We are proud to announce that experienced real estate attorney Bruce G. Hopkins today joined the transactional group at Finney Law Firm. Bruce and Chris Finney practiced law together in the real estate group at Frost & Jacobs (now Frost, Brown Todd) at the beginning of their careers, so this is a long-delayed reunion of careers.

His practice is focused on retail and mixed-use projects, including development, leasing, resolution and litigation of disputes with tenants, purchases and sales, due diligence, management and operations matters.  He frequently works on investment-grade properties located across the United States.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Bruce worked for almost a decade in the real estate industry doing commercial real estate appraisal work, commercial real estate lending and development for a major life insurance company, and commercial real estate development and management for a private developer.

Read more about Bruce here and let us know how Bruce can help your real estate project.

President Trump signed into law at the very end of 2020 another COVID-19 stimulus bill. Much of the writing about it has focused on the $600 direct payments to to individuals whose income falls below a certain thresholds. but this bill also contains important subsidies and changes for small businesses, including a new and significant second round of direct payments to small businesses payments under the Paycheck Protection Program (loans later forgiven).

Finney Law Firm attorney Rebecca Heimlich will follow up on her blockbuster Spring performances on the initial PPP with information on the new stimulus programs, and be joined by Seth Morgan of the MLA Companies, a financial service and advisory group on Wednesday, January 13th from 6:00 to 7:15 PM via live webinar.

The Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors is also co-hosting the webinar.

Webinar topics include:

  • Second round PPP:
    • Amounts (including increased amounts for restaurants)
    • Eligibility (much tighter than round #1).
    • Expanded qualifying expenses for Round #2.
    • Forgiveness.
  • First and second round PPP tax deductibility.

Click here to register.

For assistance with the PPP or more information, contact Rebecca Heimlich (‭513-797-2856). Also contact her if there is anything more we can do to help your small business.

We have been looking for details of the calculations of and eligibility for the second round of PPP in the most recent COVID stimulus bill. We found this excellent in article in Entrepreneur.Com here.

Some details from the article follow (note, since the PPP “loans” are forgivable, the word “loan” essentially means “grant” for most eligible businesses):

Qualifications:

  • A loss of revenue of 25% or greater, for any one quarter — comparing 2019 to 2020. If your firm had swings in revenue or had a pronounced one-quarter loss due to COVID or other causes, you may be eligible even if your annual revenue did not dip by 25%.
  • 300 employees or fewer.
  • Must have already used or plan to use their original PPP funding.

Loan terms:

  • Maximum loan limit of $2 million.
  • Loans of 2.5 months of payroll, which is the same as the original PPP. We are checking the legislation to see if the loan amount will change based upon increased payrolls from the original calculation (for example, if additional employees were added).
  • Restaurants food businesses (we are checking on the meaning of that term) qualify for 3.5 months of payroll as their loan amount.
  • Qualifying expenses are expanded from payroll and rent or mortgage payments in the original PPP to now include operating expenses, workplace protection costs to protect employees from COVID-19 and covered property damage.
  • Loan proceeds are not taxable and loan expenses are deductible (this is true for the new program and the original PPP payments).
  • Loans less than $150,000 have significantly simplified loan forgiveness (a one-page form).

For additional details on second round PPP loans, contact attorney Rebecca Heimlich (513.797.2856) of Finney Law Firm.

Tonight, a second historic COVID relief bill passed both Houses of Congress and awaits signature by President Trump.

