Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina Hosts Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce September Back to Business Breakfast

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Jensen Beach– On Tuesday, September 29, 2020 The Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce had their back to business breakfast. Approximately 90 members attended.  All attendees wore masks throughout the event. During the meeting the 2021 new board for the Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce was inducted into office by Congressman Mast.

Immerse yourself in the Florida lifestyle at Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina. Beautifully situated on 200 acres by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, our relaxing hotel is the perfect choice for family vacations, corporate retreats, weddings and social gatherings. Relax in our elegant resort accommodations, whether near the pool at our main hotel or close to the beach in Sandpiper Tower. Each hotel room features upscale amenities and a private balcony or patio with views over Hutchinson Island. No matter what brings you to our hotel, we look forward to making your stay in Stuart exceptional. They are located at: 555 NE Ocean Blvd. Stuart or call them at: 772- 225-3700.

The speaker for the breakfast was Congressman Brian Mast. The Congressman updated the membership about the waterways and the many things coming up.  He also addressed and update about the train which has been a big issue in the Martin County area.  He took many questions during the breakfast and tried to answer questions which the membership wanted to know.

Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in the growth, business climate and economy of our area. Martin is one of the most respected counties in the state. The programs and activities of the Chamber are vital to our lifestyle. The Chamber is proud of the benefits and services we provide to Martin County and our 1,400 plus members. The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce is a member of the countywide Council of Chambers, an organization consisting of the five county Chambers of Commerce, formed to discuss common issues, provide unified effort in speaking out to represent business interests of the area.  They are located in Stuart at 1650 S. Kanner Highway. For more information contact them at: 772-287-1088.

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BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS SEPTEMBER MEETINGS

September 29, 2020 at 9:00 am
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS FY2020/2021 BUDGET PUBLIC HEARINGS
September 29, 2020 at 5:05 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
Regarding: The Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Budget.
These meetings will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

COMMUNITY REDEVELOPMENT AGENCY
September 28, 2020 at 3:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

PUBLIC ART ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The Community Development Agency sits as the Public Art Advisory Committee.
September 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm
Location: John F. & Rita M. Armstrong Wing of the Blake Library, 2351 SE Monterey Road, Stuart
This meeting will be televised live on MCTV Channel 20 (Comcast), Channel 99 (U-verse), and online at www.martin.fl.us.

20 Sept BAC Flyer

Is It Time to Think About Tax-Free Income?

20 Sept Landerweik a

Federal and state governments have spent extraordinary sums in response to the economic toll inflicted by the COVID-19 pandemic. At some point it is likely that governments will look for ways to increase revenue to compensate for this spending and increase income taxes as a result. That's why it might be a good time to think about ways to help reduce your taxable income. Here are three potential sources of tax-free income to consider.

Roth IRA
Contributions to a Roth IRA are made with after-tax dollars — you don't receive a tax deduction for money you put into a Roth IRA. Not only does the Roth IRA offer tax-deferred growth, but qualified Roth distributions including earnings are not subject to income taxation. And the tax-free treatment of distributions applies to beneficiaries who may inherit your Roth IRA.

Municipal Bonds
Municipal, or tax-exempt, bonds are issued by state and local governments to supplement tax revenues and to finance projects. Interest from municipal bonds is usually exempt from federal income tax. Also, municipal bond interest from a given state generally isn't taxed by governmental bodies within that state, though state and local governments typically do tax interest on bonds issued by other states.

Health Savings Accounts
A health savings account (HSA) lets you set aside tax-deductible or pre-tax dollars to cover health-care and medical costs that your insurance doesn't pay. HSA funds accumulate tax-deferred, and qualified withdrawals are tax-free. While an HSA is intended to pay for current medical and related expenses, you don't necessarily have to seek reimbursement now. You can hold your HSA until retirement then reimburse yourself for all the medical expenses you paid over the years with tax-free HSA distributions — money you can use any way you'd like. Be sure to keep receipts for medical expenses you incurred.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

20 Aug Landerwsiek

The Village Club and Preserve Hosts Palm City Chamber of Commerce Business after Hours & Ribbon Cutting

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Palm City – On Tuesday, September 22, 2020 The Palm City Chamber of Commerce had a Business after Hours hosted outside at the Village Club & Preserve in Palm City. The event was well attended with approximately 60 attendees. The event was catered by Manero’s Restaurant.

The Village Club & Preserve is a Florida non-profit 501(c) 3 organization dedicated to improving the lives of local families through youth athletics and enrichment programs. It is their mission to provide attainable sports and swimming lessons, as well as foster community engagement through educational programming and activities hosted on their grounds.

They are located at 261 SW Racquet Club Dr., Palm City. Contact them at: 772-888-0094

The Palm City Chamber of Commerce strives to promote the continuous improvement of the common good and the quality of life in the community through the pursuit of new business. They are located in Palm City at 3168 SW Martin Downs Blvd. Contact them at: 772-286-8121.

Out2News is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. If you wish a high resolution photo or would like to email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com.

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Masterminds of Stuart Meet at Hampton Inn & Suites

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Stuart - On Friday, September 18, 2020 the Masterminds of Stuart met at the Hampton Inn & Suites for the first time since their last meeting in February. Christine Franco, Marketing & Sales Manager for the Hampton Inn & Suites, was the host for the meeting, she was very welcoming to all members who attended. She has that great smile which at that time of day is awesome! 

Due to Covid-19 the group decided to have only ZOOM meetings. This group is a very friendly group with lots of interesting businesses throughout the communities. Gary Owen with Owen Insurance is the Networking Founder and "Networking Ninja!"

The primary purpose is to provide support, counsel, collaboration, ideas, best practices and to refer business to each other and do business with one another. We also focus on each other’s business development, trust and friendship.

Their mantra will always be, “Do Business with a Local Business”. Our philosophy is that those who give business freely to others will benefit in return and get business as well. We invite members to join if they have a complimentary and non-conflicting business with existing ‘Mastermind’ members. Gary thinks it is essential to network, to build your brand, convey your message and to be seen.

Their meetings are on the first & third Fridays of each month for Masterminds Main Events. Additional Socials and happy hours are also offered occasionally and count towards membership requirements.

Come check out this upfront, supportive & no nonsense group is all about! They are here to support business with local business.

For more information contact:Tish Gelineau-tgelineau@arcmc.org or call Gary Owen:561-323-3605

Out2News is your online newspaper where you are the reporter,photographer and you report the news!

Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. If you wish a high resolution photo or would like to email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com.
Photo by: Courtesy of Robin Hall - Out2News
Got a story or event? Email them to: rshall@out2martincounty.com
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Hutchinson Shores Beach Resort & Spa Hosts Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce September Luncheon

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Jensen Beach – On Thursday, September 17, 2020 The Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce had their September Luncheon. Most attendees wore masks throughout the event. The Speaker for the Luncheon was George Stokus - Martin County Assistant Administrator. Mr. Stokus gave an update on the CARES Act to the membership.
The event was held at the Hutchinson Shores Beach Resort & Spa in Jensen Beach. Ed Griffith is the General Manager of the premier resort for family vacations, meetings, corporate retreats, oceanfront weddings, and spa getaways. The Jensen Beach hotel offers 178 oceanfront accommodations with coastal-inspired decor and private balconies, along with exceptional resort amenities including a signature spa, two outdoor pools, oceanfront dining.
They are located at 3793 NE Ocean Boulevard in Jensen Beach. For more information call them at: 772.334.1950.

The Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce stands as the advocate for the development of the business community, tourism and resource center that promotes member success." The Chamber is located in downtown historic Jensen Beach. Through seminars, workshops and monthly luncheons the Chamber provides members with many opportunities to network and enhance businesses. For more Information contact them at: (772) 334-3444

Out2News is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. If you wish a high resolution photo or would like to email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com.

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Limiting COVID-19 Liability for Florida Property Owners & Landlords

19 Nov Woodward Logo
COVID 19

Florida business owners, including property owners and landlords, want to safely resume business operations as the economy opens during the COVID-19 pandemic. But, without state-level protection to safely open, business owners are left to forge their own insulation from COVID-19 liability.

