The PATH Forward

 

August 26, 2021

Employee Retention Credit – up to $5,000 cash or credit for 2020, $14,000 for 2021

The September deadline is fast approaching. If your center has a payroll, it may qualify for a refundable tax credit (and in some cases cash) on employee wages for 2020 and/or 2021.  To qualify for the 2020 Employee Tax Credit, the center must have been in business during 2020 and either experienced full or partial suspension of operations due to governmental orders (i.e., pandemic restrictions) or experienced a significant decline in gross receipts.

For the 2021 Employee Tax Credit, the rules were expanded to include businesses that had either experienced a full or partial shutdown or had seen a more than 20% quarterly decline in gross receipts.

Please contact a tax expert to learn if you qualify. And if yes, proceed quickly, as the program has been shortened to end September 30, 2021.

PATH Intl. is not an accounting firm, so this message is not to be construed as tax advice.

Boosters, vaccine verification and variants. Oh my!

Every time we seem to get our arms around the pandemic and hit a groove, things keep morphing on us. It’s just as important now as it was a year ago to keep current with the changing landscape in your area to protect yourselves, your staff, your participants and your center.

Boosters
Vaccination boosters are a hot topic. Is it right for your sensitive participant populations? Is it right for center staff? Click here to read a joint statement from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Public Health and Medical Experts on COVID-19 Booster Shots courtesy of the CDC. Click here for the recommendation for moderately to severely immunocompromised people.

Vaccine Verification
Many venues and businesses are requesting verification of vaccination. Is that a good step for your center to follow? Give it some consideration as you keep your policies up to date. Please note: there are currently no national plans to create a vaccination verification app, certificate or passport in addition to the vaccination cards issued at the time of vaccination. Check your state government website to see their recommendations and learn what others are doing in your area.

The Variants
Continue to employ the CDC website, coronavirus.gov and usa.gov/coronavirus to stay abreast of the current surge in cases and the new and changing dangers of the variants; learn about the types of assistance the federal government offers/offered individuals and businesses and stay abreast of variant impacts and the areas of the country most affected. It will help center administrators including volunteer managers make best-informed choices for the center and its community of staff, volunteers, participants and their families/caretakers.

Free Webinar
As the pandemic drudges on, you might be feeling like a lot of people—stressed and a little tired. This webinar that originally aired October 6, 2020, was built with you in mind. Join presenter Michelle Weed on demand and learn about:

Window of Tolerance: Knowing When Self-Care Is Critical

Difficult times and trauma impact our ability to manage stressors influencing our capacity to productively respond to presented situations. As stressors increase, our tolerance of even the slightest changes to our environment or plans can significantly decrease. Everyone is experiencing the current pandemic and social events differently based on their own window of tolerance. As the pandemic continues and social crises evolve, our windows of tolerance can narrow or even close entirely.

Learn how to identify the boundaries of your window of tolerance and those of others, as well as some tactics to open your window of tolerance and restore healthy response to stressors.

Presented by:

Michelle Weed, CRC
Certified Clinical Trauma Professional
Licensed Resident in Counseling (VA)
PhD Counselor Education and Supervision – William and Mary 2021, Specialization in Trauma and Moral Injury
PATH Intl. RTRI, ESMHL, online course faculty (ES4H and mentor), Chair of the Health and Education Oversight Committee 


Vaccines, Mask-Wearing and Social Distancing

Guidelines for vaccines, mask-wearing and social distancing continue to evolve as new variants to COVID-19 appear. What is most important is that center staff develops a policy around vaccines, mask-wearing and social distancing. PATH Intl. recommends that member center staff and volunteers follow all Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and their state and local guidelines regarding vaccinations, wearing masks and other pandemic-related health guidelines. Each center may set their own policies regarding vaccinations, masks and social distancing. However, each state and locality may have different laws and guidance. Accordingly, please review the guidance applicable to your specific center when creating any policies.

Currently, the CDC is recommending vaccinations as well as mask wearing for all when inside or where social distancing is difficult. Consider the populations you serve and how you serve them, and determine how you can best serve the participants safely. Understand center staff and volunteers and their perspectives on the vaccines. Consider what is important to make mandatory in your policy and what will be not mandatory but a recommendation. Your policy should also include direction for what to do if someone feels ill or is running a fever, and what they should do if they test positive after they have been to your center.

Have your policy reviewed by a lawyer to ensure you are within any local, state and/or federal laws. Then it is important to communicate the policy clearly to all staff, volunteers, participants and their families. 

COVID-19 cases are rising once again. Click here https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view for the COVID-19 Data Tracker by County on the CDC website. Protect your staff, your participants, your volunteers and yourself by having a clear policy that follows guidelines from the CDC, state and local health departments.

Hiring instructors

Many centers are reporting a challenge in finding certified instructors. Unfortunately, one of the impacts of the pandemic was laying off instructors and losing them to better paying jobs as well as an inability for centers to “grow their own” due to of the lack of in-person trainings and mentoring. Some suggestions to address this issue: 

Free Advertising

PATH Intl. is offering free classified ads through August for PATH Intl. members. Centers may post an ad seeking to fill positions, and individuals looking for work may post their desire for a position.

Other Advertising Possibilities: The Chronicle of the Horse, Certified Horsemanship Association, region Facebook pages, as well as PATH Intl. Member Connection.

Be sure to create an ad that focuses on the benefits to the applicant. Why should they come work for you? We know that most of us come to this industry with a passion that makes us willing to do anything to provide these services. However, it’s human nature for candidates to wonder what’s in it for them, so make sure you tell them.

Higher Education:  Reach out to colleges and universities that have an EAS, equine or equestrian program. To start you can find a list on the PATH Intl. website of PATH Intl. Higher Ed. Members here. https://www.pathintl.org/resources-education/certifications/riding/higher-ed-college-university-sp-1482514920

Finding PATH Intl. CTRI®s:  You can also search for CTRIs by going to the member portal. Sort the list by credential, and find CTRIs in your area who may be interested in new or additional work.

Here is a link that will take you to the member portal:  https://fontevacustomer-15cf09b5446.force.com/login?startURL=%2Fs%2Fsearchdirectory%3Fid%3Da2I5G000000wGVv

Grow Your Own: 

  • Recruit parents to become instructors. They are already familiar with EAS, and many parents assisted with lessons during the pandemic.
  • Reach out to local barns offering able-bodied lessons. One of their instructors might be interested in picking up a few classes. As long as you have a CTRI onsite, the non-certified instructor can perhaps work with less-involved students under the supervision of the CTRI. You may even get someone interested in pursuing this as a career.
  • Volunteers who have experience teaching riding are a good place to recruit.
  • Connect and partner with other therapeutic riding centers in your area. Can you share a certified professional?

Think in both short and long term. What will help the center get through the next six months? During that time, work toward building up to the long-term solution.

Employee Retention Credit – up to $5,000 cash or credit for 2020, $14,000 for 2021

If your center has a payroll, it may qualify for a refundable tax credit (and in some cases cash) on employee wages for 2020 and/or 2021.  To qualify for the 2020 Employee Tax Credit, the center must have been in business during 2020 and either experienced full or partial suspension of operations due to governmental orders (i.e., pandemic restrictions) or experienced a significant decline in gross receipts.

For the 2021 Employee Tax Credit, the rules were expanded to include businesses that had either experienced a full or partial shutdown or had seen a more than 20% quarterly decline in gross receipts.

Please contact a tax expert to learn if you qualify. And if yes, proceed quickly, as the program has been shortened to end September 30, 2021.

PATH Intl. is not an accounting firm, so this message is not to be construed as tax advice. 

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