State Emergency Orders Impacting Business | National Resources & Guidance | CARES Act: SBA Loans & Unemployment Benefits Info | ACA Advocacy & Messaging


This page was last updated on October 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm (EDT)


This page includes relevant state and local emergency orders impacting businesses, as well as links to external information and guidance from federal and state agencies. Topics covered include CDC & OSHA guidance; Small Business Administration Loans & IRS information; Department of Labor & EEOC guidance; and EPA & DOT guidance.

In addition to these resources, the page highlights ACA advocacy efforts and messaging the Coatings Industry is an ESSENTIAL participant in the COVID-19 response.

NOTE: Where links are provided to the specific state order and any guidance issued thereto, members should look to the specific language of the order when deciding whether their business may continue with manufacturing, distribution, research or retail operations.

Click on the following headings to navigate to these sections of this resource page.

→ National Resources & Guidance

→ CARES Act: SBA Loans Info & Unemployment Benefits

→ ACA Advocacy & Messaging

→ State Emergency Orders Impacting Business

National Guidance & Resources

National Governors Association (NGA) Coronavirus Resource Page: The NGA Coronavirus Resource Page offers a comprehensive overview of all state emergency orders issued and is updated frequently.

National Governors Association’s Reference Chart on Essential Business Designations

Coronavirus Construction Limits Tracker by State: This dashboard tracks how states with a stay-at-home mandate classify Construction and Building Material Suppliers.

President’s Executive Order on Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

Department of Homeland Security

Department of Labor Paid Leave Guidance: 

Occupational Safety and Health Administration

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which is responsible for enforcing federal workplace anti-discrimination laws, has issued updated guidance that addresses practical return-to-work COVID related issues that employers and employees will face during this transition, including medical examinations, confidentiality of medical information and reasonable accommodations. Specifically, EEOC’s guidance allows employers to follow the current guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and/or state and local regulations relating to COVID-19.

Inquiries and Medical Examinations: ADA-covered employers may ask employees if they are experiencing symptoms related to COVID-19, are permitted to measure the body temperature of employees entering the workplace, as well as, implement mandatory COVID-19 testing of employees prior to returning to work. (Employee medical information must remain confidential and be stored separately from personnel records.) More information is available through the following links:

Environmental Protection Agency

EPA Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Spaces Where Americans Live, Work, and Play: EPA and CDC have updated guidance to properly clean and disinfect spaces.

Department of Transportation

Internal Revenue Service (IRS):

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: The CARES Act provides a refundable payroll tax credit. The employee retention credit is available to eligible employers that retain employees, despite experiencing economic hardship related to the COVID-19 crisis. “Eligible employer” is an entity whose operation (1) is fully or partially suspended in response to governmental orders limiting commerce, travel or group meetings or (2) has experienced a significant decline in gross receipts, defined as a decline of 50% or more in quarterly receipts when compared to the prior year quarter, including tax-exempt organizations.  The retention credit is determined by taking 50 percent of the “qualified wages” from each employee during the eligible period (March 12, 2020 to January 1, 2021). The maximum amount of qualified wages that can be used for the credit is $10,000 – meaning the credit cannot exceed $5,000 per employee. Note, the credit is not available to employers receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program. Further guidance may be found here.
  • Payroll Tax Deferral: This deferral also available under the CARES Act allowing employers to defer their share of the 6.2% Social Security tax that would otherwise be due for the period from March 27, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Fifty percent of the deferred amount must be paid by December 31, 2021, and the remainder must be paid by December 31, 2022. Any employer that has to pay an employer’s share of the 6.2% Social Security tax is eligible.  However, an employer cannot defer payment of these 2020 payroll taxes if the employer also receives an SBA loan under the new Paycheck Protection Program that is later forgiven in full or in part. The deferral does not apply to federal income tax withholding, the Medicare tax, or the employees’ portion of Social Security tax.
  • Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA): Refundable tax credits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the “FFCRA”) for employers with fewer than 500 employees. Credits reimburse employers the cost of paid sick and family leave wages for employee leave related to COVID-19. The refundable tax credits apply to qualified sick leave and family leave wages paid during the period beginning April 1, 2020, and ending December 31, 2020.

