The New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA) has approved a series of aid packages for small/mid-size businesses in the amount of $75 million. The NJEDA programs focus on businesses that have been hit the hardest by COVID-19.

One of the NJEDA programs, the Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program is a $10 million program that will provide up to $100,000 towards working capital loans to businesses and eligible non-profits with less than $5 million in revenues.

The Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan applications will open April 13, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

Continue Reading Small Business Emergency Assistance Loan Program

Terminating an employee who is subject to a restrictive covenant may void that agreement in states that permit and enforce them. For example, New York law provides that an employer cannot enforce a restrictive covenant if it terminated the employee. See, Buchanan Capital Markets, LLC v. DeLucca, 144 A.D. 3d 508 (N.Y. App. Div. 2016).

The law in New Jersey is unsettled at this time, but if the employer terminates an employee because of the coronavirus, I believe it is likely that New Jersey courts will not enforce the agreement at this time. An employee’s covenant not to compete is enforceable only if it is reasonable under all the circumstances in a particular case. Maw v. Advanced Clinical Commc’ns, Inc. 179 N.J. 439, 447 (2004).

Continue Reading Termination of Employees with Restrictive Covenants Could Negatively Affect Enforcement

On March 20, 2020, the IRS issued Notice 2020-18, updating their Notice issued two days earlier. Notice 2020-18 extended the payment date AND the filing date for income tax returns from April 15 to July 15, 2020. This includes income tax returns for individuals, trusts, estates, partnerships, associations, companies and corporations.

This new filing date applies to 2019 income tax returns due on April 15th, and the first estimated income tax payment for the 2020 tax year, also due on April 15th. Although the next estimated income tax payment will be due on June 15th, prior to the July 15th due date, that payment has not been extended.

Continue Reading Second Update – Additional Tax Relief Because of COVID-19

On April 1, 2020, the Department of Treasury and the IRS announced that Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will not need to file an abbreviated tax return to receive a stimulus payment. Instead, the IRS will use the information of the Form SSA-1099 and Form RRB-1099 to generate stimulus payments to Social Security recipients who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019. Recipients will receive these payments as a direct deposit or by paper check, in whatever way they normally receive their benefits.

Continue Reading Update: Stimulus Payments – When Do I Get Mine?

While studies show that each individual sees color differently, the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board (TTAB) determined that as used on medical gloves, a shade of light green is not confusingly similar to a shade of dark green. In a black-and-white decision, the TTAB reversed a Trademark Examining Attorney’s refusal to register the color green identified as Pantone 2274C as used on medical gloves in light of an existing registration for the color green identified as Pantone 7488U used on the same line of goods.

The Gloves Are Greener on the Other Side

In November of 2019, Medline Industries, a leading manufacturer of medical gloves, submitted a request to register the color of their green gloves, Pantone 2274C, on the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Supplemental Register. This is the list for trademarks that are not yet eligible to be listed on the Principal Register, but may be one day. The Trademark Examining Attorney, however, rejected Medline Industries’ application. The rejection was based on Section 2(d) of the Trademark Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1052(d), which restricts granting trademarks based on the probability of confusion with another mark.

Continue Reading Shades of Green: TTAB Allows Registration of Color Mark

The Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) officially launched April 3, 2020. In the application for a PPP loan, applicants are required to disclose if the applicant or any owner of the applicant is an owner of any other business, or has common management with, any other business and if so, for the applicant to list such businesses and the relationships. This question relates to eligibility to receive a PPP loan as only businesses with 500 or fewer employees qualify (unless the applicant falls in one of the exceptions as provided in our previous posts).

Continue Reading Update: Affiliation Under the Paycheck Protection Program

Yesterday evening, the SBA posted an Interim Final Rule for the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”). This is not the final rule, but it provides changes to the Paycheck Protection Program and guidance for applicants and lenders.

Some of the notable updates include:

Continue Reading SBA Issues Interim Rule and Guidance to CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program

On Wednesday, the United States Department of Labor (“DOL”) posted a temporary rule issuing regulations implementing the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements established by the recently enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”), which went into effect this week.

The Department’s temporary rule, which is available here, covers significant ground in terms of delineating workers’ and employers’ rights and responsibilities under the FFCRA, as well as how employers must go about determining what obligations they have thereunder. Included in the numerous topics and aspects of the new law addressed and explained is one particular question (among many, many others) that almost everyone has been asking since the President signed the FFCRA into law just over two weeks ago: Is there a “small business exemption” for employers with fewer than 50 employees and when and how does that exemption apply to exclude a small business from the provisions of the FFCRA? In short, as explained below, yes, there is a small business exemption available to private employers that have fewer than 50 employees, but it only is available under certain circumstances and is not a full-blown exclusion. Even qualifying small businesses are not absolved of all paid leave obligations under the Act.

Continue Reading Department of Labor Temporary Rule Defines and Explains Small Business Exemption to Employer Paid Leave Requirements Under Families First Coronavirus Response Act

On March 30, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals Third Circuit issued an important decision in the case of Riccio v. Sentry Credit, Inc., approving oral communication as a method to dispute the validity of a debt. This decision overruled Graziano v. Harrison 950 F.2d 107 (3d Cir. 1991), a long-standing case requiring a writing to dispute a debt and will affect all consumer debt collectors including those collecting debt for community associations.

Continue Reading Validity of Debts May Be Disputed by Oral Communication: Third Circuit Rejects Requirement of a Writing to Dispute Consumer Debt Under the Fair Debt Collections Practices Act

On March 27th, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Under the CARES Act the Small Business Administration (SBA) will implement the Paycheck Protection Program, which will allocate $349 billion as loans to small businesses, 501(c)(3) organizations, and veteran’s organizations affected by the spread of COVID-19.

Eligible businesses and non-profits can apply for a loan of up to $10 million to cover costs such as payroll, mortgage/rent, and utilities. Applications will be accepted by qualifying lending institutions starting April 3rd. It is important that businesses make the application as soon as possible since the fund is limited. The loans are being provided with no fees and 0.5% interest. Most importantly, up to 8 weeks of qualified payroll will be forgiven from the loan if certain conditions are met.

The application for the Paycheck Protection Program can be located on U.S. Treasury’s website, which you can access by CLICKING HERE.