For the most current health updates and Federal guidelines related to COVID-19 visit the CDC. For specific information related to your area, go to your state and local government webpages.   

Little Publicized Amendment to CARES Act May Be the Ticket for Small Private Employers

July 26, 2021

Following Pandemic relief for individuals and businesses is enough to give anyone a headache! A little publicized amendment to the federal CARES Act, as amended by the federal Relief Act, may provide significant relief to small private businesses, which have yet to bounce back after COVID-19. This relief is known as the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), and its availability has been expanded for 2021. Small private businesses for purposes of the 2021 ERC are those with 500 or fewer employees. Generally, governmental entities (other than hospitals and some colleges and universities) not eligible for ERC credits. If you are a small private business considering the ERC, start by reviewing your gross receipts for each quarter in 2019 and comparing to your gross receipts for the corresponding quarter of 2021.


July 9, 2021

Businesses that have a government contract and obtained a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan and forgiveness of the PPP loan should consider whether any credit or reduction in billing is due under their government contract. Federal agencies have expressed the view that if money from a PPP loan that has been forgiven was used to pay employees who provided services under a government contract, then the government should not be charged for the same employee pay under the contract. Their view is that without providing a credit on the government contract, the employer is paid twice by the government for the same labor, once with the PPP loan forgiveness and once under the contract. The Department of Defense takes the position that, “to the extent that PPP credits are allocable to costs allowed under a contract, the Government should receive a credit or a reduction in billing for any PPP loans or loan payments that are forgiven.”

Unprecedented Choice Increases Unemployment Compensation Benefits

August 31, 2020

President Trump issued an Executive Order on August 8, 2020, which freed up Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds amounting to around $44 Billion for use by the states to grant an additional amount of money to UC recipients. The money for lost wages comes under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Act, commonly referenced as the Stafford Act.  In short, the $300 per week payment comes from FEMA through the states and each participating state has the option of giving an additional $100 on top.

Pennsylvania is a participating state for the $300 amount, but will not supplement that amount with an additional $100 payment.

PPP Update on Loan Forgiveness

July 31, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Flexibility Act”) amended certain provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). Since the Flexibility Act was signed into law, the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) has issued additional guidance regarding PPP loans and loan forgiveness. To read the details, click on "Full Text" button. 

PPP Loan Flexibility Act- Significant Impact for Businesses That Obtained PPP Loans

June 5, 2020

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (the “Flexibility Act”) was signed by President Donald Trump on June 5, 2020. The Flexibility Act amended certain provisions of the Small Business Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). A copy of the Flexibility Act can be found here. A brief summary of the most significant aspects of the Flexibility Act for most business can be found in the full text here.

PPP Loan Forgiveness Interim Final Rule

May 26, 2020

Late in the night on Friday, May 22, the Small Business Administration released a new Interim Final Rule (“IFR”) which provides formal guidance on completing the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Forgiveness Application.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act:

PPP Loan Forgiveness Application

May 19, 2020

This past weekend, the Small Business Administration released its Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Forgiveness Application, which provides forms and instructions to borrowers for submission to lenders in order to have all, or a portion of, their PPP loans forgiven.  A copy of the Application and instructions can be found at  The Application provides some long-awaited guidance on loan forgiveness but still leaves certain questions unanswered.  Highlights of some key items are outlined in the "full text" button.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act:

Paycheck Protection Program Loan Proceeds Segregation

April 9, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) was enacted on March 27, 2020. As part of the CARES Act, small business concerns, other entities and certain self-employed individuals are eligible for loans pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). Many banks began accepting initial PPP applications on Friday, April 3, 2020. Some borrowers are anticipating the disbursement of PPP funds as early as the week of April 13, 2020. The speed at which government and institutions, large and small, are moving is unprecedented, admittedly commensurate with the circumstances. Although you are probably focused on the process of preparing your PPP loan application and compiling your supplemental materials, we encourage you to be mindful of the use of the loan proceeds and your eligibility for loan forgiveness.

PA Reviews Life Sustaining Businesses

April 8, 2020

Two recent developments apply to Pennsylvania businesses considering themselves “life-sustaining”, and therefore permitted to continue operations. The first is a directive from the Pennsylvania Secretary of Health directing operational businesses to maintain current cleaning protocols and implement additional cleaning efforts in accordance with Center for Disease Control guidelines. The second is the continued debate over Governor Wolf’s definition of “life-sustaining” business. The Secretary’s Directive can be found here.

