NOTE: Explore Asheville is hosting a webinar on PPP on January 19, 2021 featuring experts from Mountain BizWorks. Sign up or view a recording of the webinar HERE.

The $900 billion federal COVID-19 recovery package passed by Congress before Christmas and signed into law by President Donald Trump on December 27, 2020 contains significant benefits for small businesses and the tourism community as well as for individuals. Here are some of the provisions:

PAYCHECK PROTECTION PROGRAM (PPP): $284 billion

    • Eligible small businesses and nonprofits can apply for a second round of forgivable PPP loans, with covered expenses expanded to include supplies and inventory, rent, utilities, personal protective equipment (PPE), uninsured damages from public disturbances in 2020, and more, in addition to payroll.
    • For lodging and food service businesses, the loan is based on 3.5 times the average monthly payroll, up to $2 million. Loan amounts for other businesses are based on 2.5 times the average monthly payroll, up to $2 million, for each loan.
    • The application deadline has been extended to March 31, 2021. Publicly traded companies are ineligible to apply for PPP.

LIVE VENUE GRANT PROGRAM: $15 billion

    • Eligible concert venues, performing arts centers, theaters and museums can apply for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, based on 45% of the employer’s gross revenue in 2019, up to $10 million.
    • Grants can be used for payroll, rent, utilities, PPE, maintenance, advertising, theatrical productions and more. Recipients are ineligible to also receive PPP loans.

CRAFT BEVERAGE PRODUCERS

    • In addition to provisions of PPP that will provide support for small businesses as part of the federal COVID recovery package, the Craft Beverage Modernization & Tax Reform Act also passed. CBMTRA makes the existing federal excise tax rates for craft beverage producers permanent, keeping craft distillers, brewers, vintners, cider producers and mead makers from suffering a devastating tax hike in January. For small and independent craft breweries alone, this act represents an annual savings of $80 million.

ECONOMIC INJURY DISASTER LOAN PROGRAM (EIDL): $40 billion

    • Extends SBA EIDL grants through December 31, 2021.

TRANSPORTATION

    • $2 billion available for passenger transportation services, including bus companies and private motorcoaches. Another $2 billion available for airports for operations, personnel, cleaning and debt service, as well as relief for airport concessionaires.
    • $15 billion for airlines to cover worker payroll and benefits through March 31, 2021, and also to rehire workers laid off after September 30, 2020.

AID FOR INDIVIDUALS

    • Every adult and child making less than $75,000 will receive stimulus checks of at least $600 (lawmakers are debating increasing the amount). Direct deposits are expected to go out as early as this week. A smaller amount will go to those earning between $75,000 and $99,000.
    • Jobless workers will receive up to $300 per week in unemployment benefits through mid-March. Those who are self-employed or short-term, temporary, or independent contractors (“gig workers”) also receive extended benefits. The U.S. Dept. of Labor provides guidance to states, including the NC Division of Employment Security, on when and how it can began processing the additional benefits.

More Information & Sources

COVID-19 RELIEF PACKAGE

CRAFT BEVERAGE MODERNIZATION & TAX REFORM ACT OF 2020

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