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Bill Seeks Tax Relief for C-Store, Grocery Workers
Up to $25,000 of employees' income would be exempt from 2020 federal taxes.

Amazon, Walmart Enable SNAP Online Orders
The retail giants expand order and payment options for food stamp recipients in several states.

Long-Term Changes Coming to Grocers
Research predicts shifting dynamics may mean permanent shifts for brands, retailers.

Virginia Seeks to Delay Diesel Tax Increase
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam amended the state’s transportation bill to  increase the gasoline tax but delay a planned diesel tax increase.

U.S. Retail Sales Fall at Record Rate
Retail sales in March fell 8.7 percent, marking the biggest one-month drop in three decades of record keeping.

National Tank Truck Carriers Urge Congress to Give Hazard Pay for Their Workers
The National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) and The International Liquid Terminals Association (ILTA) urged Congress on Wednesday to include a proposed “heroes fund” that would give essential workers making less than $200,000 up to $25,000 per year in hazard pay in the next COVID19 stimulus package. “Without the continued work performed by these operations professionals, the fuel required to move critical supplies and people – including essential workers in other industries – would become unavailable,” wrote the groups. The proposed fund would give funding to eligible employers who could then give payment to workers.

IRS Announces Temporary Procedures to Fax Certain Forms 1139 and 1045 due to COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to implement the following provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the IRS is implementing temporary procedures for digital transmission of Form 1139 and Form 1045 to claim quick refunds of the credit for prior year minimum tax liability of corporations and net operating loss deductions. The CARES Act allows businesses and individuals to carry back NOLs arising in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to the five prior tax years and accelerates the refunds of previously generated corporate alternative minimum tax (AMT) credits. Click here for more information.

Federal Reserve Launches Main Street Lending Program
Recently, the Federal Reserve announced that it is establishing the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) designed to support small and mid-sized business businesses that were in good standing before the COVID-19 pandemic. The MSLP will operate through two facilities: the Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF) and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF).

Businesses are eligible for loans if they meet either of the following conditions: (1) the business has 10,000 employees or fewer; or (2) the business had 2019 revenues of $2.5 billion or less. Loans would have a four-year maturity, and principal and interest payments on the loans will be deferred for one year. Banks will retain a 5 percent share, selling the remaining 95 percent to the Main Street facility, which will purchase up to $600 billion of loans.

Click here for the initial term sheets governing the origination of new loans (MSNLF).
Click here for the expanding in size of existing loans (MSELF).

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve on Thursday announced that its Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) is fully operational and available to provide liquidity to eligible financial institutions, which will help support small businesses. For more information, click here.

SBA Issues Guidance on Franchise Eligibility for Paycheck Protection Program
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has issued additional guidance this week on the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) designed to help small businesses keep employees on the payroll. The guidance is important for any petroleum marketer involved in a franchise/franchisee affiliation.

The PPP authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms are the same for everyone. The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as (1) the loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the 8-week period after the loan is made; and (2) Employee and compensation levels are maintained. Payroll costs are capped at $100,000 on an annualized basis for each employee. Not more than 25% of the forgiven amount may be for non-payroll costs.

Franchise Eligibility for the PPP Program - The Q&A guidance document explains how the $10 million cap and affiliation rules under the PPP apply to small business franchisees. According to the guidance, if a franchise is listed in SBA Franchise Directory, then each of its franchisees meeting the applicable SBA size standard for its category can apply for its own PPP loan. This means that the $10 million cap on PPP loans is a limit on a per franchisee entity basis. Each qualifying franchisee is limited to one PPP loan. The guidance further explains that franchise brands not listed in the SBA Franchise Directory because of affiliation between franchisor and franchisee, may request listing to receive PPP loans. However, the SBA will not apply affiliation rules to a franchise brand requesting listing on the Directory to participate in the PPP, but SBA will confirm that the brand is otherwise eligible for listing on the Directory.

Furthermore, PMAA, NACS, SIGMA and NATSO sent a letter this week to Congressional leadership urging them to allow convenience stores and gas stations with more than 500 employees per location to take advantage of the PPP.

Workforce WV to Start Processing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Applications Friday for Self-Employed, Gig Workers and Independent Contractors
Eligible individuals encouraged to apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance on April 24 after 10:00 PM
 
Under the CARES Act or the coronavirus aid bill, individuals defined as the self-employed (e.g. independent contractors, gig economy workers, and workers for certain religious entities), those seeking part-time employment, individuals lacking sufficient work history, and those who otherwise do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits will be eligible to apply for temporary unemployment benefits under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Visit the Workforce WV website and select the PUA button to process your PAU claim. This portal will not be open until Friday, April 24 AFTER 10 PM.

Once the claimant has submitted their application, Workforce WV will notify the individual if they need any other supporting documentation. The claim will be managed like a regular unemployment claim. For questions regarding applications, please contact the Workforce WV hotline at 1-800-252-JOBS.
 
Please review the FAQs for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for more information about the program and supported documentation needed.


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