More deescalation webinars available: Dealing with difficult customers during COVID
With the Governor’s latest orders requiring stores to deny entry or refuse to serve customers without face masks, we’re repeating our series of webinars between July 27-Aug 5 to help you deal with difficult customers. Many of you who missed the webinars last time have requested that we do so, and we’re happy to do it for a nominal fee this time – $20 for non-members, $5 for members.
Again, we’re using the same vendor, Keene Training, which has extensive experience in de-escalation training. Because we’re using an outside vendor, we are not allowed to record the webinars, so we hope you can tune in at one of the times below. Here are the details.
Face mask enforcement FAQs: Navigating state and federal guidance
Face mask enforcement has become a worrisome issue for retailers with the latest order from the Governor requiring retailers to bar entry and refuse service to those not wearing a mask, unless they fall under one of the exemptions. You’ve asked Michigan Retailers Association a lot of questions, so we’ve compiled a list of FAQs after inquiring with the governor’s office and our federal partners on some of the conflicting guidance and laws.
Free COVID-19 signage for your store
MRA created some COVID-19 related signs for retail stores about masks, cleaning, etc. You can view and download them for free here, courtesy of Michigan Retailers Association. If you’re looking for more sign options, check out the links below.
- Face mask sign from the state Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
- The “No Mask No Entry” posters are also available in Arabic, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Swahili, Burmese and French on the Alternate Language website.
- Face Mask sign from Michigan Retailers Association
- Social distancing and other signs designed by the state – scroll halfway down the page.
- Social distancing and other signs designed by Michigan Retailers
- Want to make your own sign? Canva.com has some great templates. A free membership allows you to create your own.
Executive Orders and state guidance
For an updated chart with information on all of the COVID-19 Executive Orders that remain in effect and impact retail issued by Gov. Whitmer including issuance dates, effective dates, previous executive order numbers and overviews click here. (Updated through 7/21/20.)
- All local county health orders on employee health screenings have been rescinded or have expired. Follow the state’s guidance on employee health screening requirements and questions detailed in Executive Order 2020-145.
- The various regions are designated in the MI Safe Start Plan and can be seen on the map on page 3 of that document.
- MIOSHA COVID-19 Workplace Safety Website
- Provides general workplace guidelines for employers and employees and further clarification on necessary steps several other sectors must take when reopening.
- Emergency Paid Sick Leave and FMLA coverage
- SBA releases PPP loan forgiveness application and instructions
- On May 22, the SBA released the Interim Final Rule on Loan Forgiveness.
- On June 5, President Trump signed the PPP Flexibility Act into law, which now provides greater flexibility to PPP loan borrowers. Borrowers previously had to use 80% of the funds for payroll. That amount has now been reduced to 60%, allowed more
- New cleaning and mitigation efforts required for food selling-establishments and pharmacies
Re-opening Retail Guide
MRA has developed a guide to reopening your retail store after COVID-19. The guide includes checklists by retail sector/activity and how-to guides on some of our most frequently asked questions. Topics covered include: recalling employees back to work, conducting employee health screenings without violating HIPAA requirements, utilizing the state’s Work Share Program, understanding unemployment, COVID-19 specific employee benefits and how to rethink your store and re-engage customers.
COVID-19 Preparedness and response plan template
By June 1 or within two weeks of resuming in-person work, all Michigan businesses must develop and make available a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan. The plan must be consistent with recommendations in OSHA’s Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19. Employers must make this plan available to employees, labor unions and customers (via website, internal network or paper). To assist in the preparation of this document, MRA created an editable template members can use to develop their own plan. Click the button below and then once you’re on the page, click the orange download button.
- Federal & State tax filing delays
- On March 21 the IRS extended the filing and payment deadline to all taxpayers from April 15 to July 15.
- On March the State of Michigan extended tax filing deadlines from April 15 to July 15 to match the revised federal deadline. On April 27, Treasury Issues Guidance about new tax deadlines for individuals and businesses.
- State Sales, Use and Withholding (SUW) tax payment deferral
- The state Treasury Department is now allowing business taxpayers who deferred paying their SUW tax payments for the February, March, April and May tax periods due on June 20, 2020 – including quarterly filers – to either pay their outstanding balance in its entirety or pay their outstanding balance in monthly payments over the next six months. Penalties and interest will be waived on those deferred payments. See the state Treasury Department’s notice issued on May 26 for complete details.
Food & Pharmacy
- Michigan Liquor Control Commission and liquor licenses
- Frequently Asked Questions for Liquor License Businesses During Coronavirus (Covid-19) State of Emergency
- The Liquor Control Commission voted to further extend the expiration date of liquor licenses in 2020 from April 30, 2020 to June 15, 2020. Click here for more information.
- MDARD Food Establishment Licenses
- E.O. 2020-109 extends the food establishment license deadline from April 30 until 60 days after the end of the declared states of emergency and disaster.
- Bottle deposit law
- Beginning June 15, 2020, all grocery stores, supermarkets and other retailers with bottle return facilities located at the front of the store or housed in a separate area and serviced exclusively by reverse vending machines (RVM) requiring minimal or no person-to-person contact must re-open their bottle return facilities and resume the collection of returnable beverage containers and refund of customer bottle deposits.
- Retailers re-opening their bottle return facilities during Phase 1 must ensure that those facilities comply with all state-mandated safety protocols and restrictions, including the most recent state-mandated safeguards to protect workers (See Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-109).
- Notice issued by the Michigan Department of Treasury on June 1.
- Restarting Bottle Deposit Takeback Industry Best Practices and Requirements for Phase 1
- USDA Food and Nutrition Service is extending the current WIC food package waivers through June 30. Click here to read the announcement.
- WIC temporarily suspended stocking inspections while shelves were emptied from panic shopping. If members have seen those inspections resume please let MRA know. Contact MRA’s Amy Drumm to let her know: email@example.com.
- Michigan was approved by USDA Food and Nutrition Services (FNS) for additional emergency benefit allocations to SNAP clients for the month of June. This is similar to what was done for the months of March, April and May. SNAP customers will have additional benefits added to their Bridge Cards by the end of June.
- Retailers are not required to sell lottery products and may request deactivation of equipment at any time. There are no penalties for deactivation. Stores that are unable to implement social-distancing measures and follow all requirements of the stay home, stay safe order must deactivate their lottery terminals. To deactivate, call 517.335.5619 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The 2020/2021 Michigan Lottery licenses will be mailed to retailers the week of June 15, 2020. All retailers on probation will be charged a license renewal fee of $200. Starting the week of July 6, letters will be mailed to retailers on probation informing them that this fee will show up as an adjustment on their invoice for week ending July 22, 2020. The Lottery also released a video about how to clean and sanitize self-serve vending machines and Lottery terminals.
To see the previous version of the COVID-19 resources page containing updates from March – May, click here.