On Saturday, March 6th, 2021, the Senate passed the new Covid relief bill. Among many other provisions, this stimulus package will extend unemployment benefits to August 29th instead of March 14th and will increase aid by $400 a week.
The House already approved a version of the legislation, but will most likely have to vote again after the Senate has approved changes.
What Does the House Plan Include?
- Payments of $1,400 to most individuals, as well as the same amount for each dependent.
- A $400 per week unemployment check through to August 29th, 2021
- An expansion of the child tax credit to give families up to $3,600 per child over a year
- $25 billion for assistance in covering rent payments
- $170 billion for K-12 schools and higher education institutions to cover reopening costs
- A $15 per hour federal minimum wage
How Soon will Stimulus Checks Roll Out?
President Biden hopes for them to roll out quickly, on the package called the American Rescue Plan. In April of 2020, payments were delivered via direct deposit within two weeks of the stimulus package being signed into law, which gives a little more insight into how quickly they will become available.
How Much Will I Receive?
House committees have approved giving $1,400 to individuals with a yearly salary of up to $75,000, and $2,800 for married couples making up to $150,000. Roughly 85% of Americans will be eligible for the full amount.
Parents would also receive $1,400 per dependent, and that includes adult dependents. The previous two rounds were limited to children under 17, so now parents with college students can expect more money.
American Rescue Plan Act on Small Businesses
The American Rescue Plan Act contains a number of provisions for small businesses. It will allocate an additional $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and relies on targeted grants for small businesses that were hit the hardest due to the Coronavirus. The bill will provide:
- $15 billion for targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance payments.
- $25 billion for restaurants, bars, and other food-related businesses
- $1.25 billion for shuttered venue operators.
- $175 million to create a “community navigator” pilot program to increase awareness of and participation in COVID-19 relief programs for business owners currently lacking access, and prioritizes businesses that are owned by economically disadvantaged individuals, women, and veterans.
Restaurants and bars have been an industry that has been hit the hardest over the past year. The $25 billion Restaurant Revitalization Fund was developed to help these businesses that are currently struggling. Other entities that are eligible for the fund include food trucks, caterers, taverns, lounges, etc.
Paycheck Protection Program Information
The PPP applies to Businesses with Under 500 Employees and:
- Provides $349 billion in funding for loans, which can be forgiven
- Covers the period February 15, 2020, through June 30, 2020
- These loans will cover:
- Payroll costs
- Continuation of health care benefits
- Employee compensation (excluding that portion of compensation in excess of $100K for any individual employee)
- Mortgage interest obligations
- Interest on debt incurred before the covered period.
The Covid Relief bill is predicted to help millions of people, and also greatly help the economy, although it will take some time before the economy returns to normal. Congress will be moving pretty quickly, although there will need to be some modifications as the legislation is finalized.