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    ACEC Georgia is closely monitoring activities at the State and Federal level intended to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses. At times like these, it is important to have proactive advocates who can fight for the needs of your firm and industry, so that you can focus on managing your firm.

     

    While the situation is fluid and there will be more governmental action at both the State and Federal levels in the days and weeks ahead, we want to provide you with the most up to date information affecting your business. In that regard, please see below for the latest update on the various Federal, State and Local initiatives that have been approved or are being discussed.

     

    As always, if there is anything we can be doing for you, your firm or our industry, please don’t hesitate to let us know. A list of staff contact information can be found here.

     

    Please connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn as additional ways to get up to date information.

     


     

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    FEDERAL UPDATES

     

    Recent Federal Action on Coronavirus (as of April 3, 2020):

     

    The Department of Labor issued a temporary rule to implement the emergency paid leave provisions in the FFCRA. https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/ffcra

     

     

     

    Required poster on emergency paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA:)

     

     

     

    IRS guidance on the payroll tax credits connected to Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) emergency paid leave.

     

    https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/covid-19-related-tax-credits-for-required-paid-leave-provided-by-small-and-midsize-businesses-faqs

     

     


     

    On March 31, 2020, the White House released the following information regarding the small business assistance program under the Paycheck Protection Act, which is part of the CARES Act signed into law on March 27, 2020.  Qualified firms should contact their lenders as soon as possible to start the application process.

     

    ASSISTANCE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

     

    Paycheck Protection Program - Assistance for Small Businesses

     

    The Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds are provided in the form of loans that will be fully forgiven when used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. Forgiveness is based on the employer maintaining or quickly rehiring employees and maintaining salary levels. Forgiveness will be reduced if full-time headcount declines, or if salaries and wages decrease. Small businesses, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. In the case of engineering firms, firms with fewer than 500 employees would qualify. 

     

     

    CARES Act Changes to Retirement Plans and Executive Compensation

     

    The CARES Act provides a number of new, optional ways for plan participants to access their retirement accounts in light of the coronavirus pandemic, as summarized below.

     

    Impact on Retirement Plans & Access to Retirement Plan Account Funds

     

    The Act provides a number of new, optional ways for plan participants to access their retirement accounts in light of the coronavirus pandemic, including:

     

    • An increased limit on new loans taken from the plan (replacing $50,000 with $100,000 and 50 percent with 100 percent account balance limit);
    • Up to a one-year extension of the repayment of existing loans under the plan; and
    • Temporary withdrawals of up to $100,000 without being subject to the 10% early withdrawal tax. Such distributions can be taxed over three years with an ability to repay within three years.

     

    These special provisions can be made available to any individual:

     

    • Who is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a CDC-approved test;
    • Whose spouse or dependent is diagnosed with COVID-19 by a CDC- approved test; or
    • Who experiences adverse financial consequences from COVID-19 as a result of:
    • being quarantined;
    • being furloughed, laid off or having work hours reduced;
    • being unable to work due to a lack of child care;
    • closure or reduced hours of a business owned or operated by the individual; or
    • other factors determined by U.S. Department of the Treasury.

     

    These distributions may be made to participants any time in 2020, and the increased loans may be made within 180 days after enactment. Employers should note that offering these provisions to employees is optional and will require a plan amendment no earlier than the end of the 2022 plan year (2024 for governmental plans).

     

    Waiver of Required Minimum Distributions

    The Act provides for the waiver of 2020 required minimum distributions (RMDs) from defined contribution plans and IRAs. This applies to both 2020 RMD payments for individuals who were already receiving them and individuals who would otherwise have received their first RMD in 2020. Individuals who reached age 70½ in 2019 should note that this change in the Act waives the requirement that they receive their first RMD by April 1, 2020. In addition, as such individual’s RMD for 2020 is also waived, that individual will not be required to receive an RMD under the plan or IRA until December 31, 2021 (at the latest). Additional guidance regarding the options available to employers with respect to the RMD waiver is expected from the IRS.