The bill provides significant supplemental relief for small business in addition to direct payments to individuals. Here are some highlights of the bill’s business provisions:

  1. Paycheck Protection Program funds distributed under the first relief bill this spring and summer already by law were not to be counted as income, but the IRS had ruled that businesses could not count their expenditure as deductions, which essentially reversed the “tax free” nature of the forgivable loans. Under this bill, for all businesses who received the PPP this spring or summer, Congress has clarified that the expenses are deductible, which results in a benefit of another 30% or more from the previously-granted funds for businesses that are profitable.
  2. A second round of PPP funding will be handed out, but this time it is limited to businesses with documentable and demonstrable downturn of 30% or more as a result of the COVID pandemic. Other tight conditions will apply. Thus, the pool of eligible borrowers (grantees) is far more limited than under the first PPP program. Amounts of the loans (grants) are not yet available.
  3. In a significant give and take for landlords, Congress extended the eviction moratorium until the end of January, but they added $25 billion in assistance to tenants in arrears on their rent, allowing landlords to make application for the funds. It is expected that the Biden administration will extend the moratorium further after he takes office January 20 of next year. The applications are allowed for tenants who meet eligibility requirements, including (i) earning less than 80% of median income, (ii) at least one person in their households has lost a job and (iii) are at risk of losing housing.
  4. Making meals and drinks for business entertainment of clients and customers 100% deductible.

The bill is 5,593 pages in length, meaning there remains a lot of dissection of its intricacies. Attorney Rebecca Heimlich of the Finney Law Firm will be leading another EmpowerU webinar in early January covering how businesses and individuals can fully take advantage of the deductions and subsidies the bill provides. We will announce that webinar shortly.

More on the bill is detailed here in today’s Wall Street Journal.

Advancing our objective of “Making a Difference” for our clients, Finney Law Firm has made a point of briefing the various COVID relief and legal developments for our clients throughout 2020, and that will continue on this blog into 2021. Stay tuned for updates.

The State of Ohio has added two programs to further assist small businesses with the unprecedented business interruption associated with the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, (a) $125 million in Small Business Relief Grants and (b) $1.5 billion in refunds to small businesses from the Workers Compensation program. Details on both programs are below

  1. Small Business Relief Grant.

    The Small Business Relief Grant (“SBRG”) is designed to provide necessary relief to Ohio businesses that have been negatively impacted by the effects of COVID-19. The State has designated up to one hundred twenty-five  million dollars ($125,000,000) of funding received by the State of Ohio from the Federal CARES Act to provide $10,000 grants to small businesses to assist in ensuring the survival and stability of these crucial businesses.

    Some of the terms  are:

    • The applicant business is a for-profit entity (corporation, LLC, partnership, joint venture, sole proprietor).
    • The applicant business is an employer firm with at least 1 and no more than 25 Ohio employees paid via W2 wages as of 1/1/2020, determined either by a headcount or full-time equivalent employee calculation.
      • NOTE: A headcount calculation should include both part-time and full-time employees. A full-time equivalent calculation equals the total hours compensated for all W2 employees in calendar year 2019 divided by 2,080.
    • The applicant business has a physical location in Ohio and earns at least 90% of annual revenue from activities based in Ohio.
    • The applicant business has been in continuous operation since January 1, 2020, except for interruptions required by COVID-19 public health orders, and has the ability to continue operations as a going concern, taking into account a potential program grant.
    • The applicant business has experienced revenue loss or incurred unplanned costs substantially caused by COVID-19 and a grant is necessary to help it recover from the impact of COVID-19.
    • The applicant business is in good standing with the Ohio Secretary of State, the Ohio Department of Taxation, and any other governmental entity charged with regulating the business.
    • If applicable, the applicant business has fully utilized any other government support received (including both grants and loans) by the applicant business for business expenses incurred due to COVID-19 or that can be utilized for business expenses incurred due to COVID-19.
    • The link for the Ohio Small Business Relief Grant program from the Ohio Development Services Agency is here.

    There are also restrictions that may nullify your ability to obtain a grant.  Contact Jane Schulte at Finney Law Firm for more information on how we can assist you in navigating the application process.

  2. Workers Compensation refunds.

    • This is the second refund program this year, this time distributing $1.5 billion in excess funds held by the Ohio Worker’s Compensation program to Ohio employers. BWC started sending checks to up to 200,000 private and public employers in its system in late October after first applying the dividend to any unpaid balances. The dividend follows a similar dividend in April, where the average check size was $8,500.
    • The refunds are automatically calculated and the checks sent by the BWC. No action on the part of employers is necessary.
    • The announcement from the BWC is here.

