The CARES Act & New Stimulus
- Posted: January 26, 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on small businesses, individuals, and families all over the world. Even though it is good that a vaccine has been developed and is in the process of being distributed, the pandemic is going to be with us until enough of the general population has been vaccinated to allow life to go back to normal. Therefore, there are many people who are still feeling the sting. Fortunately, the government finally stepped up and a second stimulus package has been signed into law. The good news is that the stimulus package goes far beyond the original $600 checks that were issued the first time.
Individual Payments Are Coming Back
One of the biggest questions that people had was whether individual payments would still be a part of the second stimulus package. The good news is that checks are coming out. The bill that was signed provides eligible families with a check for $600, or twice that amount if married, for households below a certain threshold ($75,000 for individuals and $150,000 for families). In addition, families with a dependent child will receive $600 per child.
There is a chance that the House and Senate may add an amendment to this bill, changing the check amounts (possibly to $1400); however, this remains to be seen.
Unemployment Benefits Are Changing
There are millions of people in the United States who are still out of work. Therefore, Congress finally acted to create multiple programs to help people who are struggling to find a job. In the agreement, Federal jobless benefits are going to be enhanced for the next 11 weeks, taking us through the middle of March. The new unemployment benefit is not as generous as the original one; however, it does provide people with up to $300 per week.
Of note, this legislation also extends beyond the original pandemic unemployment assistance program. This program was aimed at independent contractors and freelancers, providing them with an additional $100 per week.
More Aid for Small Businesses
There were lots of small businesses that took advantage of the original PPP that was rolled out last year. This new legislation is going to set aside another $285 billion in additional loans under this Paycheck Protection Program. This legislation essentially renews the program that was created last year under a similar bill.
On the other hand, the new version of this program is going to be stricter than last time. It appears that these changes have been designed to correct some of the most unpopular elements of the original program. Loans are going to be capped at $2 million. They are only going to be made available to businesses that have fewer than 300 employees. Furthermore, businesses must have experienced a drop of at least 25 percent in sales when compared to last year. There will also be $12 billion set aside specifically for businesses that are owned by minorities. Companies that are traded publicly are not going to be eligible this time around, preventing large corporations from applying.
Assistance for Childcare
Finally, this bill is also going to provide $10 billion for those who work in the childcare industry. These funds are specifically designed to help people who are struggling with reduced enrollment. Because a lot of parents are working from home, they feel like they do not need daycare anymore. Therefore, this industry has been hit particularly hard. The loans are designed to help people continue to pay their staff as a deal with reduced enrollment numbers.
For those who are looking for assistance, it is coming soon