Delivering Immediate Relief to America’s Families, Schools and Small Businesses Act

[8.24.20] On August 18, republicans in the U.S. Senate released a COVID-19 stimulus proposal. The Act comes in at $500 billion, which is a scaled back version of the previous proposal, called the HEALS Act. What is in it for small businesses?
Liability Protection
The first section of the bill (60+ pages worth) speaks to protecting businesses and healthcare workers from lawsuits related to COVID-19. This has been a priority for republicans for some time, but will no doubt get significant pushback from democrats.
Small Business Recovery
This section covers a variety of topics related to small businesses. The highlights are:
  • Additional eligible expenses related to PPP loans
  • Covered operating expenditures (business software related to business operations)
  • Covered property damage costs
  • Covered supplier costs
  • Covered worker protection expenditures (long list of eligible costs related to government mandated COVID-19 related changes)
  • Borrower may elect their covered period
  • Beginning on the date of origination of the covered loan and ending on a date selected by the borrower that occurs 8 weeks after origination date and before December 31, 2020
  • Forgiveness – Loans of not more than $150,000
  • Eligible loans will be forgiven if the borrower signs and submits to the lender an attestation that the eligible recipient made a good faith effort to comply with the requirements under the Small Business Act and for the 1-year period following submission of the attestation retains records relevant to the attestation that prove compliance with those requirements.
  • Forgiveness – Loans more than $150,000 and note more than $2,000,000
  • No requirement to submit supporting documentation or the certification described in PPP forgiveness applications
  • Must retain all relevant records for the 3-year period following submission of the application for loan forgiveness and
  • PPP second Draw Loans (Round 2)
  • Eligible entities will have less than 300 employees and had gross receipts during the first or second quarter 2020 that are not less than 35 percent less than gross receipts of the entity during the same quarter 2019 (what a horrible sentence, I believe they are saying the business must have experienced a gross receipts reduction of at least 35 percent in the first or second quarter 2020 compared to the same quarter in 2019)
  • Additional eligibility information is also provided related to size standards and businesses that may not have been in business during various periods of time in 2019 and 2020
  • Loan calculation will be the same as PPP Round 1, limited to $2,000,000
It is important to note this bill has not been formally introduced. Ultimately, this bill will be used as a negotiation tactic, like the HEROS Act and the HEALS Act before it. Given the various components of the various stimulus bills that have been floated in the last several months, it seems inevitable a stimulus package will be passed, however it is pure speculation when that will happen. With every lost day it becomes more and more likely that we will not see anything done in D.C. until after the election and maybe after the inauguration. Stay tuned.
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