CARES Act Overview

What does the CARES Act mean for you?

Below is a quick outline of the relief efforts passed last week as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The CARES Act Overview:

  • Gets financial assistance to Americans
  • Brings relief to small businesses and their employees
  • Stabilizes the economy
  • Supports healthcare workers and patients

For many of you, the most important component is the funding being made available to small businesses during this crisis. The CARES Act allocated $350 billion to help small businesses keep workers employed amid the pandemic and economic downturn. Known as the Paycheck Protection Program, the initiative provides 100% federally guaranteed loans to small businesses. Importantly, these loans may be forgiven if borrowers maintain their payrolls during the crisis or restore their payrolls afterward.

For more details, download this guide provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help small businesses and self-employed individuals prepare to file for a loan.

As we learn more about these lending opportunities, we will communicate you. Continue to check your email and monitor our website for updates.


Norris McLaughlin Shift to Remote Operations in Pennsylvania

As we continue to monitor developments and directives from federal, state and local authorities related to the coronavirus health crisis, we also want to update our clients, friends and colleagues about some critical changes to our business operations.

On March 19, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf ordered the closure of all “non-life-sustaining” business locations to combat community spread of the virus. Under the order, all businesses operating in Pennsylvania must close the doors to their physical locations entirely, with exceptions made for businesses that are required to sustain life. A list of those exceptions, which was included with the Governor’s order, can be found here.

Additionally, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo followed suit this afternoon ordering the physical closure of all non-essential business locations in the State, beginning at 8pm tonight, with exceptions made for essential services such as shipping, media, warehousing, grocery and food production, pharmacies, healthcare providers, utilities, banks and related financial institutions. Additional information about New York’s Executive Order can be found here.

To comply with this order, our office in Manhattan, as well as our locations in Allentown, Pennsburg, and Easton, Pennsylvania, are all now closed, however, we have implemented remote office capabilities for our attorneys and certain business-critical staff so that they can continue to work remotely while this order is in effect. We are confident that these contingencies will allow us to continue the high level of service that our clients have come to expect from us and anticipate little (if any) interruption of service. During this time, we will respond to all inquiries as soon as is reasonably possible and thank you in advance for your patience.


If you own or operate a business in Pennsylvania or New York and have questions about whether your business may be exempt from these orders, we encourage you to reach out to one of our experienced attorneys to review the list of exempt businesses and devise a contingency plan to cease operations as soon as possible.

In addition to the temporary closing of our Manhattan and Pennsylvania office locations, we are closely monitoring developments in New Jersey. We fully expect that this office will close at some point in the near future, but as of now, our Bridgewater, NJ office remains open for business.  We will keep you informed of any additional changes to our business operations as developments occur in this very fluid situation.

In the meantime, we encourage you to visit and make use of the resources we have collected on our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Preparedness Resource Center. Here you will find the most current critical information from federal, state and local authorities, including guidance from the CDC and WHO, and thought leadership from several of our experienced attorneys advising on the latest developments.

We are committed to doing all we can to protect the health and well-being of our clients and colleagues and doing our part to slow the spread of the virus in our communities, all while being available to support you and your businesses during these challenging times. If and when you need us during this crisis, we are prepared to help.



Woodloch Pines launches Woodloch at Home

The outbreak of the COVID-19 virus has proved extremely challenging for many businesses, with the restaurant and lodging sector of the economy hit particularly hard, as the world works together to employ social distancing in an effort to “flatten the curve” and stop the spread of the virus. Woodloch Pines, an all-inclusive family resort located in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains, temporarily closed on Tuesday, March 17 with plans to reopen May 1. Woodloch’s tagline, “together is the best place to be,” speaks volumes about the emphasis it places on bonding and connection with loved ones. Understanding this necessity to come together emotionally while being apart physically, the family resort was inspired to create its brand new program, Woodloch at Home, allowing guests the chance to join in a wide array of activities and games remotely through both the resort’s website and social media channels.

