How The New American Rescue Plan Act Impacts Employers

TheĀ American Rescue Plan Act, signed into law March 11, is designed to help struggling businesses and workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here’s what employers need to know about the relief package:

Funds For Small Businesses

This means small-business grants, as well as increased funding and expanded eligibility for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Some businesses may be eligible for a second PPP loan through an extension to the program that was approved in December of 2020. Businesses have until March 31 to apply for a PPP loan, and the most recent legislation expands the PPP to cover more nonprofits and digital media companies.

The American Rescue Plan Act allocates a total of $50 billion to small businesses, including an additional $7.25 billion in PPP funds and $28.6 billion for a new grant program for certain bars, restaurants and other venues that had to close during the pandemic.

The act also adds $15 billion to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance Grants Program, $1.25 billion for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Program, and $175 million for a Community Navigator Pilot Program for small businesses in underserved communities.

Extended Unemployment Benefits

The American Rescue Plan Act extends the federal government’s $300 weekly supplement to unemployment benefits through Sept. 6, and the first $10,200 in unemployment benefits will be tax-free for households earning up to $150,000.

The law also includes Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed and gig workers who don’t qualify for state unemployment benefits, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which gives additional weeks of state benefits to people who have been unemployed long-term.

>> Read more about the employee and employer benefits included in the new American Rescue Plan Act here.

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