COVID-19 Relief Bill Update

Chamber News

The International Economic Development Council has outlined the important updates regarding the latest COVID-19 relief bill. Read below for details.

Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) – Small Business Administration
  • Program extended until March 31, 2021
  • Tax issues resolved:
    • Gross income does not include any forgivable amount of the PPP loan
    • Deductions are allowed for deductible expenses paid for by any forgiven amount from PPP loan
  • Forgiveness simplified:
    • Loans less than $150,000 require simple certification in the form of a one-page letter from the borrower to the lender stipulating basic criteria and providing simple, high-level details
  • Eligible uses formally expanded:
    • Covered operations (software, tech, human resources, etc), covered property damage (associated with ‘disturbances’ happening during 2020), covered supplier costs (supplies, inventory, etc), covered health and safety expenses (PPE, testing, etc) were further clarified as eligible uses of PPP loans and eligible for forgiveness
    • Benefits such as life insurance, disability insurance, vision and dental were also clarified to be eligible covered expenses
  • Borrower may select their covered period end date, between eight and 24 weeks after origination
  • $284.45 billion appropriated in latest round of PPP (program total authorization rises to $806.5 billion lifetime) and includes a number of carve-outs:
    • $35 billion set aside for first-time borrowers 
    • $25 billion is set aside for smaller organizations with 10 employees or less or loans less than $250,000 in low-income areas.
    • $15 billion in guarantees for CDFI’s and MDI’s to participate in the program
  • Establishes 2nd Draw criteria:
    • Max loan amount of $2 million
    • For organizations with less than 300 employees
    • Must have used or will use the full amount of first the PPP loan
    • Must show at least a 25% reduction in revenue in the first, second, or third quarter of 2020 as compared to the same period in 2019; applications submitted on or after January 1, 2021, may use a fourth quarter 2020/2019 comparison
    • 60/40 cost allocation between payroll and non-payroll costs to receive full forgiveness remains the same for 2nd Draw
Emergency Capital Investment Program – Treasury
  • A new program serving minority depository institutions (MDIs) and community development finance institutions (CDFIs) that are depository institutions
  • $9 billion in appropriations; $4 billion set aside for institutions with less than $2 billion in assets; $2 billion set aside for institutions with less than $500 million in assets
  • Long-term, low-cost capital investments for institutions who have a plan to significantly increase lending or investment activity in LMI minority communities
Unemployment Insurance
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) is extended until March 14, 2021, and the maximum number of weeks of eligibility is extended from 39 weeks to 50 weeks
  • Pandemic Emergency  Unemployment Compensation (PUEC) is extended until March 14, 2021 and the number of weeks of eligibility is extended from 13 weeks to 24 weeks
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is reinstated at $300 per week from the week after December 26, 2020 and runs through March 14, 2021
“Stimulus” Payments
  • $600 to individuals earning $75,000 or less per year and plus an additional $600 for every dependent child; decreasing amounts for those earning $75,001 or more at a rate of -$5 for every $100 over the earning limit
Education
  • $22.7 billion for Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund, including $1.7 billion for HBCU’s, tribal colleges and universities, and hispanic serving institutions
Housing
  • $25 billion for rental assistance
  • Eviction moratorium extended to January 31, 2021
Transportation
  • $2 billion for aid to airports, include airport retail 
  • $10 billion for highways for states to replace lost revenues that would support maintenance, operations, personnel, etc. 
  • $14 billion for mass transit operations
What isn’t in the bill?
  • The $900 billion legislation is a drastically different bill than what has been proposed throughout the spring and summer
  • Assistance for state and local governments was completely left out
  • The bill is silent on the Economic Development Administration as it relates to COVID-19 — though for full-year appropriations the agency did see an increase from $333 million in funding to $346 million for fiscal 2021

The Chamber will continue to monitor this legislation and report back to our members as more details emerge.

Additional information on this relief package can be found through the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.