respective Orders, issuing cease and desist notices to businesses, and individual fines and arrests.  If you have questions regarding whether your business is operating within the rules of the local, state, or federal orders, contact an attorney to provide you guidance. 
Construction
Bill Andrews Co-Hosts Upcoming Construction Law Webinar
On Wednesday, April 8 @ 12:00 pm, Bill Andrews (Andrews Myers) and Bill Sommers (Langley & Banack) will present a webinar on COVID-19 titled "The Project Plague - Legal Checklists for Risks, Problems and Concerns," sponsored by the Construction Law Foundation of Texas.  

The webinar will cover all of the new risks, problems and challenges seen with the virus and corresponding quarantine orders, as it's becoming exceedingly difficult to anticipate, plan for and factor into a project’s risk profile. It will also pose checklists with suggested proactive steps, responses and actions to mitigate potential losses. For more information and to register, visit here.
Six Attorneys - Texas Rising Stars
Six Andrews Myers attorneys have been recognized among the top young lawyers in Texas by Thomson Reuters’ SuperLawyers. The list appears in the April 2020 Texas SuperLawyers-Rising Stars Edition. Rising Stars are described as “outstanding young lawyers who have demonstrated superior professional potential.”
Further recognition goes to Billy Davis, shareholder in the construction law practice group, for being recognized in the “Up-And-Coming 100” list, which includes the 100 attorneys who ranked top of their category lists in the 2020 Texas Rising Star nomination, research and blue ribbon review process. Click here for the full announcement. 
Important Information on COVID-19
About Andrews Myers
Celebrating 30 Years in 2020
Founded in 1990, with offices in Houston and Austin, Andrews Myers, Attorneys at Law, is a corporate law firm and recognized market leader in Texas construction law.  The firm focuses on the concentrated disciplines of commercial litigation, construction, commercial real estate, corporate and business transactions, with additional emphasis on related issues including bankruptcy and insolvency, energy, employment and capital formation. A seasoned team of attorneys provides timely and cost-effective solutions to the most complex problems facing entrepreneurs and middle-market industry leaders throughout the state and the nation. For more information please visit www.andrewsmyers.com.
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