Many American small businesses are facing diverse and complex challenges in addition to the human tragedy and public health dimension of the COVID-19 outbreak. Last week Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“Act”). Ghassemian Law Group is prepared to assist our clients in meeting the legal and business challenges created by this pandemic. We have prepared some highlights of the Act that may be of direct interest.
Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Economic Injury Grants :
Emergency advances of up to $10,000 are available for small businesses harmed by COVID-19 within three days of applying for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan (“EIDL”) through the Small Business Administration. Businesses do not need to repay the advance under any circumstance and may use the emergency funds to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay for business expenses including rent and mortgage payments.
Paycheck Protection Program
The Paycheck Protection Program incentivizes struggling small businesses to continue paying employees and providing benefits by providing partially forgivable loans to cover costs such as salaries, insurance and rent. Small businesses can receive forgiveness for payroll costs and mortgage payments and interest for eight weeks from loan origination, with some limitations. Forgiveness is also available for businesses that rehire laid off workers. Small businesses are able to apply if they were harmed by COVID-19 between February 15, 2020 and June 30, 2020. The program would assist in rehiring laid off workers and be retroactive to February 15, 2020. Loans are available through June 30, 2020.
Expansion Of Unemployment Benefits:
The Act expands unemployment benefits in several ways, including by creating a temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Affected workers who traditionally are not eligible for unemployment benefits such as independent contractors, the self-employed, and those with limited work history among others, may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits through Dec. 31. Eligible workers may obtain an additional $600 per week in addition to their regular unemployment benefit for up to four months. Workers may also receive 13 more weeks of payments if their state benefits end before they are able to return to work.
Cash Payments For Individuals:
Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can receive a one-time cash payment of $1,200 ($2,400 for couples) and $500 for each child 16 and younger. The maximum a family can receive is $7,500. For married couples, the $2,400 benefit phases out after $150,000 in combined annual income, with no payments for couples making more than $198,000.
The Ghassemian Law Group will continue to monitor and keep you updated on relevant developments to support your small business during this challenging time.