COVID-19 Update from Mayor Manzo – 4/02/2020

Mayor Lou Manzo provides regular updates on the COVID-19 crisis. This is the 4/2 update.

Dear Residents & Business Owners:

Today, I initially want to focus on information pertaining to the Federal Stimulus Package that will be rolled out in phases starting tomorrow, April 3rd. That total package includes benefits for both Individuals and Businesses. For Individuals, the relief comes in the form of the $1200 Stimulus Checks, enhanced Unemployment Insurance Benefits and Qualified Retirement Plan access/flexibility, as well as Mortgage/Renter relief, Student Loan Payment deferment and Income Tax Filing Deadline extension to July 15th.
The Package states that all individuals collecting Social Security are eligible to receive the $1200 Stimulus Check if their total income does not exceed the stated thresholds. That part is clear. However, there was a lack of clarity concerning individuals who had not filed a tax return (because their income level did not require them to do so). It was initially thought that these individuals would need to file a form to receive their check. It has now been determined that will not be required. Anyone currently collecting Social Security who did not file a Tax Return in 2018 will automatically receive a check. They need not apply or take any other action. 

For Businesses, the relief comes in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program, the Employee Retention Credit, the Employer Payroll Tax Payment Deferral and a Tax Credit for Employers with less than 500 employees. The first phase of this plan starts tomorrow, April 3rd, with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The PPP prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

PPP will provide funds in the form of loans that will be forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities (due to likely high subscription, at least 75% of the forgiven amount must have been used for payroll). 

Loan payments will also be deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required.

Starting Friday, April 3, 2020, small businesses and sole proprietorships will be able to apply. Starting April 10, 2020, independent contractors and self-employed individuals will be able to apply. We encourage businesses to apply as quickly as possible, as there will be a cap on funding.

The program is eligible for small businesses with 500 or fewer employees, including nonprofits, veterans’ organizations, tribal concerns, self-employed individuals, sole proprietorships, and independent contractors. (Businesses with more than 500 employees are eligible in certain industries).

For a top-line overview of the program.

If you’re a borrower seeking more information.

To view the application for borrowers.

If you have any questions, please the Gloucester County Department of Economic Development for guidance at 856-384-6930.

I reiterate the need for each of us to respect the space of others when in a grocery store or pharmacy in town. These are the places that we all leave our houses for at some point, so please do not stand toe-to-toe with (or directly next to) someone at a counter area. Wait for their clearance and then step forward. We need to police ourselves a little better in these situations. Thank you for giving this your special attention going forward.

As I mentioned yesterday, a private resident/business owner has arranged for a “ride thru town” by the Easter Bunny this Saturday starting at 10AM. Today, I again reiterate the need to ensure your children DO NOT approach the vehicle or gather awaiting its arrival. The Easter Bunny has explicit instructions to terminate his ride if there is any sign of this, so I’m counting on all parents to do a great job with that. 

The recent lighting of our Christmas Tree has attracted enough attention for ABC Channel 6 Philadelphia to do a full story on it. That piece aired on today’s 4 PM segment of Action News, so we had little advance notice with the interviews being done this morning. If you missed the news, the segment is available on the ABC6 website

Though it’s hard to do in a 90-second news clip, the heart and soul of our community was crystal clear in the story. Our tree stands as a symbol of hope and unity for us and the rest of the Region. We are so proud to be Harrison Strong.

Together for Harrison Township,
Lou Manzo
Your Mayor