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Federal legislation passed Dec. 27, 2020, (Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act) provides for another round of relief options to assist small businesses across the nation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce prepared this summary.

• Reopening and revisions for the Paycheck Protection Program: The PPP has been reopened so more businesses can apply for the first time, and some companies can apply for a “second-draw” PPP loan. On top of this, the bill expands what types of expenses can be paid for with PPP funds and makes forgiveness easier to obtain for businesses that took out loans worth less than $150,000. Applications for new and second-draw PPP loans are open until March 31, 2021, or until funds are exhausted.

• Changes to business taxes: The act makes PPP loans non-taxable and ensures that the majority of business expenses paid for with PPP loans are also not taxable. The legislation also makes businesses eligible to receive both PPP loans and the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), whereas they were not eligible under the original CARES Act.

• Reopening of the EIDL grant program: The bill allocates more money for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grant program that had been expanded in the CARES Act. This will allow some businesses to receive up to $10,000 in EIDL grants.

• New grant program for live venues: The bill allocates $15 billion in grants for small venues like independent movie theaters and concert halls that have been financially harmed by the pandemic, with grants maxing out at $10 million. Grants must be used on expenses such as payroll, rent, utilities and personal protective equipment.

• Enhanced federal unemployment benefits: The bill extends the amount of time people can collect federal unemployment benefits (pandemic unemployment assistance), and it restarts a supplemental federal benefit on top of state benefits. The extra benefit totals $300 per week and lasts through March 14, 2021.

• Payments for individuals: Those who make less than $75,000 a year will receive direct payments of $600 per individual ($1,200 per joint return for couples making less than $150,000 annually) plus $600 per child.

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