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LIBC Supports Proposed Northport Power Station Settlement

July 17, 2020

The LI Business Council joined with regional partners and weighed in with support for the negotiated settlement regarding the Northport Power Station. While imperfect, LIBC believes the proposed settlement represents the best achievable solution for LIPA and community residents.

Long Island Business Council Announces Back to Business Webcast Series

June 17, 2020

The Long Island Business Council (LIBC) has announced the kick-off of its webcast series "Back to Business: Moving Forward with Lessons from the Pandemic." The series will focus on key regional industries and issues and what Long Island’s business and government leaders need to do to advance, not just a recovery, but a sustainable economic resurgence.
The first will take place from 5pm-6pm on Tuesday, June 23rd, and focus on

LIBN: Business groups team up to seek COVID-19 liability shield

June 15, 2020

Business groups team up to seek COVID-19 liability shield

By David Winzelberg, June 15, 2020, Long Island Business News 

A coalition of Long Island business organizations are calling on Congress to enact legislation that will protect businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits. 

Business groups team up to seek COVID-19 liability shield

By David Winzelberg, June 15, 2020, Long Island Business News 

A coalition of Long Island business organizations are calling on Congress to enact legislation that will protect businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits. 

Executives of several groups, including the Association for a Better Long Island, the Long Island Association, Long Island Builders Institute, Discover Long Island, Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island, Long Island Contractors Association, Long Island Business Council, Ignite Long Island, Nassau Council of Chambers of Commerce and Suffolk County Alliance of Chambers, sent a joint letter to congressional leaders advocating for a COVID-19 business liability waiver, according to a coalition statement. 

“Regardless of how stringent a business follows CDC disinfecting protocols, tests its employees, and monitors those who enter and exit its premises, it will be impossible to completely eliminate the threat of infection,” the letter reads. “Therefore, unless Congress acts, business owners will be liable from employee, visitor and/or customer lawsuits.” 

The coalition’s letter cited a recent survey conducted by Engagious, the Sports and Leisure Research Group, and ROKK Solutions, which found that 36 percent of American workers would sue their employers if one of their co-workers contracted COVID-19 upon their return to work, and soon after contracted it themselves. 

Another 26 percent of survey respondents said they would sue even if the employer instituted extensive mitigation protocols to protect them from the virus, and regardless of whether they’d signed a release holding their employer harmless. 

Kyle Strober, executive director of ABLI, said “the formation of this unprecedented coalition should immediately send warning signs to Congress” of the potential economic harm should the liability issue not be addressed. 

“The lack of a liability waiver could well be the tipping point for any number of businesses caught in the double body blows of a three-month shut down followed by litigation from any employee or visitor who chooses to accuse the business or property owner as their source of COVID-19 infection,” Strober said in the statement.

Terri Alessi-Miceli, president and CEO of HIA-LI, said employers across Long Island have admirably united with their employees in countless ways to help minimize the public impact of COVID-19.

“It would be a terrible irony if these two constituencies were now to be pitted against each other just as workplace conditions are returning to the new normal,” Alessi-Miceli said in the statement. “We implore Congress to take action to help well-intentioned employers from this kind of costly and needless litigation.” 

Michael Harrison, executive director of the Long Island Business Council, said many business owners and operators that seek to do the right thing for preserving the public health are following scientifically-based guidelines to keep customers and employees safe. 

“It is only fair that those who take such responsible and ethical actions should have their efforts acknowledged and be afforded a basic level of protection from predatory lawsuits searching for the easy score,” Harrison said in the statement.

AP: April Job Losses Fall Hard on Restaurants, Retailers

May 14, 2020

Millions of jobs have been lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic, of which 28% have been in the restaurant and bar industry and 10% of the losses have been in retail.  SOURCE: The Associated Press

April job losses fall hard on restaurants, retailers

Who

Industry Week: 1stQ Manufacturing Output Shows Significant Drop

May 07, 2020

Non-farm business labor productivity had the largest drop since the forth quarter of 2015. Durable goods output fell 11.9%.

