March 26, 2020 4:14 PM
When Washington, D.C., passes a two-trillion-dollar relief package for the American people not even 24 hours ago, there is a lot of information contained in that and a lot to digest. For example, some of the high-level things included in it are:
The Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration: A nearly $350 billion program to provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance to small businesses through 100 percent federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans would be forgiven, which would help workers to remain employed and affected small businesses and the nation’s economy to quickly snap-back after the crisis.
Unemployment Benefits: People who are unemployed would get an extra $600 per week for up to four months, on top of state unemployment benefits to make up for 100 percent of lost wages. The final agreement provides an extra month of unemployment benefits than what Senate Republicans had originally sought.
Loans to Industries – $500 billion: The Treasury Department would divvy up a $500-billion collection of loans to struggling industries, like airlines, and even cities and states.
Checks on the Way: All U.S. residents with adjusted gross income up to $75,000 ($150,000 for married couples) would get a $1,200 ($2,400 for couples) “rebate” payment. They are also eligible for an additional $500 per child. The payments would start phasing out for earners above those income thresholds and would not go to single filers earning more than $99,000; head-of-household filers with one child, more than $146,500; and, more than $198,000 for joint filers with no children.
Hospitals – $100 Billion: Health care providers would secure $100 billion in grants to help fight the coronavirus and make up for dollars they have lost by delaying elective surgeries and other procedures to focus on the outbreak. They would also get a 20 percent bump in Medicare payments for treating patients with the virus.
There is a lot of information about the package coming out every minute. We found three overviews that we believe will be the most helpful to Maine businesses. Both U.S. Senator Susan Collins and U.S. Senator Angus King have put out statements that summarize what is in the package. We have included links below for easy access to this information. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has put together a detailed 12-page summary of what is included in the package that even includes links to the actual legislation. Below is a link to that summary as well.
Senator Collins Press Release:
Senator King Press Release:
US Chamber of Commerce Summary: