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COVID-19 Relief For Small Businesses Is Coming – Here’s What You Should Know

If there’s anything that the COVID-19 pandemic hit the hardest, it’s small businesses. Luckily, some more financial relief for small businesses will start making its way to them soon.

At the end of 2020, Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, which President Trump later signed into law. Part of this act contains the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (CRRSAA); this acts provides even more economic assistance to individuals and businesses harmed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last March, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) was signed into law to initially grant relief for small businesses to help them recover and survive during the pandemic; the main components of the CARES act included a loan program from the Small Business Administration (SBA), and changes to both unemployment benefits and business tax filing requirements.

The bill includes several provisions to help individuals and small businesses for the foreseeable future, with some of them are already in effect. Here’s a list of what to expect:

Changes to Business Taxes

Under the new act, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans become non-taxable; this also ensures that the majority of business expenses paid with PPP loans also become non-taxable. The CRRSAA also makes it so that businesses can receive both PPP loans and Employee Retention tax, which was unavailable under the original CARES act.

Reopening and Revisions to the PPP

The PPP reopened to allow more businesses to apply for the first time and businesses also have the chance to apply for a “second-draw” loan; PPP loan applications will remain open until March 31, 2021, or until funds run out. There is also an expansion to what PPP loans can be used for and makes forgiveness easier to obtain for businesses that took out loans worth less than $150,000.

Reopening of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Grant Program

The CRRSAA will allocate more money into the EDIL grant program; this also allows businesses to receive up to $10,000 in EIDL grants if needed.

New Grant Program for Live Venues

For venues such as independent movie theaters and concert halls, the bill allocates $15 billon in grants, with said grants maxing out at $10 million. These venues must use the grants on payments such as rent, utilities, payroll and personal protective equipment.

Enhanced Federal Unemployment Benefits

For those collecting federal unemployment benefits, the CRRSAA extends the amount of time for people to collect them. It also restarted a supplemental federal benefit that those will receive on top of their weekly benefits; beginning last month, the extra benefit adds $300 a week to current benefits and runs until March 14, 2021.

Payments for Individuals

Also beginning last month, the bill allows for those making under $75,000 a year to receive a direct payment of $600 per individual, plus $600 per child; couples who file joint returns and make less than $150,000 will receive $1,200.

U.S. Chamber Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer, Neil Bradley, and CO— Content Director, Jeanette Mulvey, will discuss everything that individuals and small businesses need to know in an update tomorrow, Tuesday, January 19 at 2:00 pm EST.

To register and watch the update, click here.

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