Governor Cuomo recently signed into law two bills that arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting businesses and individuals: S8181A and S8275A.
Through Executive Order 202.31, Governor Cuomo temporarily suspended forfeiture of unemployment benefits that was imposed on claims based on previous false statements or representations. S8275A, which was signed into law on June 13, 2020, amends the State’s labor law and aligns with Executive Order 202.31, by providing that the forfeiture of unemployment benefits will be suspended from May 11, 2020 through the expiration of the state of emergency declared by Executive Order 202 and extended by subsequent Orders. To date, this amendment will likely expire next month, unless the state of emergency is further extended.
S8181A, which was signed into law on June 17, 2020, permits industrial development agencies (“IDAs”) to provide grants and loans to eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations. Small business and non-profit organizations, which are defined as those that employ no more than fifty employees and meet the criteria set out in the law, may apply for interest-free emergency loans of up to $25,000. The law instructs IDAs to give priority to applications from eligible businesses and organizations that serve highly distressed areas. The loans must be repaid in full not later than one year after the end of the grace period, which is defined as 60 days after the State’s disaster emergency order issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Eligible small businesses and non-profit organizations also may apply for grants of up to $10,000 to use towards purchasing personal protective equipment or installing fixtures needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This amendment to the State’s general municipal law takes effect immediately and is set to expire on December 31, 2021.