     

    Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plan Funding

    The Act provides that any single-employer plan contributions that would otherwise be due during 2020 are instead due on January 1, 2021. This applies to quarterly contributions and the final contribution necessary to satisfy the plan’s minimum funding requirements, if otherwise due in 2020. These contributions will begin accruing interest on the prior deadline at the plan’s effective rate of interest. Employers should note that if payment of these contributions is delayed until 2021, the employer will need to pay both the 2020 and 2021 contributions in 2021. The Act does not provide for the ability to delay the payment of contributions that were otherwise due in 2021.

     

    In addition, for plan years that include any portion of 2020, the plan sponsor is permitted (but not required) to elect to treat the plan’s adjusted funding target attainment percentage as being equal to the percentage from the last year ending before January 1, 2020. This will allow plans to avoid reporting significantly lower funding percentages, which may trigger certain funding-related benefit restrictions (such as lump sum prohibitions). By using this provision of the Act, plan sponsors may be able to avoid these restrictions.

     

    Exclusion for Certain Employer Payments of Student Loans

    The Act expands the existing Code Section 127 to allow employers to contribute up to $5,250 toward employees’ qualified educational loans. This allows employers to make payments either to the employee or to the lender directly and applies to payments made after the CARES Act takes effect through December 31, 2020. Employers with workforces with outstanding student loans may use this provision to help their employees with student loan repayment.

     

    Executive Compensation Restrictions

    The Act authorizes the Treasury Department to make loans and other investments to provide liquidity to businesses in response to the coronavirus pandemic. However, as a condition of such loans or financial assistance, employers must agree to a period of significant restrictions on their executive pay practices. This restricted period begins when the loan or loan guarantee commences and lasts for one year after the date the loan or loan guarantee is no longer outstanding.

     

    During the restricted period, no officer or nonunion employee whose total compensation exceeded $425,000 in 2019 may be paid more than his or her 2019 total compensation or receive severance exceeding two times his or her 2019 total compensation.

     

    In addition, during the restricted period, no officer or employee whose total compensation exceeded $3 million in 2019 may receive total compensation exceeding $3 million plus 50 percent of the excess over $3 million the individual received in 2019. For example, if an officer’s total compensation in 2019 was $5 million, the officer may not receive more than $4 million during any 12-month period in the restricted period.

     

    For these purposes, total compensation includes salary, bonuses, awards of stock and other financial benefits provided by the eligible business to an officer or employee. 

     

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act (HR 6201) Update

     

    The Act passed the US Senate and was signed by President Trump and all provisions of the Act become effective on April 2, 2020. While the Act has many provisions addressing the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, several provisions apply specifically to employers as outlined below. Note that this update is provided as a courtesy to our members and does not constitute legal advice. For advice on how these provisions may impact your firm generally, or in a specific instance, please contact your firm’s attorney.

     

    Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act

    • Expands Coverage and Eligibility of FMLA entitlement

      • The Act expands FMLA on a temporary basis to employees who have been on an employer’s payroll for at least 30 calendars days. There does not appear to be a correlating hourly requirement (as there is with regular FMLA eligibility). It also only covers employers with fewer than 500 employees and government employers.

    • Qualifying Reason for Emergency FMLA Leave

      • Eligible employees (those who have been employed for at least 30 calendar days) may take up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave to allow an employee who is unable to work or telework to care for the employee’s child (under 18 years of age) if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the childcare provider is unavailable due to a public health emergency. Note: This is the only qualifying FMLA leave which made it into the final version of the law.

    • Paid Leave Provisions

      • Unlike “regular” FMLA leave, after an initial 10 calendar days employers must pay employees as follows:

        • Full-time employees at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate for the number of hours the employee would have otherwise been scheduled. Note: this is capped at $200 per day and $10,000.00 total.

        • Part-time employees or those who work irregular schedules are entitled to be paid based on the average number of hours the employee worked over the six-month period prior to taking the Emergency FMLA leave. Employees who have worked less than 6 months prior to taking the leave are entitled to the employee’s reasonable expectation at hiring of the average number of hours the employee normally would be scheduled to work.