Protection By Statute or Executive Order (Non-Florida)

Some industry groups have successfully lobbied for individual state protections. For example:

California: hospitals and healthcare professionals have no COVID-19 liability absent a willful act or omission.
New York: nursing homes now have the same liability shield previously applicable to traditional healthcare facilities.
Nevada: the hospitality industry is now protected by Senate Bill 5 which protects hotels, casinos and their employees from COVID-19-related claims.
Meanwhile, in the absence of any governing federal statue matter, other states have crafted their own business-protective remedies based on differing types of liability.

Georgia: Senate Bill 359 limits general civil liability for claims that accrue before July 14, 2021 absent a showing of gross negligence, willful and wanton misconduct, reckless infliction of harm, or intentional infliction of harm.
Iowa: Senate File 2338 addresses premises liability and in most instances protects the person in possession of the premises from liability when individuals enter the premises and contract COVID-19.
Kentucky: Senate Bill 150 addresses product liability affecting manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) or personal hygiene supplies in response to the public health emergency.

Protection in Florida: Mitigation and a Good Business Lawyer

The Sunshine State currently has no statute or executive order addressing COVID-19 liability, so Florida businesses, property owners, and landlords must fall back on the traditional defenses to negligence claims in response to a COVID-19 injury claim. However, there has been no specific governmental guidance (nor legal precedents) regarding what constitutes negligence, so businesses should be extremely careful when gauging how to avoid liability. Therefore, every possible exercise of reasonable care should be taken, and property owners and landlords should take proactive steps to minimize risk, including:

Compliance with the latest CDC directives for evaluating the overall safety of a building (see COVID-19 Employer Information for Office Buildings) ,
Taking certain precautions in the operation of office buildings and retail shopping centers, paying particular attention to common areas.
Operating under heightened screenings when managing multifamily properties and residential condominiumor cooperative buildings. Most residential and commercial leases include some form of a “Compliance with Laws” clause that binds the property owner or landlord to obey, perhaps even enforce, local laws, regulations or government directives.
Obtaining liability waivers from visitors to absolve, exculpate, or forgive in advance the owner or operator of the commercial establishment of liability claims that the visitor contracted an infectious disease while on the premises.
The Bottom Line

Since Florida does not yet have a COVID-19 legal immunity law, property owners and landlords should exercise care to avoid liability claims related to COVID-19. Best practices, then, dictates that all businesses should, at minimum, follow the CDC guidelines (or any more stringent local government guidelines, if applicable) with regard to personal hygiene, social distancing, wearing masks, and keeping surfaces clean. It is further recommended that a professionally drafted liability waiver, signed by visitors to the business, be incorporated into every business’ COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy.

As always, if you or your company want to discuss this further, or you would like us to prepare a COVID-19 liability waiver for you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 772-497-6544.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Out2News. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

How Does LLC Ownership Work?

19 Nov Woodward Logo
20 Sept LLC Woodward

The limited liability company (LLC) is a popular business structure for new businesses, but what does it really mean to own an LLC? LLCs provide unique opportunities to customize business ownership to fit the particular needs and circumstances of the owners. Here is what you should know about LLC ownership.

The Basics

The owners of LLCs are often called members. If a single person or a single business entity owns an LLC, it is called a single-member LLC. If multiple people or entities own an LLC, it is called a multimember LLC. LLCs can have an unlimited number of members. When ownership is established, the membership interests are usually expressed in one of two ways:

by membership units similar to corporate shares
by percentage
The terminology you choose to use for a membership interest should correspond to your vision for the company. For example, if the business is owned primarily by your family, identifying the membership interests by percentages may keep things clear and straightforward. However, if you intend to seek funding from individuals outside of the family, you may find that labeling the ownership interests as membership units facilitates the easy transfer of ownership rights.

Establishing Ownership Rights

To be an LLC member, some form of contribution is required; however, the contribution need not be cash, which is called a capital contribution. LLC members can also contribute property or services. Additionally, unlike contributions to a corporation, when an LLC member makes a capital contribution, the concomitant ownership rights and distributions can be customized. For example, if one member were to contribute 40 percent of the capital in an LLC, that member and the other LLC members may still choose to split profits fifty-fifty.

Generally, LLC members are entitled to share in the company’s profits and losses, vote regarding key LLC matters, inspect and review the books, and enjoy a host of other rights. These rights stem from default state laws; however, they may be customized through contractual agreements. The contractual agreement that typically governs LLC ownership rights is an operating agreement. Operating agreements may include the following common customizations:

Distributing profits and losses in a way that does not match the members’ capital contributions
Creating different classes of ownership to reflect passive investor rights
Mandating member meetings
Transferring Membership Interests

Death, incapacity, and sale are the primary events that trigger transfers of membership units. However, if you intend to transfer membership units to investors, be sure to evaluate whether your interest is a security under the federal securities law. If you offer your interest to less than thirty-five investors, your interest likely qualifies for an exemption that allows you to bypass the federal disclosure requirements and even some state securities law.

Management

LLC members can choose to be managed either by the LLC members (a member-managed LLC), or by nonowners or certain members designated as managers (a manager-managed LLC). When an LLC is managed, it is vital to identify and articulate the decisions for which the members bear responsibility and the decisions the managers must make. If the decision-making authority is not clear, the resulting uncertainty can hinder effective management of the LLC.

Payment

LLC members can pay themselves in several ways, such as

Receiving income in the form of distributions of profits at the end of the year,
Receiving draws, which are periodic payments based on the estimated profits for the year, or
Receiving periodic payments as employees of the business.
These three methods are not mutually exclusive—a member can take advantage of more than one option. However, members must remember that each option has unique tax consequences. LLC members should account for Social Security and Medicare taxes. When LLC members pay themselves as employees, the LLC is expected to withhold taxes as it would for any other employee. Conversely, when members pay themselves based on their profits, they must pay self-employment taxes. Either way, LLC members must be mindful of the tax consequences of the payment methods they choose.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Out2News. Any content provided by our bloggers or authors are of their opinion, and are not intended to malign any religion, ethic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

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Mar United Way of MC Logo
20 Sept United Way Flyer Bus

Affordable Housing Advisory Committee Vacancies

19 July MC Commissioners logo

The Martin County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals interested in volunteering to serve on the Affordable Housing Advisory Committee. All individuals serve without compensation and are requested to submit an Application for Appointment to Martin County Administration by Friday, October 9, 2020. For an Application, please call Martin County Administration at 288.5756 or send email to email Donna.

Committee Powers & Duties:
Recommend specific actions or initiatives to encourage or facilitate affordable housing while protecting the ability of the property to appreciate in value. Evaluate the incentives contained in the Martin County local housing incentive plan and make recommendations for its amendment as needed to encourage or facilitate the creation or maintenance of affordable housing. Review the Martin County Local Housing Assistance Plan (SHIP) before its submission for adoption or amendment to the Board of County Commissioners (BCC). Review applications for SHIP funds by community-based organizations or eligible sponsors and provide recommendations for funding of these applications to the BCC. Function as the review committee set forth in the local housing assistance plan to advise and monitor the SHIP program, evaluate requests for exceptions from the regulations in accordance with the procedures set forth in the local housing assistance plan, and to hear appeals from decisions made by the SHIP program administrator.

Vacant positions: The Committee shall consist of at least eight but not more than 11 members who shall be appointed by resolution of the Board of County Commissioners. The Committee shall consist of one County Commissioner and one representative from at least six of the following categories:
A citizen who is actively engaged in the residential homebuilding industry in connection with affordable housing;

A citizen who is actively engaged in the banking or mortgage banking industry in connection with affordable housing;

A citizen who is a representative of those areas of labor actively engaged in homebuilding in connection with affordable housing;

A citizen who is actively engaged as an advocate for low-income persons in connection with affordable housing;

A citizen who is actively engaged as a for-profit provider of affordable housing;

A citizen who is actively engaged as a not-for-profit provider of affordable housing;

A citizen who is actively engaged as a real estate professional in connection with affordable housing;

A citizen who actively serves on the Local Planning Agency (pursuant to Section 163.3174 Fla. Stat.);

A citizen who represents employers within Martin County;

A citizen who represents essential service personnel -- any person in need of affordable housing, who is employed by a company or organization located within Martin County, including, but not limited to, teachers and educators, police and fire personnel, health care personnel, and all building trades personnel.
These are two-year terms.

