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U.S. Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law the CARES Act (the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) — a significant piece of legislation that seeks to provide approximately $2 trillion worth and an additional $900 Billion additional package of economic assistance to consumers and businesses. As per the 800 pages legislations, following are available for Small Business:

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans:

The program would provide cash-flow assistance through 100 percent federally guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers remain employed, as well as help affected small businesses and our economy snap-back quicker after the crisis. PPP has a host of attractive features, such as forgiveness of up to 8 weeks of payroll based on employee retention and salary levels, no SBA fees, and at least six months of deferral with maximum deferrals of up to a year.

The U.S. federal government, on December 27, 2020, signed the new bill in law, which includes the second stimulus package funding an additional $285 billion and providing a top-up to the Paycheck Protection Program.

On December 27, 2020 the U.S. federal government signed a new bill into law. Included in this bill is a second stimulus package with an additional $285 billion in funding and updating the eligible expenses for businesses with a top-up of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Loan forgiveness. Borrowers of a PPP loan would be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the sum of their payroll costs, as well as covered mortgage, rent, and utility payments, covered operations expenditures, covered property damage costs, covered supplier costs, and covered worker protection expenditures incurred during the covered period. The 60/40 cost allocation between payroll and nonpayroll costs in order to receive full forgiveness will continue to apply.

Small Business Debt Relief Program

This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under it, SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.

Modifications to 7(a) Loan Programs.

  1. Increases the loan guarantee amount on 7(a) loans to 90 percent, until October 1, 2021.
  2. Increases the Express Loan amount from $350,000 to $1 million on January 1, 2021, and then reverts permanently to a lower amount of $500,000 on October 1, 2021.
  3. The Express Loan guaranty amount for loans of $350,000 and less is temporarily increased from 50 percent to 75 percent, and for loans above $350,000 the guarantee remains at 50 percent. On October 1, 2021, the guarantee reverts to 50 percent for all Express Loans.

Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants:

These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). To access the advance, you first apply for an EIDL and then request the advance. The advance does not need to be repaid under any circumstance and may be used to keep employees on payroll, to pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions or pay business obligations, including debts, rent, and mortgage payments.

The ARP Act provides an additional $15 billion to the Economic Disaster Loan program. A third of this fund would be focused upon businesses that employ l10 or fewer people, has a revenue loss of more than 50%, and are located in the low-income tract.

Other Significant Provisions

  • Direct Payments to adults of $1,200 or less and $500 per child ($3,400 for a family of four) to be sent out in weeks. The amount of the payments phases out based on earnings of between $75,000 and $99,000.

  • Expanded Unemployment Insurance: Increases payments by $600 per week for four months on top of what state unemployment programs pay.

  • Amendments to the New Paid Leave Mandates: Lowers the amounts that employers must pay for paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act* (enacted March 19) to the amounts covered by the refundable payroll tax credit.

  • Employee Retention Credit An Employee Retention Credit was created by The Cares Act to encourage businesses and to maintain their workforce. This was refundable credit against payroll tax for employers whose:
    1. Operations were suspended either fully or partially due to COVID-19 related governmental shutdown.
    2. Gross receipts were decreased 50% than the previous year’s same quarter.
    3. The employers who closed due to COVID 19 and had more than 100 employees could receive the credit. Employers who have 100 or less than 100 employees will receive the credit regardless of whatever they were open for the business.
    4. The compensation credit equaled 50% of up to $10000- including health care benefits- it is paid to eligible employees from March 13, 2020, through December 31, 2020. The credit is extended by the CAA for eligible employers who continued paying the wages during COVID-19 closures.
    5. For eligible employers, The Cares Act- expanded Employee Retention Credit (ERC) provisions are continued under the American Rescue Plan (ARP Act) through December 31, 2021. Additionally, The startups established after February 15, 2020, with annual gross receipt of up to $1 million and do not meet the ERC eligibility tests, will now be eligible to receive an ERC. The startup ERC is capped at $50,000 per quarter, per employer. The credit is accounted for under regular ERC rules.
    6. For “severely financially distressed employers,” that is, those employers that experienced a gross receipts reduction of more than 90% as compared to the same quarter in 2019, a new provision was included in the ERC Rules. If an employer meets this definition, it may treat all wages paid to employees as qualified wages, regardless of the number of full-time employees.


Coronavirus Funding Options

Click here to learn more about available SBA loan and debt relief options.

Our nation's small businesses are facing an unprecedented economic disruption due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. On Friday, March 27, 2020, the President signed into law the CARES Act, which contains $376 billion in relief for American workers and small businesses.

Recovery Assistance under the Microloan Program.

  1. Enhances the microloan program to increase access to micro capital and technical assistance under the program for businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Temporarily increases the amount of time that borrowers can repay their loans from 6 to 8 years.
  3. Temporarily increases the outstanding aggregate amount each intermediary may borrow from $6 million to $10 million to expand their capacity to deploy more capital to small businesses.
  4. Allows intermediaries to access more technical assistance funding if they serve rural areas.
  5. Maximizes flexibility and reduces red tape for intermediaries by temporarily waiving the limitations for the technical assistance grants and the 50 percent limitation on pre-loan technical assistance.
  6. Provides $50 million in additional funding for Microloan Technical Assistance funding for lenders and $7 million to leverage about $64 million more in microloans to businesses.

Additional Funding Notice: The SBA will resume accepting Paycheck Protection Program applications from participating lenders as per the Consolidated Appropriation ACT 2021.

With the additional funding provided by the new COVID-19 relief package, SBA will resume processing EIDL Loan and Advance applications that are already in the queue on a first-come, first-served basis.

We will provide further information on the EIDL portal's availability to receive new applications (including those from agricultural enterprises) as soon as possible.

To learn more about the relief options available for your business, click here.

Guidance for Businesses and Employers

The President's Coronavirus Guidelines for America

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers the most up-to-date information on COVID-19. This interim guidance is based on what is currently known about the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For updates from CDC, please see the following:

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