After many weeks of negotiating, a group of bipartisan Senators delivered their best proposal for immediate COVID-19 emergency relief. The proposal includes two separate bills which together total $908 billion and would provide targeted relief to American families, workers, and small businesses in addition to state, local, and tribal assistance while offering some layer of liability protection for American businesses.
The group of lawmakers authoring the two bills include Senators Mitt Romney (R-UT), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Susan Collins (R-ME), Mark Warner (D-VA), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Angus King (I-ME), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Rob Portman (R-OH), and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Representatives Gottheimer (D-NJ) and Tom Reed (R-NY). Together, the group outlined the details of each bill including the $748 billion Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020 and the $160 billion Bipartisan State and Local Support and Small Business Protection Act of 2020.
While neither side was able to negotiate everything that they wanted, their ability to come together and comprise with one another offered the slightest bit of hope for working Americans who are caught in the middle of the seemingly unprecedented polarization in Washington.
How this may affect your business:
The Acts together would provide immediate emergency relief for hard hit small businesses. Of particular importance to small business is the funding and extension of the Paycheck Protection Program. The bill would allow additional funding of up to $300 billion for the PPP, providing a second round of funding for small businesses with a 30 percent or greater decline in revenue during at least one quarter of 2020, as compared to the same quarter of the prior year. There are also plans to provide an easier road to forgiveness for all PPP loans less than $150,000. The proposed bill also reportedly includes a technical correction to allow the deduction of qualified expenses reimbursed by the PPP. While details remain unclear, the components of the proposal would be a welcome sign to many. However, until such time that the bill is adopted, taxpayers should continue to plan under current law.
Other important aspects of the Bipartisan COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020 will provide immediate benefit for those with the greatest level of need including unemployed workers who will receive a 16-week extension to their supplemental unemployment assistance of $300/wk. Additionally, the bill would provide emergency rental assistance and extend the moratorium on evictions until January 31, 2021. Recent graduates will also be entitled to student loan forbearance through April 1, 2021.
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For details on the State and Local funding bill, including the small business liability protections, please reference the linked PDF’s above.
It’s important to note that the proposals above have not yet been voted on by Congress and it is unclear how the bills will be received in both houses of Congress, or by the President, but at the same time, the slightest bit of bipartisan work is a welcome sign to many. Let’s hope for more of this productivity out of Washington in the weeks and months ahead!
The most under-utilized COVID-19 relief opportunity for businesses… ERTC Employee Retention Tax Credits Hint: you probably qualify If you’re looking for our ERTC Excel Calculator, see
Sector-Specific Relief Grant Program Guidance In late December, Governor Baker announced the appropriation of an additional $668 million to provide targeted relief to Massachusetts businesses,