ATM industry looks to federal lifeline amid COVID-19

The National ATM Council based in Jacksonville, Florida, is helping members understand how the new federal regulations and relief packages being discussed by the US House of Representatives and Senate amid COVID-190 could affect their employees and businesses.

“Over the past several weeks, NAC Staff and our Governmental Affairs team have been diligently working to stay on top of and influence developments on state and federal levels impacting and offering potential financial relief for the US Independent/Retail ATM industry in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,” an ATM Council spokesperson said in a company press release that broke down the federal regulations. “We have continued bringing as much influence as possible to bear upon the federal financial relief packages now being finalized. We are literally devoting all waking hours to these efforts, and we will continue to do so.”

Read below to learn about the regulations. 

Phase I, Title I

The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, Title I measure was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 6, 2020 and provided an $8.3 billion dollar emergency funding package for the treatment testing and research of COVID-19. 

Title II

Businesses affected by COVID-19 may apply to U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans for low-interest federal disaster loans. These loans can provide necessary capital to businesses that have suffered substantial economic loss due to the coronavirus. Understanding the need for immediate capital for many small businesses, the turnaround time for approval was set presently at 36 hours. According to the SBA, small business owners in all U.S. states and territories are eligible to apply for the low-interest loans if they have been affected by COVID-19. The deadline for applications for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan is Dec. 18, 2020. 

Phase II

Congress passed additional legislation known as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which was signed into law by the President on 3/18/2020 and focused on free coronavirus testing, emergency paid sick leave program, enhanced unemployment insurance, and food security for low-income families, seniors and children. The expected effective is April 2, 2020.

Sick leave and family leave for small businesses

This leave applies only to employees who are unable to work or telework. 

Full paid leave: employers of less than 500 employees are required to pay up to eighty (80) hours of sick leave wages for employees (full or part-time) who are sick with COVID-19, under quarantine, or caring for someone sick with the coronavirus. These provisions include self-employers. The wages required are in addition to an employer’s current sick leave policy, or the benefits required by state or local law. This full paid leave (at regular salary up to $511/day) only applies to those employees tested, treated, or diagnosed with coronavirus and employees directed by a doctor or governmental official to stay home because of symptoms or exposure.  

Partial paid leave: (up to $200/day) applies to employees whose children’s schools have been closed, or whose childcare provider is unable to care for the child due to COVID-19 and employees with family members affected by coronavirus. Employers are also to pay for up to twelve (12) weeks of family leave wages to employees who are caring for a child whose school has closed. In return, the Federal Government will provide businesses with a refundable payroll tax credit of 100% of the required wages.

The Department of Labor is looking at additional regulations excepting businesses with less than 50 employees when the cost of fulfilling these requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business. 

Phase III Relief Package (Pending)

A stimulus package is currently under final joint consideration by the Senate, the House, and Administration, with provisions geared to helping both individuals and businesses. This package will address the immediate cash flow crisis that is facing most businesses, including those within the ATM industry. The 

Upon enactment of the legislation, corporations will be able to postpone their estimated federal tax payments until Oct. 15, 2020. Employers and self-employed individuals may also defer payment of the employer share of the Social Security tax for their employees. Other tax advantages for businesses are also included in the proposals.