Federal, state and local government responses to COVID-19 on 4/25/20

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Federal, state and local government responses to COVID-19 on 4/25/20

BY THE NUMBERS 

Number of Statewide Cases: 13,680 (+641) 

Marion County Cases: 4,537 (+129) 

Hamilton County Cases: 670 (+25) 

Johnson County Cases: 511 (+33) 

US Cases: 870,468 (+26,487) 

Global Cases: 2.74M 

Number of Statewide Deaths: 741 (+35) 

Number of Marion County Deaths: 228 (+14) 

US Deaths: 50,031 (+3,180) 

Global Deaths: 192,982 (+7,548) 

Number of Hoosiers Filed for Unemployment: 75,483 as of 4/23/20 

FEDERAL 

President Trump Could Extend Social Distancing Guidelines to Early Summer 

During remarks at his daily White House briefing yesterday, President Trump said his Administration is considering extending current nationwide social distancing guidelines until early in the summer or beyond. The White House first announced the guidelines in mid-March. They were initially set to expire at the end of April, before the President extended the guidelines the first time. The President’s remarks came a day after multiple White House officials acknowledged the United States would likely still be dealing with COVID-19 into the fall and winter of 2020. 

Mnuchin Will Require Equity in Exchange for Aid to Public National Security Companies 

The Treasury Department posted an application on its website late last night for companies with a national security nexus seeking loans authorized by the CARES Act. The application requires that public companies deemed critical to national security that is seeking a share of $17 billion in virus-related relief offer an equity stake to the government. The requirements are similar to those for passenger and cargo airlines seeking CARES authorized loans. National security funding is available only to borrowers that hold a priority level contract with the government and currently operate under a “top secret” facility clearance. Treasury set a May 1 deadline to apply, although it will reportedly consider applications that come in later based on the availability of funds.

Federal Reserve Board Announces Information on CARES Act Programs to be Made Available 

The Federal Reserve Board on Thursday outlined what public information it will make available regarding its programs to support the flow of credit to households and businesses to foster economic recovery. Specifically, the Board will provide extensive monthly reporting for the liquidity and lending facilities utilizing CARES Act funding, including: 

  • • Names and details of participants in each facility; 
  • • Amounts borrowed and the interest rate charged; and 
  • • Overall costs, revenues, and fees for each facility. 

Federal Reserve Board to Take Temporary Actions to Increase Credit Availability 

The Federal Reserve Board also announced yesterday temporary actions aimed at increasing the availability of intraday credit extended by Federal Reserve Banks on both a collateralized and uncollateralized basis. The Fed announced it is suspending uncollateralized intraday credit limits and waiving overdraft fees for institutions that are eligible for the primary credit program; and permitting a streamlined procedure for secondary credit institutions to request collateralized intraday credit. 

FHFA Announces FHL Banks Can Accept PPP Loans as Collateral 

In an effort to support small and community banks, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced yesterday Federal Home Loan Banks (FHL Banks) can accept PPP loans as collateral when making advances to their members, provided the FHL Banks comply with certain safety and soundness requirements. 

Congressional Small Business Committee Leaders Request Info on SBA Data Breach 

Senate Small Business Committee Chairman Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-MD), along with House Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), yesterday sent the attached letter to SBA requesting information on a reported data breach that may have exposed personal information on Americans applying for assistance programs. The letter focuses on concerns that SBA permitted sensitive, personally identifiable information of 8,000 of Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applicants to become exposed as part of the breach. 

Chairman Rubio Asks Bank CEOs for Information on PPP Disbursement 

Chairman Rubio also sent a letter yesterday to a number of large banking institutions that participate in the PPP. The letter requests a detailed explanation on how institutions set up their application processes and if they prioritized certain borrower applications over others. The letter states that such standards would have been in violation of the congressional intent of the program. Chairman Rubio sent the attached letter to CEOs of Bank of America Corporation, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Company, PNC Financial 3 

Services Group, Inc., KeyBank, NA, M&T Bank, Huntington Bancshares, Inc., TD Bank, Trust Bank, Zions Bank, Regions Bank, and US Bancorp. The correspondence asks banks to provide responses to Senator Rubio’s queries by May 1. 

