Independent Contractors Recap
I wanted to personally thank you for joining our webinar on “The Impact of COVID 19 on Independent Contractors and Sole Proprietors” last Thursday. Over the past few weeks we have been fielding many calls from many of you and came to realize that this sector has some very specific special circumstances and needs. It was in that spirit that we offered the webinar and I hope you found the information helpful, timely and relevant.
I also want to address three specific follow up items:
As of this past Friday, independent contractors and self-employed individuals can apply for federal Payroll Protection Program loans. Please check the Grants & Loans tab on NJBIA’s Coronavirus Resource Page to find a list of participating banks and an application form to submit to your participating SBA lender. Also, the NJEDA loan application process opened yesterday as well. While it is already oversubscribed, you should still file an application, if you were planning to because they will go back to the queue on future rounds of funding.
Please read the following NJBIA memo addressing finance programs and unemployment insurance, and some FAQs from the webinar. Regarding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which makes independent contractors and sole proprietors eligible for unemployment insurance, please note that there is a delay in this application process while NJDOL awaits federal guidance. We know how frustrating this can be but despite a delayed application process, those who are eligible will receive 100% of what they are entitled to.
As you likely know, Gov. Phil Murphy signed Executive Order 122 last week, which directs the closure of all non-essential construction projects as of 8 p.m. last Friday. While many ICs are in this field, I wanted to provide the expanded guidance from the Governor’s office on what construction projects are still deemed essential and can continue. They include:
- Projects for health care, including hospitals and health care facilities
- Transportation projects, including roads, bridges, and physical infrastructures
- Utility projects
- Residential projects that are exclusively affordable housing
- Projects involving K-12 schools in Schools Development Authority districts and higher education facilities
- Projects already underway at a single-family home—or an individual apartment unit where an individual already resides—with a construction crew of 5 or fewer
- Projects already underway involving a residential unit which a tenant or buyer has legally agreed to occupy by a certain date, if construction I necessary for the unit’s availability
- Projects involving the manufacture, distribution, storage, or servicing of products sold by essential retail businesses
- Data centers or facilities critical to a business’s ability to function
- Projects for the delivery of essential social services, including homeless shelters
- Projects supporting law enforcement or first responders
- Projects ordered by Federal or State government
- Any work to secure and protect a non-essential construction project for its suspension
- Any emergency repairs necessary for the health and safety of residents
- We have also been directly advised that landscaping and maintenance work are also excluded from the EO and therefore, may continue. Regarding pool construction, only existing projects may continue and not new pool construction, unless it is maintenance.
As the Governor’s office may continue to make adjustments to what is deemed essential or not, please continue to check the listing at www.cv.business.nj.gov.
Please stay connected at www.njbia.org/coronavirus where we continue to update resources for you in real time.