Showing posts from category: COVID-19 Update
Looking for your next opportunity?
Every day our firm has been fielding calls and emails about whether or not architecture firms will be re-hiring out-of-work employees after the COVID-19 Pandemic. The honest answer is: right now, nobody knows. What we do know is that when the opportunities come back to the market, you should be ready to strike. That’s why we are placing a high priority on building our database of candidates, so we can move quickly to find you a new position if your current firm – through no fault of their own — is having difficulties. Never in our history has there been a pandemic like this that has shut down the economy to such an extent. And it’s disproportionately affecting the construction sector and related businesses.
At CFA we’ve been helping
architects make their next career move since 1984. Contact us in confidence for
an interview, portfolio review, resume suggestions, and a discussion about
your long-term career goals
Self-employed workers and independent contractors now qualify for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
On Monday, Cuomo announced the state would be partnering
with Google to create a new website that would help streamline the application
process for those still seeking to file a claim.
The website was expected to launch last night, but instead,
it launched Friday morning at 7:30.
It can be accessed by going to unemployment.labor.ny.gov.
To sign in, you will need to enter your ny.gov ID information or create a new account.
From there, users will be asked to fill out an application and
submit any required documents through a secure online portal.
If you have problems with your current account or issues
with creating one, you can call 800-833-3000 for assistance.
Anyone who partially completes their application will be
contacted by a service representative within 72 hours.
How does the callback
After applying, a state representative will reach out within
72 hours to complete your claim.
Those who have filed a claim and were told to call the
unemployment hotline to complete their application should stop calling and wait
to be contacted, according to the Department of Labor.
“Anyone who was already in the process of filing an application, whether by phone or online and was told to call back to complete their claim will not have to call back,” Deanna Cohen, a spokeswoman for the department, said in an email Friday.
A total of 810,000 have filed an unemployment claim as of
Thursday, Melissa DeRosa, Cuomo’s top aide, said.
Around 600,000 of those claims have been fully completed and
another 200,000 are in partial status.
The state is in the process of completing those claims.
A total of 6,000 people have been contacted under the new
call system as of Friday morning, DeRosa said.
I’ve applied using
the old site. Should I do so again?
Claims filed using the old website are still being processed
and anyone who was told to call the state’s unemployment hotline to complete
their application should stop calling.
A representative from the Department of labor will instead
contact you within 72 hours.
What’s the best way
The state is urging all those looking to apply for benefits
do so online and wait to be contacted by a representative.
But calls are still be accepted through the state’s unemployment
hotline at 888-209-8124.
To better process claims by phone, the state has started fielding calls seven days a week and has implemented a filing system by the last name.
Hours for the call center are Monday thru Friday: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The filing system by the last name goes as:
What do I qualify
A number of unemployment benefits have been extended to
those who normally would not qualify as a result of the federal Coronavirus
Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus
package approved by Congress last month.
New York provides up to $504 a week for unemployment, based
on a person’s salary.
Self-employed workers and independent contracts now qualify
for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
But individuals cannot apply for PUA until it is determined
they do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits.
That requires an extra step.
First, a person must file a regular unemployment claim through the state’s Department of Labor.
Once it’s determined they do not qualify, they can then
apply for PUA through the state.
To apply, visit unemployment.labor.ny.gov.
What else do I get
under the CARES Act?
Those who qualify for unemployment benefits will also
receive an additional $600 a week from the federal government through July 31.
In addition, the federal government is in the process of
sending out a one-time stimulus check to nearly all Americans.
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Uncertainty looms amid work freezes, layoffs, and diminishing revenue.
[Source Image: urfinguss/iStock]
Nearly every industry is getting pummeled by the spread of COVID-19, and architecture is no exception. In late March, the American Institute of Architects conducted a survey of 387 architecture firm leaders, and the results suggest a deeply uncertain future for the profession. Two-thirds of the firms that responded said projects had either stopped or slowed down as a result of COVID-19, and a whopping 94% said they anticipate revenue to dip. Respondents expected their losses to only deepen in April.
The damage will be far-reaching, impacting individual practitioners, firms, and the profession at large. Firms are already furloughing workers and slashing pay. Foster + Partners, one of the most prominent architecture firms in the world, announced that its 1,400 workers would take a 20% paycut for three months. In New York, architects working on public projects have been ordered to suspend their design work indefinitely. “Many architecture firms are small businesses,” Dan Hart, AIA’s at-large director, points out. Small businesses have been especially hard hit by the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Firms with public projects underway in international locations are potentially the most at risk, as 47% of them have instituted a no-travel policy indefinitely, according to the survey, making it difficult to visit sites and maintain construction schedules. Firms that focus on residential architecture may be in even hotter water; the survey suggests they have gotten far fewer inquiries for new design contracts.
Twenty-five percent of the firms that responded expect a 15% loss in revenue this month, and that number may only increase as stay-at-home orders continue. If other creative fields are any indication, layoffs could accelerate. “The length, intensity, and uncertainty of this crisis will impact both the funding of and the opportunity for construction,” Hart says. “Gainful employment for architects is positively affected by shortening the impact of the crisis, flattening the infection curves, and introducing more certainty in containing the spread of the virus.”