Department of Education Provides Over $13 Billion in Emergency Relief to Support Continued K-12 Education 

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos announced yesterday the Department had made more than $13.2 billion in emergency relief available to state and local education agencies to support continued learning for K-12 students whose educations have been disrupted by COVID-19. Education leaders will have the flexibility to use funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Education Relief Fund (ESSER Fund) provided in the CARES Act for immediate needs, such as tools and resources for distance education, ensuring student health and safety, and developing and implementing plans for the next school year. 

Brooks Introduces Legislation Aimed at Improving National Stockpile 

Last week, Congresswoman Susan Brooks (R-05) introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at improving our Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) H.R. 6516, the Stockpiling for America’s Future Endeavors (SAFE) Act, and H.R. 6517, Stockpile Inventory Modernization (SIM) Act. In the beginning of this unprecedented pandemic, as our country faced a critical shortage of personal protective equipment to keep citizens safe from the virus, many Hoosier nonprofits and businesses stepped up to donate this equipment but unfortunately had no direct way to donate these crucial supplies to the national stockpile. The SAFE Act will allow the SNS to accept donations and more quickly connect the manufacturers of needed products to our heroes on the frontlines. The SIM Act is designed to improve the efficiency of the SNS as well. Under current law, the SNS is forced to throw away countless dollars of personal protective equipment and pharmaceuticals each year as those items expire. The SIM Act will give the SNS the authority to sell such products to other federal agencies before they expire, thus eliminating the need to destroy products and saving the American taxpayers money. It will expand the ability of the SNS to keep the supplies on its shelves up-to-date by allowing it to work with other Federal agencies to meet their mutual needs. 

STATE 

Governor Signs Executive Order to Resume Elective Medical Procedures 

Governor Eric J. Holcomb today signed Executive Order 20-24 to allow health care providers and facilities to resume elective medical procedures provided they have sufficient quantities of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and consult the best practices and recommendations developed by their medical associations or industries. Providers include hospitals, veterinarians, dentists and others listed in Executive Order 20-22. Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm 

IEDC Has Secured 6.3 Million PPE 

Governor Holcomb also announced Friday that the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (IEDC) has secured commitments for more than 6.3 million pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) – up from 2.6 million last reported on April 13 – for hospitals, first responders, long-term care facilities and health care providers treating COVID-19 patients. To date, more than 1.17 million items have been delivered to the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) for distribution. Of these, more than 2.9 million items, including face masks, face shields, gloves, gowns, goggles and bottles of hand sanitizer, are being made and sourced by 18 Indiana manufacturers. New commitments from Indiana providers include: 

  • • After Action Medical and Dental Supply (Marion County), which was started in 2010 by a service-disabled veteran, distributes products nationally to health care providers, the Veterans Affairs Medical System, and the U.S. Department of Defense. The company is leveraging its supply chain to provide more than 400,000 nitrile gloves. 
  • • Cardinal Spirits (Monroe County), which first opened in 2015, is a craft distillery in Bloomington that distributes spirits to more than 200 retail locations in Indiana. The company has paused beverage operations, leveraging its distillery to produce hand sanitizer. It has distributed 50,000 gallons since mid-March. 
  • • Sugar Creek Bottling Company (Marion County), which is a full service, hand-crafted e-liquid manufacturing company specializing in private labeling and flavor development. The company has shifted production to provide hand sanitizer. 
  • • Hentz Manufacturing (Allen County), a commercial sewing business that pivoted from Cinda B bag production to medical supplies, has already produced and distributed 90,000 pieces of PPE, including isolation gowns, face masks and face shields, in just a few weeks. The company is now producing N95 face mask respirators, filling a critical need for these items that effectively filter out a minimum of 95% of airborne particles. The company, which coordinated with Indiana University Health to ensure proper fit and filtration, will deliver the first batch of N95 masks today and plans to produce 1 million in total. The company is currently hiring for sewers and supervisors to support its efforts to meet increased needs for PPE. 