Meetings are typically held every other month at 3:30 pm at the Administrative Center, 2401 SE Monterey Road, Stuart. The next meeting is scheduled for: November 4.

Florida law prohibits an advisory board member from doing business with its agency (the County). Section 112.313(3) and (7), Fla. Stat.

Out2News is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

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Construction Industry Licensing Board Vacancies

19 July MC Commissioners logo

The Martin County Board of County Commissioners is seeking applications from individuals interested in being considered for appointment to fill positions on the
Construction Industry Licensing Board. All individuals serve without compensation and are requested to submit an Application for Appointment to Martin County Administration by Friday, October 9, 2020. For an Application, please call 288.5756 or send email to Donna.

Vacant Positions: Electrical Contractor and General, Building, or Residential Contractor.

Prior to appointment, each member of the Board shall be a registered voter in Martin County and all contractor members shall have been actively operating in the construction industry in Martin County for at least three consecutive years as a County-licensed or State-certified contractor. No member shall hold elective public office or be an employee of Martin County or any municipality within the County. Terms are for three years. The member's term of office shall terminate earlier at the pleasure of the Board of County Commissioners, or automatically if the member: ceases to be a registered voter in Martin County; ceases to be qualified as outlined above; or fails to attend three successive, regularly scheduled, monthly meetings.

Florida law prohibits an advisory board member from doing business with its agency (the County). Section 112.313(3) and (7), Fla. Stat.

POWERS & DUTIES
1. Advise the Board of County Commissioners in matters affecting contractors or construction industry.
2. Examination of contractor's license holders and applicants, therefore.
3. Licensing of contractors.
4. Review of violations by license holders.
5. Shall be the appeals and adjustment board.

Meetings are typically held on the fourth Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm in the Commission Chambers of the Administrative Center. The next meetings are scheduled for: September 16, October 7, and December 9.
NOTE: During "social distancing", meeting locations may differ and include the Blake Library.

Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina Hosts Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce September Breakfast

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Jensen Beach– On Wednesday, September 9, 2020 The Stuart Martin County Chamber of Commerce had their monthly breakfast. Approximately 90 members attended.  All attendees wore masks throughout the event.

Immerse yourself in the Florida lifestyle at Hutchinson Island Marriott Beach Resort & Marina. Beautifully situated on 200 acres by the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway, our relaxing hotel is the perfect choice for family vacations, corporate retreats, weddings and social gatherings. Relax in our elegant resort accommodations, whether near the pool at our main hotel or close to the beach in Sandpiper Tower. Each hotel room features upscale amenities and a private balcony or patio with views over Hutchinson Island. No matter what brings you to our hotel, we look forward to making your stay in Stuart exceptional. They are located at: 555 NE Ocean Blvd. Stuart or call them at: 772- 225-3700.

The sponsor for the breakfast was Candace Lopes owner of Skin Serenity Spa. Candace and her staff pay close attention to each of their clients. Skin Serenity Spa is your retreat in Stuart. They promise that their services are both unique and therapeutic to create the perfect symmetry of a zen-like atmosphere and the well-being you seek. With there personal touch and exceptional treatments, Skin Serenity Spa makes it your ultimate destination. Their personal touch and exceptional treatments make Skin Serenity Spa your ultimate destination. They are located at: 740 S Colorado Ave, Stuart. Call them at 772.600.8613.

Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in the growth, business climate and economy of our area. Martin is one of the most respected counties in the state. The programs and activities of the Chamber are vital to our lifestyle. The Chamber is proud of the benefits and services we provide to Martin County and our 1,400 plus members. The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce is a member of the countywide Council of Chambers, an organization consisting of the five county Chambers of Commerce, formed to discuss common issues, provide unified effort in speaking out to represent business interests of the area.  They are located in Stuart at 1650 S. Kanner Highway. For more information contact them at: 772-287-1088.

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20 Sept Festival of Trees 1 Logo
20 Sept Festival of Trees 2

Printing Money: The Fed's Bond-Buying Program

20 Aug Big Balance

The Federal Reserve's unprecedented efforts to support the U.S economy during the COVID-19 pandemic include a commitment by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) to purchase Treasury securities and agency mortgage-backed securities "in the amounts needed to support smooth market functioning and effective transmission of monetary policy."1

The Fed buys and sells Treasury securities as part of its regular operations and added mortgage-backed securities to its portfolio during the Great Recession, but the essentially unlimited commitment underscores the severity of the crisis. The Fed is also entering uncharted territory by purchasing corporate, state, and local government bonds and extending other loans to the private sector.

Increasing Liquidity

The Federal Open Market Committee sets interest rates and controls the money supply to support the Fed's dual mandate to promote maximum employment and stable prices, along with its underlying responsibility to promote the stability of the U.S. financial system. By purchasing Treasury securities, the FOMC increases the supply of money in the broader economy, while its purchases of mortgage-backed securities increase supply in the mortgage market. The key to increasing liquidity — called quantitative easing — is that the Fed can make these purchases with funds it creates out of air.

The FOMC purchases the securities through banks within the Federal Reserve System. Rather than using money it already holds on deposit, the Fed adds the appropriate amount to the bank's balance. This provides the bank with more money to lend to consumers, businesses, or the government (through purchasing more government securities). It also empowers the Treasury or mortgage agency to issue additional bonds knowing that the Fed is ready to buy them. The surge of bond buying by the Fed that began in March helped the Treasury to finance its massive stimulus program in response to the coronavirus.

By law, the Fed returns its net interest income to the Treasury, so the Treasury securities are essentially interest-free loans. The principal must be paid when the bond matures, and the bonds add to the national debt. But the Treasury issues new bonds as it pays off the old ones, thus shifting the ever-growing debt forward.

Protecting Against Inflation

Considering the seemingly endless need for government spending and private lending, you may wonder why the Fed doesn't just create an endless supply of money. The controlling factor is the potential for inflation if there is too much money in the economy.

Big Balance Sheet

The Federal Reserve's assets grew with quantitative easing during and after the Great Recession. In late 2018, the Fed began to reverse the process by allowing bonds to mature without replacing them, only to back off when markets reacted negatively to the move. The 2020 emergency measures quickly pushed the balance sheet over $7 trillion.

The Big Bad Three

Source: Federal Reserve, 2020

Low interest rates and "money printing" led to high inflation after World War II and during the 1970s, but the current situation is different.2 Inflation has been low for more than a decade, and the economic crisis has severely curtailed consumer spending, making inflation unlikely in the near term.

The longer-term potential for inflation remains, however, and the Fed does not want to increase the money supply more than necessary to meet the crisis. From a peak of $75 billion in daily Treasury purchases during the second half of March, the FOMC began to gradually reduce the purchase pace in early April. By mid-June, it was down to an average of $4 billion per day and scheduled to continue at that pace through mid-August, with further adjustments as necessary in response to economic conditions.3

U.S. Treasury securities are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government as to the timely payment of principal and interest. The principal value of Treasury securities fluctuates with market conditions. If not held to maturity, they could be worth more or less than the original amount paid.

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com adheres to full compliance with C.O.P.P.A. (Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998)

“YOUR" Treasure Coast Newspaper & Photo Journal

6 Slack Tips for Remote Workers

20 Sept HP 1a

Stay connected when you’re apart

Now that you’re settling in for the long haul as remote worker, your communication tools are more important than ever—there may not be any formal in-person meetings or casual water-cooler talks for quite a while. If your company uses Slack, you’ll want to make sure it’s a medium that allows you to have efficient work communications and friendly, team-building chats, too. Here are some of the best ways Slack can help you stay connected with your coworkers, even when they’re far away.

Keep things tidy with channels

First things first: A well-organized Slack space makes it easier to communicate. Slack allows you to build channels for conversations—you can build channels for each department, major projects that are cross-departmental, and even ones that invite clients or vendors outside your organization to chat with you. It’s good Slack etiquette to create a nomenclature for these channels—things like “#team-[team name]” or “#proj-[project name]”. If your company is already using a mishmash of nomenclature, or isn’t using channels at all, stepping back and doing a little reorganizing can go a long way.

