The national SSA has many resources and webinars available focused on COVID-19 and our industry. Click here to access news about COVID-19 and self storage. Invitations to register for the webinars are being sent to state and national members, specifically, the primary contact's email address.
For the latest information from Idaho on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the governor’s office website and your state’s department of health here. Be sure to carefully monitor the situation and check on updates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) www.cdc.gov, regulatory agencies as well as local health officials.
Please also read the letter from Tim Dietz, SSA President and CEO, that provides resources and information related to states of emergency and pricing restrictions here.
05/04/2020 - Idaho Announces Cash Grants for Small Businesses Impacted by Coronavirus
Idaho Governor Brad Little announced last week that the state will distribute $300 million in cash grants to nearly 30,000 small businesses.
Those Coronavirus Relief Fund grants are not available to businesses who already received a Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loan if the loan was in excess of $10,000. Businesses that received loans for a smaller amount may still be eligible.
The eligibility criteria and the application process are expected to be finalized on May 5 and can be reviewed here. Applications will be accepted, starting on May 11.
If a small business does not already have one, the business must create a Taxpayer Access Point (TAP) account with the Idaho State Tax Commission. Small businesses are encouraged by the state to create a TAP account as soon as possible to assist the application process. More information on creating an account can be viewed here.
04/08/20 - Self Storage May Remain Open Under Governor’s Isolation Order
Governor Brad Little issued an Executive Order on March 25, 2020 and amended it on April 2, 2020. It instructs all citizens in Idaho to self-isolate in their place of residence except that they may leave to engage in certain essential activities and work for essential businesses. The order deems the following as essential businesses:
(1) service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation or residences, businesses and buildings;
(2) commercial real estate services;
(3) last-mile delivery;
(4) workers who support the supply chain of building materials;
(5) employees who provide services that enable repair materials and equipment for essential functions; and,
(6) employees of firms providing services that enable operations, including storing products for whole or retail sale or use.
We believe these all describe self storage operations. Therefore, the Governor’s order deems self storage as an essential business and operators may remain open while the order is in effect.
We have prepared a sample letter explaining why self storage is permitted to remain open, consistent with the Governor’s order. We encourage you to put this letter on your company letterhead and provide copies to all employees to have at your facilities and while traveling to work.
03/30/2020 - New Leave Law to Impact Storage Industry, Effective April 1
As reported last week, the new federal leave law takes effect on April 1. Employers must provide notice to their employees immediately if they have not done so already. The notice can be found here.
SSA’s updated FAQs can be found here. The updated FAQs answer questions on issues such as the posting requirements for the notice and the limited exemption available to employers with fewer than 50 employees.
The Department of Labor’s complete FAQs can be found here.
Employers are strongly encouraged to discuss the new law with their legal counsel. Please email Joe Doherty, email@example.com, with any questions.
Changes to the International Building Code Affect Self Storage - March 2019
With the support of its Code Committee, the Self Storage Association successfully pursued several key changes to the 2021 International Building Code.
- An exception has been added to IBC Section 2902.3.3 to permit an increase in the location (to greater than every other floor) and maximum distance of travel (to greater than 500 ft) for restrooms. The location and travel distance must be approved by the code official.
- The maximum allowable height of sprinklered facilities made of Type IIB materials (unprotected steel) and Type IIIB materials (noncombustible or fire-retardant-treated wood stud exterior walls and any interior construction) has been increased from 3 stories to 4 stories. The Code continues to have total floor and building square footage limits.
- Pursuant to modified IBC Section 903.2.9, storage facilities are exempt from the automatic sprinkler system requirement if: (1) the total fire area is 12,000 sq. ft. or less; (2) the combined total fire areas are 24,000 sq. ft. or less; (3) the facility is no greater than one story above grade plane; and (4) all storage spaces are accessed directly from the exterior.
These changes go into effect as they are adopted by local and state governments over the next several years. Prior to the adoption on the local and state level, storage developers can request that the code official rely on the 2021 changes as acceptable alternative methods of construction pursuant to section 104.11 of the existing International Building Code.
Please email Joe Doherty with any questions or to receive supporting documentation for these changes.
Lien Law Modernization Efforts - March 2019
IDSSA and SSA supported HB145, which would have modernized the state’s self storage lien law. Although the bill passed the House by a vote of 50-20, for political reasons, the Senate committee chair declined to hold a hearing on the bill before the close of the legislative session.