Nonfarm Productivity Fell 2.5% in First Quarter, Most Since 2015

LI Business News: PPP Funds Reportedly Still Available

May 07, 2020

More than $100 billion in PPP funds still available

More than $100 billion in PPP funds still available

More than $100 billion in Paycheck Protection Program funds are still available, according to a statement released this morning by the U.S. Small Business Administration, which is encouraging small businesses to continue applying through approved banks, credit unions and non-bank lenders.
The second PPP round, which opened with $310 billion in funding on April 27, awarded 2.4 million loans worth $181.2 billion as of the close of business on Tuesday, May 5.
“Metro New York is at the epicenter of COVID-19,” Beth Goldberg, director of SBA’s New York District, which includes New York, City, Long Island and the Lower Hudson Valley. Almost $40 billion in PPP loans have been approved for over 245,000 small businesses in New York, according to Goldberg.
SBA forgives the portion of the PPP loan that is properly used by a small business to cover the first eight weeks of payroll costs, rent, utilities and mortgage interest.

Source: Long Island Business News

Newsday: Answers to Your Questions about Federal Stimulus Checks

May 06, 2020


Federal stimulus checks: Answers to your questions

 


Federal stimulus checks: Answers to your questions

 

By Laura Figueroa Hernandez laura.figueroa@newsday.com Updated May 6, 2020 7:46 PM

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More than half of the 150 million Americans eligible for an economic relief payment from the federal government have received their money, but millions more are still waiting for their share of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the CARES Act passed by Congress in late March.

Technical glitches with the Internal Revenue Service website have made it difficult for some Americans to track their payments or update their information, but federal officials insist they are working to ensure the fast release of the money aimed at spurring economic activity. 

Should I have received my money by now?

The federal government is still in the process of distributing payments and has notified lawmakers that it could take until mid-September for the final batch of payments to make it to Americans.

Of the 150 million Americans eligible for a payment, about 88 million have received their checks, according to the latest IRS data, leaving millions more still awaiting their payments. 

The IRS fast tracked the release of money to those with direct deposit bank information already filed with the agency from their 2018 or 2019 tax filings. For those without direct deposit information on file, the federal government started mailing out checks on April 24. 

Checks also are being mailed based on income, with lower earners slated to receive their checks first, according to an IRS timeline.

If I haven’t received my money, where can I check on its status?

The IRS has set up a “Get My Payment” website that allows you to check on the status of your payment. The website (www.irs.gov/coronavirus/get-my-payment) has been prone to technical glitches, so be prepared to troubleshoot for some issues that may come up.

Some users, after submitting the required information — Social Security number, date of birth and mailing address from your most recent tax return — have received a message indicating “Payment Status Not Available.” The tech website Mashable reports that some users have found success in typing in their address in all capital letters, or using abbreviations for streets.

The IRS website urges users to check their information against their most recent tax return to ensure the information matches up. The IRS website notes: “You may want to check your most recent tax return or consider if there is a different way to enter your street address (for example, 123 N. Main St. versus 123 North Main St.). You may also verify how your address is formatted with the U.S. Postal Service by entering your address in the USPS ZIP Lookup tool, and then enter your address into Get My Payment exactly as it appears on file with USPS.”

The website also urges users to enter numbers “exactly as they appear on your” tax forms, and “If the numbers from your 2019 tax return are not accepted, try the numbers from your 2018 tax return instead.”

A letter sent out by the Trump administration advising Americans that their payment has been dispersed lists a toll-free number to call for more information, but that number (800-919-9835) only offers automated prompts that offer general information about eligibility requirements.

Is there a way to double-check the amount?

Those individuals who believe they were entitled to more money — whether it be because they have a dependent child that was not immediately reflected in their latest tax return or because their income changed since their last tax filing, will be able to make a claim to receive the additional money when filing their 2020 tax return, according to the IRS. “This is particularly important for individuals who may be entitled to the additional $500 per qualifying child dependent payments,” the IRS website states.

Will I be charged taxes on this money?

