COVID-19 CARES Act – NEED TO KNOW

Congress recently passed a $2 trillion stimulus package to provide direct financial assistance to individuals and families.  The package covers the issuance of loans to support small businesses, the expansion of unemployment insurance, and provides funding to equip medical workers and first responders with the resources they need to fight COVID-19, which includes at least $1.2 billion in funding for Hawai‘i

Below are some of the resources that the stimulus provides to help you and your ‘ohana.  

CASH ASSISTANCE
The amount of assistance will be based on your family size and income, and determined by 2019 taxes or 2018 taxes for those who haven’t filed this year. 

  • $1,200 for individuals who made up to $75,000.
  • $2,400 for couples who filed jointly and made up to $150,000.
  • An additional $500 provided for each child under 17.
  • For every $100 made above $75,000 (individual) or $150,000 (joint), the cash assistance is reduced by $5.
  • Those who made over $99,000 (individual) and $198,000 (joint) will not qualify for direct assistance.

For more information, please click HERE.

UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE
With a record number of people unable to work, or experiencing reduced hours, the stimulus expands unemployment insurance to those hit hardest.

  • On top of state unemployment benefits, an additional $600 per week in “federal pandemic unemployment compensation” is available to individuals through July 31, 2020.
  • Part-time workers, and self-employed workers, including gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors, and many entertainment workers, are now eligible for these benefits.
  • A waiver of the one-week waiting period that is generally imposed by states before an individual is eligible to receive benefits.
  • An additional 13 weeks of unemployment benefits to help those who remain unemployed after state unemployment benefits are no longer available to them.

For more information about unemployment insurance, click HERE.

SMALL BUSINESS LOANS
The stimulus appropriated over $376 billion in relief for struggling small businesses.

  • $349 billion for fully guaranteed, low-interest, no fee loans of up to $10 million for small businesses to pay employees and keep them on the payroll.  The Small Business Administration (SBA) would forgive up to 100% of the loan if the borrower has retained the same number of employees as when they received the loan.  These loans are available to most businesses under 500 employees, non-profits, self-employed, startups, and cooperatives.
  • $17 billion for debt relief for current and new SBA borrowers.  SBA will pay the principal and interest for the next 6 months on SBA-backed loans.  
  • $10 billion to provide an immediate disaster grant of $10,000 to small businesses and nonprofits that apply for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL).  These can be provided within 3 days of applicants self-certifying they are eligible.
  • Businesses with multiple locations, especially those in the restaurant and lodging sector, will qualify, but they are limited to the same $10 million maximum loan size as a business with one location.

For more information  on relief for small businesses, click HERE.

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