COVID-19 Response

Triumvir Financial will be taking extra measures to combat the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as the economic impact that it has had and will have on our team and our clients.

Effective Monday, March 23rd,

We will be operating remotely to provide a safer environment for our staff.
We will be available as usual by phone and email and will respond to your businesses needs as usual.

In addition, I will personally be available by cell - 813-997-9756 for extended times for your convenience from 7am - 9pm cst 7 days per week.

I will also be working diligently with our tax specialists and associates to provide updates and planning for you to find ease when receiving the financial relief provided by the State and Federal governments.  These will be more complicated then presented as they will require specific documentation to receive the benefits.

In an effort to continue to provide you, your family and your staff the most up to date information regarding the financial challenges that we will face due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we will provide these types of communications as often as new information and resources are available. Please remember, this is only a resource and all data should be verified with your direct relationships, banks, utilities etc.

FEDERAL TAXES

As expected, it was announced yesterday that the IRS is extending the payment deadline for taxes till July 15th for the 2019 tax year.  This means that you must file or extend all personal or c-corp tax filings by April 15th but penalties and interest will not accrue until July 16th.  This is for individuals with less then $1 million in taxes due and companies with less then $10 million taxes due.

Mortgage Relief

The FDIC, in a statement Monday, encouraged mortgage banks to provide extended relief programs to its customers to assist with financial challenges caused by the virus.  Some banks are setting up specific sites to handle these requests while others are simply having you contact their normal hardship lines.  The big key here is to be proactive and don't wait for them to call you.  It will minimize stress if you can begin making your plan sooner then later!

Credit Card payment relief

Same as with the mortgage companies, the CC banks have been responsive and will be looking to allow for missed payments and other provisions but you MUST contact your CC company to confirm their policy.

Rentals

The link below contains two sample letters that, if you are in need, you may use as a starting point to negotiate with your landlord if you rent your business space.  I believe that most reasonable property owners would prefer to work for a good long term tenant vs. try, in what will be a very difficult market, to re-rent your space.  I highly recommend making the first communication come from you!  It shows interest and integrity.

Utilities

Most utility providers have also extended hardship programs and accelerated options for keeping your residence with proper utility coverage until further notice.  
PLEASE CONTACT THEM TO LEARN ABOUT THEIR PROGRAMS.

Unemployment

If you are unemployed or your hours have been reduced due to the Corona Virus, the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) has set up special site for applications for assistance.

Additional Stimulus programs are in the works and we will report to you on these as soon as they are available.

Financial relief programs for COVID 19 (Coronavirus)

 Although most of the government’s energy has been focused on medical, they are beginning to take action towards economic relief programs for small business owners.

So far, Congress has only completed special coverages for the people who have contracted the COVID-19 virus.  As part of the response, the House passed H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Here are some of the highlights in the bill: I have attached a copy of the 110 pg bill for those of you who ‘geek-out’ on that sort of thing.

I have italicized the areas of specific importance for small business owners although some of the other information may be relative to you, a family member or associate.

  • Funding for nutrition assistance programs. Specifically, funds are designated for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women Infants and Children (WIC) and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP). Also, there is a provision to allow state plans to provide food assistance to households with children who would otherwise receive free or reduced-price meals if not for their schools being closed due to the COVID-19 emergency. 
  • Funding for the Senior Nutrition Program in the Administration for Community Living (ACL). Provides approximately 25 million additional home-delivered and pre-packaged meals to low-income seniors, including those with chronic illnesses and disabilities, who depend on the Senior Nutrition programs in their communities.   
  • Reimbursement for COVID-19 diagnostic testing and services provided to those without health insurance
  • Funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs. Funds will cover the costs of COVID-19 diagnostic testing for veterans receiving care through Medical Services or through Medical Community Care.
  • Job-protected leave. Government employees and employees of employers with fewer than 500 employees* who have been on the job for at least 30 days will have the right to take job-protected leave. The leave can be used for quarantine due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus; to care for an at-risk family member quarantined due to exposure to or symptoms of coronavirus; and to care for a child of an employee if the child’s school or child care has been closed or is unavailable due to coronavirus. *The 500 employee language is intended to be more inclusive than the existing protections under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) but does leave out some employees; you can read more about the controversy from Vox and the New York Times.

SEE THIS LINK to the DOL for Specifics: Most companies with less then 25 employees are exempt as the financial burden of the act will be greater than what the company could handle financially. 

