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By Shoshana E. Rothman of Smith Currie & Hancock LLP Published July 28, 2020 As previously reported by Smith Currie, Virginia is the first in the nation to adopt state-wide emergency regulations to protect employees from COVID-19 by establishing requirements for employers for the control, prevention, and mitigation of the spread of the virus. Those standards have now gone into effect as of July 27, 2020, and the final regulation can be accessed on the website for the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry at the link here . The regulation applies to every employer, employee, and place of employment in the Commonwealth of Virginia within the jurisdiction ...
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By Carmen Calzacorta , Mark Long , Dan Eller , Russel Robertson , Charmin Shiely , Omar Contreras , Kenneth Katzaroff , and Savannah Wolfe of Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt Revised July 23, 2020 Below are the top ten things to know about the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Forgiveness Applications and the detailed instructions for the applications posted on June 16, 2020. There are two forms and two sets of instructions: (a) EZ  Forms :  PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ  (“Form EZ”), and  PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3580EZ Instructions for Borrowers/Checklist for Using SBA Form 3508EZ  (“Form EZ Instructions”); and ...
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NASBP's new, free podcast,  “Let’s Get Surety!,”  provides NASBP members another valuable resource to help educate clients about the surety product. Launched in early March 2020, the new NASBP podcast “Let’s Get Surety!,”   features industry leaders and experts opening up and sharing an insider perspective about the surety industry. NASBP's host Kat Shamapande and fun co-hosts and guests bond over bonding and discuss the world of surety and how it affects and improves our everyday lives! If you’ve missed any episodes, now is a great time to catch up! Below are links to all the episodes of “Let’s Get Surety” to date with a short description. Share pertinent ...
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By James J. Hartnett and Rachel A. Osdoba of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Published July 15, 2020 As construction companies continue to operate under the stresses of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, projects are starting and stopping as a result. These interrupted schedules, along with our overall disrupted economy, can increase the risk of non-payment. What should you do if there is an arbitration provision in your contract but you want to file a mechanic’s lien to protect your payment rights? First, it is useful to understand the different roles of an arbitration dispute resolution process versus a contractor’s mechanic’s lien rights. ...
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By Elizabeth D. Charnowski and Carl R. Pebworth of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Published July 20, 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has caused cost overruns and project delays that construction owners and contractors could have never imagined before 2020. These unanticipated circumstances can create contract application and interpretation challenges for the unwary construction partner. For example, even if a prime contract expressly requires a specific notice period for change orders, parties can waive or circumvent these requirements in a range of ways. Now, more than ever, prudent construction partners must act carefully to avoid unforeseen impacts. ...
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By Shoshana E. Rothman of Smith Currie & Hancock LLP Published July 16, 2020 On July 15, the Virginia Safety and Health Codes Board adopted §16 VAC 25‐220, Emergency Temporary Standard, Infectious Disease Prevention: SARS‐CoV‐2 Virus That Causes COVID‐19. According to Virginia’s Governor Northam, the new safety rules are meant “to protect Virginia workers by mandating appropriate personal protective equipment, sanitation, social distancing, infectious disease preparedness and response plans, record keeping, training, and hazard communications in workplaces across the Commonwealth.” The text of the guidelines are still being finalized, but will become ...
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By Douglas L. Patin , Aron C. Beezley , and Amandeep S. Kahlon of Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP Published July 21, 2020  The Miller Act protects subcontractors from nonpayment on federal projects by requiring prime contractors to issue payment bonds. To obtain relief under the Miller Act, a subcontractor must (1) give the prime contractor written notice of its claim within 90 days of the date it last performed work on a federal project and (2) file suit against the bond for any outstanding nonpayment within one year of the date work was last performed. A subcontractor’s non-compliance with these timing requirements, when applied strictly, can allow ...
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It’s more important than ever to talk about surety. During this period of uncertainty, owners, lenders, architects, and contractors can be proactive and seize control over known and unknown risks by recommending or requiring performance and payment bonds that guarantee performance and transfer the risks of nonperformance to the surety company. The newly updated  Be Guaranteed to Succeed Producer Communications Toolkit is designed to help our industry talk about surety in a new and more compelling way. Framing surety in terms of successful outcomes for projects and personal reputations can help shift perceptions of surety, from a line-item cost ...
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(Updated 07/06/2020) CARES Act Employment Considerations CARES Act Lending Programs: Small Business Lending CARES Act Lending Programs: Midsized Business Lending CARES Act Tax Considerations Congress recently passed the economic stimulus package referred to as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act1”), the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (“PPPHCE Act”), and the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (“PPP Flexibility Act”) (together, the CARES Act1, PPPHCE Act, and PPP Flexibility Act are called the “CARES Act”). The CARES Act is important to certain real estate businesses ...
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By Matthew D. Lee and Marissa Koblitz Kingman of Fox Rothschild LLP Published on June 29, 2020 Shortly after the Small Business Administration began accepting applications for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, two Rhode Island businessmen quickly applied for a combined $543,881 from the program. A few days later, the Justice Department announced that both were criminally charged with conspiracy to make false statements to influence the SBA and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, becoming the first individuals to face criminal charges related to the program, which was created by the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act. ...
