Updates on the New COVID-19 Relief Package
We wanted to share updates on the new COVID-19 relief package that went into effect on Dec. 27, 2020. Overall, the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides millions of Americans direct stimulus payments and renews the SBA Paycheck Protection Program. Here are highlights from the bill as of 1/8/2021:
- Individual stimulus payments
- Individual unemployment benefits
- Other general assistance
- PPP for businesses
- Other information for businesses
- Contact us
The new bill provides $600 for eligible individuals, paid directly via direct deposit or check, similar to the previous stimulus payments. Initial direct deposit payments started on January 4, 2021 and will continue for several weeks. Paper checks have also started to be mailed out. Please note that there may be delays for some consumers in receiving their payments, and some who received an automatic deposit into their account for the first stimulus payment may be mailed a check this time around. Read more details here:
Eligibility for the $600 payment includes individuals who earn up to $75,000/year and couples filing jointly earning up to $150,000/year, based on 2019 tax returns. Payments will phase out until they stop for individuals making $87,000 and couples making $174,000. Eligible families will also receive an additional $600 per child under the age of 17. Individuals who filed their 2019 tax returns will receive the money automatically, as will Social Security recipients and anyone who uploaded their bank account information using the IRS’s online portal to receive their initial stimulus payment. Find more information at IRS EIP Information Center or check the status of your payment at IRS.gov/GetMyPayment.
Unemployment benefits were also part of the new bill, providing a $300 weekly unemployment supplement through mid-March, 2021. The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs will also be extended through mid-March. These programs expanded jobless benefits eligibility and allowed people to continue to receive payments after their state assistance ran out. Both programs will continue through April 5, 2021 for current claimants who haven’t reached the maximum of 50 weeks.
The bill provides a federally funded $100 per week additional benefit for those who have at least $5,000 in annual self-employment income but are disqualified from receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance because they are eligible for regular state unemployment benefits.
- COVID-19 Vaccinations: The bill designates $69 billion that will be used for vaccine purchase and distribution, and testing, tracing and COVID mitigation programs, mental health funding, research, and support to health care providers.
- Eviction Moratorium: The federal eviction moratorium will be extended through January 31, 2021 under the bill, which also puts $25 billion into a rental assistance fund that state and local governments can allocate to people to use toward past due and future rent or utilities payments.
- Version two of the PPP designates $284 billion in loans for businesses hit hard by the pandemic. This second round of loans is limited to businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have seen drops of at least 25% of revenue during the first, second or third quarter of 2020 compared to 2019. Like the first round, the loan amount is equal to 2.5 times average monthly payroll, with a maximum of $2 million. Eligible expenditures are expanded and the forgiveness process for loans (both first and second round of PPP) under $150,000 is simplified.
- The bill includes a business grant program, providing $12 billion in grants for companies in low-income areas and money set aside for loans from community-based and minority-owned lenders. It also repeals a CARES Act provision that required PPP borrowers to deduct the amount of their EIDL advance from their PPP forgiveness amount.
- We are currently waiting for the Small Business Administration (SBA) to release details on the second round of PPP applications, including what documentation will be needed. Visit our PPP page for updates and more information on the loan process.
- Agriculture: The new bill includes $13 billion specific to agriculture, including money under the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program for growers and livestock, dairy and poultry producers.
- Arts & Entertainment: The bill provides $15 billion in aid to live event venues, movie theaters, and cultural museums.
- Education Assistance: On the school side, $82 billion has been allocated toward education, including more than $54 billion for public K-12 schools and nearly $23 billion for higher education, to help them safely stay open.
- Payroll Tax Repayment: Employers originally were able to defer their workers’ payroll taxes until April 30, 2021; however, they now have until the end of 2021 to increase their employees’ withholding to pay back the taxes owed.
- Transportation Assistance: The bill designates $45 billion into transportation that includes funding for airline payroll assistance, transit systems and state highways.
Feel free to reach out to us with further questions or more information. Currently our lobbies are open by appointment only, plus our team is always available to assist via phone or email.