The Senate approved a massive package aimed at supporting the U.S. economy and workers through the coronavirus outbreak on Wednesday evening, sending the bill to the House where it is expected to pass.
The $2 trillion stimulus package provides for one-time $1,200 direct payments to adults making up to $75,000. But the legislation also included a number of proposals aimed at supporting small businesses that have been hard hit as the pandemic has forced businesses to shutter in accordance with social-distancing orders from state and local officials across the country.
The Senate’s plan currently supports American small businesses in the following ways, according to policy experts:
• A $350 billion forgivable loan program designed to ensure that small businesses do not lay off employees
• A 50% refundable payroll tax credit on worker wages will further incentivize businesses, including ones with fewer than 500 employees, to retain workers
• Looser net operating loss-reduction rules that will allow businesses to offset more
• A delay in employer-side payroll taxes for Social Security until 2021 and 2022
• Sole proprietors and other self-employed workers could be eligible for the expanded unemployment-insurance benefits the bill provides
• A portion of the $425 billion in funds appropriated for the Federal Reserve’s credit facilities will target small businesses
The Small Business Administration, under the stimulus package, will oversee the Paycheck Protection Program, which will distribute $350 billion to small businesses that can be partially forgiven if the companies meet certain requirements. The loans will be available to companies with 500 or fewer employees.
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