Additional guidance on both the Employee Retention Tax Credit and Payroll Tax Deferral may be found here.

Small Business Administration Loans under CARES Act

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, two Small Business Administration(SBA) loan programs are being made available to many small businesses: the SBA 7(a) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.

UPDATE (10/12/20) – On October 8, 2020, the SBA issued a new Interim Final Rule that greatly simplifies the rules and process by which PPP borrowers can receive forgiveness for loans of $50,000 or less. Such borrowers may be eligible for a streamlined “check the box” process for receiving full loan forgiveness.

UPDATE (10/7/20) – On October 3, 2020, the SBA issued new procedural guidance to clarify the required procedures for changes of ownership of PPP borrowers.

UPDATE (9/8/20): On August 24, 2020, the SBA issued an Interim Final Rule relating to PPP loan forgiveness eligibility of owner-employee compensation and of certain rental payments and lease arrangements. On August 25, 2020, the SBA issued another Interim Final Rule, which establishes an administrative process for appealing certain SBA determinations of borrower ineligibility for PPP loan forgiveness.

UPDATE (8/13/20): On August 4, 2020, the SBA issued a PPP Loan Forgiveness FAQ, which it updated on August 11 to add three additional questions relevant to borrowers who received funds from both the PPP and the EIDL program. Also on August 11, the SBA expanded its prior PPP FAQ to add two additional questions relating to the treatment of agent fees and vision/dental benefits under the PPP. It also issued a new interim final rule on August 11 that establishes new procedures for borrowers to appeal a determination of ineligibility for PPP loan forgiveness.

UPDATE (8/5/20): On August 4, 2020, the SBA issued a new FAQ document on various loan forgiveness issues. The document is available here.

UPDATE (7/6/20): On July 4, 2020, the application deadline for the PPP was extended from June 30, 2020 to August 8, 2020. As of June 30, there was reportedly close to $130 billion in funding remaining for the PPP.

UPDATE (6/24/20): On June 10, 2020, the SBA issued revisions to its First Interim Final Rule relating to the PPP loan program, which are available here. The revisions largely update the SBA’s previous rules to incorporate changes made by the PPP Flexibility Act, but the revisions also include a significant interpretation that loosens loan forgiveness eligibility for those borrowers who use less than 60% of total loan proceeds for payroll costs. The SBA issued a new interim final rule on June 22, 2020 (available here), which primarily incorporates previously disclosed guidance but also provides new clarification on the rules applicable to early submission of loan forgiveness applications.

UPDATE (6/24/20): On June 15, 2020, the SBA withdrew the limits that had temporarily restricted EIDL loan and grant eligibility to only agricultural businesses. Eligible small businesses may once again apply for an EIDL loan and grant here. For the most up-to-date information on EIDL eligibility information, visit the SBA’s EIDL website here.

UPDATE (6/10/20): The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 was enacted on June 5, 2020. The law notably provides greater flexibility for PPP loan recipients with regard to loan maturity and forgiveness eligibility. For a more detailed analysis of the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, please see this article. ACA has also updated its memo on the SBA loan program to reflect these new changes

UPDATE (5/26/20): On May 15, 2020, the SBA released its PPP loan forgiveness application (available here), which includes new guidance on loan forgiveness eligibility. For a discussion of the application and the accompanying guidance, see this article. On May 23, the SBA issued two interim final rules: a rule that addresses loan forgiveness and a second rule that addresses loan review procedures and borrower responsibilities.

UPDATE (4/28/20): The SBA has issued additional guidance that may narrow PPP eligibility for some applicants, especially public companies and companies that have access to other sources of liquidity. See question 31 in this document. For commentary on borrower considerations in light of the new PPP guidance, see this article.

UPDATE (4/24/20) – On April 24, 2020, additional funding was authorized in the amount of $310 billion for the PPP and $50 billion for the EIDL program.

