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Government Resources for Americans


On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President of the United States signed into law H.R.748, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Included in the bill is the Paycheck Protection Program, which offers limited forgivable loans for small businesses to help with payroll, interest on debt, rent, or utilities – the idea of which is to enable employers to retain staff during shutdowns associated with the Coronavirus crisis. The amount forgiven is to be tied, at least in part, to maintaining consistent staffing levels during a given period of time.

Stimulus Packages

Stimulus Package #1: H.R. 6074, Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020. This $8.3 billion package will fully fund a robust response to coronavirus, including vaccine development, support for state and local governments, and assistance for affected small businesses.

Stimulus Package #2: H.R. 6201, Families First Coronavirus Response Act. The legislation guarantees free coronavirus testing, establishes paid leave, enhances Unemployment Insurance, expands food security initiatives, and increases federal Medicaid funding.

Stimulus Package #3: H.R. 748, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed by the President of the Untied States on Friday, March 27, 2020. This $330 billion package provides, among other things, $562 million for the Small Business Administration to provide loans to businesses that need financial support to keep their doors open and pay their employees.

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act
House Ways and Means Bill Summary: Small Businesses

NEW 6/5/20 President Trump Signs into Law PPP Bill, H.R. 7010, which loosens many of the guardrails and restrictions on the program. A quick summary is below:

Business loans:

The CARES Act provides support for businesses and industries affected by COVID-19. Within 15 days, of being signed into law on 3/27/20, the Small Business Administration will be finalizing regulations and processes so that small businesses can begin applying for financial assistance right away. The Small Business Owner’s Guide to the CARES Act, linked above, produced by the U.S. House Small Business Committee provides a useful roadmap for hearing aid business owners to determine which programs may be helpful and how to apply.

The Department of Treasury released on 3/31/20 guidance regarding the Paycheck Protection Program, which authorizes up to $349 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses.

Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards. SBA will begin accepting applications on April 3 from small businesses and sole proprietorships, and April 10 from independent contractors and self-employed individuals.

For a top-line overview of the program CLICK HERE
If you’re a borrower, more information can be found HERE
The application for borrowers can be found HERE

**An alternative (but not in addition) to the Paycheck Protection Program is the Employee Retention Credit, designed to encourage businesses to keep employees on their payroll. The refundable tax credit is 50 percent of up to $10,000 in wages paid by an eligible employer whose business has been financially impacted by COVID-19. For more information, review the press release issued by the Department of Treasury.

Your state/provincial government may offer small business loans or assistance applying for loans through the US Small Business Administration. Contact your state/provincial department of economic development/small business to determine whether your business may qualify for a small business loan. Some small business loans may be restricted to industries forced to close during the Coronavirus crisis.

Small business owners may be eligible to apply for a business loan through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program. Learn more: US Small Business Administration: Coronavirus (COVID-19): Small Business Guidance & Loan Resources or to apply, click here. The SBA is also advertising the availability of SBA Express Bridge Loans for certain businesses to bridge the gap while waiting for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan application to get processed.

Unemployment benefits for displaced workers:

U.S. Department of Labor: Information about filing for unemployment benefits
Some states are encouraging employers to consider their options before laying off employees. Contact your state department of labor/unemployment office to determine whether there are other options that might work for your business and staff. We also encourage business owners to consider incentives included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by Congress, and signed into law on March 27, 2020, which may provide necessary relief to enable you to retain staff during temporary closures or as a result of reduced hours/business offerings.
U.S. Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Questions and Answers
U.S. Department of Labor: Families First Coronavirus Response Act: Employer Paid Leave Requirements

Dashboard of State and Local COVID-19 Response Information

Using the State and Local COVID-19 Response Information provided by Multistate, you can access state-by-state information including:

Links to state health departments
State of Emergency declarations and executive orders
State legislative session closures/changes
Travel restrictions
Mass gathering restriction
Mandatory closure information
Small business assistance information

More Info
COVID-19 Resource Home Page
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