Feds Regulate New Leave Program

April 7, 2020

The US Department of Labor issued a Regulation addressing the new leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act or FFCRA as amended by The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act or CARES Act. The Regulation has the force and effect of law as of April 2, 2020. That Regulation can be accessed here.

Estate Planning During COVID-19

April 6, 2020

COVID-19 has motivated clients to contact the SZ estate planning team about updating estate planning documents. The team at SZ have had the capability for a long time to work with estate planning clients remotely through video conferencing and emailing draft documents - and continue to do so, unhindered during the COVID-19 shutdown.  The challenge presented by COVID-19 is that of document execution. Read the full text

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act:

Employer Payroll Tax Deferral WARNING

April 3, 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the third piece of the Coronavirus relief package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The CARES Act contains Business Provisions which provide in part for a “delay of payment of employer payroll taxes.” The IRS recently issued Notice 2020-22 titled Relief from Penalty for Failure to Deposit Employment Taxes. This update outlines the penalty relief regarding the employer tax delay provisions but offers this admonition for those employers that are seeking and obtain debt forgiveness for a Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) loan pursuant to Section 1106 of the CARES Act.

The Relief for Workers Affected By Coronavirus Act

March 29, 2020

The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”), was signed by President Donald Trump on March 27, 2020. The following summary focuses on a portion of that new law, specifically Title II Subtitle A (Relief for Workers Affected by Coronavirus Act (the “Relief Act”)) of the CARES Act, which provides unemployment benefits for certain individuals impacted by COVID-19. The Relief Act drastically alters the unemployment benefits landscape, by both significantly liberalizing the eligibility requirements for individuals to obtain unemployment benefits and by increasing the amount of unemployment benefits for those who are eligible.

Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act

March 29, 2020

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the third piece of the Coronavirus relief package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”). The CARES Act contains far-reaching types of assistance including the widely publicized payments to individuals, assistance for hospitals and nonprofit organizations, specific loans and grants to airlines, significant changes to unemployment assistance programs, and a panoply of relief for small and large businesses. This update summarizes the Paycheck Protection Program provisions of Title I (Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act) of the CARES Act.

Federal Tax Update and the Coronavirus

March 23, 2020

Congress and the Trump Administration have offered significant tax relief to Americans: April 15 tax returns and payments have been postponed and employers have new tax credits they can utilize immediately to recover the cost of Coronavirus-related leave.  However, prompt action must be taken by employers to ensure full use of the credits.  Please find the full text of our update on COVID-19 related tax relief here.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

March 22, 2020

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act, P.L. 116-127 (“FFCRA”), was signed by President Donald Trump on March 18, 2020. The following questions and answers are aimed at providing guidance on the labor/employment sections of that new law. Please read the full text for understand how this Act will impact you and your business.

Ten Steps For Employers To Consider During the Coronavirus Outbreak

March 11, 2020

Employers are asking what measures should be implemented in response to the Coronavirus – COVID-19 outbreak.  Some are even questioning if they need a separate Coronavirus policy for their employees. Consider instead utilizing the employment laws and established Human Resources tools already in place, and supplementing with additional policies applicable to this crisis and future health care crises, only as needed.

SkarlatosZonarich Remains Ready to Meet Your Legal Needs

March 19, 2020

We at SkarlatosZonarich want to provide you, our clients and friends, with an update on SkarlatosZonarich’s ongoing efforts to assist while also protecting your health and safety and that of our employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a significant global public health crisis that is causing unprecedented disruptions and volatility in markets and business operations around the world.  We, like you, appreciate the speed at which the situation has and will continue to develop and the anxiety it raises.

During this global crisis, many of us have had to make changes to our normal routines because of circumstances beyond our control.  As a firm, SkarlatosZonarich has had systems in place for years to allow us to serve our clients whether we are working in or out of the office.  Those systems will allow us to continue to address your ongoing needs during this crisis.  We want to assure you that we will remain fully engaged, ready and able to address your legal needs in this time of uncertainty. 

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by Coronavirus and those on the front lines helping to battle the virus.  Please know that we are here and stand ready to support you.  Meanwhile, we wish you and your family good health.