Combating the Coronavirus
COVID-19: What You Should Know
Coronavirus (COVID-19) was first identified in Wuhan, China and reported by the World Health Organization on December 31. It has now spread to many countries across the globe.
The United States has also been impacted with cases reported in almost every state and the District of Columbia. For the latest, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) website.
What Can I Do to Avoid Contracting COVID-19
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has many useful tips and suggestions on how to avoid contracting the coronavirus. These measures include:
• Avoiding close contact with people who are sick
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth
• Stay home when you are sick
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe
The CDC says the virus is spread mainly from person-to-person including between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes in which the droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
New Mexico Resources
Updates on Covid-19 from New Mexico Department of Health
If you have symptoms:
New Mexico Coronavirus hotline: 1-855-600-3453
Family Support Services: 1-833-551-0518
Tax Relief for COVID–19: Extension of Time to File New Mexico Taxes
The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) has announced that New Mexico taxpayers qualify for extended return and payment deadlines due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic (emergency declaration) by the Federal Government and the COVID-19 statewide public health emergency declaration (Executive Order 2020-004) by the Governor of New Mexico Michelle Lujan Grisham. The extensions affect personal income tax, corporate income tax, and withholding tax.
The Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) will not impose a late-filing and late-payment penalty associated with the return filing and payments set forth below:
• New Mexico personal income tax returns and payments due between April 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020 may be submitted without penalty no later than July 15, 2020;
• New Mexico corporate income tax returns and payments due between April 15, 2020 and July 15, 2020 may be submitted without penalty no later than July 15, 2020; and
• Withholding tax returns and payments due between March 25, 2020 and July 25, 2020 may be submitted without penalty no later than July 25, 2020.
The New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department has also determined that due to recent IRS action, it will not have to impose interest charges on taxpayers who take advantage of the 90-day extensions for filing and paying New Mexico personal and corporate income taxes. However, interest will need to accrue on withholding tax extensions.
The Department also clarified that the extensions apply to the quarterly personal income tax estimated payments required of some taxpayers on April 15, which includes many self-employed New Mexicans, as well as to trusts, estates, and fiduciaries. All of these will now be due no later than July 15, 2020.
New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions
During a press event on March 13, Secretary McCamley announced that Department of Workforce Solutions will allow employees who have had to cut their hours due to coronavirus to claim partial unemployment benefits. This is an attempt to prevent layoffs. Employees will need to complete weekly certification to claim benefits, but the usual requirement of providing proof that one is looking for work will be waived.
Employees can apply online at www.jobs.state.nm.us or over the phone at 1-877-664-6984 Monday-Friday, 8:00am-4:30pm.
UPDATE: Individuals who call the Unemployment Insurance Operations Center will now have a designated day to call based on the last number of the applicant’s Social Security Number (SSN).
The guide for calling using the last number of SSN is as follows:
0 – 3 : Monday
4 – 6 : Tuesday
7 – 9 : Wednesday
Missed your day: Thursday and Friday
Filing later in the week will not delay payments or affect the date of an individual’s claim, since all claims are effective on the Sunday of the week in which they are filed.
Return to Work Guidance from Department of Workforce Solutions
The New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions has issued guidance regarding return to work and Unemployment Benefits during the COVID 19 Pandemic, including sections on non-essential employees, safe working conditions, declining suitable work and more.
COVID-19 Business Loan Guarantee Program
The New Mexico Economic Development Department (NMEDD) has created a program to assist businesses seeking emergency loans or lines of credit to deal with negative economic impacts from COVID-19. NMEDD can guarantee a portion of a loan or line of credit up to 80% of principal or $50,000. Loan proceeds are flexible and can be used for (and not limited to) the following: working capital, inventory and payroll.
- Borrower approaches lender
- Lender applies to the program
- Lender and NMEDD sign agreement
- Lender makes the loan
- NMEDD guarantees the loan in case of default
Lenders and borrowers can apply here.
LEDA Zero-Percent Interest Loans
- Limited to expenditures for land, building and infrastructure
- Can be used for lease abatement or mortgage assistance
- Company must be a qualified entity (manufacturer, non-retail service business with more than 50% of revenue generated out of state, or a retail business in a community or less than 15,000 in population)
- All loans will be required to provide security equal to the amount of the loan
For assistance with LEDA loans, find & contact your Regional Representative, or contact Mark Roper, Mark.Roper@state.nm.us or 575.562.0327
New Mexico Finance Authority: Business Loan Partnership Program
NMFA and “Partner Banks,” together, share risk while lowering the overall cost of borrowing for the business by NMFA offering low-cost rates on its portion of the loan to a New Mexico business.
