Navigating COVID-19 – the CARES Act and Resources for Leaders and Managers

We continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, and as we do, we know that many of our fellow AEC business owners and managers are struggling. A report from the AIA revealed that three-quarters of architecture firms reported seeing problems with current projects, many projects are slowing or stopping entirely, and revenues are projected to fall by 15 percent in April. These are difficult times, and our community faces unprecedented challenges.

In response, we’ve assembled a few key resources to help our clients and partners care for their businesses, teams and projects.


Congress’s latest coronavirus relief package, the CARES Act, provides $2.2 trillion in funding for programs to support a response to COVID-19 and bolster the economy. Many have questions about how the new law impacts their families and businesses.

AIA published “Major Impacts of the CARES ACT on Firms and Employees.” We encourage you to read the full summary, but a few highlights:

  • $349 billion is allocated for small businesses, meant to aid companies with less than 500 employees allowing them to apply for paycheck loans.

  • A Paycheck Protection Program offers low-interest (1%) loans of up to $10 million to sole-proprietors and small businesses (1-500 employees). A portion of the loan is forgiven if employee wages and headcount are maintained for 8 weeks (through June 2020) and if funds are used as designed – to cover salaries, paid sick leave, insurance, and mortgage, rent, and utilities.

  • Mid-sized businesses can expect a program that allows for zero-interest loans that are used to retain at least 90 percent of their workforce (with full benefits and compensation until Sept. 30).

  • Businesses of all sizes can defer paying social security tax until the end of 2021.

  • Where is the rest of the $2.2 trillion going? The bill allocates significant relief funds to government bodies, air carriers, airports, and hospitals and healthcare facilities. Additionally, one-time, cash payments can be redeemed by individuals. (Amount is dependent on income and dependents).

AIA’s COVID-19 Resources for Architects

AIA has published a page specific to COVID-19. In addition to their own courses and special reports, AIA’s COVID-19 Resources for Architects page gathers articles from sources like Forbes, ARCHITECT Magazine and the International Code Council. It’s full of helpful links and guidelines and a good place to learn the latest AEC news.

Summarizing legislation and relief programs with pieces like, “2020 State COVID-19 Executive Order Exemptions and “Summary of Federal Stimulus Bill,” we think the Relief tab is a great place to start.

From all of us at Coughlin Porter Lundeen, we continue to wish you, your teams, and your families well.