Family-owned and operated since 1958, Woodloch’s core mission is built upon treating guests like family with a focus on “togethering.” The Poconos resort is well known for its signature home-grown, team-building activities that are completely unique to the property, the brain child of the talented Woodloch Activities Staff. These tried and true guest favorites, such as scavenger hunts, “Olympics,” game show contests, and deejay-led dance parties, are now available through Woodloch at Home. They are designed specifically for portability and can be played by anyone remotely. This allows individual families to remain in the privacy of their own homes while staying connected digitally with Woodloch’s energetic staffers, eager to lead the charge. The site also features a wide array of classic Woodloch recipes, music, interviews, and more.

“We are extremely saddened by the COVID-19 crisis that the world is currently facing. First and foremost, we extend our heartfelt thoughts and prayers and wish everyone health and safety as we navigate this uncharted territory together. Although we cannot serve as a respite for people to come together in person at this time, we are grateful to be in a position to spread the Woodloch spirit digitally and still be able to touch many people,” said Brad Kiesendahl, C.E.O. of Woodloch Pines. He continued, “Our goal has always been to bring positivity and brightness into the lives of others. Now more than ever, there is no greater need for this. When we get through these challenging times, Woodloch will be here waiting as we all come back — together.”

To obtain more information, please visit

PennDOT Extends Expiration Dates on Driver Licenses, ID Cards, Vehicle Registrations and Other Products

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced today that expiration dates for driver licenses, identification cards, learner’s permits, persons with disability placards, vehicle registrations and safety and emission inspections will be extended for Pennsylvania residents in response to statewide COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Deadlines on the following products will be extended effective March 27, 2020:

  • Driver licenses, photo ID cards and learner’s permits scheduled to expire from March 16, 2020 through April 30, 2020, the expiration date is now extended through May 31, 2020.
  • Vehicle registrations, safety inspections and emissions inspections scheduled to expire from March 16 through April 30, 2020, the expiration date is now extended through May 31, 2020.
  • Persons with Disabilities parking placards scheduled to expire from March 16 through April 30, 2020, the expiration date is now extended through May 31, 2020.

These extensions are in addition to those announced on March 16.

Additionally, all Driver License Centers and Photo License Centers and the Harrisburg Riverfront Office Center in Pennsylvania are closed for counter service until further notice effective close of business on Monday, March 16

As a reminder, customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via the Driver and Vehicle Services website, Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.

More COVID-19 information is available at For more information, visit or

PennDOT Reopens Five Additional Rest Areas

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is reopening indoor facilities at five additional rest areas statewide.

PennDOT’s 30 rest areas were temporarily closed statewide on March 17 in response to Governor Tom Wolf’s mitigation guidance regarding COVID-19 to ensure that proper safety and sanitation protocols were in place. On March 24, 23 select rest areas across Pennsylvania to all motorists, including the 13 facilities in critical locations that were reopened March 18 with portable restrooms and handwashing facilities.

Additional cleaning and maintenance will be performed at all reopened locations.

The following five locations have reopened:

  • Interstate 79 northbound in Greene County, 5 miles north of Exit 1;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Luzerne County, 8.5 miles east of Exit 262;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Monroe County, 1 mile east of I-80/I-380;
  • Interstate 83 northbound in York County, 2.5 miles north of the Maryland state line; and
  • Interstate 90 eastbound in Erie County, 3 miles east of the Ohio state line.

The below locations were previously reopened:

  • Interstate 79 northbound in Allegheny County, 8 miles north of Exit 45;
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Crawford County, 8 miles north of Exit 154;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Crawford County, 3 miles south of Exit 166;
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles north of Exit 105;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Lawrence County, 3.5 miles south of Exit 113
  • Interstate 79 northbound in Mercer County, 5 miles south of Exit 141;
  • Interstate 79 southbound in Mercer County, 6 miles north of Exit 130;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Centre County, 13 miles east of Exit 133;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Centre County, .5 miles west of Exit 147;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Jefferson County, 1 mile east of Exit 86;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Jefferson County, 10 miles west of Exit 97;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles east of Exit 215;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Montour County, 4.5 miles west of Exit 224;
  • Interstate 80 eastbound in Venango County, .5 miles east of Exit 29;
  • Interstate 80 westbound in Venango County, 4 miles west of Exit 35;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Cumberland County, .5 miles north of Exit 37;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Cumberland County, 5.5 miles south of Exit 44;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Lackawanna County, .5 miles north of Exit 202;
  • Interstate 81 northbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles north of Exit 155;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Luzerne County, 1.5 miles south of Exit 159;
  • Interstate 81 southbound in Susquehanna County, 4 miles south of Exit 211;
  • Interstate 84 eastbound in Pike County, 6 miles east of Exit 20; and
  • Interstate 84 westbound in Pike County, 1 mile west of Exit 26.