Make a read-only announcement channel

If Slack isn’t used wisely it can create a communication overload; team members may mute busy all-staff channels to minimize their distractions, and they might miss important company news. Even at a small- to medium-sized business, it’s important to have an “#announcements” channel that’s read-only for most staff and used sparingly. Lower tier Slack plans allow you to use the “#general” channel for company-wide announcements that admins control; at the higher tiers you can set up multiple read-only channels.

Create dedicated work-from-home spaces

Adding a “#wfh-” category can facilitate discussions, questions, and tips about working from home. Depending on the size of your company, you could have a variety of work-from-home channels, such as one for parents, and another for remote tech support. And don’t forget the Friday virtual happy hour channel (BYOB, of course).
Add a few “just for fun” apps

Slack has several apps that that let your team socialize and build camaraderie as well. You could start by setting up channel prefix like “#fun-” and create spaces for internet memes, pop culture, or sports (whatever your team likes best). Here are some to explore:
Giphy: Who doesn’t like to see a cute kitten or puppy in their timeline? Lighten the mood of a conversation with an animated gif. Use the command “/giphy puppy” (or whatever image you’re searching for) and choose a gif to insert into your conversation instantly.
Birthdaybot: It’s the remote version of cupcakes in the company kitchen or a team lunch out. Just plug in the birthdays of everyone on the team and Birthdaybot starts a celebration thread on each person’s birthday so teammates can send them well wishes (and use Giphy to send a virtual cake).
HeyTaco!: Give virtual props to your teammates for a job well done—just write a quick shout out to a coworker and add a taco emoji. HeyTaco! tallies up which individuals and teams are receiving the most tacos so your HR team can send out rewards; some remote reward ideas include meal subscriptions and home workout accessories.

Get ongoing feedback with polls
Chat threads can be inefficient when your team needs to make a decision. Native polling apps such as Polly can help you see where people are at on big issues (such as how they’re feeling about returning to the office) as well as remote “pulse” surveys that offer general insights about how employees are doing during these stressful times. You can also do casual polls using emojis (or “reacjis” as they’re called in Slack) for quick feedback on a question—add a check mark for yes or an X for no, for example.

Host virtual Q&As
In some ways, virtual all-hands meetings and town halls can be more interactive than in-person ones. Slack apps like Slido and Jellyfish allow you to set up a Q&A channel that lets employees ask questions either in advance or in real time. They can ask questions under their name or anonymously, and other users can upvote or downvote the questions so the speakers can prioritize what to answer. A Q&A channel can also be used for “office hours” with an executive outside of a large meeting, as well as more casual introductions, such as a fun “Ask Me Anything” session with a new coworker.

Monarch Golf & Country Club Hosts Palm City Chamber of Commerce August Breakfast

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Palm City – On Wednesday, August 26, 2020 The Palm City Chamber of Commerce had their August Breakfast. The event was well attended with approximately 50 attendees. Attendees all wore masks and we socially distance throughout the event.

Monarch Golf & Country Club did an outstanding job catering and social distancing with members, serving coffee, juice and of course breakfast.

They are located at: 1801 SW. Monarch Club Drive, Palm City. Monarch Golf & Country Club is located in Palm City with the great tradition of Southern golf courses, Arnold Palmer was given free reign to create the ideal course. Enhancing the natural beauty of Monarch with its ideal location, exceptional amenities and gracious service. For more information call them at: 772.286-8447.

Sponsor for the breakfast was Mollie Goldstein, School to Work Program Coordinator for Big Brothers Big Sister of Martin County. She spoke about how the Big Brothers Big Sisters reach out to help children in the community. Big Brothers Big Sisters of America is one of the oldest mentoring organizations in the world. With over 100 years of experience providing children with trained and professionally screened caring adult mentors, we have become the Gold Standard in mentoring programs. Contact them at 561-727-3450. They are located at 101 SE Central Pkwy in Stuart.

Sponsor for the breakfast was Dr. Lisa Grassam with Grassam Spine & Wellness. Their approach is simple. They believe that health is amongst our most valuable possessions. They generally meet people after they’ve lost their health, their commitment is two-fold. Relief Care in Stuart and Wellness Care in Stuart.  It’s your body, your health and your future. Our job is to offer you the finest chiropractic care possible in Stuart, make appropriate recommendations and work together to achieve your goals. Contact them at: 772-286-5433 to make an appointment or for more information.

The Palm City Chamber of Commerce strives to promote the continuous improvement of the common good and the quality of life in the community through the pursuit of new business. They are located in Palm City at 3168 SW Martin Downs Blvd. Contact them at: 772-286-8121.

Out2News is your Treasure Coast online newspaper where you are the reporter, photographer and YOU report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. If you wish a high resolution photo or would like to email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com.

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Palm City Chamber of Commerce August Business After Hours

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Palm City – On Thursday, August 20, 2020 The Palm City Chamber of Commerce had their a Business After Hours at Hurricane Wings in Palm City. The event was an outside event in the Tiki area and was well attended. Most attendees wore masks throughout the event and door prizes were given away.

Hurricane Wings is located at in Palm City at 2355 SW Martin Hwy. For more information call them at: (772) 781-4295.

The Palm City Chamber of Commerce strives to promote the continuous improvement of the common good and the quality of life in the community through the pursuit of new business. They are located in Palm City at 3168 SW Martin Downs Blvd. Contact them at: 772-286-8121.

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Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa Host Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce August Luncheon

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On Thursday, August 20 at 11:45am the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce had their August Luncheon at the Hutchinson Shores Resort in Jensen Beach. Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa is the Treasure Coast of Florida's premier resort for family vacations, meetings, corporate retreats, oceanfront weddings, and spa getaways. Their unique Jensen Beach hotel offers 178 oceanfront accommodations with coastal-inspired decor and private balconies, along with exceptional resort amenities including a signature spa, two outdoor pools, oceanfront dining and more.The are located at: 3793 NE Ocean Boulevard in Jensen Beach.For more information call them at 772.334.1950.

A wonderful luncheon and desert was served by a very friendly staff.

Ron Rose, President CEO of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce started the luncheon out by introducing Dr. Lisa Grassam as the speaker and invited the members to introduce themselves and tell a little bit about their businesses.

The Speaker for the luncheon was Dr. Lisa Grassam with Grassam Spine and Wellness. Dr. Lisa spoke about the many different things she deals with in her practice with her patients. She is very educational and teaches her audience so many things that are connected with the chiropractic world. If you have not her speak find some time to listen to her and educate yourself.You will always learn something! Grassam Spine & Wellness is located in Stuart at 516 S Colorado Avenue. For more information call them at: (772) 286-5433.

Ron Rose, President CEO of the Jensen Beach Chamber also invited the members to introduce themselves and tell a little bit about their businesses.

The Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce is located at 1960 NE Jensen Beach Blvd. in Downtown Jensen Beach. For more information on becoming a member of the chamber contact them at 772-334-3444.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Photos by: Robin Hall - Out2News LLC. and also Lisa Tufo of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce.

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Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce  Hutchinson American Kitchen Ribbon Cutting

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On Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 9:00 am the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce had Kyle G's Hutchinson American Kitchen ribbon cutting. Kyle Green owner and Lance Baitsholts general manager welcomed members of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce to their newly opened restaurant right across from Kyle G's Prime Seafood & Steak restaurant.

Hutchinson American Kitchen is a place you will find comfort food prepared with exceptional care that champions the products and the techniques to bring about familiar, yet refined flavors. Their wine and cocktail list showcases some of the best small batch and hand crafted options available, alongside with your go-to favorites. They are located at 10867 South Ocean Drive in Jensen Beach. They serve breakfast, brunch, lunch & dinner.Contact them for more information or reservations at 772.807.1404.

The Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce offers visitor and relocation information services. They are fondly known as the "Art and Soul of Florida's Treasure Coast", Jensen Beach is a quaint riverfront community that is revered for it's small town charm and southern hospitality.The Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce is located at 1960 NE Jensen Beach Blvd. in Downtown Jensen Beach. For more information on becoming a member of the chamber contact them at 772-334-3444.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Photos by: Lisa Tufo of the Jensen Beach Chamber of Commerce.

