On December 20th, Congress passed a spending bill, signed by President Trump on December 27th, that includes further coronavirus-related fiscal relief (the “Bill”). There are a number of provisions within the Bill that impact both businesses and individuals. This post focuses on changes made to the loan forgiveness aspects of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”).

On Dec. 1, 2020, Nasdaq filed a rule proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that would require listed companies to disclose board diversity statistics using Nasdaq’s Board Diversity Matrix. Nasdaq would require companies to provide this disclosure in proxy materials or on company websites within one year of the SEC’s approval of the rules. The rules also would require listed companies to have, or explain why their boards do not include, diverse directors as follows:

  • All listed companies would be expected to have one diverse director within two years of the ...

On November 19, 2020, the SEC continued its disclosure modernization initiative by amending several financial disclosure rules applicable to periodic reports and registration statements. The amendments eliminate the requirement for Selected Financial Data, simplify Supplementary Financial Information disclosures, and streamline disclosure requirements in Management’s Discussion & Analysis.

On November 2, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rule amendments intended to increase opportunities for private companies to raise capital, including by setting higher limits on certain private offerings.  The SEC also simplified certain rules governing private offerings relating to investor communications and otherwise expanding investment opportunities.  In addition to expanding access to capital for private issuers, the intent of these amendments is to make it simpler for issuers to comply with increasingly complex SEC rules, including by eliminating ...

On October 7, 2020, the SEC proposed a limited, conditional exemption from broker registration requirements for "finders" who assist issuers with raising capital in private markets from accredited investors. Finders identify and often solicit potential investors in order to connect issuers with investors in private placements of securities. The proposal responds to the lack of clarity regarding the regulatory status of finders which has developed through case law, no action letters and other SEC guidance.

On Monday, September 14, 2020, Ohio Governor Michael DeWine signed into law legislation that provided qualified civil immunity to health care providers and other businesses from lawsuits related to the current coronavirus pandemic.

Ohio House Bill 606 provides protection to any person for civil actions for damage if the cause of action on which it is based, in whole or in party, is caused by the exposure to, or the transmission or contraction of SARS-CoV-2 or certain other coronaviruses, or any mutation thereof, unless it is established that the exposure to or the transmission or ...

On May 21, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission adopted amendments to its rules and forms governing the financial information registrants are required to provide for significant acquisitions and divestitures. We expect the amendments will decrease the time and cost of preparing financial statements required in business combinations.

When a registrant acquires a significant business, other than a real estate operation, SEC rules generally require the registrant to provide separate audited annual and unaudited interim pre-acquisition financial statements of ...

On May 20, 2020, the State of Ohio Department of Health (ODH) issued an urgent health advisory (the “Advisory”), named “Ohioans Protecting Ohioans”, in which all individuals currently living within the State of Ohio are recommended to continue to stay at home or at their place of residence to lower the rate of spread of COVID-19. A copy of the Advisory can be found here. Based on Governor DeWine’s press conference on May 19, 2020, the Advisory was meant to replace the “Stay Safe Ohio” Order (the “Order”) that was issued by the Ohio Department of Health on April 30, 2020 ...

On May 4, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it is providing temporary, conditional relief intended to expedite the offer and sale of securities to be issued by smaller companies affected by COVID-19 that are looking to meet their urgent funding needs through a Regulation Crowdfunding offering. The temporary rules are intended to expedite the offering process. The temporary rules apply to securities offerings initiated under Regulation Crowdfunding between May 4, 2020, and August 31, 2020.

Late on May 15, 2020 the Department of Treasury posted the Paycheck Protection Program Loan Forgiveness Application (“Application”) to its website. The application contains step-by-step instructions with worksheets and schedules to help borrowers calculate the amount of their PPP Loan which is eligible for forgiveness.

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