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$900 Billion COVID Relief Package Passed

The new relief package holds many of the same pillars of the $2.3 trillion aid bill that was passed this spring.  We expect President Trump to sign it shortly.

Here are some of the highlights of the COVID relief package included in the entire 5,593-page Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, that will also provide funding for the federal government from now until September 30, 2021:

- Unemployed workers will receive an additional $300 in enhanced unemployment benefits through March 14, 2021;

- It will expand a small business lending program and offer help to schools, airlines, transit systems, and vaccine distribution;

- The Paycheck Protection Program will be extended with another $284 billion for further "second draw" PPP loans..

- It was also noted the PPP program will be expanded for nonprofits, local newspapers, TV and radio broadcasters;

- $20 billion in Economic Injury Disaster Loans 

- $15 billion in dedicated funding targeted toward live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions;

- A second round of stimulus checks in the amount of $600 per adult and child, subject to household income thresholds;

- $25 billion for rental assistance to tenants in arrears on their rent, and an eviction moratorium extension until the end of January 2021.

- $82 billion for education providers;
- $10 billion for child care assistance; $250 million for the Head Start program
- $13 billion for increased Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and child nutrition benefits;

- $7 billion to increase broadband-internet access;

- A tax credit "to support employers offering paid sick leave".

Also of note:

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, to cover gig workers, freelancers, independent contractors and self-employed, affected by the coronavirus will be extended.  The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program will  provide an additional 13 weeks of jobless aid to those who have run out of their regular state unemployment benefits.  Both PUA and PEUC programs will be closed to new applicants on March 14 but will continue through April  5 for existing claimants who have not reached the maximum of 50 weeks.

Here is a very helpful guide from the US Chamber of Commerce explaining some of the small business loan program changes with the new relief package.  There is a lot of information, please click on the US Chamber Guide below, we will keep you updated as more details are uncovered.  

US Chamber Guide 12-22-20
On Monday Governor Newsom hinted that the current Stay At Home Order would most likely be extended.  He also acknowledged letters he received requesting separation from an existing region due to differences in availability of ICU beds.  He indicated that separation was unlikely as well.  He plans to hold a press conference at noon on December 28th with an update and more details.
Every dollar matters now to our local businesses. Connect with them by going to santaynezchamber.org and clicking on Our Business Community to find phone numbers and current information. 
We are actively engaged in speaking out for small business.  Please contact us with questions, challenges, opportunities, or anything else you would like to convey to help support our advocacy efforts.
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