MJC alters hours for access to Laurel, Pimlico stable areas

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The Maryland Jockey Club April 7 announced new hours for access to the stable areas at Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course.

Effective immediately, entry to the stable areas will not be permitted between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. each day. In the case of an emergency, trainers will be allowed access between those times.

Supplemental Q&A to horsemen's COVID-19 relief webinar

The following Q&A is a supplement to the April 3 COVID-19 relief webinar hosted by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. The questions are listed in the order of submittal.

The full replay of the webinar is available here.

Disclaimer: Below are questions the MTHA received after the webinar and the answers are based on information from the two Maryland presenters, Bill Shaughnessy and Amanda Chong, attorneys with Gordon Feinblatt LLC of Baltimore. These answers are provided for general information only. This is not legal advice. Anyone seeking legal advice should reach out to an attorney directly with respect to your particular situation.

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COVID-19 relief programs discussed during horsemen's webinar

Horsemen on April 3 were provided with a comprehensive outline of federal and state programs geared toward financial relief now available because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and they also received an update on the status of the return of live racing in two states.

More than 400 individuals participated in an afternoon webinar, moderated by MTHA Executive Director David Richardson, and sponsored by the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association and the Pennsylvania Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association. Speakers with expertise in the loan or grant programs explained how they work and eligibility requirements.

"I want to repeat the action items," said Bill Shaughnessy of the Gordon Feinblatt law firm in Baltimore. "This money is out there. And it can be grant money, but there is a short window. Go get your money."

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Payroll Protection Program applications now available

The Paycheck Protection Program authorizes up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses to pay their employees during the COVID-19 crisis. All loan terms will be the same for everyone.

The loan amounts will be forgiven as long as:

  • The loan proceeds are used to cover payroll costs, and most mortgage interest, rent, and utility costs over the eight-week period after the loan is made; and
  • Employee and compensation levels are maintained.

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Q&A on Economic Retention Credit in CARES Act

The following is an FAQ document on the Economic Retention Credit included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, known as the CARES Act.

What businesses qualify for the employee retention credit?

Any employer, regardless of size, is eligible for the credit during calendar year 2020 if the business: (1) is fully or partially suspended due to a governmental order related to COVID-19, or (2) experiences a significant decline in gross receipts (i.e., a reduction of 50% of gross receipts from the same quarter in 2019). The credit also applies to tax-exempt organizations if the operation of the organization is fully or partially suspended due to the circumstances described in (1) above. The credit generally does not apply to governmental employers, including the U.S. government, state and local governments, or any agency of the foregoing.

Is the credit limited to businesses affected by COVID-19?

Yes. The credit only applies to qualified wages paid by a business whose operations have been fully or partially suspended pursuant to a governmental order related to COVID-19, or have experienced a significant decline (i.e., 50%) in gross receipts, as described above, during the period from March 13, 2020, through Dec. 31, 2020.

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NTRA to host teleconference on COVID-19 relief programs

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and its Washington, D.C., legislative team, The Alpine Group, and Kentucky-based Dean Dorton, one of the nation's leading experts on equine tax matters, will host a national teleconference to review federal stimulus bills recently passed to combat the impacts of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The teleconference, which will be held Wednesday, April 1, at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time, is open to media, representatives of equine businesses, their employees, and other individuals in the equine industry impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Among the topics to be covered is an in-depth analysis of key tax and business provisions impacting businesses and individuals involved in the horse racing and breeding industry, including the opportunities they present and the obligations they impose.

Information on how to access the teleconference via computer or phone is available here.

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