    • The first 10 calendar days of unpaid leave may be substituted by any paid leave the employee has already accrued.

    • Right to Job Restoration

      • Employees have the same right to be returned to the same or an equivalent position upon returning to work as they do under traditional FMLA leave.

      • If reasonable efforts to return to an equivalent position fail, then the employer must make reasonable efforts to contact the employee about any such position that becomes available for 1 year after the employee’s leave ends.

     

    Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act

    • Uses for Emergency Paid Sick Leave

    1. Employee is subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19.

    2. Employee is advised by a healthcare provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.

    3. Employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis.

    4. Employee is caring for an individual subject to a federal, state, or local quarantine or isolation order or advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to COVID-19 concerns.

    5. Employee is caring for the employee’s child if the child’s school or place of care is closed or the child’s care provider is unavailable due to public health emergency. OR

    6. Employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

    • Eligibility

      • 80 hours of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay for reasons 1,2, & 3 listed above, capped at $511 per day or $5,110 total.

      • 80 hours of paid sick leave at 2/3rds the employee’s regular rate of pay for reasons 4,5, & 6 listed above, capped at $200 per day or $2,000 total.

      • The rate of pay for part-time or irregularly scheduled employees is based on the average number of hours the employee worked over the six month period immediately prior to taking the paid sick leave. Employees who have worked less than 6 months prior to taking the leave are entitled to the average number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work over a two-week period.

    • Carryover and Interaction with other Paid Leave

      • This paid sick leave will not carry over to the following year and may be in addition to any other paid sick leave currently provided by employers.

    • Interaction with the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act summarized above:

      • At the request of the employee, employers must pay full-time employees taking emergency FMLA leave for 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave instead of the 10 days of unpaid leave permitted by the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act. It is unclear as to whether there is any similar requirement for part-time or irregular schedule employees.

    • Paid Sick Leave Credit

      • For an employee who is unable to work because of Coronavirus quarantine or self-quarantine or has Coronavirus symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis, eligible employers may receive a refundable sick leave credit for sick leave at the employee's regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days.

      • For an employee who is caring for someone with Coronavirus, or is caring for a child because the child's school or child care facility is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may claim a credit for two-thirds of the employee's regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for up to 10 days. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

    • Child Care Leave Credit

      • In addition to the sick leave credit, for an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or child care facility is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may receive a refundable child care leave credit. This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee's regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the childcare leave credit. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

    • Prompt Payment for the Cost of Providing Leave

      • When employers pay their employees, they are required to withhold from their employees' paychecks federal income taxes and the employees' share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. The employers then are required to deposit these federal taxes, along with their share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, with the FIRS and file quarterly payroll tax returns (Form 941 series) with the IRS.

      • Under guidance that will be released next week, eligible employers who pay qualifying sick or child care leave will be able to retain an amount of the payroll taxes equal to the amount of qualifying sick and child care leave that they paid, rather than deposit them with the IRS.

      • The payroll taxes that are available for retention include withheld federal income taxes, the employee share of Social Security and Medicare taxes, and the employer share of Social Security and Medicare taxes with respect to all employees.

      • If there are not sufficient payroll taxes to cover the cost of qualified sick and childcare leave paid, employers will be able file a request for an accelerated payment from the IRS. The IRS expects to process these requests in two weeks or less. The details of this new, expedited procedure will be announced next week.

     

    U.S. Senate Stimulus Bill (Phase III)

     

    The key elements are summarized below. Indications are that there will be a vote in the Senate later this afternoon, with House action to follow, and final passage by the end of this week. Obviously, that could change and we will keep you updated (while also trying not to burden you with too many emails).

     

    Note that there is already work being done on at least one and possibly two more additional stimulus bills, with serious discussions that funding for critical infrastructure may be included.  

     

    Business Tax Relief

     

    • Deferral of payment of the employer portion of the Social Security tax, with half due by December 31, 2021 and the other half due by December 31, 2022.

