Phase 4 Stimulus Package: 7 Topics Still Being Debated

Politicians in Washington have begun negotiations on the next round of COVID-19 stimulus. For business owners across the country, this will be a welcome relief and more. And with the prior stimulus measures expired, Congress will meet shortly to negotiate a new package.

#1. The PPP Will Likely Continue: The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the $669 billion forgivable loan program, might continue. Secondly, all PPP loans under $150,000 or $250,000 could be automatically forgiven.

#2. Local Communities Will Get A Boost: Low-income areas, as well as minority-owned businesses, might receive $50 billion to support small business local relief funds. The Cares Act initially provided $150 billion in federal aid to state and local governments across the country, some of which went toward grant funding for local businesses.

#3. More Tax Relief: Currently, PPP monies aren’t counted as taxable income. Because of that, the IRS ruled that a business wasn’t able to deduct traditional business expenses paid by PPP funds (if the loan was forgiven). A new bill, the Small Business Expense Protection Act, was introduced that would allow a business to take these deductions.

Additionally, another bill was introduced in May, JOBS Credit Act. The proposed JOBS Credit Act would make the following changes to the CARES Act employee retention credits:

The credits currently equal 50% of up to $10,000 in qualified wages that an eligible employer pays in a calendar quarter. The JOBS Credit Act would increase the amount of the credits to 80% of up to $15,000 in qualified wages per calendar quarter with a new annual cap of $45,000 in qualified wages. The maximum credit for wages paid to any employee would, therefore, increase from $5,000 under the CARES Act to $36,000 under the increased limits of the JOBS Credit Act.

Click Here To Read About The JOBS Credit Act.

#4. Stimulus Checks Sent To Individuals: The Heroes Act passed by the House supports another round of stimulus checks that the Cares Act authorized in March for millions of taxpayers:

Individuals earning under $75,000 would get $1,200.
Married couples with less than $150,000 in adjusted gross income would get $2,400.
An additional $1,200 for up to three dependents, regardless of age.

#5. Unemployment Benefits: The Cares Act’s enhanced unemployment insurance, which offered an additional $600 per week, expired in July. To avoid the issue of employees not wanting to come back to work, many lawmakers are considering a varied dollar value to better coordinate with a state’s unemployment insurance level (replace 80% to 90% of a worker’s former wages, up to a maximum federal benefit of an additional $400 per week).

#6. $1,500 Return To Work Bonus: The Paycheck Recovery Act, proposed in mid-May, offers someone who makes less than $40,100 annually, a $1,500 rehiring bonus upon return to work.

#7. Greater Liability Protection: Certain lawmakers want to see greater liability protection for employers. Although the details are unclear, the Phase 4 bill will allow for some form of safe harbor for companies that make a good-faith effort to follow public-health guidelines.

popdevteamPhase 4 Stimulus Package: 7 Topics Still Being Debated
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COVID-19 Employer Resources and Compliance Toolkit

During these uncertain times, Miami Payroll Center is keeping up to date on all legislative and tax related responses to the COVID-19 crisis as they relate to small businesses and their employees. As additional information becomes available from related government agencies such as the Department of Labor and the IRS, this page will be updated accordingly.

On Wednesday, March 18th, the President signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act to take effect on April 1, 2020 and will sunset on December 31, 2020. The Act provides for mandated paid emergency sick leave and paid family and medical leave for many workers. To offset wages paid under the program, employers will receive a tax credit. There are still several uncertainties, such as the timing of the credits to offset the payments required by employers. Many of the details for implementation are still unknown until individual government agencies, e.g. DOL, IRS, release their own guidance between now and April 1, 2020. As additional details are released for implementation, we will update the information on this page.

If you have specific questions as to how these changes may affect your business, please contact us at 305-273-4066.

Useful Links

COVID-19 Miami Payroll Center Published Resources

IRS Updates

The IRS has established a special section focused on steps to help taxpayers, businesses and others affected by the coronavirus. This page will be updated as new information is available.

popdevteamCOVID-19 Employer Resources and Compliance Toolkit
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Hurricane Irma & Our Operations

As we all work to recover from the damage caused by Hurricane Irma, know that Miami Payroll Center is here for you. It’s what family does.

