March 2021

Business News Digest

3 min

Venable attorneys produce periodic alerts and newsletters covering a variety of topics and practice areas. For your convenience, we have assembled below a collection of the latest alerts and newsletters.

In the News

Billboard Quotes Paul Bernstein on What SPACs Look for When Acquiring a Company

On January 26, 2021, Paul Bernstein was quoted in Billboard on what special-purpose acquisition vehicles (SPACs) look for when acquiring a private company.

According to the article, private companies like SPACs for going public without the cost, regulations, and scrutiny of a traditional IPO. They allow everyday investors to own equity in high-growth startups that are normally available only to venture capital and private equity firms. That's because a SPAC is a "blank check" corporation, a shell company that raises money through an IPO and uses the proceeds to buy a private company.

Recent Alerts

SBA Clarifies Lobbying and Economic Need Rules for Nonprofit PPP Borrowers

The Small Business Administration (SBA) released updated guidance on March 3, 2021 that answers two key Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) compliance questions for nonprofits. In its new guidance the SBA clarifies that the definition of "lobbying activities" set forth in the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA) should be used by Section 501(c)(6) organizations for purposes of determining their eligibility for PPP loans. The SBA also advised that nonprofits and others that are eligible to obtain a second-draw PPP loan will be deemed by SBA to have made the required economic uncertainty certification in good faith. Eligible nonprofits interested in applying for remaining funding should submit applications no later than March 31, 2021.

Returning to the Classroom: COVID-19 Considerations for the 2021-2022 School Year

Educational institutions were forced to act swiftly and decisively to deliver their programs in new ways in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While many schools brought students and employees back to campus in either hybrid or fully open operations this school year, and others have remained virtual, the introduction of a COVID-19 vaccine has started to change the landscape for educational institutions for the remainder of this school year, and the outlook for the 2021-2022 school year. Schools hoping to return to 100% in-person learning in the fall should begin to prepare their policies and protocols to help to return the school community to campus safely.

Fintech Guide to Bank Partnerships: A Practical and Legal Roadmap

Over the past decade, financial technology has revolutionized how financial services are provided to consumers and businesses. Every day, new fintech companies (“fintechs”) are launched, offering a range of innovative financial services, including in areas such as banking, payments, lending, and personal finance. While the competitive landscape is diverse and evolving, the regulatory framework remains a challenge for any startup looking to offer financial services. In the United States, financial services are subject to federal and state regulation, and determining compliance requirements on a state-by-state basis, together with obtaining state and territorial licenses to provide such services, presents a significant hurdle in getting to market.

Maryland Passes First-of-Its-Kind Digital Advertising Tax

On February 12, 2021, the Maryland General Assembly voted to override Governor Larry Hogan's veto of House Bill 732, which carried over from the close of last year's legislative session and enacts the nation's first gross receipts tax on digital advertising targeted at Maryland consumers. The tax takes effect on March 14, 2021 and applies to all taxable years beginning after December 31, 2020. Legal challenges to the tax have already begun in the Maryland courts.