Brief summaries of these programs are provided below, and detailed information is available via the blue hyperlinks.

ACA has also prepared an ACA Memorandum: Small Business Administration Loans under CARES Act, which provides brief summaries of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): The CARES Act authorizes up to $349 billion in funding for the PPP loan program, which is designed to aid eligible small businesses with payroll and other eligible costs during the coverage period of February 15, 2020 to June 30, 2020. Small businesses generally are eligible for the PPP’s favorable loan terms and relaxed application requirements if they have less than 500 employees, but paint and coatings manufacturing companies (NAICS code 325510) may qualify if they have fewer than 1,000 employees. PPP loan amounts are available for the lesser of $10 million or 250% of qualifying monthly payroll costs. PPP loan funds may be used for payroll and other costs, including wages, salaries, benefits, and leave pay for many employees. The PPP also features a loan forgiveness program for up to 100% of eligible expenses during an 8-week portion of the coverage period.

PPP loans are available on a first-come, first-served basis through participating lenders, which typically include all FDIC institutions and federally insured credit unions. The loan application first became available for small businesses on April 3, 2020.

Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program: The EIDL program presents an option for eligible small businesses to obtain longer-term loans with favorable borrowing terms. The CARES Act greatly expanded EIDL eligibility and relaxed application requirements from January 31, 2020 to December 31, 2020 for small businesses with fewer than 500 employees that have experienced a substantial economic injury as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Paint and coatings manufacturing companies (NAICS code 325510) may qualify as small businesses if they have less than 1,000 employees. EIDLs may be available for up to $2 million for qualifying expenses, including eligible payroll expenses and debt obligations. EIDL applicants may be eligible to receive an immediate advance of up to $10,000, which is not subject to repayment.

EIDLs are available solely through applications filed directly with the SBA. To apply, please visit the SBA’s website at You may also contact the SBA disaster assistance customer service center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339); or by email at

Federal Reserve Main Street Lending Program for Small and Mid-Size Businesses

As a complement to initiatives being offered by the Small Business Administration, the Federal Reserve has created the Main Street Lending program to facilitate lending to small and mid-size businesses. The program is designed to provide loans of between $250,000 and $300 million to eligible U.S. companies with up to 15,000 employees and $5 billion in revenue. Loans through this program will be available through participating commercial banking institutions. More information on this program at the Federal Reserve’s website.

Unemployment Benefits Under CARES Act

Pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, three unemployment assistance and insurance (UI) programs are being made available to eligible individuals: Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC): From March 27, 2020 to July 31, 2020, all regular UI (including those who are receiving a partial unemployment benefit check) and PUA claimants will receive $600 per week in addition to their regular calculated benefit.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC): An additional 13-weeks of state UI benefits are provided once a claimant has exhausted all of their regular state UI benefits.  PEUC prohibits states from taking any action to decrease the maximum number of weeks of UI benefits or the weekly benefits that are available as of January 1, 2020.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA): Up to 39 weeks of emergency unemployment assistance is available to workers who are otherwise ineligible for state UI benefits or have exhausted their state UI benefits.  Workers who are eligible for PUA typically include self-employed workers, independent contractors, freelancers, workers seeking part-time work, and workers who do not have enough work history to qualify for state UI benefits.  The PUA program will expire on December 31, 2020, unless otherwise extended.

Applicants for PUA will need to self-certify that they are able to work and available for work, and that they are unemployed, partially employed, or unable or unavailable to work due to a COVID-19-related circumstance. PUA claimants are eligible to receive both PUC in addition to PUA.

Additional information pertaining to unemployment benefits under the CARES Act can be found at the following links:

ACA Advocacy & Messaging

UPDATED ACA Interpretation Guide for CISA’s Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers Version 2.0 (March 28, 2020): This guide is intended to assist members in applying the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Administration (CISA) Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce to your business. CISA’s Guidance was updated on March 28, 2020 and ACA’s guide incorporates CISA’s recent changes.