Indiana businesses and organizations continue to donate critical services and supplies as well, with PPE donations now totaling 530,694 – up from 440,000. New contributors include Berry Global, Brooks Life Sciences, Duke Energy, Faegre Drinker Shanghai Office, Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Ivy Tech, Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Rose Apartments and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office. In total, the state has secured more than: 2.4 million surgical masks, 1.2 million respirator masks, 963,000 face shields, 720,000 gloves, 143,000 gowns, 10,000 goggles, and 206,000 two-ounce bottles and 80,000 gallons of hand sanitizer through purchases and donations. To learn more about Hoosier companies across the state stepping up to help in the fight of COVID-19, click here. Hoosiers with smaller quantities of PPE are encouraged to donate items to the nearest local health department, hospital, EMS agency, nursing home or other first responder or public safety agency in their community. 

Executive Order Signed to Speed Up Review of Unemployment Insurance Claim Appeals 

Yesterday, Governor Eric J. Holcomb today signed an executive order to speed up the review of unemployment insurance claim appeals during the fight against COVID-19. The executive order 20-23 allows the Department of Workforce Development to hire additional staff to review the appeals. The executive order also waives paperwork requirements to help businesses apply for federal assistance under programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL), and temporarily waives requirements for documents connected to certain alcohol permits. Additionally, the executive order extends the business personal property tax deadlines to June 15, 2020. Click here to see the executive order: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm 

LOCAL 

Council Approves $25M to Make Federal Paycheck Loans Available to Small Businesses 

The Indianapolis City-County Council voted unanimously Friday morning to provide Indy Chamber with $25 million that will enable the business-advocacy group to quickly offer forgivable loans to small businesses in Marion County backed by the federal Paycheck Protection Program. The council’s goal is to ensure that money from the latest federal stimulus bill gets into the hands of Indianapolis small businesses owners that might not have had the resources or relationships to receive a loan in the first round of funding. The funding will go to small businesses (50 employees or fewer) in Marion County. The loans will be for $75,000 or less. As part of the program, companies must commit to keeping employees paid for at least eight weeks if they want the loan to be forgiven. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, approved by President Donald Trump on March 27, set aside $350 billion in forgivable federally backed loans for small businesses that agreed to keep employees working through the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But the money was depleted in a matter of weeks, and the program drew criticism because many small businesses that desperately need the aid but lack existing relationships with large banks missed out. In response, Congress approved the second round of funding—which President Trump is expected to sign at noon Friday—and $30 billion was set aside for Community Development Financial Institutions, including Indy Chamber’s Business Ownership Initiative. The BOI—in part through a relationship with Bankable—will be able to offer Paycheck Protection Program loans as a Community Development Financial Institution. But first, it needs the upfront capital to do so, which the Indianapolis City-County Council is in a position to provide, a resolution reads. With the $25 million, BOI will be able to provide loans to small businesses that would then be purchased by the Small Business Administration, which would reimburse the city.

Ian Nicolini, vice president of Indianapolis economic development for the Indy Chamber, said the city’s funding won’t be deployed until applications have been approved by the SBA, ensuring the funding is guaranteed to be reimbursed. The funding could be available to businesses as soon as Monday. 

IMPORTANT LINKS 

Links to all executive orders may be found here: https://www.in.gov/gov/2384.htm 

Link to the Stay-At-Home Order FAQ may be found here: https://www.in.gov/gov/3232.htm 

More information may be found at the ISDH website at in.gov/coronavirus/ and the CDC website at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html.

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