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What Does The End Of The Public Health Emergency Mean For Your Business?

 

The last 16 months have brought overwhelming challenges to our small business community. I won't beat a dead horse, we've all been on the same wild ride. However, with the recent announcement from Colorado's Governor Polis effectively ending the Public Health Emergency on July 8, 2021, small businesses are ready to breathe a sigh of relief. But we aren't out of the woods quite yet.

Small businesses are still required to offer emergency paid sick leave for qualifying events 8 weeks beyond the expiration of the P.H.E. As you know (at least I hope you do) the American Rescue Plan Act extended the dollar-for-dollar tax credits for employee emergency paid leave wages through September. This also applies to leave taken to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations.

 What should you do in the meantime?

  • Continue tracking employee leave and paid wages and keep your documentation and files in order in the event of an audit
  • Claim the tax credits for qualifying paid leave wages...
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To Vaccinate or Not To Vaccinate... that is the question.

As we all know, the hot topic for the past year has been COVID-19.  Recently the conversation has turned from doom and gloom to hope and excitement for the future.  Something as simple as the possibility of hugging someone special or walking into a public place without a mask is infusing life back into our community. I know I am bursting at the seams as I look forward to the upcoming summer.  Full disclosure, I may hug the first person who steps on my toes as I push through a crowded room.

As we watch the COVID numbers decrease and the vaccination numbers increase, the small business community is eager to do our part.  Supporting community vaccinations in our businesses through optional or mandatory vaccination policies has brought a ton of questions to the table.   Below are a few questions that we have been able to help the small business community navigate.

 

Q:  Required Vaccinations vs. Recommended Vaccinations…what should I...

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Get Creative! Low Cost Solutions For Hiring In Small Business

Photo Credit: moodboard 

 

If you’re singing “where have all the good candidates gone,” you’re not alone.

Between economic pain and the ongoing pandemic, we’re seeing the same trend across every city and every industry: Hiring is TOUGH!

Applications are feast or famine, candidates aren't returning calls or showing up for interviews and while I don’t have the answers to this problem - nor do I have a magic wand - I CAN tell you that there are excellent hires are out there. But they are also more likely to get snatched up on the job market, so you’ll need to put some hustle in your bustle during the hiring process if you want them on your team.

For years, I was a recruiter for a large mechanical contractor (along with Reanna Werner, founder of HR Branches) and experienced the ebb and flow of the construction industry for both workers and contracts. There was always a lack of skilled manpower so we had to get creative to...

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Paycheck Protection Program: Round 2

 
 
Updated 1/12/2021
If you haven't heard, Sunday night President Trump signed into law the $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill "Consolidated Appropriations Act" which provides $300 billion in support for small businesses and an opportunity to apply for a second PPP loan (or first loan if you missed the first round of PPP loans). This also includes Sec. 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organizations that were not able to apply previously.
 
According to a report by the SBA , accountants played a significant role in assisting small businesses with securing $525 billion in forgivable loans over 5 months the application was open for PPP1. Our companion business BRW Tax & Accounting is thrilled to have been a part of that and helped so many of you! Now is our opportunity to support the small business community again with the "PPP2".
 
Guidance and regulations have not been issued yet, but the SBA must provide regulations within 10 days of the...
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Masks & Your Business: Colorado Mask Order

On Thursday, July 16, 2020, Governor Jared Polis implemented a 30-day statewide mask order in the state of Colorado (there is a possibility of extension).  This order impacts every way we conduct business, work with our employees and serve your customers. There are a number of considerations that you need to apply when staying compliant.  Read on to learn how to apply this order to your business operations.

There is significant debate about the mask order and deep-rooted feelings for and against this order.  As you maneuver through implementing and staying compliant with this order, you will encounter these perspectives.  No matter what your personal thoughts are, it is important to know what is expected of you as a business owner.  Without further ado, let's dive right in.  

