Second Federal Stimulus Package Extends PPP, Unemployment and Other Relief Programs
A $908 billion stimulus package has been approved by Congress this week, after months of negotiations. This relief package includes extensions of the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for businesses, extensions of unemployment insurance, economic impact payments for eligible individuals, assistance for transit, live venues, and vaccine development, among other things.
So, what does this stimulus package offer? The Washington Post has published a complete story on it, but here is a summary of the relief measures:
Direct Economic Relief for Workers and Families
$286 billion is allocated to put cash in the pockets of working and out-of-work individuals.
The bill provides an additional $300 per week for all workers receiving unemployment benefits, through March 14, 2021. This bill also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, with expanded coverage to the self-employed, gig workers, and others in non-traditional employment, as well as the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides additional weeks of federally funded unemployment benefits to individuals who exhaust their regular state benefits.
Additionally, the bill increases the maximum number of weeks an individual may claim benefits through regular state unemployment plus the PEUC program, or through the PUA program, to 50 weeks. The bill also provides an extra benefit of $100 per week for certain workers who have both wage and self-employment income, but whose base Unemployment Insurance benefit calculation doesn’t take their self-employment into account.
The bill includes a second round of Economic Impact Payments of $600 for individuals making up to $75,000 per year, and $1,200 for couples making up to $150,000 per year, as well as a $600 payment for each child dependent. This means an eligible family of four will receive $2,400 in direct payments.
$325 billion has been allocated to help small businesses, including minority-owned businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Over $284 billion is included for first and second forgivable Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP) loans, dedicated set-asides for very small businesses, and lending through community-based lenders like Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions, and expanded PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) nonprofits. $20 billion is included for the new EIDL Grants for businesses in low-income communities, $3.5 billion for continued SBA debt relief payments, and $2 billion for enhancements to SBA lending. This deal also includes $15 billion in dedicated funding for live venues, independent movie theaters, and cultural institutions.
$45 billion has been secured to provide relief to transit agencies, airlines and airline contractors, airports, state Departments of Transportation, the motorcoach industry, and Amtrak. Specifically: $15 billion for airline payroll support, $1 billion for airline contractor payrolls, $14 billion for transit, $10 billion for state highways, $2 billion for airports and airport concessionaires, $2 billion for the private motorcoach, school bus, and ferry industries, and $1 billion for Amtrak.
$82 billion in critical funding for states, K-12 schools, and institutions of higher education has been secured under this bill. $818.8 million will go to the outlying areas and the Bureau of Indian Education, $4.05 billion to the Governors Emergency Education Relief Fund, $54.3 billion to the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund, and $22.7 billion to the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund.
This bill includes the first ever federal rental assistance program to be distributed by state and local governments. $25 billion will be targeted to families impacted by COVID-19 that are struggling to pay rent, and may have past due rent compounding. These relief funds may also be used to pay utility and energy bills in order to prevent shutoffs. $800 million is reserved for Native American housing entities. This program also includes an extension of the existing CDC eviction moratorium through January 31, 2021.
$10 billion has been allocated in emergency funds for the child care sector through the Child Care & Development Block Grant program. These funds maintain the flexibility given to states through the CARES ACt and can be used to provide child care assistance to families, and to help child care providers cover their increased operating costs during the pandemic. The bill also includes $250 million for Head Start providers to ensure they are able to continue to safely serve low-income children and families throughout the pandemic.
$12 billion will go to Community Development Financial Institutions and Minority Depository Institutions to help low-income and minority communities withstand the economic impact of the pandemic.
$69 billion is set aside for vaccines, testing and tracing, community health, and health care provider support.
$13 billion is allocated to increase SNAP benefits by 15%, provide additional funds for food banks and senior nutrition programs, and to ensure college students have access to SNAP. It also includes critical improvements to the P-EBT program. Another $13 billion is allocated for direct payments, purchases and loans to farmers and ranchers who have suffered losses due to the pandemic.
$7 billion is earmarked for broadband programs, such as providing broadband access to low-income families, funding telehealth programs, funding for small telecommunication providers to replace current equipment with secure equipment, and a grant program to fund broadband in rural areas.
The development and disbursement of this package is still pending, but is expected to roll out in similarly to the first round, once passed.
For more information about COVID-19 business resources, click HERE.