    • Allows net operating losses arising in 2018, 2019 and 2020 to be carried back for five years.

    • Modifies the loss limitation applicable to passthroughs and sole proprietors so they can utilize excess business losses and access cash flow.

    • Increases business interest deductibility from 30% to 50% for 2019 and 2020.

    • Provides a refundable payroll tax credit for employers whose operations are partially or fully suspended by a COVID-19 shutdown order or whose gross receipts declined by more than 50% compared to the same quarter in the prior year.

    • Provides a technical fix for the qualified leasehold improvement provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017.

     

    Small Business Assistance

     

    • Provides $562 million for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small businesses.  

    • The package also authorizes $350 billion worth of 100% guaranteed SBA loans, a portion of which the SBA will forgive based on allowable expenses for the borrower. 

    • This small business package also includes $10 billion in direct grants for businesses that do not qualify for the EIDL program and $17 billion to have SBA step in and make six months of principle and interest payments for all SBA backed business loans. 

    • Establishes the maximum 7(a) loan amount to $10 million through December 31, 2020, and provides a formula by which the loan amount is tied to payroll costs incurred by the business to determine the size of the loan.

    • Note that 501 c(3) non-profits qualify for small business assistance programs, not 501 c(6) entities; ACEC will work with ASAE and other associations to address in the next package.

     

    Individual Assistance

     

    • The agreement provides direct payments to individuals with incomes up to $75,000 ($150,000 for couples), $1,200 for each adult ($2400 for couples), as well as $500 for each child.

    • The bill would add $600 per person per week onto the base maximum unemployment benefit for four months.

    • The bill enables employers to provide a student loan repayment benefit to employees on a tax-free basis, contributing up to $5,250 annually toward an employee’s student loans, and such payment would be excluded from the employee’s income. The $5,250 cap applies to both the new student loan repayment benefit as well as other educational assistance (e.g., tuition, fees, books) provided by the employer under current law. The provision applies to any student loan payments made by an employer on behalf of an employee after the date of enactment and before January 1, 2021.  Note that this provision is based on legislation that ACEC has advocated for to Congress as part of our engineering workforce agenda.

     

    Transportation

     

    • $25 billion for mass transit systems

      • Available for operating expenses to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19, and reimbursement for lost revenue

      • Distributed under current transit program formulas

    • $10 billion for airports

      • $7.4 billion available for any purpose, distributed 50/50 by number of enplanements and ratio of overall debt service

      • $2 billion for AIP formula grants, available for any purpose

      • $500 million to cover the 100% federal cost share of FY20 programs

    • $1 billion for passenger rail

      • $492 million for Amtrak Northeast Corridor, to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19

     

    State Assistance

     

    Provides $150 billion to States, Territories, and Tribal governments to use for expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 in the face of revenue declines, allocated by population proportions, with a minimum of $1.25 billion for states with relatively small populations.

     

    Community Development Block Grant – $5 billion is provided for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program to enable nearly 1,240 states, counties, and cities to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services. 

     

    Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund -- Provides $500 billion for loans, loan guarantees, and other investments, distributed as follows:

    • $25 billion for passenger air carriers, eligible businesses that are certified under part 145 of title 15, Code of Federal Regulations, and approved to perform inspection, repair, replace, or overhaul services, and ticket agents;

    • $4 billion for cargo air carriers; and

    • $17 billion for businesses important to maintaining national security;

    • $454 billion, as well as any amounts available but not used for direct lending, for loans, loan guarantees, and investments in support of the Federal Reserve’s lending facilities to eligible businesses, states, and municipalities. Federal Reserve 13(3) lending is a critical tool that can be used in times of crisis to help mitigate extraordinary pressure in financial markets that would otherwise have severe adverse consequences for households, businesses, and the U.S. economy.