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By Christopher A. Staine , Brett M. Henson , and Amy Maguire of Shumaker, Loop & Kendrick, LLP Published June 30, 2020 During the 2020 session, the Florida Legislature enacted a number of provisions intended to ease the financial burden on construction industry professionals who perform state and local public works projects. Effective July 1, 2020, the threshold for state and local procurement of “continuing contracts” under the Consultants Competitive Negotiation Act, or “CCNA” is increased from $2 million to $4 million for project-related “professional,” “construction management,” or “project management services,” and from $200,000 to $500,000 ...
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By Christopher A. Raftery and Carl R. Pebworth of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Published July 1, 2020 Global Opportunities in Construction Grow Even in today’s uncertain times, lucrative opportunities exist outside national borders in the architectural, engineering and construction (AEC) fields. Several factors help facilitate these opportunities: 1. Expanding technological advancements permit rapid communication and transmission of large volumes of information. 2. Global financial and economic markets are increasingly interdependent. 3. Global design and engineering trend in interconnected ways. 4. Capital development investment ...
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By Stephanie Few , Sarah J. Wilk , and Howard King of Womble Bond Dickinson LLP Published July 6, 2020 Borrower Details Released On July 6, 2020, the Small Business Administration (SBA) and the U.S. Treasury released detailed and searchable information about more than 650,000 borrowers that received PPP loans. As the SBA previously announced , for loans below $150,000, the names of borrowers were not released, but totals for those borrowers were provided by zip code, industry and business type. For loans of more than $150,000, the loan range, names, addresses, NAICS codes, business types, demographic information (if provided by the borrower), ...
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By M. Scott Peeler , Lynn R. Fiorentino , and Susan Tran of Arent Fox LLP Published June 26, 2020 While gearing up to get trillions of dollars into the economy, the government was also setting in place the mechanism to investigate and prosecute fraud related to these programs. What to Know The CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 to inject over $2 trillion into the economy and help American workers and businesses survive the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In only three months, the US government has initiated the first wave of aggressive criminal and civil investigations and actions to pursue allegations of fraud in connection ...
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By Jacob W. Scott of Smith, Currie & Hancock LLP Published June 24, 2020 Effective July 15, 2020, women-owned small businesses (WOSB) and economically disadvantaged women-owned small businesses (EDWOSB) will be required to obtain certification of their WOSB/EDWOSB status to compete for certain federal contracts. Since 2015, WOSB/EDWOSBs have been allowed to self-certify their status to compete for sole source contracts and set-asides under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Procurement Program for Women-Owned Small Business Concerns (Program), as well as for multiple award contracts for pools reserved for WOSBs and EDWOSBs. The new final ...
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  Join us for the NASBP Virtual Event—Being Present and Connecting Surety in a Virtual World ! This first of three events in the NASBP Virtual Event Series will take place on Wednesday, July 22 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern, and offers two session designed to help you and your business succeed in the new normal. The first session features Zach Mendelson of EPIC (left) and Mike Specht of Insurica Southwest (right), who will debut the updated Be Guaranteed To Succeed Campaign's NASBP Producer Communications Toolkit (Version 2.0)! Be sure to attend and learn how the new components will benefit you and help you talk about surety with stakeholders in these ...
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By Stacy Bercun Bohm and Leslie Miller Tomczak of Akerman LLP Published June 24, 2020 As businesses begin to reopen following the COVID-19 shut down of 2020, it is clear that the “business as usual” model will no longer work. Rather, companies have had to make changes not only in their policies and practices, but also in the construction and layout of their physical premises (whether it be a restaurant, store, doctor’s office, hotel, etc.) in order to maintain social distancing standards and to reduce the potential for infection. Renovations like this are essential in order to re-build consumer confidence and to encourage individuals to feel comfortable ...
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By Thomas K. Potter, III of Burr & Forman LLP Published June 26, 2020 This week the US Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a trio of criminal prosecutions for fraudulent PPP loan applications. Each involved inter-agency investigations involving the IRS Criminal Investigation Division (“IRS-CI”) and the inspector generals of banking agencies or the SBA. On Monday, June 22, DOJ announced wire-fraud charges against a Massachusetts man who fraudulently applied for over $13 million in PPP loans, ultimately receiving over $2 million. It’s here . On Tuesday, June 23, DOJ unsealed an indictment charging a Texas man with wire fraud, false statements ...
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By Carmen Calzacorta of Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt PC Published June 23, 2020 Below are the top 10 things to know about the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) Loan Forgiveness Applications and the detailed instructions for the applications posted on June 16, 2020. There are two forms and two sets of instructions: (a)  EZ Forms: PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3508EZ  (“Form EZ”), and  PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Form 3580EZ Instructions for Borrowers /Checklist for Using SBA Form 3508EZ (“Form EZ Instructions”); and (b) Forgiveness Forms:  PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Revised June 16, 2020  (“Forgiveness Application”) and  Loan Forgiveness ...
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By Janeia L. Brounson and Carl R. Pebworth of Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP Published June 24, 2020 With the uncertainty of COVID-19 impacting construction projects in new and unfamiliar ways, choosing the right construction contract format has never been more important. A cost-plus contract—also known as a cost-reimbursement contract—can offer an attractive project format in the current construction environment. Defining project costs and expense using projected and agreed upon costs can be particularly attractive for both owners and contractors in roiling social and economic circumstances. A cost-plus contract requires the owner’s consent ...
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