Congress has agreed to a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package to assist American individuals and businesses impacted by the pandemic. The legislation includes stimulus checks of up to $600 per person, including children. The amount diminishes for individuals with incomes reported above $75,000 in 2019, while those who earned more than $87,000 are not eligible. The package would also extend federal unemployment benefits by up to $300 per week through the middle of March.
For small businesses, the legislation provides an additional $284 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program and expands the program to make nonprofit organizations eligible. It also clarifies that business owners may deduct expenses they pay with PPP loans, even if the loans are forgiven. An earlier IRS ruling had stated the law did not allow such deductions.
“NAIFA supports bipartisan efforts to provide needed relief for small businesses and consumers suffering economic harm due to the COVID-19 outbreak,” said NAIFA CEO Kevin Mayeux. “NAIFA members work with employers and families to provide financial products, services, and guidance and have seen first-hand how the pandemic has impacted their financial wellbeing. Many NAIFA members are also small business owners and employers themselves, and it is important that they get the relief they need to continue their contributions to the national economy and service to their clients.”
The legislation also provides funding to purchase and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, aid to transportation agencies and companies, aid for childcare centers, funding for schools and universities, and assistance to the agricultural sector. Additional provisions are designed to address surprise medical billing issues and make dining expenses deductible for businesses.