Highlights of the New Stimulus Bill for Businesses and Employers

December 23, 2020

By: Jeffrey B. Scheer and Stephanie H. Fedorka

As a bonus to Bond’s Dec. 22 webinar about the evolving legal implications of COVID-19 for business, Bond business attorney Jeffrey B. Scheer, and Bond labor and employment attorney, Stephanie H. Fedorka, each recorded a short video to answer some frequently asked questions.

In his video clip, Jeff discusses the key points of the extension of the PPP program (PPP2), allowing for a second draw of funds for existing and also for new borrowers. To be eligible entities must have fewer than 300 employees, which is a lower number than the original loan program. For new borrowers, as of now it’s unclear as to the number of employee limit, which still needs to be clarified.

For eligibility, the borrower must demonstrate that their revenue has fallen by 25% this year, compared to 2019. The maximum amount of the loan is $2 million. Existing borrowers must add in their original loan amount and not exceed the $2 million limit. For new borrowers, it will be a $2 million maximum. Similar to before, the amount is calculated on two and half times their average total monthly payroll for the previous year.

PPP2 allows for additional uses of PPP funds. In addition to payroll, rent and utilities, there are certain operation expenses, property damage costs, supplier costs and worker protection costs for which funds can be used. 

Stephanie talks about the highlights for employers in the recent stimulus bill. The biggest highlight is the paid sick and family leave. There is no extension of the FFCRA benefits, however there is a provision in the bill language allowing covered employers to voluntarily elect to extend the FFCRA benefits through March 31, 2021 and will continue to be able to take advantage of tax credits available.

Stephanie also discusses the extension of unemployment insurance benefits. There new will includes $300 of federal unemployment benefits to be awarded weekly to individuals and it extends those benefits for an additional 11 weeks, through March 14, 2021, unless the individual has not exhausted their benefits, in which case they may continue until April 5, 2021.

Finally, there is a qualified disaster employee retention credit available for employers that is extended through July 1, 2021. This increases the refundable payroll tax credit from the 50% of wages to 70% of wages up to the $10,000 maximum.

The full presentation covered the following topics:

  • Relief Package I - Key Provisions for Businesses
  • Relief Package II - Key Provisions for Employers
  • Holiday Travel Review
  • Update from Albany
  • Vaccination Issues - A Guide Guide of Where We Are

Click here to view the webinar in its entirety or to register for upcoming Tuesday presentations.