White House economic, advisor Larry Kudlow, says negotiations are continuing with Democrats over the next federal coronavirus relief package. He also expressed support for Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s desire for more targeted virus relief. Mnuchin has been leading the talks with Congressional Democrats. Specifically, Kudlow expressed support for an extension of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) alongside more money for schools and unemployment insurance (UI) benefits.
On Friday, U.S. Treasury Department released its guidance implementing President Trump’s Executive Order to defer the employee portion of the payroll tax owed from September 1 until the end of the year. The plan is voluntary for employers and allows payroll tax payments to be deferred until May 1, 2021. The guidance suggests that taxes deferred will be owed by employees rather than employers, but exactly how the IRS tracks who owes what is unclear. The guidance states that companies “may make arrangements to otherwise collect the total applicable taxes from the employee.”
The guidance is silent on a major concern from businesses of whether they would be on the hook for paying back the deferred taxes of workers who later quit. The guidance also does not address whether individual employees can opt out of the program, effectively leaving it up to the employer to decide. The tax break will only be available to employees who earn less than $4,000 per biweekly paycheck, which is to be interpreted on a paycheck-by-paycheck basis without regard to how much someone earned in another pay period.
The Trump Administration is promising that the deferred payroll taxes owed will eventually be forgiven; however, legally it would take an act of Congress to forgive payroll taxes owed during the deferral period. MGA cannot say with any degree of certainty whether Congress would act to forgive deferred payroll taxes. MGA members should evaluate the potential risks to its employees and its potential future tax liability before deciding whether to opt into the payroll tax deferral plan.
BKD CPAs and Advisors has provided some additional helpful resources you can find by clicking HERE.
Please click here to urge your Members of Congress to tell leadership to protect independent businesses from frivolous lawsuits, reward frontline essential workers, strengthen federal nutrition programs, and fix unemployment compensation in the Phase Four COVID-19 relief package.
Independent grocers are proud to serve the American people during the coronavirus pandemic. We urge Congress to help our industry meet the needs of the public during this challenging time.
Federated Insurance is sponsoring a Complimentary Webinar on Workers' Compensation and Managed Care on Tuesday, September 1, 2020, at 1:00 PM CST.
Schnuck Markets is now giving its Schnucks Rewards customers the option to get e-receipts through email or the grocer's app to reduce waste and person-to-person contact, while also boosting membership in the loyalty program. You can read the full story here.
J. Rieger & Co. worked with a medical supplier to obtain the masks. The donation will be used to supply hospitals, government offices, public transportation, first responders and more. You can read the full story here.
Wednesday September 9th 1pm-2pm
The coronavirus pandemic presented great challenges to grocery retailers faced with providing in-demand products to their shoppers. An overwhelming surge in demand put great pressure on traditional supply chains, compelling grocers to seek out alternative, creative avenues for many products. Solutions included tapping the waylaid foodservice channel, as well as many local vendors that seized the opportunity to partner with retailers and broaden their public exposure on store shelves.
Small businesses especially are feeling the pinch of COVID-19. Many shoppers and retailers are turning to local products, many of which are made here in Missouri.
You can visit buymissouri.net, a statewide program highlighting Missouri businesses. This initiative was launched by Gov. Mike Parson during his time as lieutenant governor and is now led by Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe.
Local business owners can sign up to be placed on the directory, and consumers can use the search feature to discover Missouri made products. Several Buy Missouri products can be found in area grocery stores.
The MGA is proud to partner with Buy Missouri and promote Missouri made products.
Independent grocers in the southern half of the Midwest have faced COVID-19 pandemic challenges similar to their counterparts in other regions. They have endured many stressful months but also have thrived under challenging conditions.
The Shelby Report recently spoke with Missouri retailers Joe Polizzi with Town & Country Supermarket Inc. and Kevin McVeigh of Mac's Super Saver, as well as The MGA Executive Director Dan Shaul, about their experiences and outlook for the remainder of 2020. Check out the full story here.
Workers may be threatened and assaulted as businesses try to put into place COVID-19 prevention policies and practices (e.g., mandatory use of masks, social distancing, and limits on the number of customers allowed in a business). These threats and assaults can come from customers, other employees, or employers.
Based on a 1996 Current Intelligence Bulletin, threats and assaults can happen in any workplace, but may be more likely to occur in retail, services (e.g., restaurants), and other customer- or client-based businesses.
The CDC has launched a webpage which offers strategies to limit violence towards workers that may occur when businesses put in place policies and practices to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 among employees and customers. You can view more here.
The Missouri Grocers Association | 315 N Ken Ave, Springfield, MO 65802 | Phone: 417-831-6667 | Fax: 417-831-3907