Carmel's HamletHub Fri, 05 Mar 2021 02:03:40 -0500 New Workshop Series - Garden Around the Corner is open for a new season!

The Studio Around the Corner and The Kathryn Davis Scholars invite you to start your own garden and produce your own food. 

The Garden Around the Corner is open for a new season! Moving forward from these unprecedented times, we want to encourage you to get in touch with nature. With this new series of workshops, we want to teach people how to start their own garden and produce their own food.
The Kathryn Davis Scholars invite you to register for this free series of 3 workshops, where you will learn the foundations to build your own garden! Once a month, we will come together to demonstrate and share our gardening techniques.

The first session will be on March 27th. This session will be remote, and it will cover starting seeds indoors and different techniques for small indoor gardening.
The next two sessions will be in person at the Studio Around the Corner, following all COVID-19 s protocols! In the second session (April 17th), we will be learning about soil preparation, garden planning, and early crops. The last session (May 8th) will be the moment to learn about different garden techniques. We will also sow some seed and transplant the seedlings.
At the end, you can take home some seeds to start your own garden!

Limited seating available, so don’t wait to RSVP.
Date: March 27, April 17, and May 8
Time: Saturdays 12 PM – 2 PM
Where: Studio Around the Corner, 67 Main St, Suite 101, Brewster, NY
Cost: No cost

For more information on this and other Cultural Arts Coalition events, visit:, call (845)
363 - 8330, email or find us on Facebook at “Cultural Arts Coalition”.

This workshop series is made possible with the assistance of The Kathryn W. Davis Global Community Scholarship Fund. The three scholars involved in this project are Laissa Leonis Canto, Kerolyn Martins (both from Brazil) and Marlie Martinez (from U.S.). Our goal is to encourage people in the Brewster and broader Hudson Valley community to grow their own food by teaching them simple techniques that can be used in their houses.

Town of Southeast Cultural Arts Coalition


67 Main Street, Suite 101, Brewster, NY 10509 (845) 363-8330 email

]]> (Cornell Cooperative Extension) Life Thu, 04 Mar 2021 13:15:58 -0500
Maloney, Co-Chair of the House Equality Caucus, Urges HHS to Reverse Anti-LGBTQ Trump Administration Rule

In response to an anti-LGBTQ Trump administration rule that would end nondiscrimination protections within social service programs, Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18)Angie Craig (MN-2), and Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-7) are calling on Acting Secretary Norris Cochran and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to move expeditiously to reverse this dangerous rule. 

If the rule were to go into effect, federally-funded service providers could discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Taxpayer-funded adoption and foster agencies would be able to refuse to acknowledge same-sex marriages and turn away LGBTQ parents, and transgender teens could be turned away from federally-funded shelters. 

“Under this bigoted Trump Administration rule, federally-funded foster care and adoption agencies could refuse to place a child with a married same-sex couple, making it harder for families like mine to exist,” said Rep. Maloney. “There are over 100,000 kids in the foster system ready to be adopted – they are the collateral damage in the Trump Administration’s war against the LGBTQ community. As a gay dad with three kids, I know first-hand that good parents are good parents – it doesn’t matter what they look like or who they love. When you sanction discrimination against LGBTQ couples, you deprive kids like mine of good moms, dads, and families who will love them unconditionally.”

“The Trump Administration's eleventh-hour attack on the LGBTQ community was cruel and dangerous,” said Rep. Craig. “As the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Minnesota, I thank the Biden Administration for taking immediate action to pause this harmful rule. We must ensure equal protections under the law for all Americans, and I look forward to working with the Administration to do just that.”

“Even though Donald Trump is no longer in office, his Administration’s bigoted and discriminatory policies towards the LGBTQ community continue to threaten the rights of folks across this country. That’s why I’m joining my colleagues Representatives Maloney and Craig, in calling on the Acting Head of the Department of Health and Human Services to immediately reverse a dangerous rule that would end nondiscrimination protections within federal social services, such as taxpayer-funded adoption agencies and youth shelters. The federal government has a responsibility to ensure no one in this country suffers from discriminatory practices,” said Rep. Velázquez.

