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December 22, 2020 9:21am

Fourth COVID relief package includes top GLI priorities, business protections

Yesterday, Congress passed a fourth COVID relief package and omnibus spending bill that included key provisions and protections for the business community. Within the $900 billion economic relief deal, included many 2020 GLI priorities we have advocated to our Kentucky and Indiana delegations. The major components of the package included funds for federal agencies through September of 2021 and $325 billion in aid for small businesses, nonprofits, and venues, specifically $275 billion was set aside for another round of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding. Another noteworthy GLI priority was a provision to repeal the prohibition of Pell Grants for incarcerated individuals.

Key provisions include:

  • Reauthorization, expansion, and improvements to the PPP including:
    • A second pool of forgivable loans to businesses and organizations experiencing substantial declines in revenue
      • Eligible businesses must have fewer than 300 employees with a revenue reduction of at least 25 percent in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to 2019
      • Up to $2 million for second loans for most businesses at 2.5 times average monthly payroll costs; some eligible food service and accommodation businesses could qualify at 3.5 times average monthly payroll costs
    • Loan forgiveness for small businesses spending at least 60 percent of second PPP loan on payroll costs during covered period
    • Simplification of the forgiveness process for loans under $150,000 with an easier process for the SBA to audit forgiven loans
    • Expansion of the program to include 501(c)(6) organizations, like Greater Louisville Inc., and Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) like our partner, Louisville Tourism
    • Expansion of covered expenses to include software, human resource and accounting needs, property damage costs due to public disturbances not covered by insurance, and PPE purchases
    • Removal of previous requirements that Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) advances had to be deducted from loan forgiveness
  • Allocation of $15 billion for a grant program to aid venues, museums, and zoos experiencing substantial revenue losses.
  • Allocation of funding for emergency improvements to other SBA loans including:
    • $25 million for Minority Business Development Centers under the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) to assist MBEs with utilizing loans and programs
    • $20 billion for the EIDL Advance program and $3.5 billion to continue the Debt Relief Program
    • $2 billion for SBA loan enhancements, with $57 million for direct lending and assistance to underserved businesses
  • Repeal of a previous CARES Act provision requiring small businesses to deduct EDIL loans from PPP loan forgiveness.
  • Override of a previous IRS ruling relating to expenses paid by forgiven PPP loans.
    • Expenses paid with forgivable PPP loans that would typically qualify as tax deductible, still qualify for deductions 
  • Reapplication options for businesses that returned all or part of previous PPP loans.
    • With exceptions to businesses that received loan forgiveness
    • Any borrower eligible to receive a larger amount under this new legislation can reapply for the difference
  • One-year extension of the relief from Troubled Debt Restructuring (TDR).

A copy of the bill text can be found here. The bill now advances to the President for his signature.

 This story will be updated as more information becomes available.