On Monday, December 21, 2020, U.S. Congress passed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill that includes stimulus checks, PPP loans and jobless aid for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The bill has since been sent to the President for final sign-off. As of December 27th, it still has not been signed causing millions of Americans to lose unemployment benefits. Read on for a summary of the bill and the upcoming aid that will be provided. Continue checking our guide for future updates. We will be updating this guide as new information becomes available.
Individuals and families are eligible for a second round of direct economic-impact payments.
The bill authorizes a payment of $600 for each adult and $600 for each dependent. The payments are less than the $1,200 and $500, respectively, that were offered in the first round. Individuals living in households with ineligible members will be eligible for payments, unlike the first round. Payments to those individuals will be based on the number of eligible people in the households, as opposed to being shut out as they were in the first round.
The amount you receive will be determined by your adjusted gross income (AGI) in 2019. Individuals with an AGI over $75,000 and married couples over $150,000 will be phased out.
To read more about direct stimulus payments, check out our Stimulus FAQs.
The bill allows for a $300-a-week federal unemployment subsidy to certain workers including gig workers and other independent contractors. The benefit will run through March 14.
Workers can claim jobless benefits up to 50 weeks through both state and federal programs, up from 26 weeks.
For workers who have both wage and self-employment income, there’s an additional $100-a-week subsidy if their basic unemployment benefits don’t take into account self-employment income.
Rental Assistance and Moratorium
In addition to extending the federal eviction prohibition to January 31, 2021, the legislation will provide $25 billion of assistance to tenants behind on their rent. Tenants will have to prove that they make less than 80% of median income in their area and at least one person in their household is unemployed.
PPP and EIDL Loans
The bill sets aside a total of $325 billion to help small businesses with Payment Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury and Disaster (EIDL) Loans. Of the $325 billion, $284 billion is allotted for first and second forgivable PPP loans and another $20 billion for EIDL Loans.
Businesses are now allowed to take tax deductions for the expenses paid for using forgiven loans. The tax deduction was previously a hotly debated topic that would have costed business owners over $200 billion if not enacted.
Who’s eligible for a PPP Loan?
Businesses, independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed workers and some nonprofit organizations are eligible. Businesses that received a PPP loan in the first round may apply for a second loan if they have 300 or fewer employees and can demonstrate they experienced a 25% reduction in gross receipts during a quarter in 2020 compared with the same quarter in 2019. Businesses applying for the first time will be subject to the program’s original eligibility rules.
How much can you borrow?
Businesses can borrow up to $2 million this round, down from $10 million in the first round. Second-time PPP borrowers can borrow an amount equal to 2½ times their average monthly payroll costs. Borrowers in food services industries, as designated by the Small Business Administration, can borrow up to 3½ times their average monthly payroll.
Many of the requirements for forgiveness will stay the same as round one. At least 60% of the borrowed funds must be spent on payroll to receive full forgiveness. The other 40% may be used on eligible costs such as business rent, mortgage expenses and utility payments. Personal protective equipment and other gear to protect workers are now included as well.
If your business is in need of PPP funding or you have questions about the second round of the stimulus, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or schedule a call here.