In February, HHS agreed to a court order that will temporarily halt the Trump administration’s anti-LGBTQ rule change for 180 days. Rep. Maloney looks forward to working with the Biden administration and HHS leadership to ensure the rule is fully reversed.

In addition to Reps. Sean Patrick Maloney, Angie Craig, and Nydia M. Velázquez, this letter was signed by 63 members of Congress.

Read the full letter here and below:

March 4, 2021

Acting Secretary Norris Cochran

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

200 Independence Avenue, S.W.

Washington, D.C. 20201

Dear Secretary Cochran,

As you know, a week before the end of his presidency, the Trump administration finalized an unlawful and dangerous rule that would end nondiscrimination protections within social service programs. If this rule were to go into effect, it would eliminate critical protections preventing providers from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity when providing Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) grant-funded services. The rule also included language essentially ignoring the Supreme Court’s marriage equality decisions.

The Trump administration’s sanctioning of taxpayer-funded intolerance against people who receive services from HHS grant programs, including youth and families in the child welfare system, youth experiencing homelessness, and elder Americans, is reprehensible. Upon the rule's initial proposal, over 100 members of Congress called for its withdrawal to halt a harmful disruption to children, adults, and families across the country.  Under the shameful practices perpetuated by the Trump administration, a federally-funded foster care agency could refuse to place children with a married same-sex couple or a transgender teen could be turned away at an HHS-funded shelter. During these unprecedented times we should be finding ways to support our citizens, not discriminating against them under the guise of religious liberty. 

In response to a lawsuit filed by foster youth groups as well as LGBTQ advocacy organizations, HHS agreed to a court order that immediately stayed the effective date of this anti-LGBTQ rule. The effective date was extended by 180 days to August 2021 giving HHS time to reverse the rule.

We applaud the Biden-Harris administration for hitting pause on this harmful Trump-era rule, and it is our sincere hope that your agency will move forward expeditiously to ensure that all persons receive equal treatment under the law. Congress looks forward to working with you to make that a reality.


]]> (Office of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney) Politics Thu, 04 Mar 2021 13:06:54 -0500
Drug Enforcement agency is getting reports about scammers

The US Drug Enforcement agency is getting reports about scammers pretending to be Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents. They’re trying to get your money and personal information, and using alarming phone calls to do it.

The DEA is alerting people to the scam. Their message: It’s not the DEA calling.

The scammers use fake names and badge numbers. Sometimes they use the names of real DEA agents and may even text photos of what look like legitimate law enforcement credentials. They may have information about you, like part or all of your Social Security number (SSN). When they target medical practitioners, like doctors and pharmacists, they may have their National Provider Identifier number or state license number.

The scammers’ stories vary, but usually go something like this: They’ve seized a car packed with illegal drugs. It was rented in your name. Or, they found identifying papers with your name in the car, at some drug-linked location, or on a bank account used for money laundering. You’re going to be arrested for drug trafficking and money laundering.

The fake agent comes up with a reason for you to transfer money to him — maybe for safekeeping, to pay a fine, or to prove you’re willing to cooperate. They’ll tell you how to send the money, often by wire transfer or by buying gift cards and telling them the numbers on the back of the cards.

Here’s what you need to know:

  • The DEA will never call and ask for your SSN or other personal information. It won’t ask you to pay anything. And it won’t call to say you’re under investigation or threaten you with arrest.
  • Your caller ID might show a real DEA phone number, but that’s not the real DEA calling. Computers make it easy to show any number on caller ID. Don’t trust what you see there.
  • Never give your SSN to anyone who contacts you. Don’t confirm the last 4 digits. And don’t give a bank account or credit card number — ever — to anybody who contacts you asking for it.
  • Anyone who tells you to wire money, pay with a gift card, or send cash or cryptocurrency is a scammer. Always. No matter who they say they are.