Contact, John Brooks, 1-877-ASK-NMFA, or jBrooks@nmfa.net
City of Albuquerque Small Business Office
The City of Albuquerque has pulled together resources for small businesses affected by coronavirus, including a guide that addresses restaurant challenges.
Albuquerque International Sunport Travel Updates
In addition to other measures, Sunport is encouraging anyone picking up or dropping off travelers to use the outdoor curbside services rather than parking and entering the terminal. Learn more
DVH Law is offering free consultations and assistance with grant/loan applications and access to available resources for aviation and national-security businesses during COVID-19.
Guidelines for Employers
Businesses should be ready to implement strategies to protect their workforce from coronavirus while ensuring continuity of operations. For more on best practices and recommended strategies, please visit the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- Implement Recommended Strategies for Employee Health and Safety
- Establish a Cross-Functional Team to Manage Preparation and Response
- When faced with an event that has potential to significantly impact your business and its people, forming a team to manage your assessment, preparation, communication, and response is an important best practice. The earlier this team is in place, the better organized your response will be to limit impact on the business and your people.
- What is your business continuity plan and have you tested it? Can your business continue to operate efficiently if all your employees had to work remotely?
- Use your team to conduct a risk assessment and implement measures that balance the health and safety of employees with business continuity. Have your team brainstorm solutions to possible scenarios and considerations:
- New Mexico schools will be closed starting March 16th. Will you provide childcare? Are all your employees equipped to do their job remotely?
- What are guidelines for assessing the threat level to your business? What steps will you take as the threat increases? This team will prepare and have response plans in place should the threat level increase.
- How does this impact your supply chain? While your community may not be impacted, have you mapped your supply chain to determine sourcing of ingredients, parts or equipment to assess potential risk and how that will impact productivity of the business?
- Do you need to implement travel restrictions and who is monitoring the changing state of play there?
- What FAQs do your employees need to be equipped to answer? For example, if you make a product in China, are your employees able to confidently answer when a customer asks if it has been exposed and if they are in danger of getting sick upon receipt of the product?
- What is your response when employees ask if your major corporate meeting is still on for May? What if they ask about limiting domestic travel?
- Are you legally allowed to take an employee’s temperature?
- Determine the strategies that best support your business and assign team members to implement them. Possible actions include:
- Establish an ongoing process to communicate health and safety measures to all employees, through email and other digital media, staff meetings, hanging posters, water-cooler conversations, etc.
- Communicate and continue to communicate with customers, vendors, business partners, etc. know what measures you are taking to address coronavirus.
- Assess the risk of business travel and follow recommendations for safe business travel.
- Assess your essential functions and determine what is needed to maintain critical operations.
- Explore flexible and/or remote work if needed.
- Use the current coronavirus situation as an opportunity to develop or revisit existing plans and procedures, including your:
- Continue to monitor news provided by official channels, including the CDC, WHO, local and state governments and health departments.
- Ensure that your sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance and that employees are aware of these policies.
- Maintain regular communication with employees and business partners as the situation changes and develops.
- Continue to use your cross-functional team to adjust to the changing needs of your business to maintain successful operations.
- Share best practices with other businesses in the community (especially those within the supply chain), chambers of commerce, and associations to improve community response effort.
Where to Learn More:
- CDC: Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Business Resilience Guidance
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Guidance for Employers
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Workplace Tips for Employees
- U.S. Department of Labor: COVID-19 Guidance
- Leadership in Times of Crisis: A Toolkit for Economic Recovery and Resiliency
Cleaning Your Electronic Devices
In response to the Coronavirus outbreak Apple has updated their support documents on cleaning Apple products. Specifically confirming it is okay to use Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on iPhones and iPads.
“Is it OK to use a disinfectant on my Apple product?”
“Using a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol wipe or Clorox Disinfecting Wipes, you may gently wipe the hard, nonporous surfaces of your Apple product, such as the display, keyboard, or other exterior surfaces. Don’t use bleach. Avoid getting moisture in any opening, and don’t submerge your Apple product in any cleaning agents. Don’t use on fabric or leather surfaces.”