After months of stalemate, a second COVID-19 relief package has been passed.
On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, the president signed a $900 billion COVID-19 relief bill to help Americans through the ongoing pandemic. It is part of a larger package to keep the federal government funded through the current fiscal year.
Our teams are digesting the details and specifics of the legislation, but here are the highlights that will affect businesses and their people:
Small business help
- Paycheck Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program will be revived under this bill, opening up $284 billion in funds to allow small businesses in-need to apply for a second loan. Applications for this second loan opportunity will be limited and funds will be reduced, but businesses will have more flexibility on how they spend the funds.
- Employee retention tax credit: The employee retention tax credit was extended through June 30, 2021. This is a refundable credit applied to certain employment taxes equal to 50 percent of the qualified wages an employer pays to employees after March 12, 2020, through June 30, 2021. Eligible employers can immediately utilize this credit by reducing the employment tax deposits they are typically required to make. Stay tuned for more specifics.
- COVID-19 pay codes: Paid sick and FMLA leave mandated under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) will expire on December 31, 2020. FFCRA leave is no longer required, but it appears that if an employer continues to offer to provide paid sick leave, they will be able to take the tax credit through March 31, 2021. More info to come!
Benefits for individuals
- Stimulus checks: Another round of stimulus checks is on the way. This will be a $600 direct payment for every adult who earns up to $75,000 and an additional $600 per child. People who made between $75,000 and $99,000 (in 2019) will receive smaller checks.
- Unemployment benefits: For those out of work, it will include an extra $300 weekly benefit on top of their regular state unemployment checks for 11 weeks. This extra benefit will be available through March 14, 2021.
- Rental assistance: To the tune of $25 billion, rental assistance will be available to help families pay their rent, extending the eviction moratorium until January 31, 2021. It also includes an additional $13 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
We know you may have more questions and Nextep is here to help you navigate this new legislation! We’ll keep you up to date with the latest info about the second stimulus relief bill. For more resources on COVID-19, check out our resources page.