So what’s to be done? In the short term, firms can take a few measures to offset the magnitude of their losses. Aside from applying for emergency loans through the government’s Payment Protection Program to pay for salaries, insurance, rent, and other operating costs, small firms (less than 500 people on staff) are eligible for loan forgiveness and businesses that are forced to shut down completely can get a payroll tax credit.
Looking ahead, AIA CEO Robert Ivy says it’s critical for the government to put more provisions in place to protect architecture and construction jobs—not just for the industry, but for society at large. “To jump-start the economy and bring architects and the critical design and construction economy back to life, we are strongly advocating for ‘vertical’ infrastructure, buildings, to be included in any additional stimulus bill,’” he writes in an email. “The nation needs housing, healthcare, and health-related research facilities (a clear need at this time), and schools. Architecture can and should create facilities that allow us to grow and heal, stimulating the larger economy while creating safer, more healthful places.”
Article first appeared in Fast Company
We are in this together and we will come out of it stronger than before. – David McFadden
Contact us for career counsilling and job opportunities at [email protected]
#employment #reccession #architecturejobs #architects #covid19 #coronavirus #aia
STATE AND FEDERAL AID PROGRAMS.
Following Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Executive Order that we must work from home and its unintended consequences, we have organized State and Federal relief announcements relative to self-employed consultants and small businesses. These programs change frequently.
Student Loan Forgiveness.
Student loan borrowers will suspend their federal student loan payments without penalty and accruing interest for at least 60 days, the Department of Education said Friday. The Federal Government announced they would waive student loan interest amid the coronavirus crisis — but borrowers were awaiting details on how it would work and how long it would last. The Department of Education’s announcement Friday clarifies the policy change. For now, borrowers will put off two monthly loan payments. The Department will wave interest will for 60 days, starting retroactively on March 13.
Homeowners who have lost income or their jobs because of
outbreak are getting some relief. Depending on their situation, they
should be eligible to have their mortgage payments reduced or suspended for up
to 12 months. Federal regulators, through the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie
Mac, are ordering lenders to offer homeowners flexibility.
The move covers about half of all home loans in the U.S. — those guaranteed by
Fannie and Freddie. But regulators expect that the entire mortgage industry
will quickly adopt a similar policy. Under the plan, people who have suffered a
loss of income can qualify to make reduced payments or be granted a full pause
With the Self-Employment Assistance Program (SEAP), you can collect the Unemployment Insurance benefits you need to pay your bills while you work on that dream! You can work fulltime in your new business while receiving Unemployment Insurance benefits. You don’t have to look for jobs while you work on your business. Money earned from your business is not deducted from your Unemployment Insurance benefits. You stay on track for success with training and counseling. You get opportunities to build a network of support to launch your business. You must receive a written acceptance into the SEAP before you can start your own business while collecting benefits.
New Jersey and New York utilities will keep the power, heat, and water on for all customers in response to the coronavirus emergency, both states announced Friday. Major utilities have agreed to suspend utility shut-offs, a particular concern for people who may be out of work and cannot afford to pay their bills. “No utility can turn off service … if a person cannot pay their bill because of responding to this virus situation.
The government is expecting landlords and tenants to work together to establish affordable repayment plans, taking into consideration tenants’ circumstances at the end of the period. Under urgent new laws, landlords cannot start proceedings to evict tenants for at least three months, because of the COVID-19 outbreak.
SBA Loans for Payroll.
Small business owners in the following designated states are eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19): New York Click here to apply. Find more information on the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans at SBA.gov/Disaster. The SBA will work directly with state Governors to provide targeted, low-interest loans to small businesses and nonprofits impacted by the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program provides small businesses with working capital loans of up to $2 million that can provide vital economic support to small businesses to help overcome the temporary loss of revenue they are experiencing. Guidance for Businesses and Employers. The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America – 15 Days to Slow the Spread.
The U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Following the President’s emergency declaration under the Stafford Act, the U.S. Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) today issued guidance allowing all individual and other non-corporate tax filers to defer up to $1 million of federal income tax (including self-employment tax) payments due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. The guidance also allows corporate taxpayers a similar deferment of up to $10 million of federal income tax payments that would be due on April 15, 2020, until July 15, 2020, without penalties or interest. This guidance does not change the April 15 filing deadline.
“Americans should file their tax returns by April 15 because many will receive a refund. Those filing will take advantage of their refunds sooner,” said Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. “This deferment allows those who owe a payment to the IRS to defer the payment until July 15 without interest or penalties. Treasury and IRS ensure that hardworking Americans and businesses have additional liquidity for the next several months.”
Today’s guidance will cause about $300 billion of additional liquidity in the economy in the near term. Treasury and IRS will issue additional guidance as needed and continue working with Congress, bipartisan, on legislation to provide further relief to the American people.
Paid Sick Leave.
Small business owners in the following designated states are eligible to apply for a low-interest loan due to Coronavirus (COVID-19): Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia. Click here to apply.