January-February 2021

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10 PalletCentral • January-February 2021 POLICY PLAY AT NWPCA Advocates for Frontline Employees of Pallet Manufacturers for Vaccinations T he CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended that essential frontline food and agriculture workers and those in the supply chain receive priority access for vaccinations in Category "1b." This means frontline workers from farm to grocery store fall right behind "1a" status for frontline health care workers and long- term care facilities residents and employees. The states have the ability to guide the distribution of vaccines. So, the NWPCA Government Affairs team activated NWPCA's grassroots advocacy campaign and sent out a "call for action" on December 22, 2020 urging the National Governor's Association (NGA) and governors from all 50 states, also including state representatives, assembly, and state senators, to follow the CDC recommendation that essential business and critical infrastructure employees receive vaccines per the CDC guidelines. The campaign strongly encouraged states and localities to heed this guidance. We hope you participated in this campaign. Look for further "call to actions" into 2021. The alerts and request for actions have been effective and led to the wood pallet and container industry being identified as 'essential businesses' and 'critical infrastructure,' which still impacts decisions being made to date on COVID-19 activity. Manufacturing Sector Secures Priorities in 2020 Year End – Paycheck Protection Program In a rare moment of support at the end of Congress, December 2020, the house voted 359-53 and the Senate voted 92-6 on a $900 billion COVID-19 relief package. That pretty much ended all of the legislative activity for 2020. Below are highlights of the December 21, 2020 action. n PPP reauthorized with $284 billion in new funding; program extended through March 31, 2021. n Deductibility of business expenses paid with PPP funds. w Reverses IRS guidance denying deductions for trade and business expenses (e.g. payroll) associated with forgiven PPP loans, which under the CARES Act are not considered as taxable income. n Businesses are granted flexibility to choose a "covered period" of any duration between 8 and 24 weeks to spend their loan funds. n New categories of expenses are added to the list of allowable uses of PPP funds, including worker protection (e.g., PPE), operational expenses, and supplier costs. n PPP second draw loans of up to $2 million for businesses experiencing severe revenue reductions. w Second draw eligibility is limited to PPP borrowers with fewer than 300 employees that experienced a quarterly revenue loss of more than NWPCA Advocacy: The Year Ahead Vaccines, more PPP, and congressional unrest launch the New Year. By Kirk A. Bado, National Journal; Intro by Patrick Atagi Creative

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