COVID-19 Legislation + Resource Update

The latest industry events, plus updates on PPP, the Main Street Lending Program and stay-at-home orders.

*Most – if not all – international, national and regional sign and graphics industry tradeshows, conventions and events have been canceled, postponed or rescheduled. The International Sign Association’s Sign Expo has been canceled, after having been originally postponed from early April to late August. The Las Vegas-based Digital Signage Expo has been moved to Sept. 15-18. FESPA’s Global Print Expo – which includes the European Sign Expo – has been rescheduled for Oct. 6-8 in Madrid. The Walldogs, a group of expert signpainters and muralists from around the globe, will no longer visit Olney, IL from June 17-21 for their annual event. No announcement has been made about a possible alternative date.

*The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) ran out funds weeks after lawmakers allocated $349 billion to the program as part of the $2 trillion economic stimulus package signed into law in late March. And though the PPP received a further influx of more than $300 billion on April 24, according to CBS News, banking groups indicated that the due to the high volume of applications sent to the SBA, it’s likely the “new money” will go to those businesses “already in the queue,” and that new applicants would probably miss out on the latest round of funding. There has been a recent positive development; per Forbes, Congress is considering extending the PPP loan forgiveness period.

*The Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program is an alternative to PPP. The Main Street Lending Program has been expanded from its original form, and its MSNLF, MSPLF and MSELF loans each contain different requirements and ranges for borrowing. The crucial difference between PPP and Main Street loans is that the latter work as traditional loans – there’s no forgiveness provision as in PPP. Similar to PPP, Main Street loans can be applied to financial hardships incurred by COVID-19, and the loans must be used to “make reasonable efforts to maintain payroll and retain your workforce,” per Vistage, an executive-coaching organization for small and medium-sized businesses.

*The vast majority of states enacted some form of stay-at-home order to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in the early days and weeks of the pandemic. In May, many states began reopening their economies to previously closed businesses while also prioritizing public safety. Many sign and graphics companies that were deemed “non-essential” in early days of the outbreak have been able to get back to work.

Catch up on the latest COVID-19 news affecting the sign industry by visiting signsofthetimes.com/channel/news.

Signs of the Times June 2020

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