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Tax Collector Reminds Taxpayers About Business Tax Receipt Renewals

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Have you paid your business tax yet?

The Martin County Tax Collector, Ruth Pietruszewski, reminds business owners that as of July 1st, 2020 you can pay your business tax, this tax must be renewed by September 30th, 2020. Ruth Pietruszewski asks taxpayers to please help keep their cost and the cost of their government down by paying their taxes on time.
New EXEMPTIONS FOR VETERANS

Ruth “Ski” Pietruszewski is excited to inform veterans that per F.S. 205.055 veterans, spouses of veterans, and un-remarried surviving spouses of veterans are now exempt from business tax. A form requesting the exemption must be completed and signed, under penalty of perjury, and written documentation to support the requested exemption provided. The exemption form can be found on the Tax Collector’s website, https://martintaxcollector.com/ , under business tax.
THANK YOU FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY!

Other Exemptions Include:

The spouse of the active duty military service member who has relocated to this county or municipality pursuant to a permanent change of station order

A person who is receiving public assistance as defined in FL. Statute 409.2554

A person whose household income is below 130% of the federal poverty level based on the current year’s federal poverty guidelines

Certain disabled persons

Age: Over 65 (With no more than 1 employee or helper , & who use their own capital only, not in excess of $1,000)

Widow with minor dependents

Non-Profit

EPA to Provide Building Blocks Assistance to Fort Pierce Florida

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Contact Information: Jason McDonald, (404) 562-9203 (Direct), (404) 562-8400 (Main), region4press@epa.gov

Fort Pierce - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced United Against Poverty in Fort Pierce will receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program.
The community workshop will provide the city with ideas for changing local policies and procedures to ensure equitable development, improve the economy, the environment and quality of life. The workshop is designed to support communities in developing strategies for expanded employment opportunities and business markets, and offer expanded choices for how residents can live, work, and play.
“EPA maintains its commitment to improving the quality of life and protecting human health through partnerships with community-focused organizations,” said EPA Region 4 Administrator Mary S. Walker. “This program provides not only tools but a pathway towards additional resources designed specifically to stimulate and strengthen communities.”
“We are very excited about this new opportunity and partnership and are looking forward to continuing our mission of serving those in poverty by providing crisis care, case management, transformative education, food and household subsidy, employment training and active referrals to other collaborative social service providers,” said United Against Poverty Chief Executive Officer Gwendolyn Butson. “We are dedicated to continuing our mission of lifting people out of poverty!”

This year, EPA has selected 12 communities to receive technical assistance through the Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities program. The program provides quick, targeted technical assistance to selected communities using a variety of results-based tools. These tools stimulate discussions about growth and development and strengthen local capacity to implement sustainable approaches.
Fort Pierce is a community with Opportunity Zones. Qualified Opportunity Zones are census tracts of low-income and distressed communities designated by state governors and certified by the Department of Treasury. These are areas where new investments, under certain conditions, may be eligible for preferential tax treatment. EPA, through grant funding, cleanups and technical assistance, works to alleviate these problems to improve environmental and public health outcomes.
As of April 2019, there were more than 8,700 designated Qualified Opportunity Zones located in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and five United States territories. Nearly 35 million Americans live in communities designated as Qualified Opportunity Zones.
For more information on Building Blocks for Sustainable Communities, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/smartgrowth/building-blocks-sustainable-communities

For more information on Opportunity Zones, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/opportunity-zones
Article by: MaryAnn Ketcham
772 361-5730
maryannketcham@gmail.com

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Return of Premium Life Insurance: Protection and Cash Back

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You have decided you need life insurance coverage and are considering buying a term policy. But you ask your financial professional, "Do I get any of my money back at the end of the term?" It's possible, if you consider buying a special kind of term insurance called return of premium term insurance, or ROP.

How ROP Compares to Straight Term Insurance

In general, straight term insurance provides life insurance coverage for a specific number of years, called the term. The face amount of the policy, or death benefit, is paid to your beneficiaries if you die during the term. If you live longer than the term, or you cancel your policy during the term, nothing is paid. By contrast, an ROP term life insurance policy returns some or all of the premiums you paid if you live past the term of your policy and haven't cancelled coverage. Some issuers may even pay back a pro-rated portion of your premium if you cancel the ROP policy before the end of the term. Also, the premium returned generally is not considered ordinary income, so you won't have to pay income taxes on the money you receive from the insurance company. (Please consult your tax professional.)

A return of premium feature may be appealing if you want to have a return of some or all of your premium if you outlive the policy term. Yet the cost of ROP insurance can be significantly higher than straight term insurance, depending on the issuer, age of the insured, the amount of coverage (death benefit), and length of the term. But ROP almost always costs less than permanent life insurance with the same death benefit. While straight term insurance can be purchased for terms as short as one year, most ROP insurance is sold for terms of 10 years or longer.

ROP Considerations

It's great to know you can get your money back if you outlive the term of your life insurance coverage, but there is a cost for that benefit. Also, if you die during the term of insurance coverage, your beneficiaries will receive the same death benefit from the ROP policy as they would from the less-expensive straight term policy.

The Big Bad Three

When choosing between straight term and ROP term, you might think about the amount of coverage you need, the amount of money you can afford to spend, and the length of time you need the coverage to continue. Your insurance professional can help you by providing information on straight term and ROP term life insurance, including their respective premium costs.

The cost and availability of life insurance depend on factors such as age, health, and the type and amount of insurance purchased. Before implementing a strategy involving life insurance, it would be prudent to make sure that you are insurable. Optional riders are available for an additional fee and are subject to contractual terms, conditions and limitations as outlined in the prospectus and may not benefit all investors. Any guarantees associated with payment of death benefits,

Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and may not be invested into directly.

The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal professional.

LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

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Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce August Breakfast Hosted by Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa

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In Photo: Florida State Senator Gayle Harrell,Chamber Chairman Kelly Bond-Pelletier - Just Gold Jewelers,Martin County Commissioner Doug Smith,Chamber President/CEO Joe Catrambone and Trustee/Board member Candace Lopes - Skin Serenity Spa.

Hutchinson Island - On August 12, 2020 The Stuart/Martin County held their August breakfast at Hutchinson Shores Resort & Spa. A very warm welcome from Ed Griffith, General Manager and the staff did not disappoint. Social distancing with mask throughout the breakfast was definately noticed.

The Breakfast sponsor was Loving Chiropractic in Stuart.Loving Chiropractic of Stuart is located in Stuart at 632 SE Monterey Road,

Stuart. Dr. Moriarty taught Chamber members how to improve their immune systems, by increasing their intake of natural vitamin D and water, and by keeping their spine in-line by visiting their chiropractor regularly. Dr. Moriarty, D.C. and staff use a state of the art, non-invasive technology in chiropractic care. Some of the many things Loving Chiropractic does for his patients are: Neck Pain

Food Allergies and Chiropractors,Infant Chiropractor Care,A Chiropractor While Pregnant? Chiropractic During Pregnancy just to name a few. For more information please contact them at: 772-219-3313.

The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in the growth, business climate and economy in our area. The programs and activities of the Chamber are vital to our lifestyle. The Chamber is proud of the benefits and services they provide to Martin County and it's 1,400 plus members.

The Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce is a member of the countywide Council of Chambers, an organization consisting of the five county Chambers of Commerce, formed to discuss common issues, provide unified effort in speaking out to represent business interests of the area. The Chambers purpose is to unite, inform and represent business in Martin County

and also provide leadership on economic and political issues. They also act as the “front door” to our community. The are located in Stuart at 1650 South Kanner Highway. For more information about the chamber call they at: 772-287-1088.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

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Photo Credit: Sue Hedgepath - Stuart/Martin County Chamber of Commerce

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In Photo: Chamber President/CEO Joe Catrambone, Chamber Chairman Kelly Bond-Pelletier - Just Gold Jewelers, Cathleen Owen, Dr. Moriarty and Dr. Spencer - Loving Chiropractic

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In Photo: Cindy Allen -Addington Place of Stuart ,New chamber member Christopher Rangel - Camaha Group Cabinet Makers and Renee Booth - Samaritan Center for Young Boys & Families

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In Photo: Chamber Trustee Mike England - Express Employment Professionals, New member James Gibney - New York Life Insurance and New member Ellis Wallman - CertiPay

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Miles Grant Golf & Country Club Hosts Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce August Breakfast

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Stuart – On Wednesday, August 6, 2020 The Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce had their monthly breakfast. Approximately 50 members attended.  Miles Grant Country Club did a great job with the social distancing of the membership. All attendees wore masks throughout the event.

