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$1.9 Trillion Bill Moves Forward, Here's What's In 'The American Rescue Plan' For Small Businesses

Reported in the Washington Business Journal and Albany Business Review, The $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill, passed Wednesday by the House of Representatives. The bill, now set to be signed into law contains a number of programs and provisions for small businesses, including:

  • An expansion of the Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program to include larger nonprofits and online-only news outlets. Both were previously excluded from the PPP.

  • An additional $7.25 billion for the PPP. The current $284.45 billion has yet to be exhausted, however.

  • An additional $15 billion for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance program, which SBA has rebranded the Targeted EIDL Advance program.

  • $100 million for "community navigator grants" to organizations that help small businesses navigate all the assistance programs and take advantage of the different relief available. It also includes $75 million for outreach and education.

  • $10 billion through a reauthorized State Small Business Credit Initiative program, which in short was money given to states as part of the 2010 Small Business Jobs Act that, in turn, used the money as seed funds to leverage private investment, whether by backstopping loans or providing startup capital.

  • $28.6 billion for a new restaurant relief fund in the form of an SBA grant program. Of that, $5 billion will be set aside for restaurants with less than $500,000 in 2019 revenue, along with other stipulations. Note: SBA has yet to launch the $15 billion venue grant program authorized in December. Grants for the restaurant program are up to $10 million per entity, with a limitation of $5 million per physical location and businesses are limited to 20 locations.

  • An additional $1.25 billion for the SBA shuttered venue operators grant program. That program got $15 billion in December.

  • Another expansion of the employee retention tax credit, which has already been expanded several times. Hardest-hit businesses would count all wages as qualifying wages, not just wages paid to employees not providing services. It also expands the credit to some startups.

  • An expansion of the employer paid leave credit from $10,000 per employee to $12,000, and from March 31 to Sept. 30. Those credits include employee time off to get a Covid-19 vaccine or to recover from its side effects.

  • Exempting both the SBA EIDL targeted advances and the restaurant grants from taxation. Those taxation issues bedeviled the early stages of the EIDL and PPP, but were subsequently fixed. More updates will be made available here and it's important to stay connected and in contact with the Albany Small Business Development Center for any questions and additional updates.

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