COVID-19 National Updates
The latest from Washington, DC on the legislative and regulatory responses to mitigate the economic consequences of COVID-19. Find out what bills have passed, descriptions of key provisions impacting print and packaging, and gain access to compliance resources and Federal agency guidance. Track the industry’s federal advocacy efforts on your behalf and receive timely grassroots action alerts to ensure your company’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill.
Updated April 3, 2020 @ 1:50 PM
“Rocky” is an understated adjective to describe today’s rollout of the Federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program (SBA loans). The Treasury Department and Small Business Administration did not provide guidance to lenders (including a last-minute interest rate change from .05% to 1% due to banks balking at participation) until approximately 7 PM on the eve of the program launch; a revised loan application form was also released.
By 9:00 a.m. this morning, only one of the four largest US banks (Bank of America) had an operational loan application portal; others are expected to come online later today and into next week. There is a first-come, first-serve panic building amongst small businesses with fewer than 500 employees (the vast majority of printing and graphic communications companies) regarding disbursement of the $349 billion assistance fund authorized by Congress in the CARES Act. A spokesperson for the Consumer Banking Association stated lenders are “moving heaven and earth” to get small business loans up and running.
One bright spot on launch day? Community bank lending. By 12 P.M. EDT, over $875,000,000 in loan applications had been processed — mostly by community banks — according to a tweet by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin. As a reminder, you can access Printing Industries of America’s Paycheck Protection Program FAQs for more details.
Updated April 2, 2020 @ 11:50 AM
The federal government’s implementation of the massive coronavirus response laws continues this week. In addition to rolling out Paycheck Protection Program FAQs and loan application forms for small businesses, the US Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) also unveiled details on the Employee Retention Credit, the purpose of which, like the Paycheck Protection Programs, is to encourage businesses to keep workers on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50% of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19.
Lisbeth Lyons is the Vice President, Government and External Affairs, having joined Printing Industries in March 2005 as Director of Legislative Affairs. In this position, she is responsible for providing direct advocacy before Congress and the Administration on key industry legislative initiatives, as well as for the strategic direction of the organization's grassroots and external outreach activities. She serves as Treasurer of PrintPAC, the only industry political action committee dedicated solely to electing pro-print lawmakers.
Previously, Lisbeth was Director, Government Affairs at the United States Telecom Association (USTA), representing telecommunications companies ranging from the nation's largest Regional Bell Operating Companies (RBOCs) to small, rural telephone companies. Lisbeth also served as Director of Grassroots & Legislative Services at the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the nation's largest small business advocacy organization.
Lisbeth is a candidate for an M.A. in Political Management at The George Washington University and holds a B.A. from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. Prior to working in Washington, D.C., Lisbeth was a teacher with Chicago Public Schools.