As the coronavirus pandemic continues to force small businesses to tighten their belts, veterinary practices are searching for ways to keep their people employed and maintain business continuity. Denise Tumblin, a CPA who works exclusively with veterinary practices, has some recommendations for steps you can take to keep your business going. She was kind enough to share them with the North American Veterinary Community (NAVC).
Get Sick Leave Reimbursement Through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act
The federal government is providing relief to both businesses and consumers during the crisis. One such relief program involves paid sick leave reimbursement through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA).
According to Tumblin, “If employees have to be off work for COVID-19-related purposes — if they’ve tested positive and are ill, if they have to stay home and take care of a family member who has been impacted, or if they’ve been mandated to stay home by their state — employers, starting April 1st, can apply for up to 80 hours of paid sick leave that the government will reimburse the practice for.”
This program only applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees. The Department of Labor provides further guidelines for what constitutes “leave” and which organizations can qualify.
Unlike the stimulus checks being sent directly to consumers, this reimbursement comes in the form of payroll tax relief. The funds are taken from the payroll taxes you’d normally have to pay the government. If your payroll taxes aren’t high enough to cover the leave you’ve applied for, a reimbursement check will be sent out for the remainder.
As of now, there are no clear guidelines for how to apply for reimbursement, per se. Tumblin advises practice owners to “stay tuned.”