As the New York Times reports here, the 10-day pause in SBA funding for Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) applications enabled lenders to get in order and carefully complete their paperwork for tens if not hundreds of thousands of new applicants, but when the portal finally opened up today at 10:30 AM, it was overwhelmed, causing the server to crash.  This allowed only a trickle of applications to be successfully processed on the first day of Round II of PPP funding.

As the article says, “bankers were expecting the money to once again run out quickly,” meaning knowledgeable market participants predict that there will be winners and losers among the contestants for a still-limited supply of federal monies. Those who get processed quickly will get full funding; those that do not may get nothing.  Clearly, Congress will need to approve a third and perhaps fourth round of funding for the program to fund all eligible small businesses.

Contact Rebecca Simpson Heimlich (513.797.2856) for help accessing PPP funds or assuring your path to their forgiveness.

We thank Empower U for hosting a Zoom.Us webinar on the Small Business Administration’s new Paycheck Protection Plan (“PPP”) and Emergency Income Disaster Loans (“EIDL”) designed to help small businesses sustain through the unprecedented economic interruption brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis.  The session was held on April 2, 2020 entirely virtual to remain safe.

The webinar video link is here.  Please feel free to share it with others.

The attorneys on this presentation and their contact information are;

Finney Law Firm is offering individualized assistance in navigating regulations and procedures surrounding PPP and EIDL applications.  For professional assistance, contact Rebecca Simpson Heimlich.  If you or your business is encountering employment-related issues arising from the COVID-19 crisis, contact Stephen E. Imm.

If you liked this free video, please consider donating to EmpowerUOhio.Org to encourage this free programming.  Empower U has given more than 400 free adult education programs over the past decade, including valuable programming of this type.

There is a powerful feeling that the community is pulling together, rooting for one another, and digging deep to help each other, and we hope this information is helpful towards that end.

Also, we will continue to update the Finney Law Form blog to provide individuals and small businesses information on the programs that are available to help them through this crisis.

If you want to be added to the Finney Law Firm email updates, click here.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis gripping the nation, today Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued an executive order addressing commercial leases and commercial mortgages in Ohio.  However, from our perspective, the Order is not intended to have any binding effect, and he would have no authority under Ohio law to issue such a binding order if he so desired.

Here are the components of the order, each of which he labels as a “request,” not an Order at all:

  • Requesting that landlords suspend commercial lease payments for at least 90 days for “small business commercial tenants in the State of Ohio that are facing financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
  • Requesting that landlords also provide a moratorium on evictions of small business commercial tenants for a term of at least 90 consecutive days.
  • Requesting that mortgage lenders of Ohio-based properties forbear on collection or enforcement of such mortgage for a period of at least 90 days.

As with our prior blog on the stay-at-home Order, the Order does not seem to have any direct legal effect, but rather is designed to encourage restraint and cooperation in this difficult time all of the world is encountering.

A copy of the Order is linked here.

Join Empower U tonight from the comfort and safety of your home via your laptop, tablet or cell phone for a webinar on powerful tools for small business from the federal government in the CARES Act passed last Friday.

>>> The link to sign up for the free seminar is here. <<<

  • If you want to email questions in advance, click here.
  • For specialized assistance for your company, we are offering consultation through the program for a flat $1,500 fee to help businesses through the process.  Click here to get signed up and type “PPP” in the subject line of the email.
  • To have your email to be added to our firm mailing list and receive tonight’s PowerPoint, click here and say “add me to your list” in the subject line.

Joining us tonight are:

  • Attorney Rebecca Simpson Heimlich who will lead the presentation primarily on Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans available very shortly  to small businesses.
  • Attorney Stephen E. Imm who will answer questions of employers and employees about the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Melissa Knies from US Bank who will explain how to apply for the programs.
  • Attorney Christopher P. Finney will moderate.

We have a record audience for Empower U signed up for tonight. Please join us for this important program.