(Updated: Friday, March 27, 2020, 4:50 CST) The massive stimulus package was signed by the President this afternoon. The Senate passed the legislation on Wednesday and the House, today. It is an unprecedented $2 trillion aid package designed to help the economy rebound from the coronavirus pandemic. As we always remind readers, do not make decisions based on the information you find on this or any other source. Individual small business owners often have unique situations and should seek advice from their trusted business and legal advisors before making any decision.)
NYTimes.com, March 27, 2020 | The $2 trillion relief bill will send money directly to Americans, greatly expand unemployment coverage and make a number of other changes. Congress has agreed on a $2 trillion economic relief plan to offer assistance to tens of millions of American households affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Its components include stimulus payments to individuals, expanded unemployment coverage, student loan changes, different retirement account rules and more.
NYTimes.com F.A.Q. on Stimulus Checks, Unemployment, and the Coronavirus Bill
The NYTimes.com has an excellent (and understandable) FAQ on the entire plan. Here are answers about small business-related information found in the FAQ. I recommend reviewing the entire section. This is a partial list regarding small business-related information. It was compiled by Tara Siegel Bernard and Ron Lieber.
Who is covered by the expanded program?
The new bill will wrap in far more workers than are usually eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed people and part-time workers. The bottom-line: Those who are unemployed, are partly unemployed or cannot work for a wide variety of coronavirus-related reasons will be more likely to receive benefits.
How much does someone receive?
It depends on the state they live in. (See NYTimes.com)
Are gig workers, freelancers and independent contractors covered in the bill?
Self-employed workers will also be eligible for the additional $600 weekly benefit provided by the federal government.
What if I’m a part-time worker who lost my job because of a coronavirus reason, but my state doesn’t cover part-time workers? Will I still be eligible?
Yes. (See NYTimes.com)
My employer shut down my workplace because of coronavirus. Will I be eligible?
Yes. If you are unemployed, partly unemployed or unable to work because your employer closed down, you will be covered under the bill.
Whom will the bill leave out?
Workers who are able to work from home, and those receiving paid sick leave or paid family leave will not be covered. New entrants to the workforce who cannot find jobs will also be ineligible.
I’m already receiving unemployment benefits. Will I receive any help?
Yes. (See NYTimes.com)
My unemployment recently ran out — could I sign up again?
Will this income disqualify me from any other programs?
How long will I need to wait for benefits?
it’s unclear how long it will take to process claims — especially with state offices so strained by a flood of claims.
Did the legislation make it illegal for any internet provider to cut off service to an individual or small business that can’t pay its bills?
Did the legislation make it illegal for utility providers to cut off service?
From an earlier post, here are some provisions of the sweeping economic incentive
Big Businesses | About $500 billion can be used to back loans and assistance to companies, including $50 billion for loans to U.S. airlines, as well as state and local governments.
Small Businesses | More than $350 billion to compensate for the loss of millions of lost revenue due to requirements for city, state and federal government that shut down the U.S. economy,
Hospitals | A $150 billion boost for hospitals and other health-care providers for equipment and supplies.
Individuals | Direct payments to lower- and middle-income Americans of $1,200 for each adult, as well as $500 for each child. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said checks would be cut April 6.
The unemployed | Unemployment insurance extension to four months, bolstered by $600 weekly. Eligibility would be expanded to cover more workers.
Restrictions on business aid | Any company receiving a government loan would be subject to a ban on stock buybacks through the term of the loan plus one additional year. They also would have to limit executive bonuses and take steps to protect workers.
Transparency | The Treasury Department must disclose the terms of loans or aid to companies. No businesses owned by President Trump or members of his family can receive loans from the Treasury Dept. Nor can = members of Congress, heads of executive departments and Vice President Mike Pence.