They are located at: 5101 SE Miles Grant Road in Stuart. Miles Grant is a private country club located in Stuart, Florida, at East Cove Road on the shores of the Intracoastal Waterway and near the inlet to the sea, the Saint Lucie.

The club offers an 18-hole par-64 course, Har-Tru clay tennis courts, pool, shuffleboard, bocce and croquet, to name a few outdoor activities. Both formal and casual dining are offered at the Clubhouse. For more information call them at: 772-286-2220.

The sponsor for the breakfast was Joan Goodrich, Executive Director with the Business Development Board of Martin County. She spoke about how the Business Development Board helps businesses in the community. They are there to help your business navigate the local, regional, state and national resources here to help you prepare, maintain business continuity and recover, if needed. Contact them at 772.221.1380 or email us at info@bdbmc.org with any questions.

The Hobe Sound Chamber of Commerce plays a significant role in the Martin County and northern Palm Beach County business community. The Chamber is a business organization financed entirely by membership investments. It provides opportunities for members to stay connected, network, advertise, receive continuing education, business support and always gives back to their community.  They are located at: 8958 SE Bridge Rd, Hobe Sound. Contact them at: 772-546-4724.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is a photo journal featuring people, “Who they are, what they do and where they do it”.

Do you have something to say, an event to talk about? An event you would like to have covered? Do it here!

Photos by: Robin Hall - Out2News LLC.

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Martin County Launches Business Renewal Program

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Martin County is pleased to announce the Business Renewal Program, designed to help businesses that were required to close or limit operations due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Martin County’s Business Renewal Program will utilize Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) funding and focus on Martin County-based small businesses with $5 million or less in annual gross sales.

The Business Renewal Program officially launches August 3 and will remain active as long as funds are available. The Business Renewal Program office is located at the Peter & Julie Cummings Library, at 2551 SW Matheson Ave. in Palm City. Small business owners interested in finding out more information or making an appointment can call 772-288-5951, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or email sbrc@martin.fl.us.

“I am truly excited that we are able to offer this program to our Martin County business owners,” said George Stokus, Assistant County Administrator. “This is just the first step. We will be reaching out to the business community in the coming weeks to make owners aware of the program. Our goal is to be sure everyone who may be eligible has a chance to apply.”

A number of eligibility requirements must be met in order to qualify for the reimbursement grant. Businesses that had ongoing expenses while closed may be eligible to apply for a reimbursement grant of up to $20,000. Eligible expense reimbursements include wages, inventories, mortgage or rent payments, or other expenses required due to the virus.

Visit www.martin.fl.us/BusinessRenewal for program information and requirements, as well as the application packet including frequently asked questions.

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10 Steps Notaries Can Take To Avoid Being Sued

20 July Notary Article

Article by: David Thun

1.Never Notarize for a Signer Who Isn’t Present
The most common reason Notaries are sued and have their commissions revoked or suspended is failing to require a signer’s personal appearance. Be sure to always abide by your state’s personal appearance requirements, however, it defines them. And never skip the requirement “as a favor” or “just this once.” If you do, you’re setting yourself up for trouble.

2. Don’t Notarize Incomplete Documents
A document needs to be completed prior to notarization. If you notarize an incomplete document — for example, a loan document with the interest rates or terms left blank — there is a risk those blanks could be filled in with fraudulent information. By making sure all blanks are filled in at the time you notarize, you protect both the signer and the transaction from potential fraud, and reduce your risk of being sued.

3. Always Identify Your Signers
Identifying your signers in compliance with your state’s Notary laws is crucial. Many lawsuits against Notaries are filed because the Notary carelessly failed to request proper ID which allowed a signer to commit fraud. Always follow your state’s laws to ensure a signer’s identity is properly vetted.

4. Verify Your Signer’s Willingness and Awareness
One of your key responsibilities is to make sure your signer is signing the document willingly and understands what they are signing. Always ask your signer a few simple questions. If the signer appears reluctant to sign, disoriented — or another person appears to be trying to pressure the signer — do not proceed with the notarization. This will protect all parties to the document, including you, from allegations of duress.

5. Keep a Journal Record of Your Notarizations
A well-kept journal of your notarial acts is one of the best defenses you can have against lawsuits. A legible, complete journal entry provides evidence to help determine what happened if a notarization is disputed, and can also help show you followed appropriate steps when notarizing. If your state sets rules for what information must be recorded in a journal entry, be sure to follow them. Incomplete and sloppy journal entries are red flags that can call into question your Notary practices.

6. Stay Impartial and Don’t Offer Advice
Never notarize your own signature or a document in which you are personally named because a Notary’s impartiality can be questioned in these circumstances. If you will receive a direct benefit, fee, commission or advantage other than the fee allowed by state law, you also should not notarize. Some states also prohibit Notaries from notarizing for close family members. Even if not specifically prohibited by law, it’s a good idea to avoid notarizing for close family members to make sure your impartiality is never questioned. Also, never give advice about the contents of the document or details of the transaction. Doing so can lead to your being sued or facing other penalties for the unauthorized practice of law. If a client asks you for advice about the legality of a document or how to complete it, tell the signer that you are prohibited by law from giving unauthorized legal advice.

7. Complete the Notary Certificate Correctly
Careless mistakes with Notary certificates, such as forgetting to fill in a certificate or writing the wrong information, are another common reason Notaries get sued. The public relies upon the facts attested in every certificate of acknowledgment or jurat you sign. Make sure you enter the correct county and state, name of the signer, and date of notarization. Also, be sure your seal is legibly affixed.

8. Never Notarize After Your Commission Expires
If your commission expires and you fail to realize it, any document you notarize after the expiration date could be questioned. If your commission expires and there’s a delay in the renewal process, do not notarize until you have your new commission in hand.

9. Never Let Anyone Else Use Your Notary Seal
If someone else gets access to your seal, they can use your Notary seal to commit fraud and do significant harm to others — and you could be held responsible. Always store your seal in a locked, secured area when not in use, and never let anyone else borrow it or take it. The seal has your name on it, and you are the only one allowed to use it.

10. Make Sure You Have Errors and Omissions Insurance
Even if your state requires you to obtain a surety bond, the bond isn’t an insurance policy and doesn’t protect you from financial liability or cover legal costs. A bond only protects your customers if they are financially damaged by your negligence. Also, you may be responsible for paying back any money the surety company pays out from the bond. An E&O insurance policy can help cover your risk of financial damages in the event you are sued. Some policies also cover legal fees such as attorney costs. Think of it like driving a car — safe drivers are mostly able to avoid accidents. However, sometimes good drivers get into accidents, and sometimes even the most diligent Notaries make mistakes.

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Key Considerations for Managing a Remote Workforce

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The post-COVID-19 world will likely see a major shift toward companies maintaining remote workforces. Due to government-mandated business closures and stay-home orders, many owners and employees of small businesses have been forced to work virtually, and they have seen the benefits. Studies show that remote working increases productivity.Large technology companies like Facebook and Twitter have announced that they will be implementing remote working until at least September 2020. Some companies have even gone as far as to give employees the option of working from home permanently. The “new normal” that many predict involves more companies maintaining a remote workforce.

As a business owner, you may be exploring the idea of permanently utilizing a remote workforce; however, you may not be aware of all of the relevant factors to consider and preparations to implement. Be sure to take the following measures as you move toward permanent virtual employment.

1. Increase security measures for information stored in the cloud.

As your company begins functioning in a paperless world, you must take appropriate steps to ensure data shared over digital cloud networks are secure. One way to increase security is to provide the specific tools employees will use in completing their tasks. For example, establish a policy allowing only company-issued phones and laptops to be used when handling work business. In complying with these measures, keep your team accountable by restricting the reception and transmission of company emails; requiring the use of secure passwords—passwords comprised of many characters, including symbols and numerals;
providing guidelines regarding proper social media usage; and
providing access to encrypted wireless networks.
By taking these additional precautions, a company addresses confidentiality concerns and further protects itself and its customers or clients from potential data breaches.