ACA Webinar Recording: PPP Program Update and Forgeiveness Issues: This hour-long webinar held Aug. 5,  led by the PPP team lead at Cozen O’Connor law firm, reviewed changes to the PPP program revolving around eligibility, funding, loan amounts, use of proceeds, and loan forgiveness.

ACA Webinar Recording: Employee Benefits in the Time of COVID-19: This hour-long webinar held May 21 reviewed legislative changes, regulatory guidance, and practical considerations related to employee benefits during the COVID-19 crisis. Presenters from Venable law firm addressed retirement and health benefits.

ACA Webinar Recording: Workplace Safety — COVID Duties, Planning and Response
This hour-long May 14 webinar was led by Jonathan L. Snare, Esq. Morgan Lewis & Bockius, and Bob Adams, CIH, CSP, FAIHA, Principal at Ramboll. The webinar covers current best practices and legal obligations with respect to OSHA and CDC Guidance; personal protective equipment (PPE);  cleaning & disinfecting; changes to the workplace; employee screening & testing; and employer training & communications.

ACA Webinar Recording: Interpreting CISA Guidance for Identification of Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers & Compliance with State Emergency Orders
This hour-long webinar held April 3, includes a Q&A CISA Assistant Director Brian Harrell, in which he addresses ACA-member submitted questions. It also covers recommendations and best practices for compliance with CISA and other state orders.

ACA Webinar Recording: Business Interruptions and Coronavirus – Force Majeure and Other Contract and Insurance Considerations
This hour-long webinar held April 10 was led by Cozen O’Connor counsel and addressed the coronavirus business impact disruptions from a contractual perspective.

ACA Webinar Recording: CARES Act Loan Programs and Tax Relief
This hour-long webinar held April 16 was led by Cozen O’Connor counsel and addressed the Paycheck Protection Program, Employee Retention Tax Credit, and the Payroll Tax Deferral.

Coatings Are Essential Business Fact Sheet: This fact sheet communicates the urgent message that the coatings industry is essential to numerous other industries, including those on the frontline of the coronavirus response. The industry supports health care, hospitals, defense, food, hygiene, agriculture, energy, public works, and information technology systems, as well as others. Industry needs to be able to operate to participate in the COVID-19 response.

The coatings industry is prepared to do its part for families, industry and the nation during this time to stop the spread of the coronavirus infection. Read its letters to Governors and the White House.

Multi Industry Letter Supporting DHS CISA Critical Infrastructure: ACA joined with more than 100 organizations to support a consistent definition of “critical infrastructure” across the country.

Coalition Letter to DOT on Critical Infrastructure: ACA and a coalition of interested parties underscored to DOT the need for uniformity in Essential Business Designations.

Letter to National Governors Association that Residential Construction Industry is Essential

Letter to Northeast Governors That Construction Activities are Essential

Coalition Letter to American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators Requesting Nationwide State Hazardous Material Endorsement Extensions

ACA Legal Bulletin: Antitrust Considerations During Coronavirus Pandemic
The FTC and DOJ have warned businesses against exploiting the current pandemic to engage in anticompetitive conduct. In particular, the agencies warned against agreements to restrain competition through increased prices, lower wages, decreased output, or reduced quality. Tips for businesses to avoid antitrust risks while engaged in collaborative pandemic response activities are included in this ACA Legal Bulletin.

Coalition Letter Seeking Delay of TSCA Risk Evaluation User Fee

State Orders & Guidance

California:  Executive Order N-60-20 allows local jurisdictions to gradually reopen. The state is utilizing a Phased County level Roadmap to reopen county-by-county.

Colorado: Currently in Level 2: Safer at Home. Coloradans are no longer ordered to stay home, but they are strongly advised to stay at home. Critical businesses are open and non-critical businesses are operating with restrictions.

Connecticut: Executive Order 7PP enacted reopening Phase 1 on May 20th. This phase opens businesses with social distancing limitations on non-essential businesses.

District of Columbia: Mayor’s Order 2020-067 initiated Phase 1 reopening on May 29th and begins a phased reopening of non-essential businesses.