If you get a call like this, hang up. Tell friends and family members about it. Then, tell us about it too, at

]]> (US Drug Enforcement Agency) Life Thu, 04 Mar 2021 12:44:38 -0500
Jenna Ferrara Makes Fall 2020 Dean's List at Adelphi University in New York

Jenna Ferrara of Carmel, NY, has been named to Adelphi University's fall 2020 Dean's List.

Ferrara was among a select group of outstanding students recognized by Adelphi's deans of Arts and Sciences, Education and Health Science, Business, Nursing and Public Health, Social Work and Psychology for superior academic performance. The list comprises full-time students-registered for 12 or more credits-who have completed at least nine graded credits and achieved a GPA of 3.5 or above for the semester. This recognition becomes part of the student's academic record and is entered into the individual's transcript.

About Adelphi: A modern metropolitan university with a personalized approach to higher learning

Adelphi University, New York, is a highly awarded, nationally ranked, powerfully connected doctoral research university dedicated to transforming students' lives through small classes with world-class faculty, hands-on learning and innovative ways to support academic and career success. Adelphi offers exceptional liberal arts and sciences programs and professional training, with particular strength in our Core Four-Arts and Humanities, STEM and Social Sciences, the Business and Education Professions, and Health and Wellness.

Recognized as a Best College by U.S. News & World Report, Adelphi is Long Island's oldest private coeducational university. It serves almost 8,000 students at its beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York--just 23 miles from New York City's cultural and internship opportunities-and at dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley and Suffolk County, as well as online.

More than 116,000 Adelphi graduates have gained the skills to thrive professionally as active, engaged citizens, making their mark on the University, their communities and the world.

]]> (Adelphi University) Life Thu, 04 Mar 2021 03:53:46 -0500
Mahopac Students Named to the University of Hartford President's Honors List

The University of Hartford congratulates the students who have been named to the President's Honors List for Fall 2020.

The President's Honors List is made up of an extremely select group of students who earned a grade point average of 3.75 or higher in the semester.

Zachary Cummins of Mahopac

Amanda Gaglio of Mahopac

Spread across seven dynamic schools and colleges, the University of Hartford has been guiding the purpose and passion of students for over six decades. On our 350-acre campus alongside Connecticut's capital city, approximately 5,000 undergraduate and 1,500 graduate students from 48 states and countries come together for a common purpose: to collaborate across different disciplines, diversify perspectives, and broaden worldviews. We're a four-year private university focused on advancing the public good through meaningful connections within our communities. Our unique approach to comprehensive education gives us the critical perspectives that lead to impactful change, regionally and beyond. With degree programs spanning the arts, humanities, business, engineering and technology, education, and health professions, we focus on doing the work that matters. Visit for more information.

]]> (University of Hartford) Life Wed, 03 Mar 2021 13:34:56 -0500
Putnam County to Vaccinate Seniors with NO Comorbidities

The Putnam County Department of Health will soon be allowed to administer COVID-19 vaccinations to senior citizens who have no comorbidities, Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell announced Friday, following a meeting with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s top advisors.

In addition, County Executive Odell announced, the state has promised to significantly increase the county’s vaccine allotment, which means more residents can be vaccinated quickly. 

“This is what we have been working toward, the opportunity to dispense as many vaccines as we are allocated, as quickly and as efficiently as possible,” County Executive Odell said. “The sooner we get these vaccines in our residents’ arms, the sooner we get this pandemic behind us, and the sooner we will see our children back in the classroom and our Main Street economy 100% reopen.”

For months, County Executive Odell has been calling for the state to loosen its policy and permit local health departments to vaccinate residents 65 years of age and older as a way to end the confusion that has surrounded the vaccine rollout.  Until now, senior citizens without comorbidities could only be inoculated at one of the state’s mass vaccination sites or a scattering of private pharmacies. Local health departments were assigned to vaccinate only specific categories of essential workers, group home residents, those with disabilities and people of all ages with comorbidities.