2. Comply with federal and state wage laws.

For business owners, understanding labor rules and laws that apply to specific situations is key for the successful implementation and continuation of a remote workforce. It is important to keep in mind that federal legislation requires employers to pay nonexempt workers for any work over forty hours in a single workweek. This is especially challenging for individuals classified as part-time workers, because tracking their time at home could be difficult and could result in a nonexempt worker exceeding the forty-hour cap. As a result, when working with a remote workforce, it is critical to create systems and structures that enable employees to indicate and record their start and end times. Additionally, most states have minimum wage requirements, with some exceeding the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. If you have an employee who resides in a state whose minimum wage differs from the federal minimum wage, you are required to pay the higher of the two.

3. Pay applicable taxes.

For employers with remote employees in more than one state, payment of state taxes is a key requirement. Typically, if you and your employees are in one state, you are only responsible for paying taxes in that state. However, this rule changes if your business has a nexus to another state as determined by that state’s law. The presence of an employee in a state usually constitutes sufficient evidence of such a nexus. In these instances, you are required to pay taxes in that state.

4. If You Need Help….Ask Us. We Can Help!

We are dedicated to helping you adjust and thrive in the post-COVID-19 world. If you have any questions about developing your remote work employee policy, do not hesitate to call our office. A dedicated attorney will be available to guide you through the process. We are happy to meet with you by phone or video conference if you prefer.

Woodward,Kelley,Fulton & Kaplan
27 SE Ocean Blvd.
Stuart, FL 34994
(772) 497-6544

5 Mistakes People Make After A Car Crash

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Katie Watts Named Executive Director for Molly’s House Engaging Personality with Strong Leadership Skills

Olga Hamilton Photography and Art

STUART, FL – There is a new face in town, and she is making quite an impression on the tight knit community in Stuart. Katie Watts was recently named Executive Director, for Molly’s House, located across from the Cleveland Clinic Martin Health in downtown Stuart. Watts brings 15 years of experience in non-profit management and has a proven track record of success with her solution-focused leadership style.

“My daughter and I moved to the Treasure Coast a short time ago and found this area perfect for us and my career” said Watts. “The Sharkey family has been so warm and welcoming. I’m grateful for this opportunity”. Her enthusiasm radiates as she makes her rounds to introduce herself to community members and other non-profit organizations.

Betsy Herold, Chairperson of the Molly’s House Board of Trustees, praises Watts’ experience and management style. “We are very impressed with Katie,” said Herold. “Her excitement and enthusiasm for the job, coupled with her extensive nonprofit experience made her the perfect candidate for the position.”

Kevin Sharkey, Founder and Molly’s father, notes that Molly’s House will soon celebrate its 25th anniversary, and he’s confident “Katie will continue to keep Molly’s dream alive and further the Molly’s House mission.”

About Molly’s House
Molly’s House opened its doors in 1996 to provide affordable accommodations for individuals and families of patients receiving medical treatment. Molly’s House is a proud member of Healthcare Hospitality Network and features 14 bedrooms with private bathrooms. Molly’s House strives for a home a way from home feeling and incudes the following amenities: shuttle to Cleveland Clinic Martin Health, a library, free WiFi, 2 kitchens, continental breakfast, laundry, and a serenity garden. If you would like more information, please call Molly’s House at 772-223-6659.
Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Olga Hamilton Photography and Art

Tykes & Teens Welcomes New Chief Executive Officer

20 June Tykes & Teens

Stuart - Tykes & Teens is pleased to announce that Rodney Battles, MBA has joined the organization as Chief Executive Officer, overseeing all agency operations and programming in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River and Okeechobee Counties. Battles comes to Tykes & Teens with more than 30 years of leadership experience and a passion for working with children and teens that began in the heart of Appalachia in eastern Kentucky. A lack of opportunity for families in that region inspired his desire to make a meaningful difference, and provide resources to help those in need reach their full potential. Battles received a Bachelor of Science in Hospital Administration with minors in Marketing and Human Resource Management from the University of Alabama, and a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Georgia Southern University.

He began his career by serving a rural acute care hospital in Kentucky that was in danger of closing, where he led an operational and financial turnaround and helped create a new platform for rural healthcare delivery. Later, he developed a strategic vision with the board of a behavioral health and addiction program in North Carolina, where he helped introduce the first comprehensive continuum of care in the state.

Most recently, he served as Chief Executive Officer of a mental health center where he led a psychosocial rehabilitation, workforce development, and supported housing program. Battles also served as Chairman of the Board of the Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute, as well as sat on numerous other non-profit boards and served his community through advocacy and volunteerism. He is thrilled to join Tykes & teens and looks forward to having a profound impact on the lives of children and families on the Treasure Coast.

For more information, please call 772-220-3439 or visit tykesandteens.org

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

20 June Business
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5,000 Acres of Old Florida Protected from Development Forever

20 June One Florida Foundation Logo
20 June Look Into Our Waterways

A 5,200-acre ranch about 60 miles south of Walt Disney World that’s home to Florida panthers, black bears and bald eagles is now protected forever from development.

Rafter T Ranch in rural Highlands County has been designated as under conservation easement by The Nature Conservancy, the organization announced Tuesday, calling it an “enormous conservation win.”

Other species that rely on the natural habitat include the swallow-tailed kite, Florida scrub-jay, southern fox squirrel, deer, turkey, and roseate spoonbill.

The ranch, owned by the Wohl family since 1962, will continue its cattle operation. The land has been protected in stages over the years, but the easement provides protection for the full property.

“The Wohl family truly demonstrates a love for the land and a passion for conservation,” said Wendy Mathews, Nature Conservancy conservation projects manager.

The Nature Conservancy owns, protects or manages several other conservation lands in the region, including the Disney Wilderness Preserve in Kissimmee, Tiger Creek Preserve in Babson Park, Saddle Blanket Scrub Preserve in Frostproof, and Venus Flatwoods Preserve in Venus.

The Nature Conservancy’s partners in protecting the land included the U.S. Department of Defense, United States Air Force, USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Enterprise Florida, the Central Florida Regional Planning Council and Highlands County.

In addition to environmental concerns, it’s also in the military’s interest to maintain large tracts around bases so they can continue training, said Angela Klug, director of real estate for The Nature Conservancy in Florida.

Avon Park Air Force Range is adjacent to the ranch.

“It was one solution that worked for many different entities," Klug said.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

Words of the Day

20 June One Florida Foundation Logo

Treatment Train:

Melbourne Water defines this as a sequence of multiple stormwater treatments which are designed to meet the needs of a particular environment, in order to maximize results.
EAA Reservoir:

The Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir is commonly referred to as the EAA. The South Florida Water Management District (SWFMD) explain that the upcoming project involving the EAA will send clean water south to the parched Southern Everglades and Florida Bay while reducing damaging discharge events from Lake Okeechobee.

Out2News/Out2martincounty.com is your online newspaper where you are the reporter and photographer and you report the news! Do you have something to say, an event to a talk about? An event you would like us to have covered. Email your story or request to: rshall@out2martincounty.com

20 May Dislocated Grant flyer

3 Things Notaries Should Avoid During COVID-19

20 May Notaries

Article by: David Thun
During COVID-19, Notaries need to take additional precautions to protect their health and the health of their signers. Here are 3 things Notaries should avoid when notarizing during the current health crisis:

1. Don’t Perform In-Person Notarizations If You Or Your Signer Are Feeling Sick
COVID-19 has hit our economy hard, and many businesses are struggling right now — especially Notaries. But it’s important you protect yourself and your customers by following appropriate health safety precautions. If you feel sick, don’t risk spreading illness to other people by meeting face-to-face with signers. If you learn that a signer is not feeling well, or you see warning signs of illness, it’s OK to decline the assignment if you believe the environment would put your health at risk.

