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© 2020 Buscher Law LLC

COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

COVID-19 has changed America overnight. The stock market is plummeting, people are being laid off, and business owners are trying to figure out how to stay afloat. Let us help navigate the available fiscal relief and advise on the applicability of recent public health orders to you and your business.

For Colorado Department of Health updates click here.

*The information on this page  is for educational purposes only and is not legal advice.

 Compliance

Colorado Statewide Stay-at-Home Order

Polis and the CDPHE issued a stay-at-home order effective Tuesday, March 26th at 6am to April 11th. Residents are required to stay-at-home except for obtaining food and household necessities, engaging in non-social outdoor activity, working at critical businesses, seeking medical care, caring dependents or pets, or caring for a vulnerable persons in other locations. All businesses, except for critical businesses, must close while the order is in effect. The order clarified, "any stay at home or similar order issued by a local jurisdiction remains in full force and effect." Reach out if you are confused as to whether your business is  critical.

Federal Family and Medical Leave and Paid Sick Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires employers with less than 500 employers to provide certain employees impacted by COVID-19 paid sick leave (up to 80 hours or two weeks wages) and family and medical leave (up to 12 weeks- 10 which must be paid by the employer). Reach out to find out more about how this applies to your business and employees.

Mandatory Reduction of Office Personnel

Effective Tuesday, March 24, all Colorado companies must reduce their in-person employees by 50% or more. There are some exceptions to this rule including emergency personnel and employers where employees will never come within six feet of one another. Reach out to discuss compliance.

Local "Shelter-in-Place" Orders

Counties and municipalities issued their own "shelter-in-place" orders to residents and businesses. Reach out to discuss the nuances of these orders and how they apply to you or your business. Click here for a complete list of local shelter-in-place orders and more details.

Evictions and Foreclosures

Governor Polis has directed that eviction actions not be carried out by state law enforcement until after April 30, 2020. The governor has additionally asked that all financial institutions not take foreclosure actions when the reason is loss if income related to COVID-19.

Utilities

Governor Polis has directed that Public Utilities take no action to cut of services from customers, suspend late payment fees, and provide payment assistance programs to those affected by COVID-19.

Paid Sick Leave

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE)  have enacted laws which temporarily require employers in certain industries to provide paid sick leave to employees with flu-like symptoms while awaiting COVID-19 testing. Reach out to discuss compliance with these emergency rules, as failure to comply results in a finding of failure to provide wages and comes with legal sanctions.

 

Gatherings of 10

On March 18, in accordance with CDC guidelines, the Colorado Department of Public Health issued a public health order prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people. This order includes most business settings. Violations come with fines and potential imprisonment.

 

Bars, Restaurants, Gyms, Theaters, Salons, Spas, Parlors, and Casinos Closed

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued a public health order to close bars, restaurants, gyms, theaters, and casinos to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus, effective at 8:00 a.m. on March 17 for the duration of 30 days. This order was extended to include hair salons, nail salons, spas, tattoo parlors, and massage parlors. Violations come with fines and potential imprisonment. Reach out to discuss options and whether these orders apply to your business.

Tax Filing and Payment Deadline Extended (State and Federal)

The IRS and Colorado have announced that the tax filing and payment due date has been moved from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 for both personal and business income taxes.

All In-Person Educational Instruction Suspended

Colorado has ordered all in-person educational instruction in the state, whether public or private, suspended until at least April 17, 2020.

Visitation Suspended at Nursing Facilities

Colorado has ordered the suspension of all non-essential visitation to nursing facilities in accordance with federal guidance. An exception is made for end-of-life circumstances.

Downhill Ski Resorts Ordered Closed

Colorado has ordered the closure of all Colorado ski resorts until further notice.

Restaurants and Breweries to Sell Alcohol To Go

Governor Polis has announced that along with allowing drive-thru and takeout service, restaurants and breweries with a sales room will be able to sell alcohol to go as well.

Medical Marijuana Telemedicine Allowed

Colorado has temporarily suspended the ban on telemedicine for the purposes of recommending medical marijuana. This means that instead of going in-person to a doctor, patients may now apply for or renew their medical marijuana registry cards through remote means. Reach out for doctors accepting telemedicine patients.

Retail Marijuana Online Sales Allowed

Colorado has temporarily suspended the ban on online sales of retail marijuana to allow for pickup and shortening the time of exposure. Reach out for information on how to implement pickup services.

Relief Programs

Federal Stimulus (CARES Act)

 

      SBA Paycheck Protection Program

      For businesses under 500 employees, a new SBA loan and forgiveness program has been created by the Senate CARES Act to take care of rent, payroll, benefits, mortgage interest, among other enumerated uses. Rulemaking will take up to 15 days from date of enactment. Reach out if you are interested in more information regarding this loan program.

      SBA Disaster Loans for Small Businesses

      Small businesses impacted by COVID-19 can seek individual small business loans up to $2M by applying for a Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan. These loans are available in all regions of the state. These loans will be eligible for refinancing under the Paycheck Protection Program passed by the Senate on 2/26. Reach out for more.

CDLE Unemployment Insurance

If you work for an employer that closed or reduced your hours to help stop the spread of COVID-19, you can file an unemployment claim through the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment.  On March 20, Governor Polis has directed One Million Dollars to CDLE to expedite the unemployment process. Reach out today to discuss filing.
 

Student Loan Interest Waiver

The Department of Education has announced that all borrowers of federal student loans will have their interest rates set at 0% for a period of 60 days, beginning March 12, 2020. The Secretary has directed all federal student loan servicers to grant a forbearance to any person who requests one, which will last until at least May 12, 2020. Borrowers will also have their payments automatically suspended if a payment is delinquent by 31 days. Reach out for more information. The Senate CARES Act will extend this deferment and interest waiver through September 30, 2020 if signed.

Colorado COVID Relief Fund

Grants of up to $25,000 are available to community-based organizations helping with COVID-19 related relief. See eligibility requirements here.

Colorado and IRS Income Tax Filing Deadline Delayed

Colorado and the IRS have extended both the income tax filing and the payment deadline from April 15, 2020 to July 15, 2020 to alleviate the burden of tax payments during the pandemic.

Denver Small Business Grant

Providing up to a $7,500 in cash grants, this program is designed to assist eligible small businesses that may have had to temporarily close, have difficulty with paying their rent and utilities, or have had to lay off staff. Applications are due March 30, 2020.

Denver Microloan Program

Provides between $5,000-$50,000 in loans if doing business in target industries in city identified locations in Denver.

Social Distancing Services

Zoom

Set up your "remote office" to allow your employees to work from home and help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

UberConference

Set up conference calls between office members or teammates to allow remote work.

Meal Train

With Amazon Fresh and most grocery stores suspending grocery delivery, scheduling meal delivery to those who are ill or isolating has never been more important. Remember to follow CDC guidelines regarding cleanliness and the amount of contact you have with those who are ill or isolating when delivering meals.

Slack

Business communication tools to allow your employees to work from home and help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Get Involved

Help Colorado Now

Sign up to share reliable information, provide virtual support, deliver food, medication, and medical supplies, and help with daily tasks for people who live alone. Apply here.

Last Update: 3/27/20