     

    Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

     

    NOTE: the U.S. Department of Labor is offering employers and employees an opportunity to engage and offer their perspectives as the Department develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Input is due by Sunday, March 29, 2020 and can be submitted online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com

     

     

     

     


     

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    STATE UPDATES

     

    Governor Brian Kemp has issued a statewide shelter in place Executive Order, which goes into effect at 6:00 pm, Friday, April 3, 2020. This order suspends enforcement of all previously issued local government orders that “in any way conflicts, varies or differs from the terms of this Order” and prohibits the issuance of any future local ordinances unless they are “designed to enforce compliance with this Order” (see paragraph 4 on Page 8). This Order now provides a uniform, statewide standard.

     

    The Governor's Office has created a statewide shelter in place FAQ sheet, which can be found here.

     

    First, the order does not prohibit the continued in-person operation of engineering firms, as they fall under (1) the “Critical Infrastructure” workforce exemption provided in Gov. Kemp’s Order, and (2) also “provide essential services to the critical infrastructure workforce,” which is also exempted in the Order (see Page 5 of the Order).

     

    The Critical Infrastructure exemption in the Order refers to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s “Guidance on the Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” an Advisory that has also been widely used in numerous other statewide and local shelter in place orders across the nation. While the Advisory states that it “is not intended to be the exclusive list of critical infrastructure sectors, workers, and functions” it is also “intended to be overly inclusive” and to this point has been understood in all of these jurisdictions to include engineering and related services (such as surveying and inspections) that support critical infrastructure. Under the Advisory, “critical infrastructure” includes healthcare facilities, energy, water & wastewater, transportation & logistics, public works & infrastructure support services, communications & IT infrastructure, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials, chemical, defense, commercial and residential construction. You can review the Department of Homeland Security’s Advisory HERE and in the FAQ (link above).

     

    Note, however, that the Order does require Critical Infrastructure businesses to implement measures to mitigate exposure and spread of COVID-19 for their in-person operations (see requirements on Page 5 of the Order).

     

    Second, any business that is not specifically prohibited from operating (a list that begins at the bottom of page 6 of the Order) is still permitted to operate in-person under the “Minimum Basic Operations” exemption which begins at the bottom of page 3 of the Order. While the Minimum Basic Operations regulations do NOT apply to firms that fall under the Critical Infrastructure definition, these companies can continue to conduct, in-person, the “minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of a business…provide services, manage inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits or for related functions” and allows in-person work “where employees are working outdoors without regular contact with other persons.” These companies would be subject to the overall shelter in place prohibition of not having more than 10 persons gathered at a single location if such gathering requires persons to stand or be seated within six feet of any other person. The Order also requires these businesses to implement measures to mitigate exposure and spread of COVID-19 for their in-person operations (see Page 4 of the Order).    

     


     

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    LOCAL UPDATES

     

    On March 30, 2020, Governor Kemp issued a new Executive Order expanding the use of Private Plan Review and Inspection so that these services can now be offered in relation to the following types of structures (which were previously excluded from private plan review and inspections by O.C.G.A. 8-2-26(g)(17), and which is now suspended by this Order): hospitals, ambulatory health care centers, nursing homes, jails, penal institutions, airports, buildings or structures that impact national or state homeland security, or any building defined as a high-rise building in the State Minimum Standards Code.

     

    Please be aware that you must also complete the “Affidavit of Plan Review By Private Professional Provider” found on the DCA website:

     

    https://www.dca.ga.gov/node/5844

     

    This link provides guidance from the DCA regarding private plan review and inspections and references the Governor’s first Executive Order (which has now been expanded to include the previously prohibited structures by the Order)

     

    https://www.dca.ga.gov/local-government-assistance/construction-codes-industrialized-buildings/construction-codes

     

    ACEC Georgia has worked with AGC Georgia to address the problem of local governments shutting down their respective building departments, thus not providing important project plan reviews and inspections. Fortunately, current Georgia law already allows licensed engineers and architects to provide private plan review and inspection services, as a result of the successful effort by ACEC Georgia, AGC Georgia, Rep. Kevin Tanner, and Sen. Mike Dugan to pass House Bill 493 in the 2019 legislative session. Unfortunately, a few local governments were resisting efforts by owners to utilize this existing private review and inspection process.