If you have reason to believe you have been exposed to the coronavirus, even if you do not have symptoms, you should cancel any appointments you have scheduled until the period of self-isolation or quarantine is over. If you are performing a loan signing and need to stop an assignment due to health concerns, be sure to immediately notify the company or service that gave you the assignment.

To help Notaries and document signers, many states have issued emergency notarization rules temporarily allowing Notaries and signers to communicate and notarize documents remotely for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency.

2. Don’t Violate Local Health Safety Orders When Performing Notarizations
To ensure everyone’s health and well-being, it’s important that Notaries follow all local health safety orders when performing notarizations. For example, don’t meet a signer for a notarization at a local restaurant or coffee shop if local health officials prohibit customers from gathering at these places. Notaries should keep informed about any guidelines from city, state and local health officials regarding COVID-19, and only perform notarizations that comply with official health instructions.

3. Don’t Violate Basic Notarization Rules During COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented situation that has left many Notaries and signers struggling with unexpected challenges. However, remember that even during a crisis such as COVID-19, Notaries cannot violate proper procedures when identifying signers and performing notarizations, even if a signer claims extenuating circumstances due to the coronavirus.

If you are asked to perform an illegal act such as ignoring identification requirements for a signer, backdating a document or other improper notarial acts, you must still refuse — the COVID-19 emergency is not an acceptable excuse to break the law.

If your state permits you to perform remote notarizations, be sure to follow all your state’s rules for doing so. The one exception to this rule is if your state has a temporary authorization to perform videoconference notarizations and you are performing the notarial act in conformance with the temporary authorization.

4 Strategies to Get More Instagram Followers

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L3I Dimensions Inspection Productivity Software

20 May Level 3 Inspections

Stuart - Level 3 Inspection LLC, the industry leading service provider of Computer Aided
Inspection (CAI) and dimensional layouts from high-accuracy 3D scanning has invested in developing a new software application to integrate and automate the dimensional inspection and reporting process. This software application is optimized to meet the quick turnaround times needed for precision manufactured parts inspection contracts they have won based on the results delivery speed.

“Our high-accuracy 3D scanning and proprietary processes of advanced dimensional inspection, geometric analysis, and conformance reporting have been integrated and the reports population fully automated, through this powerful tool that works with any measurement system to produce excellent CAI dimensional reports, with a
non-technical operator, the fastest way possible.” explained Bill Greene, CEO of Level 3 Inspection. “Each blueprint is computer-itemized, or ‘ballooned’, and the software produces the industry-compliant inspection report forms, including the aerospace industry standard AS9102 form, Howmet Form 3 and GE eCav, or anything else the client may desire.” he expanded.

“We wanted to eliminate the human manipulation of inspection data, and the errors such cutting-and-pasting can cause.” said Scott McAfee, L3I’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Engineer. “By integrating the process we remove the human-error source, and dramatically improve the reporting efficiency. “L3I Dimensions can work with data from any electronic measurement tool, including CMMs, e-gages, and optical metrology systems.” added McAfee, “We’re able to populate multi-sample dimensional inspection reports, a task that can normally take hours or a day, in mere minutes through this productivity software.”

The Level 3 Inspection LLC team has distinguished itself as true master practitioners in this rapidly growing advanced 3D metrology field. “These days everything must be brought to market faster, so our clients really appreciate the 30% time savings we provide in any precision manufacturing process optimization. Working with 10,000-times more information than any other measurement method, we can readily help our clients make better precision parts, at lower cost, much faster, and with greater confidence. We do this by cutting iterations and scrap, saving months and (often) millions.” stated Greene.

Level 3 Inspection LLC leads the advanced dimensional quality inspection industry with proprietary Computer Aided Inspection (CAI) processes and world-class technologies to help their clients make (or buy) better precision parts and products, much faster, with lower cost and greater confidence, by cutting iterations and scrap, saving months, and often, millions.

For more information, see www.Level3Inspection.com or call 772.405.7502

Coping with Market Volatility: Continuing to Invest May Help You Stay on Course

Mar Investment

In the current market environment, the value of your holdings may be fluctuating widely — and it's natural to feel tentative about further investment. But regularly adding to an account that's designed for a long-term goal may cushion the emotional impact of market swings. If losses are offset even in part by new savings, the bottom-line number on your statement might not be quite so discouraging. And a basic principle of investing is that buying during a down market may help your portfolio grow when the market turns upward again.

If you are investing a specific amount regularly regardless of fluctuating price levels (as in a typical workplace retirement plan), you are practicing dollar-cost averaging. Using this approach, you may be getting a bargain by continuing to buy when prices are down. However, you should consider your financial and psychological ability to continue purchases through periods of fluctuating price levels or economic distress; dollar-cost averaging loses much of its benefit if you stop just when prices are reduced. And it can't guarantee a profit or protect against a loss.

If you can't bring yourself to invest during this period of uncertainty, try not to let the volatility derail your savings program completely. If necessary to help address your concerns, you could continue to save, but direct new savings into a cash-alternative investment until your comfort level rises. Though you might not be buying at a discount, you could be accumulating cash reserves that could be invested when you're ready. The key is not to let short-term anxiety make you forget your long-term plan. We're here to help and to answer any questions you may have.

All investing involves risk, including the possible loss of principal, and there is no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful.

For more information contact Investment Planning Group at 772.233.4315

What Small Business Owners Should Know About the COVID-19 Stimulus Package

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20 Apr Woodward Photo

What Small Business Owners Should Know About the COVID-19 Stimulus Package

As small business owners grapple with the economic realities of nationwide stay-home orders and social distancing mandates, legislatures have been updating laws and developing new programs to keep the economy afloat. The latest and most groundbreaking is the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion stimulus package aimed at supporting individuals, businesses, and governments now and beyond this pandemic. The federal government has earmarked $377 million to help small businesses avoid failure and encourage them to retain their workforces.

Here are the most important things for business owners to know about the CARES Act:
•Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Emergency Economic Injury Grants. Small business owners will be able to apply for low-interest federal disaster loans to maintain cash flow for payroll, utilities, rent, and other fixed debts. Additionally, small businesses may be eligible for up to $10,000 in grants, in the form of a loan advance, if they can show economic injury caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. An applicant may be eligible for the advance even if the applicant is denied the federal loan. Applicants who are approved for the loan advance will receive funds within three days of applying.

•Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). In addition to funds available through the SBA as disaster loans, small businesses may be eligible to receive loans through the newly created Paycheck Protection Program. This loan program provides federally backed loans of up to $10 million for businesses with less than 500 employees as an incentive to encourage business owners to keep their employees on the payroll. The program broadly recognizes sole proprietorships, independent contractors, and private nonprofits as eligible businesses. These loans are due within two years at an interest rate of 1 percent but could possibly be forgiven. Moreover, loan payments are deferred for six months.

•Small Business Debt Relief Program. The federal government will defer loan payments for businesses that have SBA 7(a), 504, or microloans. Additionally, the SBA will pay the principal and interest on 7(a) loans issued to owners before September 27, 2020. For current 7(a) loans, the SBA will pay the principal and interest for six months.

•Employee Retention Tax Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship. Employers whose businesses have been partially or fully suspended as a direct result of the COVID-19 outbreak and whose gross receipts are below 50 percent of their prior amounts as of 2019 are eligible for tax credits for wages paid to employees during this time. The 50 percent fully refundable tax credit is for qualified wages of up to $10,000 per employee. This includes allocable qualified health plan expenses. Because there are additional tax credits related to the COVID-19 outbreak but outside the scope of the CARES Act, special attention must be paid to what and how wages are paid. Employers that receive an interruption loan under the Paycheck Protection Plan are not eligible for the tax credit.

•Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts Amendments. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act 80 percent net operating loss rule has been lifted so that losses can now be carried back as far as five years. The excess business loss limitation for all noncorporate taxpayers was also removed. This loss limitation will still expire for tax years beginning after December 31, 2025; however, these provisions are effective from December 31, 2017, so tax returns filed with excess business loss limitations can be amended. There have also been amendments to retirement fund regulations resulting in the removal of the 10 percent withdrawal penalty and the increase of the loan limit on 401(k) loans. Up to $100,000 can be borrowed under CARES as compared to the former $50,000 limitation.

For more information contact them at:772.497.6544