News Ticker

Local AEC Market Impacts COVID-19

Credit: AZCentral

Budget & Stimulus News 

Ariz. $50M Relief Plan Progresses 

The Arizona House of Representatives broke through a political logjam on Monday, approving a $50M relief package as the state faces the economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic and adjourning for three weeks as a public health precaution. The packageallows Gov. Doug Ducey‘s administration to use the funds for housing assistance, aid for businesses, nonprofits and health care providers with fewer than 50 employees, and assistance for food banks as well as organizations serving people experiencing homelessness. (Source: AZCentral) 

Feds Reach Emergency Aid Agreement 

The White House and Senate leaders of both parties announced agreement early Wednesday on unprecedented emergency legislation to rush sweeping aid to businesses, workers and a healthcare system slammed by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Source: Arizona Daily Sun) 

CARES Act Overview 

Early (Wednesday) morning, Congressional leaders reached a deal regarding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the ‘‘CARES” Act. The CARES Act, which is expected to be enacted later today, is a $2.0T aid package that is among the most significant pieces of financial legislation in history. This legislation will help Arizona businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in several ways. Here’s how we anticipate the final CARES Act will work: (Source: Rose Law Group Reporter) 

Economic News 

Hit to Tucson Economy Will Last Months  

Besides concerns over health and safety, uncertainty is the biggest concern among the roughly 1,500 members of the Tucson Metro Chamber, chamber President and CEO Amber Smith said. (Source: Arizona Daily Star) 

Hospitality Occupancy Plummets 

March is usually the busiest month for Valley hotels and resorts, but the coronavirus outbreak and push for social distancing caused hotel occupancy and revenue numbers to drop dramatically compared to the year-earlier period. (Source: Phoenix Business Journal) 

Public Procurement News 

From the BEX Research Team – Public procurement is hitting a quick pause while public agencies figure out their next steps due to the epidemic. In the Tuesday, March 24th, 2020 issue of AZBEX, all Phoenix Union procurements were put on hold. In the Friday, March 27th issue of AZBEX, all City of Tucson procurements are being postponed until further notice. Additionally, virtually no new procurements for design or construction services hit the street beyond a scant few for the federal government and AZDEMA.  

Updates from the AZ Procurement Technical Assistance Center 

Small Business Administration temporary suspension of 8(a) program: “Due to the National Emergency Concerning the Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Outbreak, current certified 8(a) firms affected by the pandemic may elect to suspend their 8(a) participation in accordance with 13 C.F.R. § 124.305(h)(1)(iii). A Participant firm would not “lose time” in its program term; the suspension time will be added to the program term. 

Updates from Snell & Wilmer 

Snell & Wilmer has compiled a series of updates in its email newsletter. These include: 

OSHA Recordable and Reportable COVID-19 IllnessesOSHA recently provided a reminder to employers on recording of workplace exposures associated with COVID-19. 

COVID-19 & OSHA: Taking the Body Temperatures of EmployeesThe Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recently issued guidance giving employers the green light to take employees’ body temperatures to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. 

The COVID-19 Impact on Renewable Energy ProjectsRenewable energy projects are likely to be impacted by supply chain and construction disruptions caused by the coronavirus spread. Delays may negatively impact power purchase agreements and federal tax credits. 

AZED COVID-19 Guidance Page 

The Arizona Department of Education’s Office of Communications has created a guidance page for public and charter schools to track developments, policies and updates during the COVID-19 crisis. For school procurement practices, districts must comply with state law and continue adhering to state procurement rules while navigating the practical challenges presented by COVID-19. 

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