Domestic “Marshall Plan” to Deal with Pandemic Has Passed Congress

March 25, 2020

Today, the Senate introduced a massive, $2 Trillion stimulus package to address the global Covid19 pandemic. Here is a link to the pending law:

There’s a lot in there. Some highlights:

  • Qualifying Small businesses will get approximately $367 billion to cover business expenses and to keep making payroll while workers have to stay home. Companies with 500 or fewer employees could tap up to $10 million to pay for salaries, mortgage payments, rent, utilities and other business debts. These loans may also be potentially forgivable to the extent they are used to cover payroll for workers during the crisis.
  • New Sick Leave / Paid Leave provisions were clarified Sections 4601 and 4602 amend the new Paid Leave and the new Paid Sick Leave law that was passed last week (see prior post to this blog) to clarify expiration (when leave is exhausted or when they return to work, whichever is sooner) and the dollar limits to be paid to employees ($511/week / $5,110 per employee for those quarantined or symptomatic; $200/day / $2,000 per employee for those home as caregivers for the sick or children home from school).
  • Federally guaranteed loans will provide eight weeks of assistance for qualifying employers who maintain payroll. Those who meet requirements would have costs such as utilities, mortgage interest and rent forgiven.
  • Other Eligible Businesses: can obtain a total of $150 Billion dollars in guaranteed loans.
  1. An “eligible business” includes any U.S. business that has incurred a covered loss that jeopardizes continued operations, and which has not already received other benefits under the Act (which presumably includes the relief offered for paid sick leave and family leave). See 3107(4).
  2. In order to get these loans, a company will need to enter into a 2 year agreement providing that no employee who made over $425K / year in 2019 will make more than his or her 2019 wage in either 2020 or 2021. See 3103.
  3. The terms of these loans and the process to apply for them remain to be determined.
  4. Lots of provisions for families and for the unemployed, but that money goes to individuals, not the businesses
  • Payroll taxes will be deferred for corporations, meaning that payment of the 2020 payroll taxes for eligible tax payers will be deferred until 2021 and 2022. Estimated corporate tax payments will also be deferred. Other tax changes regarding recognition of losses have been addressed to help businesses weather this storm and improve cash flow.
  • Further guidance and regulations will issue from the IRS and the USDOL to implement the above and the many other provisions of this stimulus package. We will continue to monitor further developments and provide you updates on specifics as they become known.