How COVID-19 Social Distancing Requirements Impacted Business Operations

So many things changed when COVID-19 cases began to rise in March 2020. Kids started virtual school. Face masks became as important for running errands as your wallet and keys. And businesses that remained open had to implement several public health measures — including the phrase we saw everywhere: “Please remain six feet apart and practice social distancing.”

While the practice of social distancing was aimed at slowing the spread of the virus and protecting everyone’s health, it also slowed sales and earnings for most businesses open to the public.

Due to government orders, restaurants often had to suspend their sit-down dining operations and could only offer to-go meals for carry-out customers. When they were permitted to re-open their dining rooms, they often had to skip every other table when seating diners to maintain the appropriate amount of space.

Spas and salons had to drastically limit appointments and could no longer accept walk-in customers in order to keep everyone safely distanced from one another. Gyms also had to reconfigure spaces and equipment, as well as limit capacity. Many businesses where people usually gathered — to socialize, exercise, learn, or relax — were severely impacted by social distancing requirements.

My Business Implemented Social Distancing Measures — Am I Eligible for the ERC?

It depends.

If your business was impacted by a government order  (federal, state, or local) that required you to limit the amount of people in your building and it affected more than a nominal portion of your business operations, then you are likely eligible.

Even if all categories of your business continued operating, requirements like spacing tables at least six feet apart would naturally impact the number of customers you could serve. This space constraint effectively means your usual business operations continued to be partially suspended.

Because many companies were severely impacted by the government shutdown and subsequent orders like social distancing, Congress passed the CARES Act in March 2020. One key provision of this act was the Employee Retention Credit (known as ERC) — a tax measure intended to provide economic relief so businesses could stay open and continue to pay their employees.

Orders like social distancing required businesses to make significant changes to their physical spaces and/or business operations before they could reopen to the public. If these modifications had a qualifying impact on your business, you might be eligible for this credit  — up to $26,000 per W-2 employee. At ERC Specialists, we are experts at helping you figure that out.

If I Think I’m Eligible, How Do I Apply for the ERC?

The ERC has distributed millions of dollars to qualified businesses. But determining eligibility and knowing how to proceed can be confusing. Many of our past clients, across all 50 states, were actually referred to us by their own CPAs and tax professionals. These experts recognize that this is a new area that requires specialization. Which is where we come in.

We simplify a complex process by helping our clients take a few steps, including:

  • Complete our qualification form for a free analysis to see if your business is eligible
  • Gather your payroll information and 941 forms so we can determine your credit
  • Collaborate with our specialists to prepare all the paperwork and finalize the details

That’s it.

If our analysis determines that your business isn’t eligible, it costs you nothing. And you’ll have peace of mind knowing you didn’t leave money on the table.

If you are eligible, we will help you get a credit of up to $26,000 per employee on your payroll. Our service charge is calculated with your free analysis and is based on a percentage of the credit recovered. You’ll end up with thousands of dollars to help you continue running your business — many of our clients have received six-figure or seven-figure credits.

We look forward to helping you determine if you’re eligible too.