Unemployment Benefits: $300 weekly federal enhancement in benefits for 11 weeks, from the end of December through March 14th. The agreement also extends the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and the self-employed. The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides an additional 13 weeks of payments to those who exhaust their regular state benefits, was also extended. Both programs would close to new applicants on March 14, but continue through April 5 for existing claimants who have not yet reached the maximum of 50 weeks.
Reopening of Paycheck Protection Program: The second loans would be limited to businesses with fewer than 300 employees that have seen drops of at least 25% of their revenue during the first, second or third quarter of 2020. It would also reduce the amount a borrower can receive from $10 million to $2 million, give businesses more flexibility on how they spend the money and simplify the forgiveness process for loans under $150,000. It carves out $12 billion for minority-owned businesses and also expands eligibility to more nonprofits as well as local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters.
Grants for theaters and other live venues: $15 billion grant program for live venues, theaters and museum operators that have lost at least 25% of their revenues. The initial grant can total up to $10 million per eligible business. The money will be for specified expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities and personal protective equipment. During the first 14 days of the program’s implementation, grants will be awarded to those who have faced 90% revenue losses. Then, those who have experienced at least 70% revenue losses will be eligible during the next two weeks. After the first month of the program, any other eligible businesses can receive grants.
Payroll tax repayment: Employers who are deferring their workers’ payroll taxes under President Trump’s executive action from August now have until the end of 2021 to increase their employees’ withholding to pay back the taxes owed. Originally, the deferred amount had to be repaid by April 30.
The package also contained funding for K-12 schools and child care, nutrition assistance, rental assistance, and vaccine and hospital funding.