The Manhattan Beach Chamber of Commerce hosted its first zoom webinar on June 2, 2020, titled Reopen with Confidence. This is the first of many monthly “zoominars” dedicated to educate and share relevant business information with MB chamber members and the community. The zoominar had three expert speakers address three important topics; employment law, PPP loans, and landlord/tenant talk. If you missed the event, we have provided the links to the websites they mentioned and their contact information.
Patrick Maloney: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Smith: email@example.com
Mike Squire: firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Glover: email@example.com | (310) 545-7700
- City of Manhattan Beach
- State of California COVID 19 Resources
- LA County Department of Public Health
- OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration)
- Is there a specific capacity load requirement once the business is open?
Kelly Stroman: They vary on the type of business in retail. The best place to view protocols is on the LADH website road to recovery.
- In our business, our W2 Employees all work in the field at different events and venues. Since we cannot control their work environment, is our only responsibility to employees to make sure they are not sick and give proper PPE?
Patrick Maloney: I am not convinced that you do not have control of your employees if they work at other locations. You might want to go over the contracts and review if they delegate safety protocols. Additionally, the employers need to ensure the employee is not sick and that the venue has gone over the proper safe and healthy protocols of the location.
- Can you share more details on the use of PPP funds for non-payroll expenses?
Mike Squire: This is a common challenge depending on the type of business you own. The eligible non-approved cost includes any type of business mortgage, rent, lease, utility payments, and transportation. It is challenging for some people that do not have a lot of expenses unless they are a sole proprietor. We are still waiting for more information on that payroll expenses.
- What are the rules that customers and employees need to adhere to and how can this be monitored? I went to a store in DTMB and while guests were instructed to wear masks the staff were not wearing masks.
Kelly Stroman: One of the reopening protocols for businesses requires them to wear a mask when they are interfacing with a customer. The LA County Department of Health order states that when individuals are out in public, you must wear a mask. The MBPD is not enforcing it. However, you can report a business that is not following safety protocols at 1 (888) 700-7995.
Greg Smith: CAL OSHA has the authority to do site checks, as well.
Patrick Maloney: If you are the employer, you need to evaluate if the employee will get a write-up, and will need to re-evaluate if employers require wearing a mask. If you are the consumer, you can take your business elsewhere where they are following safety protocols.
- I am a psychotherapist that is moving to a new building within the next few weeks, waiting for our new suite to be completed. We have a lease and have paid our 1st-month rent and 1-month security deposit. Once the suite is completed and signed off on by the city, would we be “required” to take possession of the suite, while social distancing rules are still in place? Due to the nature of our business, the waiting room and offices do not provide enough social distancing for more than just a few people.
Carol Glover: It depends on your lease. There are some provisions in a lease that have a timeline on when you have to take occupancy. You need to review the lease and look at what your possession (in the office and paying rent) determines and when you need to take possession. Review your lease and checklist, then figure out how you can accommodate. If you cannot operate or accommodate, then you need to go back to your landlord and work through some of the terms immediately.
- I have a question about PPP — as a 1099 self-employed individual who has always officed out of home — has there been any talk of allowing home office deductions for a portion of your rent that you use and claim toward forgiveness?
Mike Squire: I would think so, based on your schedule C. I believe that is acceptable.
- One other PPP question — to confirm if you submitted your Schedule C because you do not have “payroll” as self-employees, is that enough of documentation for the forgiveness portion, or do you have to show deposits from the money to “pay” yourself?
Mike Squire: We do not have any additional guidelines, but as soon as we do, we will add it to our guidelines.
- Mike, is there anything now available for those of us that don’t have people on the payroll? We are an LLC that houses multiple practitioners that sublease from us. The bulk of the money that our “umbrella’ makes came from classes and special events.
Mike Squire: PPP was created to keep people employed and out of the unemployed cycle. However, as Patrick mentioned, that didn’t always work. There are other loans or grants out there, such as the SBA loan called the Economy Injury Disaster Loan. Other loans come from local cities or counties. Kinecta can help through a different type of loan relating to a consumer or business type of loan. Feel free to contact me directly.
- Is any PPP funding earmarked for payroll able to be retroactive to cover costs incurred before funding of a PPP loan?
Mike Squire: No, not that I’ve seen anywhere.