The 116th U.S. Congress passed and President Trump signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act” on March 27, 2020 (the “Act”). The act responds to the coronavirus outbreak through various financial stimulus methods in amount of approximately $2.2 trillion. Per your request, this summary only includes provisions related to individuals and small businesses.
Individual Benefits:
• Stimulus Money to Individuals: Under the Act taxpayers will receive stimulus checks from the federal government as follows:
Single individuals will receive up to $1,200, plus $500 for each child under 17 years of age
Married couples will receive up to $2,400, plus $500 for each child under 17 years of age
The amounts begin to phase out for individuals with adjusted gross incomes of $75,000 and will not be given to individuals whose annual gross adjusted income is $99,000 or more. Those limits are doubled for married couples.
Qualifying income levels are based on 2019 federal tax returns, if already filed, and otherwise on the 2018 tax returns.
The Treasury Secretary has stated that the checks will be issued as soon as possible, with the expectation being that they will go out by April 6.
• Federal Student Loans: The Act provides for a reprieve from payments of federal student loans through September 30, 2020, with any interest that would have accrued during that time being waived.
• Unemployment Benefits: The Act expands unemployment insurance from three (3) months to four (4) months, and provides temporary unemployment compensation of $600 per week, which is in addition to regular state and federal unemployment insurance benefits.
The Act also extends unemployment benefits to self-employed individuals.
• Real ID Deadline: The Act extends the deadline for full implementation of the Real ID requirements from October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2021 – allowing states more time to implement and individuals more time to acquire their updated form of identification to comply with the law.
Small Business Assistance:
• Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans: The Act provides for the following with regard to SBA loans:
o $17 billion for the SBA to cover six (6) months of payments for small businesses with existing SBA loans;
o $350 billion for loans to small businesses and non-profit corporations with under 500 employees;
o Incorporates the paycheck protection program into the existing SBA loan program;
o Includes sole proprietors, independent contractors, and eligible self-employed individuals in eligibility for obtaining an SBA loan;
o Covered loans may be used for payroll costs, mortgage interests, rents, and utilities.
• SBA Loan Forgiveness: The Act states that the amount of loan forgiveness shall not exceed the principal amount of the applicable covered loan for costs incurred related to payroll, mortgage interest payments, rent payments, and utility payments. An applicant will submit an application to the lender, and the lender must make a decision no later than sixty (60) days following receipt of the application.
• Small Business Administration (SBA) Grants: The Act provides the following with regard to SBA grant programs:
o $10 billion to the SBA for emergency grants of up to $10,000 each to provide immediate relief for operating costs to small businesses;
o Provides grants to partners to provide education, training, and advising to covered small business concerns related to COVID-19. The Small Business Administration shall award eighty percent (80%) of funds to small business development centers and twenty percent (20%) to women’s business centers. No matching funds are required under these grants.
• Economic Development Administration (EDA): The act provided $1.5 billion to the EDA for economic adjustment assistance to revitalize local communities after the pandemic.
The Act provided the following federal aid amounts with regard to the agriculture industry and community:
• $14 billion for the Commodity Credit Corporation (CCC) to improve COVID-19 effects;
• $9.5 billion in additional assistance for livestock and specialty crops, such as fruit, vegetables, and nuts. Funding would also be available for dairy producers, and producers who support local food systems such as farmers markets and schools;
• $25 million to the USDA’s Rural Development Grant Program for Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program;
• $100 million to the USDA’s ReConnect program to help ensure rural Americans have access to broadband;
• $20.5 million to the Rural Business Development Grant Program to support business and industry loans.

2020-04-03T21:54:38+00:00 Mar 30th, 2020|In the News|