Your Working Environment:

Within the Colorado mask order, you do have to be mindful of when your staff must wear a mask.  You and your team are...

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Colorado Mandates Employee Paid Sick Leave for All

 

 

We knew this was going to continue to be a big year for legislation and it just keeps on coming. Be sure to follow our HR Branches Facebook as we will be going live to discuss these legislative changes now as well as in the future. Feel free to submit your questions in advance by emailing [email protected] or giving us a call at 719-244-9640.

Without further adieu, lets dive in shall we?

The federal mandate FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act) we reported on a few months ago was just the shallow end of the pool. Get your life vest- this isn't a kiddie pool folks, the "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act" is white water rapids for the small business community.  Carefully navigating these treacherous waters to keep your business afloat is going to be crucial.

On July 14, 2020 Colorado Govenor, Jared Polis signed the "Healthy Families and Workplaces Act" into law.  In the state of Colorado, only 60% of employees have paid...

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Small Business Hiring Amid a Pandemic

 

 Let's face it, even if we don't have the intention to hire in our small businesses, we may be left with no choice. Employees laid off during the stay-at-home orders may not want to come back. They might have found work elsewhere, they may have decided to stay home with the kids, or they may just not want to work for you anymore. This pandemic has caused most of us to take a deep look into what we want and planning for the future.

You are potentially left with positions you need to replace, new skillsets that have come to light since business has changed, or maybe your industry is one of the ones that is growing and thriving right now. No matter what it is, you are being lead to the market to meet a demand in your business. Whether you are experienced or need some guidance and organization in this area, this information will help you be more effective in finding the right fit, not just a warm body.

There are three components to a successful recruiting...

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Fighting Evils with Crisis Management

How HR Superheroes Save the Day!  

Have you ever heard of the term “superheroes?” I bet you have, and they are all around us. Our favorite superhero is the HR superhero.  HR superheroes may not have a cheesy costume suffocated in tights, profoundly hidden talents to ward off bad guys, or amazingly untouched hair after a long battle, but what they do have are their fair share of small business issues that they take on head first.

One issue that has been heavy on the minds of many small business owners is crisis management, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has hindered millions of employers and their employees around the world, carving its path and making its mark as it goes down in history. However, HR advisors combat many crisis situations, such as this one, making them a vital resource for all companies big and small. Crisis management is often associated with risk and safety, but HR is also the hub for managing uncertainty. They understand the...

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Relief Fund Options for Colorado Small Businesses

Updated 4/22/20
 
As the CARES Act funding came and went, Colorado organizations collaborated and stepped up to the plate to take care of our small business community. Below is a list we will keep updated with new opportunities and new information as we come across it.
 
 
Relief Fund Options for Colorado Small Businesses
 
Apply for emergency relief funding of up to $25,000. Offering mentoring as well.
Grants of $2,500 to $25,000 to certain types of storefront small businesses located within the boundaries of the DDA. Deadline to apply is April 22nd.
Eligible community-based organizations across Colorado may receive a general operating grant of up to $25,000. The first deadline awards were announced April 16,
2020. Funds are currently only being distributed in the Prevention and Impact priority areas. Recovery will be opened...
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Disaster Planning... Now? Yep, now is better than never!

Download Disaster Plan Template

 

The past three weeks have been tough for all of us, to say the least. As all of us have banded together, put on our seat belts and have screamed: "let me off of this roller coaster", there have been a ton of realizations. So here's my realization and true confession- we didn't have a disaster plan in place. We have been in operation for two years, and I could come up with a slew of excuses: we are just getting started, too busy, it won't happen to us, etc. But, the fact of the matter is that we needed one and we didn't have one.


Now that that embarrassing confession is over, here's the other side of my confession. I am a little bit glad that I didn't have one in place. Why? Because not having gone through a true disaster, I would have put together a pretty bland disaster plan. Now that we have a disaster under our belt and we have had the luxury of consulting with some of the best experts in the business, we have a good idea of what needs to be...

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