In a much needed holiday gift for businesses and individuals who continue to be affected by COVID-19, Congress finally approved a $900 billion aid package follow-up to the CARES Act (the Winter Covid-19 Relief Bill), the several trillion dollar stimulus that was enacted early in the pandemic. The bill, part of the larger annual spending bill, will hopefully be signed into law by President Trump in the coming days although the President has indicated his disappointment about the small amount of direct relief to individuals included in the bill. The bill was passed by both houses of Congress by a veto proof majority and is expected to become law whether or not the President chooses to exercise his veto power.
White and Williams has and will continue to provide more detailed updates on important components of the legislation, some of which address matters beyond COVID-19-related relief and support, including a new Paycheck Protection Program and tax deductibility of expenses paid for with PPP funds, extension and expansion of the employee retention tax credit, direct payments to individuals, additional unemployment assistance, restrictions on surprise medical billing, rental assistance and extension of the eviction moratorium, education funding, vaccine distribution, testing and tracing, and other healthcare funding. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of several pieces of the legislation:
Paycheck Protection Program
The Winter COVID-19 Relief Bill provides for $284 billion of funding for a new round of the popular Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was established by the CARES Act and allowed borrowers to receive forgivable loans to be used to retain employees and cover certain other basic operating expenses. New and existing businesses may participate in the program. However, eligibility for PPP Part II is more restrictive and targeted then the original PPP.