     

    We are extremely grateful to Governor Brian Kemp and his staff for their leadership in ensuring that design and construction activity can continue by issuing an Executive Order to address this issue on Friday which makes clear the ability of owners to utilize private plan review and inspections pursuant to existing law.

     

    ACEC Georgia has compiled a list of providers who are qualified to provide private plan review and inspection services for county/city governments to use as well as private industry partners. The firms that are on the list employ engineers and/or architects who meet the following criteria (as required by O.C.G.A. 8-2-26(g)):

     

    • 'Private professional provider' means a professional engineer who holds a certificate of registration issued under Chapter 15 of Title 43 or a professional architect who holds a certificate of registration issued under Chapter 4 of Title 43, who is not an employee of or otherwise affiliated with or financially interested in the person, firm, or corporation engaged in the construction project to be reviewed or inspected.

    • All private professional providers providing plan review or inspection services pursuant to this subsection shall secure and maintain insurance coverage for professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance. The limits of such insurance shall be not less than $1 million per claim and $1 million in aggregate coverage for any project with a construction cost of $5 million or less and $2 million per claim and $2 million in aggregate coverage for any project with a construction cost of more than $5 million.

    • The private professional provider shall be empowered to perform any plan review or inspection required by the governing authority of any county or municipality, including, but not limited to, inspections for footings, foundations, concrete slabs, framing, electrical, plumbing, heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC), or any and all other inspections necessary or required to determine compliance with all regulatory requirements and for the issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy by the governing authority of any county or municipality, provided that the plan review or inspection is within the scope of such private professional provider's area of competency.

     

    If you are a qualified provider who would like to be added to the list, please contact Ashley Jenkins at ashley.jenkins@acecga.org, In the email, please provide the person who should be the point of contact for your firm, their contact information, and what type of plan review or inspection services you are qualified to provide.



    Please click here for the updated list of Qualified Engineering & Architecture Firms for Private Plan Review and Inspections.

     

     Click here to watch the ACEC Georgia Webinar: Managing the Risks of Private Plan Review & Inspections for more information on the executive order, legal concerns, insurance requirements, and other issues. 

     


     

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    ACEC GEORGIA EVENTS

     

    We are adhering to the CDC’s guidelines regarding social distancing and avoiding gatherings of more than 10 people. The health and safety of our members and industry partners is our first and foremost concern.

     

    Regarding ACEC Georgia’s scheduled events and activities that are taking place over the next eight weeks, we are working with our venues and vendors on options for postponing, rescheduling, or delivering programs virtually. For each individual activity and event, we will be in touch with the relevant participants and keep our website as up to date as possible as we confirm details. You can find a complete list of ACEC Georgia events and their status below:

     

    Event

    Status

    New Date

    2020 Georgia Engineering Awards (March 14, 2020)

    Rescheduled

    August 29, 2020

    ACEC Georgia Transportation Forum (April 1, 2020)

    Canceled

    N/A

    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Update – Savannah (April 17, 2020)

    Rescheduled

    August 14, 2020

    ACEC Georgia 2020 D.C. Fly-In Dinner (April 27, 2020)

    Postponed

    No new date currently

    ACEC Georgia 2020 D.C. Fly-In Congressional Update (April 28, 2020)

    Postponed

    No new date currently

    2020-2021 ACEC Georgia Strategic Planning Retreat (May 14-16, 2020)

    TBD

    N/A

    2020 Georgia Engineers Summer Conference (June 11-13, 2020)

    TBD

    N/A

     


     

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    ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

     

    Useful Links:

     

    IRS and Department of Labor Informal Guidance

    ACEC National Coronavirus Resource Page

    Greyling Report on Insurance Coverage Issues Related to the Coronavirus Pandemic

    OSHA Resources for Workers and Employers on Coronavirus

    AEC Industry Poll on COVID-19 Impacts - Conducted by Design-Build Institute of America

     

    Free Webinars:

     

    As the COVID-19 crisis continues to develop, ACEC Georgia is compiling a list of available resources to help you manage your firm through these very trying times. Please see below a link to available virtual learning opportunities for you to participate in. Most of these webinars are available for free and on-demand. 

