April 3, 2020
No doubt about it, our nation, our world is experiencing extraordinary times. Community pharmacies are the safety nets helping their communities in times of crisis and during normal times. But you need help too. The CARES Act is just one of the ways that NCPA is bringing help to you.
Here at NCPA, we’re busy trying to do whatever we can to support you. Much of the NCPA team is working from home, but our work continues — on turbo speed — to try to keep up with the support needed for our members as they serve patients on the front lines of health care. A major part of our job is to be your voice to government and media telling them how community pharmacists can be supported. Another big part of NCPA’s job is to sift through the avalanche of information you are receiving to highlight those areas most important to your practice while not adding to the avalanche. NCPA’s Coronavirus Resource Center is the most active part of our newly remodeled website. Within the last two weeks, thousands of registrants have come to NCPA to hear what we have to say on three webinars about the most important issues to your business.
Last night, we had another coronavirus-related webinar, this one on the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed into law a week ago. This law has enormous implications for small business. (We had unprecedented interest for this webinar; if you weren’t able to get in last night, we’ve posted the recording on our Coronavirus website.)
The CARES Act includes important relief for small businesses including emergency grants, a forgivable loan program, changes to rules for expenses and deductions meant to make it easier for small businesses to keep employees on the payroll and open for business. These are provisions that you asked for and that you need.
NCPA successfully lobbied for immediate, readily accessible credit and forgivable loans to independent pharmacies to ensure that you have the cash to pay your workers, rent, and other costs during this crisis. NCPA worked hard to ensure pharmacies would be eligible.
Additionally, NCPA successfully lobbied to restore the ability of small business community pharmacies to carry back any net operating losses against previous year tax payments, payroll tax credits and other beneficial small business provisions.
Resources for you to get started researching available financial assistance are available here.
Every morning in qAM, NCPA shares the creative ways that our members are responding to the unique needs of their communities while running a business in the midst of a pandemic (Keep sending those stories to us!). Through phone calls, emails, and texts, I’m hearing stories about community pharmacy MacGyvers all over the country, doing all they can to change their practices into what their patients need.
In 2006, community pharmacists saved the Part D program when it rolled out with a big thud. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt acknowledged pharmacies’ role in saving the day. The heroic efforts of pharmacists during this national emergency even outweigh the Herculean Part D program save. As we’ve seen over the past few weeks, our communities need us now. More than ever.
Douglas Hoey, Pharmacist, MBA