“Our Putnam County health department is highly trained, professional and experienced in running vaccine PODs,” County Executive Odell said. “We have a very efficient process that has been established by our Incident Command Structure.”

On Friday afternoon, Larry Schwartz, who is leading the state’s vaccination efforts, and Dr. Howard Zucker, the state health commissioner, held a conference call with county executives across the state to discuss the policy change and to share more good news: the state will significantly increase the amount of COVID-19 vaccine it distributes to local health departments next week.

County executives were told to submit requests for the amount of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine they could store at sub-zero temperatures and dispense within seven days to senior citizens without comorbidities. Putnam County requested 3,000 vaccine doses.  Dutchess County also requested 3,000 doses, while Rockland County requested 5,000 doses.

A county’s allotment will depend upon its population. Putnam County does not yet know if it will get all that it asked for, or when any of it might be delivered.

“We have the capability to set up a POD to administer the vaccine within 48 hours of receiving it,” said Dr. Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Putnam County’s commissioner of health. “When we actually get the vaccine shipment and know exactly how much we have, we will set up a link on the health department website for seniors to sign up for appointments.”

In addition to the professionals from the county health department, we have a vast pool of experienced volunteers who are ready, willing and able to help vaccinate our most vulnerable residents. As soon as our allotment of vaccine increases, we can activate this COVID-19 vaccine corps and make our communities safer.  

Putnam County has freezers that can store up to 6,000 doses of the vaccine at sub-zero temperatures and County Executive Odell said the county will offer space in its freezers to any neighboring counties that don’t have adequate cold storage capacity.

For more information, check the county health department’s COVID-19 vaccine page

]]> (Putnam County) Life Wed, 03 Mar 2021 12:24:35 -0500
Putnam County residents 65 years of age and older- two first-dose vaccination clinics have been scheduled:

Putnam County residents 65 years of age and older- two first-dose vaccination clinics have been scheduled:
March 4 at Lakeview Plaza in Brewster next to Acme (separate from the essential worker & comorbidities clinic)
March 5 at Lakeview Plaza in Brewster next to Acme.
You must be a resident of Putnam County to receive vaccine at either of these clinics.
Please do not register for an appointment if you do not meet these criteria. You will be turned away at the door. Local health departments must adhere to specific vaccination groups determined by the New York State Department of Health, or we may not receive vaccines the following week.
We received limited doses of vaccine so appointments will fill quickly.
Future PODs will continue to be scheduled as more vaccine is received.
]]> (Putnam County) Public safety Wed, 03 Mar 2021 12:12:40 -0500
State of the County Address Postponed

Immediate Release

Putnam County Executive

MaryEllen Odell 845-808-1001

March 3, 2021

The State of the County address that Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell delivers each spring has been postponed because of COVID-19 gathering restrictions.

The Special Meeting of the Legislature that is scheduled for Thursday, March 11, will take place as planned, and County Executive Odell will present the Legislature with written materials that satisfy the requirements of the Putnam County Charter. She will not, however, give her prepared address, which was entitled “2021, A Year of Hope and Health.”

“This is the second year in a row that COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to change our plans for the State of the County address,” Odell said. “I’m disappointed. This special meeting always gives us a chance to get together with residents, employees, union leaders, department heads and others and bring everyone up to speed on all that is happening in our county. Still, we must put safety first.”  

The Open Meetings Law has been suspended through March 24, 2021 as per Executive Order 202.95, and a new date for the address has not yet been determined.

The meeting remains open to the public via livestream. To register, go to the Legislative Meetings page of the Putnam County website, at


]]> (Putnam County) Politics Wed, 03 Mar 2021 11:27:39 -0500
March 4th Woman Within Circle

We are Woman Within International.

We are women offering programs to help other women know, empower and embrace all parts of themselves. Some join us through a Woman Within Circle; others through a Woman Within Weekend®. Our global Woman Within International nonprofit communities encourage women to support each other in fully living the lives they want. Most importantly, we are a community of Women dedicated to learning how to be the best we can be. All are welcome here.