     

    Webinar and Virtual Learning Opportunites

     

     

    WEEK 1 SURVEY

     

    ACEC National conducted a survey among member firms on COVID-19. You will see the top line results below. Graphs that give you a fuller picture of all the responses can be found here.

     

    Survey Results:

    • There were 794 respondents to the survey. Of them, 53% were firms under 25 FTEs. 

    • Most of our firms do not travel internationally (60%) and therefore, there was no change to their policies.

    • For domestic travel: 66% of respondents have restricted travel to training or conferences. 52% have restricted air travel.

    • For work from home: 20% have not changed their policy and said it’s business as usual. Most (64%) are either encouraging or allowing employees to work from home. Only 8% have made work from home mandatory.

    • 23% of responding firms are providing paid emergency leave, 13% are providing emergency unpaid leave. Interestingly, 13% already have an unrestricted leave policy.

    • When asked how firms are working with clients to ensure work can continue- 77% are ensuring social distancing, 73% are allowing virtual work, 52% are focusing on meeting and project hygiene, and 52% are limiting access to offices, project and construction sites.

    • 96% said they have not had problems with public clients when protective measures may conflict with contract terms.

    • 56% have not experienced project delays or cancellations; 44% have experienced delays/cancellations.

    • 76% have not experienced delays in the issuance of RFPs/RFQs or awards; 24% have experienced delays in issuance of RFPs/RFQs.

     

    When asked to describe any other business issues that you are experiencing related to COVID-19 respondents answers fell into several main categories:

    • Significant interest in what will pass Congress and how it will affect their business-particularly small firms

    • Many not experiencing major project delays as of now but expecting that to change

    • Worry that work will slow- starting to see it happening

    • Worry that clients will pay more slowly (particularly public clients)- starting to see it happening

    • Office going remote resulting in uncertainty of workflow

    • General employee distraction due to depth of crisis and rate of change

    • Economic uncertainty

     

    WEEK 2 SURVEY

     

    Below we’ve highlighted key changes in the ACEC Survey responses from last week to this week. A full report can be found here.

     

    Top Line Summary:

    • More firms have implemented some type of domestic travel restrictions (79% up from 71%). This has led to an increase in restrictions of all types of travel.

    • Significant increase in the percentage of firms that have implemented some type of telework policy (93% up from 80% in week 1).

    • To ensure work continuation, more firms implemented various methods to work with clients. Social distancing (84% up from 77%) and allowing virtual work (84% up from 73%) still top the list.

    • Large increase in the percentage of firms (24% up to 40%) reporting delays in RFPs/RFQs or Awards due to COVID-19.

    • Large increase in the percentage of firms (44% up to 58%) reporting project delays or cancellations due to COVID-19.

     

    Results from new questions asked March 24, 2020

    • Nearly 9 out of 10 firms (87%) report receiving no assistance from creditors at this time, or at least are not aware of any.

    • Nearly half (47%) of firms believe congress should delay payment of the firm’s share of Social Security payroll taxes, while nearly as many favor increasing interest deductibility for businesses (44%).

      • Suggested “other” steps congress can take to mitigate cash flow challenges include: no interest loans, grants to cover payroll, tax credits and deductions, and Direct Payments / Unemployment to Employees.

     

    Top Worries:

    • Cash Flow

    • Timing of government assistance

    • Project delays and future work cancellations

    • Loss of productivity/efficiency due to work from home

    • Slowed bank responses to many urgent requests

    • Anxiety over the economy

     

    We will do our best to keep this page updated with useful and timely information. If you have any questions about any of these legislative initiatives or how this impacts your business, please contact ACEC Georgia's President & CEO, Michael "Sully" Sullivan, at sully@acecga.org.