The department will continue to evaluate and will determine whether additional rest areas can be reopened.

More COVID-19 information is available at For more information, visit or

Federal REAL ID Deadline Postponed to October 2021

Today the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) announced that the Department of Homeland Security has postponed the enforcement date for REAL ID from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021, in response to COVID-19 and the national emergency declaration.

PennDOT closed all driver and photo license centers on March 16 and paused REAL ID issuance in the state out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of public health. Centers will reopen no sooner than April 3. PennDOT also sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, requesting that the agency consider extending the October 1, 2020 REAL ID enforcement deadline.

“We are very pleased that the Department of Homeland Security has listened to our concerns, as well as the concerns from our fellow states regarding the need for a postponement on REAL ID enforcement in the midst of this national emergency,” said PennDOT Acting Secretary Yassmin Gramian.

REAL ID is a federal law that affects how states issue driver’s licenses and ID cards if they are going to be acceptable for federal purposes. A federally-acceptable form of identification (whether it’s a Pennsylvania REAL ID driver’s license or ID card, a valid U.S. Passport/Passport Card, a military ID, etc.) must now be used on and after October 1, 2021, as identification to board a commercial flight or visit a secure federal building that requires a federally acceptable form of identification ID for access.

REAL ID is optional in Pennsylvania. There is no requirement that any resident obtain a REAL ID; PennDOT will continue to offer standard-issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs once issuance has resumed.

More information about document requirements, including a printable document checklist, can be found on the Document Check page of the PennDOT Driver and Vehicle Services website.

Customers may complete various transactions and access multiple resources via

Driver and vehicle online services are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and include driver’s license, photo ID and vehicle registration renewals; driver-history services; changes of address; driver license and vehicle registration restoration letters; ability to pay driver license or vehicle insurance restoration fee; driver license and photo ID duplicates; and driver exam scheduling. There are no additional fees for using online services.

VIA Public Media Opens Up Online Documentary Vault

In the ongoing mission of supporting lifelong learning, VIA Public Media is opening up its entire online collection of documentary films. The library spans more than 30 years, dating back to 1987’s ‘A Journey to the Endless Mountains’ all the way through ‘Peoples of the Susquehanna River’ from 2017.

Viewers can explore regional history through films such as ‘The Extraordinary Journey,’ ‘Looking to the River,’ ‘Ubaldo,’ and many more.The collection is available to watch on nearly every platform: online at, on mobile devices through the VIA Mobile App or on Smart TV’s and streaming devices with the PBS Video App.

This is the latest WVIA initiative to help families and educators throughout the Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania region to continue education at home in this time of need. Previously announced initiatives include VIA Learn at Homeweekday afternoon programming on WVIA TV, the virtual Town Hall, Keystone Edition: Corona Crisis, additional news and updates on WVIA Radio and Nightly Storytime with VIAon WVIA’s social channels.

WVIA Launching Nightly Storytime

In an effort to inspire and encourage reading at home, as well as connecting with our viewers, VIA has launched Nightly Storytime with VIA. Each night on the WVIA Education Facebook page, members of the VIA Education department and other staff members will read to our youngest viewers and their families using books received in a recent grant from the United Way and First Book. It is our hope to connect, educate, and entertain you as we all work through this uncertain time.


Details for the event are below:


What: Nightly Storytime with VIA

When: Weeknights at 7:00 p.m.

Where: The WVIA and WVIA Education Facebook Pages:

Who: VIA Education Team and WVIA Staff