We are open and operating out of our satellite offices which do have electricity. Your employees will get paid, and its one less thing you should have to worry about during these trying times.

If you have any questions, please contact Susana Muniz at, or Willy Muniz at

Thank you, and be safe!

Hurricane Irma


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4 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Hurricane Season

It is essential to take proactive steps in preparing for unpredictable storms and other disasters, especially in South Florida.

By planning early, you’ll have the peace of mind that you’re fully prepared in the event of a disaster. 40% of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage do not reopen. Prevent your business from being another statistic, and take time to prepare.

Here’s a quick Business Prep Plan to serve as a guide to safeguarding your business. Keep this plan handy by printing it out and making sure you have covered all the relevant steps before Hurricane Season begins.

You should also consider a backup location where your business could run if damages occur. If your business is damaged remember to assess, document, and report damages to your insurance company as soon as possible.

 Step 1: Protect property

  • Invest in and install shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind-borne debris.
  • Remove any branches or trees adjacent to your building that could potentially fall and damage it. Sandbag any area that is subject to flooding.
  • Anchor and brace any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs.
  • Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or Velcro. Cover with plastic tarps if possible to avoid water damage.
  • Turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall if possible.

Step 2: Protect important documents and information

  • Designate important contacts that are crucial to business operations, such as banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc. Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location or in a portable external hard drive or USB drive.
  • Create and distribute an Employee Emergency Contact List, including phone numbers, addresses and alternate contact information for employees in case of an emergency
  • Backup documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements to avoid water damage. Seal these documents in waterproof containers onsite.

Step 3: Keep A Preparedness Checklist

Emergency items such as first-aid kits, plastic tarps and cleaning supplies should be gathered in one location at your place of business should a storm hit while you are on premises. This will help protect the safety of your employees should disaster strike during regular working hours.

Keep emergency contact information such as the nearest hospital and police, along with:

    • Life safety issues: 9-1-1
    • Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227
    • FEMA Tele-registration hotline: 1-800-462-9029
    • Insurance company and agent’s contact information

Step 4: Implement an Inclement Weather Policy

  • Determine ahead of time under what circumstances your business will remain open and when it will close.
  • How will employees be notified of any closures and re-openings?
  • Will employees be paid during business closures? If unpaid, can employees use their sick or vacation time, or make up the missed work hours?
  • How should an employee report into or out of work during an emergency?

If you have questions about how to develop or maintain your inclement weather policy, we can help.

Give us a call with no obligation at 305-273-4066 or send an email to We’re always here to help!

popdevteam4 Steps to Prepare Your Business for Hurricane Season
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The HR Side of Hurricane Season

hurricane-seasonIn case you’ve missed the onslaught of radio, TV, print and social media messages, hurricane season is here again! Most of those messages, however, are geared towards making sure your home and family are prepared for potential storms. Planning for the workplace, however, is another story. Not only are there physical assets to consider, but your human capital as well.

The physical safety of your workers, securing the building and protecting equipment is almost always the first step. Keep in mind, however, that you may need to provide employee training for specific preparation tasks so that those designated know exactly what to do. Who are the essential personnel that you want back as soon as possible after a hurricane? Decide now what system will be in place to authorize re-entry to your facility after a storm.

Your employees will want to know the status of company operations. Ensure that contact information is current and that all employees know how you will communicate with them after a storm passes.  Having a written policy in place is highly suggested.

Your Payroll

Preparing for payroll continuity is often a challenge and plans should be made far in advance of an actual weather event. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires employers to pay non-exempt staff only for hours actually worked. Therefore, an employer is not required to pay these non-exempt employees if the employer is unable to provide work due to a natural disaster. An exception to this rule is made for those employees who receive fixed salaries for fluctuating workweeks. An employer must pay these employees their full weekly salary for any week in which any work was performed.[1]

Employers are required to pay exempt personnel a full salary if the worksite is closed due to weather or a natural disaster for less than a full work week. However, employers are permitted to require exempt employees to use allowed leave for this time.