The IRS website states that payment recipients will not be taxed on their federal payment. According to the website, “you will not include the payment in your taxable income on your federal income tax return or pay income tax on your payment. It will not reduce your refund or increase the amount you owe when you file your 2020 federal income tax return. A payment also will not affect your income for purposes of determining eligibility for federal government assistance or benefit programs.”

Can I still add direct deposit information?

The Treasury Department is continuing to encourage Americans to file their direct deposit information. Individuals can check the status of their payment on the IRS’ “Get my Payment” website. If a payment has not already been sent by mail, individuals are allowed to enter their bank information on the website. Individuals who are not required to file their income taxes (typically those that have no income to report, or earn $12,000 or less individually or $24,000 or less in a joint filing) are asked to submit their direct deposit information through a separate IRS portal found at www.irs.gov/coronavirus/non-filers-enter-payment-info-here

What if I think they mailed it to my old address?

Individuals should first check the IRS’ “Get My Payment” website to check whether their check has indeed gone out in the mail. If it has not, individuals can update their address by submitting their 2019 tax return with the updated information, according to the IRS website. The IRS press office did not offer additional guidance when asked by Newsday about the possibility of a check already being mailed to an outdated address, but one official said individuals should also ensure the Postal Service has their most recent address by submitting a change-of-address form.

What if a deceased family member received a payment?

Amid reports that deceased Americans have received payments, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told The Wall Street Journal the money must be returned.

If a paper check was issued, families must write "Void" on the endorsement section in the back of the check and mail it back to the IRS office based on their region, according to new guidelines put out by the IRS on Wednesday. (For New Yorkers, checks can be mailed to Brookhaven Refund Inquiry Unit, 5000 Corporate Ct., Mail Stop 547, Holtsville, NY 11742. A complete list for other states can be found on the IRS website.)

If the check was already cashed or issued via direct deposit, families must mail a check or money order to the IRS in the amount sent to the deceased individual. For those married couples or joint filers who received their deceased spouse's portion, they are only required to return their spouse's allocation.

The IRS indicates a payment must be returned if the person "died before receipt of the payment."

Will we get another stimulus check?

There is no current legislation providing for a second round of payments. Congressional Democrats have floated several proposals for a second wave of direct dollars to Americans, and President Donald Trump told reporters on April 7 that a future round of payments “is absolutely under serious consideration.” But congressional Republicans have pushed back on the prospect citing concerns over the ever-increasing national deficit.

By Laura Figueroa Hernandez laura.figueroa@newsday.com

Source: Newsday

Newsday: Chembio All-In on COVID-19 Tests

May 05, 2020

Newsday’s James Madore reports that Long Island-based Chembio Diagnostics Inc. will ramp up production of coronavirus blood tests. The company’s Hauppauge and Medford facilities, as well as a production line in Brazil, will be converted to accommodate production of these tests.

FROM NEWSDAY

LI manufacturer says it will make 1 million coronavirus tests in May

By James T. Madore james.madore@newsday.com  @J

Meeting Cancellations

May 05, 2020

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 emergency and appropriate NY-PAUSE restrictions, the LI Business Council will not be scheduling a new date at this time for our previously scheduled 5/6/20 and 3/25/20 meetings with Long Island's County Executives. Please watch your emails and the Long Island Business Council Facebook page for upcoming events and activities. Thank you, be well and stay safe!

Bellone extols need for convention center to business group

March 01, 2019

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone cited the need for a convention center at a meeting of the Suffolk Alliance of Chambers in Hauppauge Friday.

Bellone joined Suffolk legislators Steve Flotteron and Bridget Fleming in addressing the group of small business owners to discuss economic development efforts and other issues affecting small business here.

“The Ronkonkoma HUB is the biggest example of economic development

Cuomo proposes to apply sales tax to all internet sales

September 17, 2019

ALBANY — Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is proposing to take advantage of a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would allow New York to charge sales tax on all internet sales, potentially adding to the cost of internet purchasing while providing an even playing field for traditional stores. 


Cuomo proposes requiring all companies that sell products over the internet to collect state and local sales tax — about 7 percent i
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