The United States Senate passed a Coronavirus response bill to provide relief to the American economy during this unprecedented pause in the life of the majority of Americans. The relief bill affects many individuals and groups including your business. Learn about what you can expect once the bill becomes law and is implemented.

How it Affects Your Small Business

Small businesses are being provided emergency grants as well as a forgivable loan program for companies that have 500 or fewer employees. Changes in expense and deduction rules should also make it easier for companies to keep their employees on the payroll, and hopefully stay open.

Forgivable loans: Roughly $350 billion dollars are allocated in the CARES Act for the Small Business Administration. Loans of up to $10 million dollars per businesses can be provided. Any amount of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or to pay for rent, mortgage or existing debt could be forgiven, as long as employees remain employed through the end of June.

Emergency grants: $10 billion is allocated for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency relief for small businesses that need to cover immediate operating costs.

Relief for existing loans: Another $17 billion is allocated to help small businesses cover six months of payments if the businesses is already using SBA loans.

Freelancers: Freelancers and gig workers typically cannot apply for unemployment. However, the CARES Act creates a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through the end of the years that can help freelancers and gig workers who lose work as a direct result of the public health crisis.

To learn more about the individual assistance programs and how to apply for them, visit the Small Business Administration funding page.

Effect on Big Business

$500 billion in loans and other moneys is set aside for big business in the CARES Act. Big businesses will have to pay the government back. They will also required to provide public disclosure and meet other restrictions.

All Big Business: A fully refundable tax credit is established for businesses of all size that are closed or ‘distressed’. The tax credit is meant to help businesses keep workers on payroll with the goal of getting employees hired back or placed on paid furlough so the employees have jobs to return to. The tax credit coverst up to 50 percent of payroll on the first $10,000 of compensation per employee, including health benefits. Employers that have over 100 full-time employees can use the credit for wages paid to employees when employees are not providing services because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Eligible employers with 100 or fewer full-time employees can use the deduction even if the business is not closed.

Airlines: The airlines received more specific allocation with $58 billion designated for the industry. A portion of that money is to be set aside to help cover employees wages, salaries and benefits. The amount is broken up with $25 billion for passenger air carriers, up to $4 billion for cargo air carriers, and up to $3 billion for airline contractors.

Stock buyback ban: Any company receiving a loan as a result of the CARES Act is banned fro making any stock buybacks for the term of the loan plus one year.

Reporting: All loans, including the terms and any investments or other assistance from the government must be publicly disclosed.

Oversight: The Act creates a inspector general position to oversee the pandemic recovery. This person along with a committee, will provide oversight of all loans and other uses of taxpayer dollars. 

No Benefits for Trump & Government Leaders: President Trump, Vice President Pence as well as members of the Cabinet and members of Congress are not allowed to benefit from the money set aside for corporations. Also no spouse, son-in-law or daughter-in-law is permitted to benefit either.

Hospitals and Public Health

With the influx of new patients the CARES Act helps supplement both community and private health systems.

: A telehealth program is reauthorized to extend the reach of virtual doctors appointments

Hospitals: $100 billion is set aside for hospitals responding to the coronavirus.

Community Health Centers: $1.32 billion in immediate additional funding is allocated for community centers. Community centers provide health care services for roughly 28 million people.

Veterans’ health care: $20 billion is set apart for Veterans’ health care.

Drug access & innovation: $11 billion is to be used for diagnostics, treatments and vaccines. Also included is $80 million for the Food and Drug Administration to prioritize and expedite approval of new drugs.

Medicine and supplies: $16 billion is to be given to the Strategic National Stockpile to increase the availability of equipment to fight the pandemic. Hiring for vital health jobs is also boosted during the crisis which helps speed the development of a vaccine, as well as treatments and faster diagnostic.