Our communities are diverse, empowering, inclusive and global. Woman Within International in-person weekend, trainings and programs can be found in the United States (by region: Eastern, Central, South Central and Western), Canada, Australia, Europe and South Africa. Our Woman Within Circles are local, regional and online. All our programs encourage personal safety, peer-to-peer support with your personal enrichment in mind.

To discover more about Woman Within, please visit a Woman Within Circle. My name is Viviane and I have gotten enormous value from my volunteer work with Woman Within and through my participation in Woman Within Circles. As a gift to the community I moderate a Virtual Open Circle the first Thursday of every month. There is no obligation to return or to actively participate and this is offered free of charge. I look forward to meeting you virtually.

For more information and to register, please email me at Viviane Kaneff

]]> (Woman Within International) Events Wed, 03 Mar 2021 11:18:01 -0500
Carmel / Mahopac URI students named to the Fall 2020 Dean's List

The University of Rhode Island is pleased to announce the Fall 2020 Dean's List. The students represent nearly all of Rhode Island's cities and towns, all six New England states, New York and New Jersey, and many other states and countries. The following students were named to Dean's List:

Anna Gamgebeli of Mahopac

Breanna Hennessy of Carmel

Hanna Iarussi of Mahopac

Sara Imburgia of Mahopac

Jess Kozma of Carmel

Tyler Levitz of Mahopac

Ashley Macri of Mahopac

Heather Magliari of Mahopac

April Mamarella of Patterson

Molly McDonough of Patterson

Matthew McMahon of Mahopac

Justin Montafia of Carmel

Josh Montgomery of Carmel

Gianna Nardini of Mahopac

Lindsay Neilis of Mahopac

Daniela Nudo of Carmel

Kailey O'Connor of Mahopac

Thomas Pesci of Carmel

Theresa Redendo of Carmel

Jessica Russo of Mahopac

To be included on the Dean's List, full-time students must have completed 12 or more credits for letter grades during a semester and achieved at least a 3.30 quality point average. Part-time students qualify with the accumulation of 12 or more credits for letter grades earning at least a 3.30 quality point average.

As a public Land Grant University in a highly competitive region in the United States, URI carefully monitors and manages its tuition and fee rates to remain one of the most affordable universities in the Northeast for both in-state and out-of-state students. An estimated 90% of undergraduate students receive annual financial aid and institutional support

The University's total fall 2020 enrollment of 17,649 students comprises 15,393 full- and part-time undergraduate students, including 748 pharmacy six-year professional practice, and 2,256 full- and part-time graduate students. About 52% of the total student body is from Rhode Island and 48% are from out of state or foreign countries. The student body includes students from 48 U.S. states and territories, and 67 nations.

The University of Rhode Island's pioneering research in ocean, environmental and health sciences extends the University's influence well beyond its coastal borders, while its interdisciplinary courses provide students with uniquel opportunities and experiences,

Over the last ten years, the University has completed more than $710 million in capital projects, including new construction, and renovation and rehabilitation of existing buildings across its four campuses. The University's campus locations, include the main campus, located on 1,248 acres in rural Kingston, the Graduate School of Oceanography, located on 165 acres on Narragansett Bay, the W. Alton Jones Campus in West Greenwich, a 1,200-acre nature preserve, the Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Education and Professional Studies and the Rhode Island Nursing Education Center, both in the capital city of Providence, RI.

]]> (University of Rhode Island) Life Tue, 02 Mar 2021 14:00:03 -0500
Statement From Assemblyman Byrne Concerning State Guidance on Full-Time in Person Schooling.

Statement From Assemblyman Byrne Concerning State Guidance on Full-Time in Person Schooling.

Since New York first went on “Pause” in March, very few students in our state have been afforded the opportunity to participate in five-day in-person learning- something we previously had considered a basic right prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. For a number of students, this loss of in-school instruction has been damaging to their social and educational development and health. This is why leading public health advocates like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) have highlighted the importance of bringing back in-person classroom education. AAP President Lee Savio Beers, M.D., FAAP, said in a release, “Children absolutely need to return to in-school learning for their healthy development and well-being, and so safety in schools and in the community must be a priority.”