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic

  • Emergency transfers for Unemployment Compensation administration. The bill provides $1 billion for emergency grants to states for activities related to processing and paying unemployment insurance benefits.
  • Health plan testing coverage. The bill requires private health plans to provide coverage for COVID-19 diagnostic testing, including the cost of a provider, urgent care center, and emergency room visits. Also, Medicare Part B and Advantage, TRICARE, Medicaid, and CHIP must cover expenses for provider visits during which a COVID-19 test is administered or ordered. 
  • Tax credits for paid sick and paid family and medical leave. The bill provides for a refundable tax credit equal to 100% of qualified paid sick or family leave wages paid by an employer for each calendar quarter. The tax credit is allowed against the employer portion of Social Security taxes. The credit applies to amounts paid to employees who are sick or quarantined; a lesser credit applies to amounts paid to employees caring for a family member or for a child whose school or place of care has been closed. Caps and limits apply.
  • Tax credits for leave apply to self-employed individuals, too. Self-employed individuals qualify for the refundable credits, too, including those who must self-isolate, obtain a diagnosis, or comply with a self-isolation recommendation for coronavirus. Again, those self-employed individuals caring for a family member or for a child whose school or place of care has been closed due to coronavirus, are allowed a lesser refundable tax credit. As with employees, caps and limits apply.

And here’s what’s not in the bill: More bills expected to be released as they focus their energy on containment first and economy next.

  • No extension of the tax filing deadline in 2020. As of today, the deadline for filing your individual federal income tax returns remains April 15, 2020. If you need more time to file your federal income tax returns, consider filing for an extension.
  • No payroll tax cuts. President Trump called for payroll tax relief to last through the election, but neither party in Congress seems inclined to agree. Why? Primarily because it’s expensive: estimates suggest the cost could reach $90 billion per month.

Things to check into for planning!  Please feel free to share this section with employees and others that might benefit from it.

Bank Provisions – (This information is advice to seek more information, not to be mis-understood as guidance!)

https://www.forbes.com/sites/advisor/2020/03/12/list-of-banks-offering-relief-to-customers-affected-by-coronavirus/#5e60246a3ee3

Mortgages and Credit Card banks are all working to issue relief including reducing or eliminating interest and/or penalties for late payments as well as rolling over payments to the back end of a loan without penalty or it having any effect on your credit scores.  YOU MUST CHECK WITH YOUR BANK OR CREDIT PROVIDER TO SEE HOW THEY ARE HANDLING THE PROCESS AS THEY ARE ALL INDEPENDENT AND WILL HAVE THEIR OWN POLICIES.  

Restaurant Best Practices for driving business during COVID-19

During times like these, our goal as Entrepreneurs is to STAY OPEN and provide great quality food and service, as always to our valued guests!

 
As restaurant owners and operators, we have to work extremely hard to maintain trust from our customers that we will do everything possible to maintain a safe place for them to enjoy our food and service.  Here are a few best practices, links to information and some Standard Operating Procedures that may help while these uncertain times are here:
 
1) Tell your customers what you are doing to stay safe!  What have you implemented?  What extra measures have been taken?  DO NOT assume that your customers,no matter how long they have been using your restaurant, trust that you have risen to the occasion!  Make sure to communicate this with in store signage, web and social media announcements, emails etc...!
 
2) Make sure your customers know that you offer delivery!  Who you are partnered with or do you have in house delivery services, or both?  What specials are you offering if they order delivery?  If you had not thought to offer delivery specials...get on it!
 
3) Beef up your pick-up service to include curb-side pick-up (If you don't already).  This may be a way to provide hours to a server that may not be needed as well!  Make sure your curbside staff are all wearing gloves and appropriate food safety is a top priority!  TELL EVERYONE THAT YOU KNOW THAT THIS NEW SERVICE IS LIVE!
 
4) Offer HMR (Home meal replacement).  Instead of picking up dinner for just tonight, provide them with lunches and dinners for the rest of the week.  Many stores and retailers are low or out of the basics so you can fill that gap with your menu!  Make sure your packaging is conducive to re-heating and offer meals for 1 person, 2 people or more.
 
5) This is a great time to increase your efforts to get phone numbers and email addresses for your customers so you can proactively communicate with them!
 
6) INCREASE YOUR MARKETING POSITION.  The old saying, 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease' has been around for generations for a reason.  WIth slower restaurants, do videos showing how to make some of your signature items, market features every day, do employee profiles, stay in front of your guests a lot!
 
7) Stay aware of government programs.  They will be releasing more economic support soon for both you and your staff.  
 
8)  Most of all, stay calm, communicate your plans with your staff and customers and don't be afraid to ask for advice!
 
 
Related links and articles
Curbside article
 
This is Grubhub's SOPs for delivery - You can use it for curbside as well and use a little flair with the process!
 
Good info from Restaurant Assn.
 
Texas not closing restaurants and bars
 
Some business financial relief options

IRS – Corona Virus IRS provisions: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Additional Sites-

http://www.211.org/services/covid19

https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-provide-disaster-assistance-loans-small-businesses-impacted-coronavirus-covid-19

Resources

Below are a list of links to sites to keep up with the TRUE real time updates to information including the CDC, IRS and other actual government agencies that will provide accurate information.

CDC – Business related measures: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/businesses-employers.html

IRS – Corona Virus IRS provisions: https://www.irs.gov/coronavirus

Additional Sites-

http://www.211.org/services/covid19

https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-newsroom/press-releases-media-advisories/sba-provide-disaster-assistance-loans-small-businesses-impacted-coronavirus-covid-19