Of course, nothing is as simple as exempt vs non-exempt when it comes to payroll during a disaster. Those essential personnel we talked about earlier? Well, if they are “on call” and remain on site so that they can deal with emergency repairs, they have to be compensation even if they do not perform any work.[2]

After a storm employees are often eager to get back to work and may volunteer to help with the clean-up effort just to get the organization back to regular operation. Sounds ideal, but the FLSA does not permit employees to volunteer unpaid time to the employer under any but the narrowest of circumstances.[3]

Storm preparation at your organization should not start at the threat of a storm, but rather in written policies and procedures that are well planned in advance and shared with all. Providing training to employees to ensure that everyone is prepared to act will pay off in the long term.

Do you have any written policies and procedures related to natural disasters? Share your best practices in the comments below.





popdevteamThe HR Side of Hurricane Season
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How Boards Botch CEO Succession

The strategic importance of CEO succession is indisputable, and the elements of effective succession planning have long been known. So why do many boards plan poorly for CEO succession when the cost of failure is so high?

When David Goldberg, CEO of Surveymonkey Com LLC, an online-survey company based in Palo Alto, California, died unexpectedly in May 2015, the company did not announce a new CEO until July. It considered 75 candidates, both internal and external, before appointing former Hewlett-Packard Co. and Microsoft Corp. executive Bill Veghte to the position. However, Veghte remained in the CEO role less than six months; in January 2016, he was replaced by Zander Lurie, who had been SurveyMonkey’s chairman.

Research finds three key reasons boards fail at CEO succession planning.

Source: How Boards Botch CEO Succession

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Summer is here, and that means Hurricane Season is upon us…

Sure it’s hotter than usual, and South Florida hasn’t been hit in ten years by a major storm- but that doesn’t mean it’s 367px-Hurricane_Isabel_14_sept_2003_1445Ztime to rest on our laurels and not prepare for when our lucky streak comes to a churning halt.
It’s time to review your insurance coverage to ensure you are adequately covered in case of an emergency, it’s also recommended to go over your Business Recovery Plan (BRP) & Employee Handbook to rehearse what you will do when our lucky streak eventually comes to an end.
One of the first things we we recommend you do is download the 2015 Guide to Hurricane Readiness. This guide published by Miami Dade County has a lot of valuable information on what you can do pre, during, and after a storm to prepare yourself and your family in the eventuality of a storm. Business owners can link to the guide from their websites and/ or employee facing portals and communicate its availability to all staff members. In case you need a reminder of what this all means, watch this.

Your Human Resources employees play a key role in ensuring the continuity of your business. Take a moment to review this short list of what you should be doing now as a business owner to prepare:

1. Meet with your HR provider and review a plan of action in the event of a storm.

2. Set-up (or test) your emergency information line (a/k/a severe weather line) is working and that all HR staff know how to use it. Ensure that an employee is assigned to update it frequently in the event of inclement weather conditions.

3. Ensure your employee facing web site is working and that all staff know how to access it. An IT employee should be assigned to update the site frequently before, during and after a storm as a means of communicating with all employees.

4. Meet with you HR provider to review plans for payroll/ cash distributions following a storm event; benefits-related issues (i.e. health care provider plan for prescription drugs and waiving copay, 401(k) hardship/storm-related withdrawals, out-of-area medical networks availability and waiving of co-pays, etc.).

5. Update all employee addresses, phone and emergency contact lists and distribute a copy to all members of your HR team.

You may have noticed a common theme from our recommendations, the key to maintaining your business during and after a hurricane is communication- and lots of it. With your HR leaders, with your Sr. Leadership team, and most of all with your employees and customers. Have a plan for what to do in the eventuality of a storm, rehearse it, and if the time comes- execute it.

popdevteamSummer is here, and that means Hurricane Season is upon us…
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