Author: Stanley Jaskiewicz

Was your business lucky enough to get a Paycheck Protection Loan?

If so, I am sure that you appreciated the cash relief.

But it wasn’t free money.

You – and your accountant – should be planning, now, for how to repay it.

The program’s rules have already been amended many times, without notice.

In other words, you must pay attention, to make certain that you will be able to obtain loan forgiveness, by showing that you used the funds for their intended purpose – to maintain payroll.

Certainly, you should ask your bank lender what it will require – but the bank may not yet know either.

Even worse, regulators have already announced audits of borrowers.

In response, many borrowers have already given back their loan proceeds. No one wants a call from a federal inspector, and the bad publicity that will come with it.

One rule even created a safe harbor for giving the money back – and the deadline has already been extended once, to May 14.

With loan rules seemingly being made up day to day, SGRV business lawyer Stanley Jaskiewicz recommends that borrowers plan, now, to keep detailed records of precisely how they used the funds, speaking in a series of interviews with a CBS affiliate news radio show. https://kcbsradio.radio.com/articles/answering-your-questions-about-small-business-aid

To simplify that process, he also recommended keeping all loan funds in their own, separate account.

Please contact Stanley Jaskiewicz directly at 215-241-8866, or sjaskiewicz@sgrvlaw.com, if you have questions about your Paycheck Protection Program loan, or other effects of the COVID-19 Stay at Home Orders on your businesses.

In addition to assisting clients with the Paycheck Protection Program, Jaskiewicz has also drafted letters for employees of essential businesses to carry while commuting to work in locations where such travel is otherwise prohibited.

The purpose of this email is to provide you with general information about current developments in the law that may be of interest to you. This information does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice or opinion. DO NOT send us any information concerning any potential legal matter or situation until you speak with a SGRV lawyer first and get authorization to send the information as directed by the lawyer. An unauthorized email sent to a SGRV lawyer will not be a confidential attorney-client communication and will not create an attorney-client relationship. An attorney-client representation is established only through our formal client acceptance and agreement process.

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This year’s flood of privacy policy updates seem like déjà vu all over again, to quote the noted American intellectual, Yogi Berra.

Such notices to US businesses hit their stride in 2017, ahead of the May 25, 2018 effective date of the GDPR, the European data privacy law known officially as the “General Data Protection Regulation”. 

However, many correctly (in my opinion) chose not to do anything in response.  Whether the result of legal advice, or simple “why should I care” attitude, a purely domestic US business probably had no obligation to act under the European rule.

This year’s boom of such notices, however, hits much closer to home. 

The California Consumer Privacy Act was passed in June, 2018.  It regulates many firms that obtain personal information about “consumers”, defined as California residents – over 12% of everyone in the US, according to recent US Census data.  https://www.census.gov/popclock/?intcmp=w_200x402

Since California is the world’s fifth largest economy, according to recent US government data, US businesses can’t ignore its requirements.

Although California law’s doesn’t become effective until 2020 – seemingly leaving plenty of time for changes, or typical legislative postponements, especially after the law’s hasty passage in June – compliance could take some time.

•             Any business that sells to California consumers must give accurate privacy policy notices.

•             Businesses must police their supply chain for compliance with California’s law, whether or not the suppliers are located in California.

•             The law gives consumers the right to know what personal information about them is collected, how it is used, and even to require that it be eliminated from business records – the so-called “right to be forgotten”.

•             The law also gives consumers the right to sue for violations, including in class actions.

But why should businesses be concerned about yet another “urgent” call to action, or dire warning? 

After all, no one who spent money on Y2K compliance wants to repeat that fiasco.

But this time should be different:

•             Businesses today collect more and more data in the ordinary course, whether online, or through smartphone apps. 

•             After many highly publicized data breaches, consumers and lawmakers alike will demand more protection as the price of giving up that data for free.

•             The e-commerce revolution has led to much more data collection, regardless where a business or consumer may actually be located.

•             California regulators are known to be relentless.

•             The breadth of duties under the new law could take some time and considerable expense.

So, to answer the question in the title of this article – what to do now? – businesses should begin to understand what data they collect, where it is stored, and, more importantly, how it is protected.

For further guidance in this area, please contact Stanley P. Jaskiewicz, Esquire, at 215-241-8866 or sjaskiewicz@lawsgr.com or Ned Dunham, Esquire, at 215-241-8802 or edunham@lawsgr.com.

 

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