Market forces, shifts in demand, labor challenges and port congestion continue to stress the supply chain, but those within the logistics industry are working to clear backlogs and keep products moving.

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA's) emergency declaration providing regulatory relief for truckers hauling COVID-19 relief supplies is set to expire at the end of May, and the agency has indicated that it will limit future exemptions. The original FMCSA emergency waiver was issued in March 2020 and has been extended and expanded several times, most recently on Feb. 17, as the pandemic lingers.

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Supply chain disruptions that occurred throughout 2020 could lead companies to increase localization and redundancy in the supply chain as they look to mitigate risk, according to several recent logistics studies.

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Business logistics costs increased slightly in 2019, which felt like a return to normal after 2018’s fast GDP growth and capacity shortages. Then came the COVID-19 pandemic, which crashed into the global and U.S. economy and disrupted the supply chain. Logistics providers responded, serving as a valuable asset to shippers, and they are focused on resilience and agility as they move forward.

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The President signed the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act ("the Act") into law on June 5, 2020. The Act provides several enhancements to the original program which was created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).

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On March 27, 2020, the House of Representatives passed the largest economic bill in U.S. history, and President Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) into law.

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The Department of Transportation (DOT) has deemed the trucking industry essential during COVID-19. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has implemented hours-of-service relief for motor carriers through May 15, extending the declaration initially released on March 13. The agency’s declaration grants exemption from Parts 390-399 of the FMCSA, which covers hours of service, parts and accessories needed for safe operation and longer combination vehicles.

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With businesses taking advantage of the loans and tax relief available in the recently passed Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act"), Penske encourages you to review your state resources as another possible source of relief and guidance.

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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has deployed its full resources to help companies continue to operate and keep paychecks flowing to American workers and families while mobilizing the business community to combat the pandemic.

On April 15, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launched its nationwide “Save Small Business" initiative that calls on executives and companies to marshal available resources, talent and unique capabilities to help small businesses in any way they can. The Save Small Business Initiative campaign includes financial aid, resources and guidance, advocacy, and polling, as well as a call to action for the larger business community and government to help small businesses.

“Our nation is facing a crisis that requires an unprecedented level of support and collaboration between government and business," said Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “The Save Small Business Initiative is a multifront battle plan to combat the ongoing economic destruction and lay the foundation for recovery."

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has launched the Save Small Business Fund that will provide $5,000 supplemental grants to small employers in economically vulnerable communities.

The Chamber has also created a small business guide. The guide delivers the latest resources, advice and information to help small businesses navigate this challenging time, including financial aid guides, remote working tips, best practices, links to webinars and townhalls, and much more.

The Chamber established a global dashboard on COVID-19 that provides a list of policies to help businesses stay informed of the ever-changing regulatory landscape in response to the pandemic. For companies wanting to share information via social media, the Chamber of Commerce has created shareable graphics and recommended posts.

Small Business Administration

SBA Issues Additional Funding for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)

The Small Business Administration (SBA) has received more than $300 billion in additional funds for its PPP, which provides government-guaranteed loans to small businesses to help with COVID-19 relief. The PPP exhausted the initial funds, nearly $350 billion, it received under the CARES Act for low-interest loans to small businesses in only 13 days.

“At the core of our agreement is $320 billion more for the Paycheck Protection Program, which is already saving millions of small-business jobs and helping Americans get paychecks instead of pink slips," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) said on the Senate floor Tuesday.

If, after eight weeks, businesses can show that they used at least 75% of the loan for payroll, the loan can be forgiven.

As part of the new round of COVID-19 relief funding, Congress also allocated $60 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, which provides money to be used for working capital. Businesses can ask for the first $10,000 of any loan as an advance that would not have to be paid back if the loan was denied.

April 2020

The Government of Canada is taking immediate, significant and decisive action to support Canadians and businesses facing hardship as a result of the global COVID-19 outbreak.

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In light of recent events regarding coronavirus (COVID-19), we wanted to take a moment to share what we are doing to protect you during your next visit to a Penske facility. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our associates, customers and communities.

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