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VSBDC: Vermont Economic Recovery and Relief Package

July 01, 2020

The following is information from the June 30 newsletter by Linda Rossi state director of the Vermont Small Business Development Center.

We suggest reading the link documents in their entirety. Use the following link to make sure you are signed up to receive all of the pertinent updates from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD). https://vermont.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ff50346b45ae607c4e55c01ec&id=73312ef76e.

Vermont Economic Recovery and Relief Package

Phase One: Immediate Relief to Survive.

Part One of this Relief Package has been signed by Governor Scott. It includes $70 million for Emergency Economic Recovery Grants as described below. The Agency of Commerce and Community Development and the Department of Taxes will work together to administer the grants.

There are two buckets of grants. See instructions below. However, they share basic eligibility criteria.

Please note that points 1 and 2 below (in addition to eligibility requirements) also apply to both grants.

An eligible business will be a nonpublic, private organization that:

    a. Is domiciled or has its primary place of business in Vermont.

    b. Has one or more non-owner employees in Vermont.

    c. Was open and active before February 15, 2020.

    d. Is open at the time of application, or is required to have closed due to COVID-19 restrictions but can certify to its intention to re-open when the COVID-19 restrictions are lifted.

    e. Has experienced a 75% or greater drop in total revenue in any one-month period from March 1, 2020 to August 31, 2020, when compared with the same month in 2019.

    f. Is not currently in Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

    g. Is in good standing with the Vermont Department of Taxes.

    h. Is in good standing with the Vermont Secretary of State.

    i. Has not received a Vermont Emergency Economic Recovery Grant from the Department of Taxes or Agency of Agriculture, Food and Markets.

1) Additional general comments:
    a) Please note that there will only be one grant allowed per applicant.
    b) All grant recipients names and amounts will be public.
    c) The ACCD is providing webinars on the application process and related materials: https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19  
    d) To make sure you get all updated information sign up for the ACCD newsletter here:
https://vermont.us3.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=ff50346b45ae607c4e55c01ec&id=73312ef76e

2) The program will be administered on a first come first served basis. And it has been noted by the ACCD that if either department has questions about any of your documentation you will come out of the queue and therefore lose your place in line. So start preparing this list of required documents correctly now.
    a) Your Vermont Account Identification Number (used by the Vermont Department of Taxes) and Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
    b) The appropriate NAICS code for your company. (Nonprofits may not have an appropriate NAICS code and are exempt from this requirement.) The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used by the United States, Canada, and Mexico to classify businesses by industry. Each business determines its six-digit NAICS code number based on the majority of activity at the business. When you file your federal income taxes, you provide a “business code” that is based on the NAICS number and the information for your business tax filing includes a table of those codes. Here is the link:
https://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/
    c) Amount and source information about any compensation you have already received from insurance, PPP, EIDL, or any other federal program for economic damages incurred as a result of COVID-19.
         (1) How exactly these will be taken into consideration is still not decided. The money funding this program, though it is administered by the State, is CARES Act money. The State is currently seeking guidance from the Feds.
    d) Whether you are in good standing with the Vermont Department of Taxes. Good standing for your business means that all required tax returns are filed and that all taxes are paid, OR if you owe any taxes that are past due, you are in a payment plan for those taxes. If you have any unpaid taxes for your business, you can call (802) 828-2518 to request a payment plan. Any taxpayers who are not in good standing may be deemed ineligible for the grant.
    e) The application will also require uploads of financial statements and tax information. Applicants should prepare PDF versions of the following documents (a total of five) and have them ready to upload before you start filling out the application.
        (1) 2019 income statement broken down by month
        (2) 2020 income statement broken down by month
        (3) 2019 federal tax return
        (4) 2019 Vermont state tax return
        (5) W-9 (signed)

3) The 50 Million administered by the Vermont Department of Taxes is for businesses that are primarily restaurants, bars, lodging properties and retail establishments that collect Rooms & Meals Tax and/or Sales & Use Tax and report on a monthly or quarterly basis to the Vermont Dept. of Taxes. (EXAMPLES: restaurant, bar, hotel, inn, retail store, online retail, golf course, movie theater).
https://tax.vermont.gov/coronavirus#relief 
        a) In additional preparation for this grant you need to:
              i) Register for a myVTax account if you do not have one already. The good news is most meals and rooms and sales and use taxpayers already have a myVTax account. Having an active myVTax account will streamline the application process for your business once the application is available. It will also reduce the chance of a typographical error that delays the processing of your application.
              ii) When setting up a new myVTax account you must receive a myVTax access code through the US Mail to activate your account, so we recommend you sign up now using this link:
https://myvtax.vermont.gov/_/ 
              iii) File all of your sales and use and meals and rooms tax returns through the April 30, 2020, period. April returns were due May 25, 2020. We also encourage filing your May 31, 2020, period returns that are due June 25, 2020. The Department of Taxes will be using the data from these Tax returns to verify a 75% or greater drop in total sales subject to these taxes, which is a requirement to qualify for a grant. If you have not filed all of these required returns, you may be deemed ineligible for the grant.
              iv) Ensure you are in good standing with the Vermont Department of Taxes. Good standing for your business means that all required tax returns are filed and that all taxes are paid, OR if you owe any taxes that are past due, you are in a payment plan for those taxes. If you have any unpaid taxes for your business, you can call (802) 828-2518 to request a payment plan. For purposes of this grant, taxes owed for the February, March, or April 2020 tax periods for sales and use or meals and rooms tax will NOT disqualify you from receiving a grant. Any taxpayers who are otherwise not in good standing may be deemed ineligible for the grant.

4) The 20 Million administered by the ACCD is for business that does not collect Rooms & Meals Tax and/or Sales & Use Tax, OR if your business reports to the Department of Taxes on these taxes for a minimal amount of your overall revenues. (EXAMPLES: manufacturer, property management, construction, realtor). https://accd.vermont.gov/covid-19/economic-recovery-grants 

Important Note: Part Two of The Relief Package has worked its way thru the legislature and will roll out after Part One (above). And as we have more details we will advise you on next steps.
There can be no duplication of use of funds among all of these federal and state programs. Keeping very detailed records of your actions (as noted below) is paramount. As these programs are defined and delivered, we will have an understanding of how the programs interrelate (work together in concert and impact each other). At this point, we do not have complete information on that.