Golf Course Owners and Operators,
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is impacting the sports industry around the globe. For many in the golf industry, this is the time of year the brown grass from winter begins to turn green. Tee sheets begin to fill up and banquet spaces active with events. But COVID-19 has changed the outlook for Spring.
Clubs are seeing high rates of cancellation for golf outings, weddings, receptions, and other revenue-producing group activities. This results in the loss of a large portion of their budgeted revenue. So what are owners and operators to do? What is to happen with the staff no longer needed to work? What happens when staff members become infected with the virus? What is the federal government doing to help?
These are all good questions. NGCOA is working to ensure members receive the latest on measures being taken in Washington. As you may have heard Congress did pass legislation to provide $8.3 billion in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. While the majority of these funds are directed toward supporting states and local government and the health industry with combating the spread of the virus, $20 million of these funds were directed at helping small businesses, like golf clubs and courses. These funds are being distributed in the form of low-interest loans through the Small Business Association, under their Disaster Relief Assistance program. These loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact. The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses without credit available elsewhere; businesses with credit available elsewhere are not eligible. The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.
The U.S. House is currently deliberating H.R. 6201- Families First Coronavirus Response Act, which provides for paid sick leave to workers affected by COVID-19. The also proposes expansion of the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). This would help those employees who have been unable to work due to being affected by the virus either directly or from a family member, or due to reduced business activity.
As this unprecedented public emergency continues to impact our business community we should anticipate additional government intervention. While we hope this intervention will be beneficial, we should not be surprised if communities invoke policies that further limit our civil liberties thus further depress our business community.
NGCOA will work to keep you updated. As this is such a nationally impacting event, we are unable to monitor every state and community’s policies, so we encourage members to track updates on a local level, and use NGCOA’s discussion forum to share actions you’re taking at your facility with other NGCOA members.
Questions and comments should be posted here but you are welcome to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.