White House unveils mandate on vaccines, more help for small businesses

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing a rule that will require all employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully immunized or require that all workers who are not vaccinated produce a negative test result on at least once a week before coming to work.

According to a September 9 White House announcement, OSHA will also issue an emergency temporary standard to implement the requirement, which is expected to impact more than 80 million workers.

“The president’s plan will reduce the number of unvaccinated Americans by using regulatory powers and other actions to dramatically increase the number of Americans covered by immunization requirements,” the White House statement said.

The plan “will also provide paid immunization holidays to most of the country’s workers.”

The White House also announced that the Biden administration “will help more than 150,000 small businesses by bolstering the COVID Economic Disaster Lending Program (EIDL), which provides long-term, low-cost loans.

“The improvements will allow more businesses to gain more and more flexible support with the $ 150 billion in loanable funds still available in the program.”

“First, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will increase the maximum amount of financing a small business can borrow through this program from $ 500,000 to $ 2 million, which can be used to hire and retain employees, purchase inventory and equipment, and pay more. – the interest debt.

An SBA analysis of current EIDL COVID borrowers eligible for the increase shows that more than 80% have 25 or fewer employees.

“The SBA will ensure that no small business has to start repaying these loans for two years after receiving the funding, so small businesses can weather the pandemic without having to worry about making payments.

“Second, SBA will make it easier for small businesses with multiple locations in hard-hit industries like restaurants, hotels and gyms to access these loans.

“To ensure that taxpayer dollars are used to support businesses that really need help, the SBA has put in place stronger controls and will work closely with the SBA Inspector General to monitor the program.

“And finally, to ensure that Main Street businesses have more time to access the remaining funds, the SBA will offer an exclusive 30-day window of access where only small businesses looking for loans of $ 500,000 or more. less will receive rewards after the launch of the new and improved loan product.

Through the P3, the SBA has made more than $ 11 million in loans to small businesses that can be canceled “and taken off their books if they use the funds to keep employees on the payroll.”

In order to qualify for a loan discount, borrowers must complete an application with their PPP lender.

“The president’s plan will make it easier for over 3.5 million PPP borrowers with loans of $ 150,000 or less to write off their loans. As part of the new, streamlined approach, the SBA sends a pre-filled application form to the borrower who can review, sign, and refer to the SBA, who then works with the lender to complete the remission process.

The SBA expects more than 2.5 million additional small businesses to benefit from this streamlined process in the coming months, “helping them avoid unnecessary bureaucracy and avoid costly payments in principal and interest on their businesses. ready “.

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