This holiday season, the country should feel a new sense of hope as our frontline workers continue to receive the first round of COVID-19 vaccinations and an additional round of COVID Relief is now being passed, the second largest relief package in our country's history under the CARES Act.
After months of delay, Congress overwhelmingly passed a spending package late Monday that included $ 900 billion in COVID relief and $ 1.4 trillion to fund the government through September 30, 2021.
The COVID Aid Kit provides the help they need for American businesses, nonprofits, and families hard hit by the pandemic.
Learn more about what this relief means for you and / or your company with some key highlights from the package below.
RELIEF FOR INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES
1. Direct payments to individuals
Individual adults will receive $ 600 for those who earn up to $ 75,000 per year on their 2019 tax returns, $ 1,200 for couples who make up to $ 150,000, and $ 600 for each dependent Child. Individuals earning between $ 75,000 and $ 99,000 would receive a partial payment.
2. Extended help for the unemployed
Extends unemployment benefits for unemployed people who receive up to $ 300 per week through March 14th. This includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which offers UI benefits to workers who are traditionally ineligible.
3. Rent Assistance
Provides $ 25 billion rental assistance to pay overdue rents, future rents, and utility bills. Extension of the existing CDC eviction moratorium to January 31, 2021. The Treasury Department will distribute the rent support to states using a population-based formula.
CONTINUATION OF THE LIFELINE FOR SMALL BUSINESS
1. Extends and expands the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
Offers $ 284 billion in refinancing and extends program through March 31. Provides credit to both first-time and second-time small business borrowers. The bill extends the eligibility of the program to nonprofits and target marketing organizations under 501 (c) (6). It authorizes hard-hit small businesses with fewer than 300 employees and a decrease in gross income of at least 25% over a period of time for a second loan. The bill provides part of the funds specifically for low-income communities and provides money for loans from lenders in communities and minorities.
The bill includes some changes to the program to reduce the maximum loan amount from $ 10 million to $ 2 million and expand the ways the funds can be used. While the requirement that 60% of the PPP loan must be used for payroll continues, Congress added four additional categories for qualifying expenses: 1) operating costs for items such as software and computers, 2) supplier costs for operations essential Goods 3) Expenses for the protection of workers, e.g. B. Items necessary to protect workers and customers in order to comply with CDC guidelines, e.g. B. Plexiglas, expansion of outdoor restaurants, etc., 4) Costs for property damage as a result of unrest.
While the CARES Act stipulated that PPP loans issued were not considered taxable income, the new package clarifies that companies can deduct expenses paid with PPP loans issued.
2. Expands the EIDL program (Economic Injury Disaster Loan)
Allocated $ 40 billion to extend the Small Business Administration's EIDL grants through December 31, 2021 and allocate $ 20 billion to employers in low-income areas with 300 or fewer workers who experience economic loss of suffer at least 30% so they can receive a grant of $ 10,000. Eligible individuals who have previously received a partial EIDL grant to receive an additional payment for a total of $ 10,000. It is important that the EIDL emergency grants no longer have to be deducted from the calculation of the allocation of PPP loans.
Are you a small business in need of help managing these new changes and affecting your existing relief? The The US Chamber has drawn up guidelines to answer your questions Here This will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.
TARGET BUSINESS SUPPORT
1. Live program for venues
Provides $ 15 billion to the Small Business Administration for concert venues, independent movie theaters, live entertainment venues, museums and cultural institutions that are experiencing a 25% decline in revenue.
2. Transportation and travel assistance
Includes $ 45 billion in relief for transit agencies, airlines, airports, government departments of transportation, the coach industry, and Amtrak. Includes $ 15 billion to cover airline salaries and benefits through March end, $ 1 billion for airline payrolls, and $ 2 billion for airports and airport-based businesses.
3. Support for agriculture & Food supply
Offers $ 12 billion to farmers, ranchers, and rural communities.
TAX REGULATIONS PROVIDE RELAXATION AND STIMULATE ECONOMIC RECOVERY
1. Employee Loyalty Tax Credit (ERTC)
Extends ERTC through July 1 and increases refundable tax credit from a maximum of $ 5,000 to $ 14,000 by changing the calculation from 50% of wages paid to $ 10,000 to 70% of wages paid to $ 10,000 for a quarter.
2. Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC)
Increases allocations to states for LIHTC that subsidize the construction and redevelopment of housing developments that have strict income limits for eligible tenants and their housing costs.
3. Income tax credits on the employer side
Extension to March 2021 to offset paid sick and family leave related to the Coronavirus-created Families First Coronavirus Response Act.
4. Deduction for business lunches
Extension of the deduction for business meals to 100% for 2021 and 2022.
5. Tax Advisor
The bill included tax extensions for 32 of the 33 tax rules due to expire by the end of 2020, including the permanent extension of lower excise tax rates for beer, wine and spirits as well as the extension of tax incentives for investment by 5 years in low-income areas and hiring workers from disadvantaged groups.
SUPPORT SCHOOLS AND CHILD CARE ORGANIZATIONS TO CONTINUE SAFE OPERATIONS
1. K-12 schools and support for higher education
Dedicated $ 82 billion to schools and universities in support of reopening, including $ 54.3 billion for K-12 schools and $ 22.7 billion for higher education.
2. Safe opening of child care
$ 10 billion for daycare to safely reopen providers and $ 250 million for Head Start providers.
FIGHTING THE VIRUS WITH ADDITIONAL HEALTH ASSISTANCE
Vaccines, Tests & Tracking
Offers a total of $ 63 billion for vaccine distribution, testing, tracking, and other health initiatives. Of that amount, $ 22.4 billion will go to states for testing, tracking and COVID reduction programs, of which $ 2.5 billion will be given as grants for rural areas and color communities.
This story was originally published on Chamber Business News.