Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s COVID-19 Weekly Digest

Below please find League Business Leaders Network member Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr’s COVID-19 weekly digest, which includes our analysis of the most current legal developments related to this pandemic. To receive regular updates, news and information related to COVID-19, please register here.

COVID-19 Updates

  • The “Main Street Lending Program” for Small and Mid-Size Businesses
    The Federal Reserve Board (“FRB”) announced on April 30, 2020 an expanded and updated Main Street Lending Program (the “Lending Program”) as part of its efforts to support the economy by providing credit to small and mid-size businesses that were in sound financial condition prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lending Program, authorized under Section 13(3) of the Federal Reserve Act, now consists of three loan facilities.
  • Is COVID-19 an Act of God and/or Will COVID-19 Be a Defense Against Failure to Perform?
    This is the second in a series of alerts on Force Majeure and Common Law Defenses against failure to perform contracts. In our first alert, we discussed the elements of a force majeure clause and looked at how various states have interpreted force majeure clauses. We focused on how most states take a narrow view of these provisions and they adhere to the plain meaning of the force majeure provisions. This alert takes a look at one event often listed in force majeure clauses – Acts of God.
  • Nine States Sue the EPA Seeking the COVID-19 Enforcement Policy to Be Vacated
    Nine states have filed a lawsuit against the EPA alleging that the EPA’s “Temporary Policy on COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program” is ultra vires, arbitrary and capricious, and is tantamount to an agency rulemaking, promulgated without notice and comment in violation of the Administrative Procedures Act, 5 U.S.C. 553. The complaint alleges that numerous federal environmental laws mandate that regulated entities conduct compliance monitoring and reporting and that the EPA does not have statutory authority to waive compliance with these requirements through the adoption of a policy. The states of New York, California, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Vermont and Virginia are asking for the court to vacate the EPA’s COVID-19 Enforcement Policy. A copy of the complaint is available here.
  • First Charges for Paycheck Protection Program Loan Fraud and the Implications for Borrowers and Lenders
    White Collar and Government Litigation
    On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, providing $2 trillion of stimulus relief to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus. Among the features of this stimulus relief is the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”), which initially provided $349 billion in funding for forgivable loans for qualifying businesses in a program administered by the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury. A second round of funding provided an additional $310 billion in forgivable loans.

Industry and State Specific Guidance

  • Minnesota COVID-19 Update May 10, 2020

    This update provides a quick-reference summary of major Minnesota state and local government actions taken in response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that may be pertinent to Minnesota clients’ business operations. We will seek to update the summary for major events as the state and local response unfolds.