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Source: United States House of Representatives – CONGRESSMAN JIM HIMES (4th District of Connecticut)

This page will be updated as the federal government releases guidance concerning the implementation of this bill.

Friends,

After months of negotiations and compromise, Congress has passed a new round of Coronavirus relief.  While this bill will provide much-needed aid to the American people, it is my sincere hope that we are able to provide more assistance in the new year with a new president.

At the beginning of the pandemic, my team and I worked to answer many of your frequently asked questions. I hope that this updated guide will help you and your neighbors understand the contents of Congress’s latest relief package. 

Please sign-up for my newsletter, the CDC’s Subscription Service, and Governor Lamont’s news updates to receive the latest information about COVID-19 and governmental action.

Sincerely, 

Jim

Omnibus and Coronavirus Relief Package

What assistance is available to individuals and families?

Direct Payments

  • Click here for answers regarding the Second Round of Economic Impact Payments

  • Provides for immediate, direct cash payments to lower-and middle-income Americans of $600 for each adult and $600 for each dependent under age 17, beginning to phase out at an annual income of $75,000 for an individual and $150,000 for a household.

  • Eligibility requirements mirror those under the CARES Act (e.g., you must have a work-eligible social security number)

  • Corrects CARES Act language to authorize $600 for each citizen in a “mixed-status” family. Mixed-status families, where a U.S. citizen files his or her taxes jointly with a non-citizen, were ineligible for Economic Impact Payments under the CARES Act. These families can also now claim the original CARES Act Economic Impact Payment on their 2020 return in 2021.

Unemployment

  • Boosts Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) by $300 for 11 weeks.

  • Extends Pandemic Unemployment Assistance extended for 11 weeks. 

    • PUA makes individuals who do not qualify for regular unemployment compensation, like self-employed workers, independent contractors, and gig workers, eligible for assistance.

  • Extends Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for 11 weeks. 

  • Provides an extra $100 (on top of $300) to “mixed earners” who earned income from both W-2 and non-W-2 jobs

Housing Assistance 

  • Have a household income of no more than 80% of the area median income (AMI) as defined by the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • have one or more members who can demonstrate a risk of homelessness or housing instability; AND 

  • have one or more members who qualify for unemployment benefits or experienced financial hardship due, directly or indirectly, to the pandemic 

 Food Assistance

  • Increases SNAP’s monthly benefits for 6-months

  • Suspends work requirements for SNAP-eligible college students while work-study programs may not be operating during COVID emergency

  • Provides supplemental $400 million for The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), which assists food banks

  • Provides an additional $13 million for Commodity Supplemental Food Program

  • Increases funding for “Meals on Wheels” by $175 million 

What relief is available to small businesses and non-profits?

Paycheck Protection Program 

Reopens the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) with another $284.5 billion in funding.

Second Draw of PPP

The bill allows the hardest hit small businesses to obtain a second PPP loan. To qualify for another forgivable loan, an eligible business must have 300 or fewer employees and demonstrate at least a 25 percent reduction in gross revenues between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. Second draw loans are limited to $2 million.

Expanded PPP Eligibility

Local newspapers, television broadcasters, radio stations, and certain 501(6)c non-profits and Destination Marketing Organizations with 300 or fewer employees can receive funding.

Supports Payroll Expenditures

Borrowers receive full loan forgiveness if they spend at least 60 percent of their PPP second draw loan on payroll costs over any time period between 8 weeks and 24 weeks.

PPP Expansion for Restaurants

Eligible employers can take out loans equal to 3.5 times payroll, instead of the normal 2.5 times

Forgiveness Changes

Forgivable expenses now include supplier costs on existing contracts and purchase orders, the costs for perishable goods at any time, costs relating to worker safety, and technology operations expenditures such as software expenses. The bill also streamlines the loan forgiveness process for loans of $150K or less

Deductibility for Expenses Paid with PPP Loan Proceeds

The bill clarifies that expenses paid with forgiven PPP loans are indeed tax-deductible. In addition, the bill clarifies again that forgiven loans do not count as income.

What support is available for businesses beyond PPP?

Support for Live Venues, Theaters, Museums, and Zoos

The package creates a $15 billion Independent Live Venue Operators Fund to provide grants to venues that have experienced significant revenue losses. It would direct the SBA to make grants to eligible venues equal to the lesser of either 45 percent of their operating costs from calendar year 2019 or $10 million. Recipients could use these grants for rent, utilities, mortgage obligations, PPE procurement, payments to contractors, regular maintenance, administrative costs, taxes, operating leases, insurance, and capital expenditures related to meeting state, local, or federal social distancing guidelines incurred during the pandemic. Venue operators who receive a grant through the Fund cannot receive additional PPP monies.

Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Program

The bill appropriates $20 billion for the EIDL Advance program only for businesses in low-income areas, which are areas with poverty rates greater than 20% and median family incomes are 80% of the average for the state. These grants provide an emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private non-profits harmed by COVID-19. The advance does not need to be repaid, and may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

MIL OSI USA News