Florida: Executive Order 20-112 lays out the step-by-step plan for reopening business with social distancing, and Executive Order Number 20-131 has expanded Phase 1 to all counties.

Georgia: Executive Order began opening the State April 24. Executive Order provides further guidance on reopening operating non-essential businesses.

Illinois: Illinois issued its Restore Illinois Plan to safely reopen the state gradually. It is to be implemented at the end of May upon the expiration of Executive Order 2020-32. Chicago will reopen on its own time.

Kentucky: Executive Order 2020-323 initiated a phased reopening of Kentucky beginning May 11th and progressing each week. The state released minimum requirements and industry specific guidance and dates. For any economic sector not scheduled to reopen, the Governor has encouraged industry groups to submit reopen proposals.

Louisiana:  Proclamation began the phased reopening on May 15th lifting the stay at home order and opening businesses with social distancing guidelines in place.

MaineExecutive Order 49 FY 19/20 replaces the States stay at home order with a new “Stay Safer at Home.” Individuals must still stay home but allows for Stage 1 of the State’s reopening plan to take effect.

Stage 1 (May)

Gatherings of more than 10 people prohibited, limited expansion of businesses including personal services, auto dealerships, and other low-risk businesses.

Stage 2 (June)

Begins opening retail stores for broader in-store shopping, and other businesses where only moderate social distancing is possible.

Stage 3 (July & August)

Begins opening higher risk personal services, bars, and lodging.

MarylandOrder 20-05-27-01 amends and reinstates Order 20-05-13-01. Together, these Orders begin a phased reopening of businesses with social distancing guidelines.

Massachusetts: Announced a phased reopening with four stages spread over multiple weeks each.

Michigan: Executive Order has been extended until June 12th. The governor has released a Safe Start Plan to coordinate a phased reopening of the state.

Minnesota:  A phased reopening began May 17th. Executive Order 20-63 continues the phased reopening for non-essential businesses.

Mississippi: Executive Order 1492 begins a Safe Return order for businesses and goes into effect June 1st.

New JerseyExecutive Order 107 and Executive Order 122 and the subsequent stay at home order remain in effect indefinitely.

New Mexico:  The Public Health Order mandating individuals stay at home has been extended through the end of May. Retailers, offices, and other business were allowed to begin partial reopening under a phased All Together plan.

New York: Executive Order 202.31 begins limited phased reopening by region. New York City and its suburbs remain mostly closed.

North Carolina:  Executive Order 138 initiates phase one of reopening the state. Phase one allows retail businesses to reopen with social distancing protocols.

OhioOrder allows most businesses to reopen while abiding by social distancing protocols.

Oregon:  Executive Order 20-25 implements a phased approach to reopening. The county-by-county approach allows counties to submit applications to initiate reopening business sectors if they have demonstrated meeting all prerequisites found in the executive order.

PennsylvaniaAmendment to the Original Stay at Home Order has been extended until June 4th. A phased reopening plan at the county level is now in place. The Yellow Phase Order and the Green Phase Order provides guidance for counties moving through reopening.

FAQs for businesses navigating these phases can be found here. 

Rhode IslandExecutive Order 20-32 lifted the stay-at-home order and reopened retail stores in a limited capacity. Department of Health Order supplies the regulations for operations.

Tennessee: Executive Order 30 and amendments have begun a phased reopening of the state with social distancing in place.

Texas: The Stay at Home order expired on April 30th. An updated Executive Order announced phase II and corresponding additional openings.

Vermont: Addendum to Executive Order 01-20 progresses a phased opening of non-essential businesses.

Virginia: Executive Order 61 began a phased reopening of the state. Restrictions in the state will continue to be gradually lifted.

Washington: The stay-at-home order has been extended through May 31st. The State has also released a Safe Start plan to coordinate a local level reopening. Each phase of the four phased plan will be separated by at least three weeks.

Wisconsin: On May 13th, the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down the state’s stay-at-home order. The court appeared to reopen the state effective immediately.

The full opinion is available here.

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