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The Network Effect
The Chamber has launched a virtual portal for employers to submit questions relating to COVID-19 and its impact on business. Responses are posted at madisonbiz.com/covid19faq.

Submit questions about the CARES Act, Gov. Evers' "Safer at Home" order, availability of assistance for your business and more by visiting Slido.com and entering the event code #ASK4BIZ (or simply click here to go directly to the page). Questions can also be submitted via email at ask@madisonbiz.com.


Good evening --

Here are the latest updates on the COVID-19 outbreak and our organizational efforts to inform and ensure an effective community response.

Today's highlights include additional clarity for small businesses, with guidance and liquidity for financial institutions, all of which reinforce the Chamber's message: Why wait? Talk to a lender.

LUNCH(UP)DATE RECAP

Eric Ness, the top-ranking official for the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) in Wisconsin, addressed federal relief efforts underway for small businesses during today's Lunch(UP)date, the Chamber's new virtual meeting helping you stay connected, curious and informed.

Ness discussed the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a new $350 billion program designed to incentivize small businesses to keep their workers on payroll by providing loans of up to $10 million for payroll and certain other expenses. As of yesterday, more than 400,000 loans have already been approved for more than $100 billion total. Starting tomorrow, sole proprietors and independent contractors can begin submitting their PPP applications.

Ness responded to several questions about the PPP and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), including under what circumstances you can apply for both, loan forgiveness and how that relates to maintaining current employment and wage levels, and recommendations for small businesses trying to find a lender.

Also during today's meeting, gener8tor co-founder Joe Kirgues emphasized what his organization and the Chamber have been telling small businesses: the importance of applying for these programs as soon as possible, with no guarantee funding will be available in the future. He also shared information about gener8tor's Emergency Response Program, which features free one-on-one sessions for small businesses, information about federal relief efforts, state and civic programs and more.

See the recording of today’s Lunch(UP)date here. Register here for our next Lunch(UP)date, on Friday, April 17, with U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

Additional information about the PPP and other funding programs can be found here, along with an updated FAQ document from the SBA and Treasury Department.

FEDERAL RESERVE ACTIONS

This week, the Chamber convened nearly 20 banking and finance leaders for the first in a series of Virtual Industry Meetings, with liquidity challenges a top concern expressed by some participants. Today, the Federal Reserve took several actions to provide additional liquidity in the form of up to $2.3 trillion in loans.

The Federal Reserve is looking to bolster the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by supplying liquidity to participating financial institutions through term financing backed by PPP loans to small businesses. The Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility (PPPLF) will extend credit to eligible financial institutions that originate PPP loans by taking the loans as collateral at face value. While this is not a new lending program for small businesses, it should give lending institutions the flexibility to extend more loans to businesses.
 
For a term sheet about the PPPLF, click here. An FAQ can be found here.
 
The Federal Reserve is also establishing a Main Street New Loan Facility (MSNLF) and the Main Street Expanded Loan Facility (MSELF) to facilitate lending to small and medium-sized businesses by eligible lenders. The U.S. Treasury Department will provide an equity investment of $75 billion to the combined facilities to augment the Federal Reserve's purchase of up to $600 billion of loans.
 
The Main Street Lending Program will allow eligible lenders to offer four-year loans to businesses with up to 10,000 employees or revenues of less than $2.5 billion in 2019. All principal and interest payments will be deferred for one year.

Firms seeking the Main Street loans must commit to maintain payroll, retain workers and abide by certain restrictions outlined in the CARES Act. Firms that have taken PPP loans are still eligible for Main Street loans.
 
A term sheet for the MSNLF is here. A term sheet for the MSELF is here.

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For a full archive of previously shared resources, visit madisonbiz.com/covid19.

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