• Amber Thomas

COVID-19 Relief on Its Way

After months of tense negotiations, Congress approved a bipartisan coronavirus stimulus package before it adjourned for the year, and President Donald Trump pledged to sign it. The measure combines $900 billion in emergency relief with a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that keeps the government running through Sept. 30, 2021.

A third of the package targets small business relief, including $284.5 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Businesses that missed out on the first round of loans are eligible. Especially hard-hit firms are permitted to obtain a second loan if they can show significant losses in 2020 revenue compared to 2019. Companies that received PPP loans and had them forgiven will also be allowed to deduct the costs covered by those loans on their federal tax returns. There is also additional funding for targeted grants through the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.

The package extends the $300 weekly federal enhancement to state-provided unemployment benefits for 11 weeks through March 14, 2021. It also includes another round of stimulus to individuals – $600 in direct payments to adults and their dependents – that Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said would begin next week. The final package includes funding for rental assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, vaccine distribution, child care providers, schools, public transit, aid for the postal service, and an eviction moratorium through Jan. 31.

Both parties made significant compromises to ensure the bill’s passage. The massive package does not include the Republican priority of liability protection from COVID-19-related lawsuits for businesses, nor does it include the Democrat priority of billions in aid to states and localities.

AMT supported the small business provisions in the relief measure throughout the negotiation. Please join our organization in thanking your members of Congress that supported the final package.

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