Last August, the NYS Department of Health (NYSDOH) & NYS Education Department (NYSED) published its initial guidance for schools regarding distancing, mask wearing, busing, and the potential need for additional physical barriers to mitigate and reduce the risk of spreading this virus.  While some schools have been able to successfully comply with these standards and offer five-day in-person education in our state, I also understand the existing state guidance has caused significant confusion among many local elected leaders and school administrators.  Several of these stakeholders have expressed that the guidance lacks the clarity desired for them to confidently transition back to a traditional in-person learning option. 

This past week, as the Ranking Minority Member of the Assembly Committee on Health, I participated in over 12 hours of questions and answers during our joint legislative health budget hearing. The importance of updating the state’s guidance on in-person education was one of the many issues raised. My colleagues and I were successful in getting the NYSDOH Commissioner to acknowledge the importance of this issue and need for the department to update its guidance. While the Commissioner’s words were welcomed, my colleagues and I are still not taking anything for granted. It is critical that NYSDOH and NYSED revise and update its guidance based on what we’ve learned about this virus since last summer, and provide local school boards and administrators the information and confidence they need to safely bring back in-person learning.

The state must also be mindful that it cannot simply place more costly unfunded mandates on school districts that could impede their ability to re-open. Additionally, the state must consider and offer updated guidance on whether or not desk barriers are necessary, including if students are less than 6 ft. apart while also wearing masks.  It should also be made clear that any and all barriers required must conform with local building department and fire protection regulations. The House of Representatives recently passed a federal aid package to address the growing cost of this pandemic. Coronavirus relief funds should be used specifically for coronavirus related expenses. I believe protecting our kids from this virus while allowing them the option to safely have in-person learning at school would be an appropriate use of those funds.

New York State must also provide clear quarantine guidelines that are safe, practical and permit in-person classrooms to thrive. In this instance, a county by county approach is less appropriate as it increases confusion among local schools and creates an environment where various county health departments may contradict each other. 

This issue is simply too important for us to delay any further. For students, parents, teachers, administrators and more, updating the state guidance to help local officials safely bring back in-person learning needs to be a top priority.

]]> (Office of Assemblyman Kevin Byrne) Politics Tue, 02 Mar 2021 13:30:32 -0500
Kent Recreation's Easter Egg Hunt is son!

The Town of Kent Recreation department has announced that their annual Easter Egg Hunt will be held on March 20, 2021 (rain-date of the 27th). The event will be held at Ryan's Park on the fitness trail. To make sure everyone is safe, the recreation department has broken the event down into multiple time slots (on the hour from 11a to 3p) and, while still a FREE event, pre-registration is required and space is limited.
 The event is open to Town of Kent and Carmel Central School District residents only.
ONLINE REGISTRATION FOR THIS EVENT WILL OPEN AT 5:00p on Wednesday March 3rd and can only be accessed by a link on the Recreation department's website. The website which will not post the link until 5:00pm. To visit the Kent Recreation website, CLICK HERE.
Fore more information contact the Kent Recreation department at (845) 531-2100.
]]> (Kent Recreation) Life Tue, 02 Mar 2021 13:24:57 -0500
'MEET BEN FRANKLIN' A virtual Program from Reed Library

MEET BEN FRANKLIN Wednesday March 3 at 7 pm
This is an online program. You must use Zoom to attend.

Through art and artifacts drawn from East Coast museums and collections, meet the author, printer, political theorist, politician, Freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat you know as Benjamin Franklin!
Talk girrn by Aflame! Nom:, of Annehair Art Tour,
Registration required. Please visit www.carmellibramorgicalendar to register. Reed Memorial Library, 1733 Roan 6, Carmel, NY 10512 845-225-2439

]]> (Reed Memorial Library) Life Tue, 02 Mar 2021 12:33:00 -0500
IRS provides guidance for employers claiming the Employee Retention Credit for 2020, including eligibility rules for PPP borrowers

The Internal Revenue Service today issued guidance for employers claiming the employee retention credit under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), as modified by the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Relief Act), for calendar quarters in 2020. The guidance in Notice 2021-20 is similar to the information in the employee retention credit FAQs, but includes clarifications and describes retroactive changes under the new law applicable to 2020, primarily relating to expanded eligibility for the credit. 

