SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Baker-Polito Administration are working closely with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program which would provide assistance to eligible businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19.

The first step in this process is to meet a minimum threshold of affected businesses within Massachusetts and provide this information to the SBA with a formal request for activation of the EIDL within the Commonwealth. To do this, MEMA posted an online survey tool to collect economic loss data from small businesses across the state. Small businesses were asked to complete the survey and return it to MEMA . The response through Monday March 16, 2020 has been overwhelming and thanks to all the small businesses who participated. At this time, MEMA has collected enough small business loss data to prepare a request for EIDL to be submitted by Governor Baker to the SBA. They are no longer collecting Small Business economic loss surveys and are now in the process of assisting the Governor with requesting the SBA EIDL program.

EIDL offers Massachusetts businesses who are experiencing hardships resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak access up to $2M in emergency loan capital with rates capped at 3.75%. They are currently working with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to activate the EIDL program. They will update the page when the program formally opens. You can learn more about the SBA’s response to COVID-19 here.

Once activated, all small businesses within affected counties will become eligible to apply directly through the SBA. Businesses who did not fill out the initial survey remain eligible to apply once the program is activated. In addition, businesses who did fill out the initial survey will still need to apply for the EIDL program through SBA..

RMV emergency extensions does not apply to CDLs

Today, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles sent out the following clarification concerning drivers license extensions. The extension does not apply to holders of commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs).

The Massachusetts RMV is taking an important step following Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of a State of Emergency the week of March 9th and to complement the work that has been underway for weeks across state government to keep residents safe and healthy.

Due to the recent activity surrounding COVID 19 (Corona Virus), the RMV is taking measures to reduce customer visits in our Service Centers and AAA offices. One of these actions includes extending the expiration date of certain credentials.

All Class D and Class DM driver’s licenses, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits that have expired or are expiring between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have a 60-day extension applied to the current expiration date.

This deadline extension will not apply to customers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDLs) or those whose end of stay in the United States is the same as the expiration date on their driver’s license, ID card, or Learner’s Permit.

The RMV will implement this 60-day extension to the current expiration date for Class D, Class DMs, ID cards, and Learner’s Permits within the RMV system the week of 3/16 – all people with expired/expiring credentials physically dated between March 1, 2020 and April 30, 2020, will have an active status within the RMV system with extended expiration date. For example, if the credential expires on April 15, 2020, the RMV system will extend the expiration to June 15, 2020 and display the same. The RMV is not providing updated credentials to reflect the extended date.

This does not apply to vehicle registrations at this time. Most vehicle registrations can be renewed online at Mass.Gov/RMV.

Hours of Service suspension

The following information has been provided by the ATA regarding Hours of Service. TAM will continue to monitor information provided by all sources as this situation evolves, and will send as many updates as needed. Once the FMCSA issues the details on the proclamation itself we will be sure to forward it to you accordingly.

From the American Trucking Association…

Following President Trump’s address, we understand that FMCSA will be issuing an emergency proclamation suspending federal hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for operations engaged in emergency relief related to COVID-19.

We expect FMCSA to post the specific criteria of this proclamation on their website, including clarifying information about the types of loads and work covered. Motor carriers and drivers remain responsible for ensuring that drivers are receiving sufficient rest and are not operating fatigued. ATA will continue to monitor any emergency proclamations and will notify ATA membership as soon as they become available. For more information, please reach out to the ATA Safety Policy Team.

Additionally, Congress and the president are negotiating an initial emergency legislative package, which is scheduled to be taken up in the House soon, most likely today. ATA legislative staff are reviewing the current package and negotiations, and an update will be shared later today with a summary of that package. There is also discussion of future legislation that could be taken up as early as next week.

Areas like sick leave, small business assistance, food assistance and other areas are all under review. The situation is fluid and changing daily, if not hourly, but we are tracking your calls and input and tracking work by policymakers.

Emergency Declaration Information

To provide vital supplies and transportation services to a disaster area in the United States, emergency declarations may be issued by the President, Governors of States, or FMCSA. These declarations trigger the temporary suspension of certain Federal safety regulations, including Hours of Service, for motor carriers and drivers engaged in specific aspects of the emergency relief effort. See 49 CFR 390.23 for the actual emergency regulation.

Relief from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations is limited to a maximum of 30 days, unless extended by FMCSA itself.

The information below reflects currently available relief:

  1. Drivers responding to provide “direct assistance” to an “emergency” meeting the definitions in 49 CFR 390.5 and declared by FMCSA or a governor, are exempt from applicable regulations in all States on their route to the emergency, even though those States may not be involved in the emergency or stated in the declaration of emergency.
  2. These exemptions, when in effect, only apply to 49 CFR Parts 390-399. They do NOT exempt drivers/carriers from the requirements relating to CDL, drug/alcohol, hazardous materials, size & weight, or State/Federal registration and tax requirements. (However, a Governor’s Declaration may add some of those exemptions – read the declaration for details.)
  3. Even if an Emergency Declaration is still in effect, the emergency must be on-going and you must be providing direct emergency assistance in order to be exempt from safety regulations.
  4. The list of Emergency Declarations below may not be complete. Declarations may be in effect even if not listed here. Read the declaration itself for all details.
  5. There is no requirement to carry a copy of the declaration in the vehicle unless stated so in the declaration itself.
  6. Drivers and carriers should coordinate with State emergency officials before providing assistance. State regulations regarding size and weight, permits, taxes, etc. may not have been waived.
  7. Even though safety regulations may be suspended, drivers and carriers are expected to use good judgment and not operate vehicles with fatigued or ill drivers, or under any conditions presenting a clear hazard to other motorists using the highways.