COVID-19 economic relief update

by | Apr 25, 2020 | NAAAP Blog, National News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

May 18, 2020 update: Inc. Magazine (full article) says: On May 15, 2020, the U.S. Treasury and Small Business Administration released an 11-page loan forgiveness application with instructions on how to complete it. While the document clarifies a number of administrative queries, such as when, exactly, does the eight-week covered period begin, it fails to address several key issues. Those include whether bonuses can count as cash compensation, and how quickly forgiveness will work. The agencies also noted that the SBA would “soon” issue regulations and guidance to further assist borrowers and lenders. There’s no timeline for this next release.  You won’t be able to apply for forgiveness for at least 56 days after you received your PPP disbursement.

Below is an excerpt from a letter from Congresswoman Judy Chu (chair of the Congressional APA Caucus) with helpful information about economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Information spcific to her California constituents was omitted from this post.

April 25, 2020

Dear Friend,

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy during this difficult time. Our businesses, workers, and families are paying a heavy price to help us contain the coronavirus, and I want to share some updates on how we are working to help everybody weather this public health crisis together. 

On April 23, 2020, Congress passed H.R. 266, the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, by a vote of 388-5. The President then signed it into law on April 24. I was proud to vote for this $483 billion aid package because it provides additional relief for small businesses, funding for hospitals and healthcare providers, and funding to increase our rate of testing for COVID-19. Below are some of the resources that this law provides, as well as updates on direct cash assistance and unemployment insurance. For more information to help you and your family, please visit my resources page at chu.house.gov/COVIDHelp

Small Business Loans

We need to keep businesses from going under and ensure workers remain paid. That’s why H.R. 266 provides an additional $310 billion for the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to help small businesses, 501(c)(3) nonprofits with 500 or fewer employees, and self-employed workers weather the economic storm caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. $60 billion of this funding will be available for smaller lenders, like community banks and credit unions. This law also provides $10 billion to replenish the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL), which provides immediate disaster grants of $10,000 to small business and nonprofits who have seen significant disruption in their business due to COVID-19. 

I also understand that the PPP is not working as intended for every business. That is why on April 23, I spoke at a hearing of the Small Businesses Committee, of which I’m a member, and urged the committee to take additional action to ensure that the federal resources we have directed are reaching the businesses and workers who need them most. I sent a letter to the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration asking them to produce guidance that will require all applicants to PPP to be treated equally by the big banks. This is essential so that big banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo don’t just approve the applicants of their largest clients, and all small businesses have a fair shot. As the Chair of the Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations, you can rest assured that I will continue to fight to make sure these programs are working for the small businesses of the San Gabriel Valley. 

If you or somebody you know has a small business impacted by COVID-19, please reach out to the Small Business Administration for more information HERE. If you are having problems applying for any of these programs, I encourage you to reach out to the SBA’s local resource partners in the San Gabriel Valley for assistance with your EIDL and PPP applications. 

Resources for Healthcare Workers

In order to end this crisis as soon as possible, we must provide hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers with the supplies and funds they desperately need to fight back against COVID-19. I have spoken with healthcare providers from the San Gabriel Valley, and they have all requested more personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep them safe on the front lines of this fight, and additional funding to help offset the shock to the healthcare system as we both absorb COVID-19 patients and delay elective and non-essential procedures. I am proud that H.R. 266 delivers an additional $75 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers who have been stretched to the brink by this pandemic. However, we must continue to invest in our healthcare system so that we can contain this public health crisis. 

Testing

Before we can reopen our economy, we must drastically increase our testing capabilities to understand the spread of the virus in our community. Democrats fought to include $25 billion in H.R. 266 for COVID-19 testing, including for active infections and previous exposure. These funds can be used for manufacturing and distributing tests, procuring supplies and PPE needed to administer tests, developing rapid point-of-care tests, and conducting surveillance and contact tracing. $1 billion of the testing funds can be used to cover tests for those without health insurance. 

I’m pleased to say that testing has greatly expanded in the San Gabriel Valley. If you have symptoms, or believe you have been exposed to the virus, please call your doctor for further guidance. For additional information on the accessibility of testing in our area, please visit the websites for LA County and San Bernardino County.  Testing is free for everyone and testing appointments can usually be made within a few days. 

Direct Cash Assistance

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been distributing direct cash assistance to eligible individuals and families since April 13. The first round of payments were sent to those who filed their 2018 or 2019 tax returns with direct deposit information. This also included Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries who filed federal tax returns that included direct deposit information. If you filed a tax return, but did not include your bank account information, you can check the status of your payment and update your direct deposit information through the “Get My Payment” portal. This will speed up the IRS’s ability to deliver your check. 

If you were not required to file for federal income tax return for 2019, you are still eligible to receive direct cash assistance. The IRS has created the “Non-Filers: Enter Payment Info” portal for those individuals to provide their necessary information and receive their payment as quickly as possible.  

By the end of April, adult Social Security retirement, survivor, and disability insurance beneficiaries who did not file tax returns in 2018 or 2019 will receive their rebates if they receive their Social Security benefits via direct deposit. Adult SSI recipients will receive their rebate by early May at the latest, in the same way as they receive their normal benefits.

For more information on direct cash assistance, please visit the IRS FAQ webpage. If you are having trouble accessing your direct cash assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 626-304-0110.

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