By Kate Hickner
Despite unprecedented federal appropriations and stimulus activity, businesses across the country are struggling to survive the economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic. As expected, the federal government took important action on Tuesday to provide further financial relief to businesses and healthcare providers and to develop a more comprehensive strategy for COVID-19 testing during this challenging period.
More specifically, the Senate passed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (the “Act”), which includes a $484 billion relief package. The House followed suit by passing the Act in a 388-5 vote Thursday, and President Trump is expected to quickly sign it into law.
The Act follows three significant Congressional actions designed to mitigate the harm caused to Americans and businesses by the coronavirus pandemic. These include the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the $192 billion Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and the $8.3 billion Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2020.
Comprised of only twenty-five pages, the Act is relatively short and simple. Here is a broad overview of some of its most significant provisions:
The SBA Programs
- The Act will authorize the SBA Paycheck Protection Program to spend an additional $320 billion
- The Act will set aside certain funds for community financial institutions, small insured depository institutions and credit unions
- It also includes $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loan program loans and $50 billion for disaster recovery loans
- The Act will provide $75 billion of financial relief for hospitals and health care providers who are struggling to address the pandemic
- The Act will provide $25 billion for states and localities to develop, manufacture and administer tests
- The Act will also require a COVID-19 strategic testing plan to support state efforts
In addition to the provisions referenced above, President Trump has tweeted that additional legislation will be discussed to assist state and local governments, restaurants and sports and entertainment businesses, among others.
Please stay tuned for additional guidance. In the meantime, if you have questions about the Act or any other COVID-19 related matters, please feel free to contact any of our KJK attorneys.