COVID-19: Important Resources

Evolving guidance on issues related to the coronavirus pandemic.

A new business reality

Choate’s COVID-19 Client Advisory Resource is a collection of alerts, advisories, and resources —all of which are intended to help our clients maintain key operational and business functions, despite pressing challenges related to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Choate partners and principals are available to help you digest and assess the impact of COVID-19 and navigate the potential effects of the outbreak on your businesses. We invite you to bookmark and return to this page as attorneys from across the Firm issue new advice and insights. Please contact the authors of each article below or your regular Choate contacts directly to answer your COVID-19-related questions.

Director Fiduciary Duties: Additional Risks in Times of Financial Distress

Our Private Equity Group provides practical guidance for directors of companies incorporated under Delaware law, particularly in the context of a business that is or may become insolvent.

To read the alert, please click here.

SBA Issues Additional Guidance on PPP Forgiveness and Review Processes

The SBA continued its incremental rollout of guidance for borrowers under the Paycheck Protection Program, with two interim final rules issued on May 22. Our Private Equity Group summarizes some of the most relevant information for borrowers as they continue to plan how best to use their PPP funds and prepare their forgiveness applications.

To read the alert, please click here.

Investment Guidance from ChoateIA

Our colleagues at ChoateIA have been communicating with clients on evolving market conditions and ways to mitigate loss during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

March 10th Update - A Growing Pandemic

March 17th Update - Increasing Market Volatility

March 23rd Update - Weathering Volatile Markets

March 31st Update - The Unfolding Economic Impact

April 6th Update - Examining the Road to Recovery

April 14th Update - Stock Valuations Amid Uncertainty

April 21st Update - Turmoil in the Oil Market

April 27th Update - Investment Implications of China’s Reopening

May 4th Update - Searching for Balance in an Uneven Recovery

May 11th Update - China’s Ongoing Economic and Political Developments: a podcast with ChoateIA featuring Andy Rothman, Investment Strategist at Matthews Asia

May 19th Update - Navigating an Uneven Market


SBA Clarifies Part Of Its Guidance on PPP Need Certification

The SBA’s guidance on its #PPP loans continues to evolve, leaving borrowers to keep up with a shifting set of eligibility requirements, including recent rules that require borrowers to demonstrate substantial need for the funds. On May 13th, the SBA offered some certainty in the form of a safe harbor for loans under $2 million and clarity for larger loans.

To read the alert, please click here.

Estate Planning During the COVID-19 Pandemic – Challenges and Opportunities

Our Wealth Management Group outlines a new Massachusetts law that allows Massachusetts-based clients to sign and notarize their estate planning documents remotely during the pandemic, and highlights three common planning techniques that are especially effective in the current market environment.

To read the alert, please click here.

Infographic: Roadmap to SBA PPP Loan Forgiveness

To view the infographic, please click here.

Fed Expands and Releases New Details of Main Street Lending Program

On April 30, 2020, the U.S. Federal Reserve published an FAQ and revised term sheets with new details regarding the Main Street Lending Program, including expanded eligibility for program loans and a new loan category.

To read the alert, please click here.

IRS Denies Deductions for Expenses Paid with Forgiven PPP Loans

On April 30, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service issued guidance in Notice 2020-32 providing that no deduction is allowed under the Internal Revenue Code for an expense that is otherwise deductible if the payment of the expense results in forgiveness of a loan under the Payroll Protection Program established by the CARES Act.

To read the alert, please click here.

Understanding the SBA’s New PPP Certification Guidance

When the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) opened for applications on April 3rd, it was so oversubscribed that it ran through its first $349 billion appropriation in just two weeks. The PPP has now come under public scrutiny, with news that loans bypassed small mom-and-pop shops in favor of larger businesses that may be more able to weather current economic conditions. The SBA released new guidance on April 23. The new guidance should make loan applicants – and recipients – cautious about taking a PPP loan that their business does not need.

To read the alert, click here.

Massachusetts Statewide Moratorium on Evictions and Foreclosures During COVID-19 Now Effective

On April 20, 2020, Governor Baker signed into law “An Act providing for a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures during the #COVID19 Emergency.” The new law puts a temporary moratorium on non-essential evictions of residential and small business tenants. For residential mortgages, the law places a temporary restriction on foreclosures and mandates temporary loan forbearance.

To read the alert, please click here.

How to Respond Effectively to Increasing COVID-19 Whistleblower Claims

In order to avoid potential liability to increasing whistleblower claims employers should ensure that frontline managers are trained both in how to receive a complaint and in how to avoid retaliation.

To read the alert, please click here.

Overview of Tax Credits Available to Employers Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act

Choate’s Tax Group provides guidance on refundable tax credits that are available to employers under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and the CARES Act.

To read the alert, please click here.

Federal Reserve Releases Preliminary Details for Main Street Lending Program

On April 9th, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced preliminary terms for its Main Street Lending Program authorized by the $2.2 trillion economic relief bill passed by Congress last month. This program will provide additional avenues for relief for American businesses, including some of those excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program, as they deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

To read the alert, please click here.

Treasury Department Finally Issues Affiliation Guidance for Paycheck Protection Program

Late on April 3, 2020, the Treasury Department issued the much awaited affiliation rules that govern whether business concerns are eligible to borrow as “small businesses” under the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

To read the alert, please click here.

CARES Act Changes Relevant to High Net Worth Individuals

Several provisions of the new COVID-19 relief legislation signed on Friday, known as the CARES Act, will be useful for high net worth clients. Choate’s Wealth Management Group describes two of the most relevant CARES Act provisions, as well as three pre-existing planning techniques that are even more attractive in the current environment.

To read the alert, please click here.

Private Equity & Business Tax Aspects of the CARES Act

On March 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “Bill”). The following is a summary of certain key tax provisions of the stimulus package impacting private equity funds and their portfolio companies.

To read the alert, please click here.

Federal Stimulus: PE & VC Portfolio Companies

Much of the recent stimulus related to the COVID-19 pandemic is targeted at providing relief to the country’s small businesses, including Economic Injury Disaster Loans under already enacted laws and Paycheck Protection Program loans under pending legislation. Eligibility for both types of loans is a highly fact-specific determination. In many cases, portfolio companies of private equity and venture capital funds (even if small in size or revenues) may not be eligible for these loans because of the SBA’s aggregation rules.

To read the alert, please click here.

Impacts of COVID-19 on M&A Transactions

As the spread of COVID-19 continues to impact the public equity markets, the private M&A market has also been deeply affected. While some transactions are closing with or without a change in terms, continuing uncertainty has led many deal processes to halt or to be put “on pause.” Here is what we are seeing in the market as these issues continue to develop.

To read the alert, please click here.

IRS Announces Income Tax Deferments

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced this week that the federal government will allow taxpayers to defer income tax filings and payments for up to 90 days in order to help mitigate the economic challenges caused by the coronavirus outbreak. Our Wealth Management Group attorneys provide important guidance on what this may mean for your filings.

To read the alert, please click here.

Three Things Borrowers Can Do Now to Mitigate the Effects of Coronavirus

The business and market disruptions caused by the spread of COVID-19 have increased the need for private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies to act quickly to ensure compliance with their credit documents and to best position themselves to weather uncertain times ahead. Our Private Equity team outlines three recommendations to help borrowers address the debt-related issues they are likely to face in the current economic climate.

To read the alert, please click here.

Lenders: Four Ways to Protect Your Business from Coronavirus

Choate's Finance & Restructuring Group discusses four ways vendors can mitigate issues in their current and future transactions in the COVID-19 market.

To read the alert, please click here.