Launching the Manufacturing Coronavirus Readiness Toolkit including checklists, guidelines, and best practices. PPE is available through a new Exchange and direct to manufacturers. Also included are strategies for maximizing PPP forgiveness.
|Launching the Manufacturing Coronavirus Readiness Toolkit: Reopening, staying safe, and planning for the future |
MAGNET, Ohio MEP, and the Ohio Manufacturers’ Association has been hard at work finding best practices for safety, culture, technology, and reopening (or staying open) during COVID-19. These comprehensive checklists, tools, and resources will help your business be well prepared as you ramp up back to work. They consist of:
We are happy to go through all or any particular element with you one-on-one. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your private assessment and discussion.
We are also launching two opportunities to talk with us and other manufacturers on webinars:
Webinar: How to reopen, stay safe, and plan for the future in a post-coronavirus Ohio – Manufacturing Coronavirus Readiness Toolkit introduction
Option 1: May 1, 2020 1-2 pm
Option 2: May 5, 2020 4-5 pm
And in case you missed how Swagelok has been preparing to be safe and stay open, we will be replaying that webinar:
Webinar replay: How Swagelok has Managed COVID-19 as an Essential Business – Pre-recording and live Q&A
May 8, 9-10 am
Exchange for retooled and repurposed manufacturers to provide PPE is up and running
The Ohio Manufacturing Alliance to Fight COVID-19 (website here) has been hard at work helping manufacturers like yourselves retool and repurpose to make PPE. We have had successes (such as helping make one million testing swabs and one million reusable face shields), and dozens of other companies have retooled. We have setup the Ohio Emergency PPE Maker’s Exchange primarily for smaller purchases of PPE from retooled or repurposed manufacturers. Please consider sharing this exchange link with anyone you know is in need of PPE, especially as reopening has begun. These are the products of the ingenuity, hard-work, and perseverance of so many Ohio manufacturers and we should all be very proud of what we can accomplish together.
New guidelines and rules for Governor DeWine for all manufacturers
Governor DeWine has “reopened” manufacturing as of May 4. These rules here are the main guidance required to be open. More guidance specifics may be issued later this week.
Ohio Manufacturers’ Association, (OMA) has confirmed that face coverings has been moved from a mandated action to a “recommended best practice” under the administration’s safety guidance for manufacturers.
Mostly the new guidelines reinforce many of the things that manufacturers are already doing such as creating 6 ft distances, encouraging working from home if you can, requiring regular handwashing, staggering or limiting arrivals of employees and guests, mandating daily disinfections, and daily symptom checking. Many manufacturers continue to go above and beyond to keep their employees safe (see here for more best practices).
Based on our health and safety experts, sometimes face shields and sometimes face masks may be appropriate as face coverings. Both will provide some protection from spreading the virus from sneezes, breathing, etc. Neither provides full protection of course (like an N95 might). Cotton masks may be disadvantageous in loud environments where mouth movements are important or when potential hazards involved getting masks stuck in machinery is an issue.
Documentation to maximize your PPP loan forgiveness
Many of you have likely received your distribution from SBA of PPP funds. If you haven’t, the second round will hopefully be your chance. There is still a tremendous amount unknown about this grant, in particular how forgiveness will work. New details come out every single day. Here is a good Forbes article that goes deep into some of the complexities of this grant that haven’t been worked out.
However, here are some of the top tips that we have seen regarding using and preparing for forgiveness (we make no guarantees that these will work or be required, but they are what many lawyers and other manufacturers are currently doing). We appreciate that some of this advice might be overkill, but sometimes better safe than sorry:
Should you bring everyone back when you get your PPP money?
At one end, you could hire everyone back immediately upon receiving your money (if they aren’t already working of course). This is expected to maximize your loan forgiveness assuming that you had the same or more full-time equivalent employees as the same time in the previous year (or Jan 1 through Feb 15 of 2020 at your discretion).
But, based on business conditions, maybe you won’t hire everyone back and then you will have to manage the 75/25 split of payroll and other expenses. Subject to further SBA guidance and interpretation, during the eight week period, non-payroll expenses cannot exceed 25% of the total amount of PPP-paid expenses. To be clear, this rule is very confusing. There is debate and contradictions currently in the rules of whether this 75% applies to what is actually paid during the 8-weeks or just what is given in the loan. To be conservative, if you don’t hire anyone back, you may not be able to benefit from forgiveness of the payment of mortgage, utilities, rent, etc. However, it appears you may be able to ignore this rule IF you hire everyone back before June 30th, 2020 even if you didn’t hire them back during the 8 week period. Obviously, you won’t get loan forgiveness for the payroll costs not paid during that 8-week period, but you potentially will get your mortgage, utilities, and rent paid for. We will update you as the SBA issues its future guidance on these issues.
There is extra complication in bringing your employees back for the 8 weeks because you likely don’t want to hire them back and the let them go again, and some of them (the ones in Ohio making less than $50,000-60,000, depending on how many dependents are in their household) are making more money on unemployment. You will need to consider this when you are ramping back up, at least until July 25th when the extra federal incentive ends for everyone on unemployment.
Inspiration and pride in manufacturing
We have had the honor of continuing to publish about the amazing things happening in manufacturing around the region. We are extremely proud of how manufacturers have been stepping up.
We have created this list of practical things manufacturers need to be thinking about and do today to prepare for COVID-19.