For 2020, the employee retention credit can be claimed by employers who paid qualified wages after March 12, 2020, and before January 1, 2021, and who experienced a full or partial suspension of their operations or a significant decline in gross receipts. The credit is equal to 50 percent of qualified wages paid, including qualified health plan expenses, for up to $10,000 per employee in 2020.  The maximum credit available for each employee is $5,000 in 2020.
A significant change for 2020 made by the Relief Act permits eligible employers that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan to claim the employee retention credit, although the same wages cannot be counted both for seeking forgiveness of the PPP loan and calculating the employee retention credit.  Notice 2021-20 explains when and how employers that received a PPP loan can claim the employee retention credit for 2020.

Notice 2021-20 also provides answers to questions such as: who are eligible employers; what constitutes full or partial suspension of trade or business operations; what is a significant decline in gross receipts; how much is the maximum amount of an eligible employer’s employee retention credit; what are qualified wages; how does an eligible employer claim the employee retention credit; and how does an eligible employer substantiate the claim for the credit.

While the Relief Act also extended and modified the employee retention credit for the first two calendar quarters in 2021, Notice 2021-20 addresses only the rules applicable to 2020.  The IRS plans to release additional guidance soon addressing the changes for 2021.

A page on is devoted to providing information to businesses on all aspects of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

]]> (Peter Carey) Life Tue, 02 Mar 2021 03:17:48 -0500
SBA Prioritizes Smallest of Small Businesses in the Paycheck Protection Program

Building on a month of strong results, the Biden-Harris Administration and the U.S. Small Business Administration are taking steps with the Paycheck Protection Program to further promote equitable relief for America’s mom-and-pop businesses. 

The latest round of Paycheck Protection Program funding opened one month ago and already the Biden Administration has succeeded in making major improvements to the program’s implementation:

  • For businesses with fewer than ten employees, the share of funding is up nearly 60%
  • For businesses in rural communities, the share of funding is up nearly 30%
  • The share of funding distributed through Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions is up more than 40%
  • “The SBA is a frontline agency working to create an inclusive economy, focused on reaching women-owned, minority-owned, low- and moderate-income, rural, and other underserved communities in meaningful ways. While reported data illustrates we have made real strides in ensuring these funds are reaching underserved communities, we believe we can still do better,” says SBA Senior Advisor Michael Roth. “The important policy changes we are announcing further ensure inclusivity and integrity by increasing access and much-needed aid to Main Street businesses that anchor our neighborhoods and help families build wealth.”  

These simple progressive steps by the Biden-Harris Administration further demonstrate the commitment to racial and gender equity, reaching low and moderate-income, rural, urban, and other underserved areas. The SBA will:

  • Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

The 14-day exclusivity period will start on Wednesday, February 24, 2021 at 9 a.m., while the other four changes will be implemented by the first week of March. The SBA is working on the program changes and will communicate details throughout this week.

These actions will help to lay the foundation for a robust and equitable recovery for small businesses across the country. Small businesses employ nearly half of the American workforce; they create 2 out of 3 net new private-sector jobs; they reinvest 68% of revenues to build and sustain communities. Borrowers can apply for the Paycheck Protection Program by downloading the First Draw PPP loan application or Second Draw PPP loan application and working with a participating PPP lender through the SBA Lender Match tool.

Through SBA’s nationwide district offices, the Agency will work in close partnership with the Administration to further leverage its resource partner network and expand on multilingual access and outreach about the PPP. Updated PPP information, including forms, guidance, and resources is available at and

]]> (US Small Business Administration) Life Tue, 02 Mar 2021 01:29:26 -0500