Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, a lot of small and startup businesses continue to face a lot of pressure, forced to adjust to shutdown rules (which are constantly changing), as well as adopt new applications to keep their workers and customers safe.
The government approved a year-end $900 billion COVID relief package that would provide people a second stimulus payment. It also provides more debentures and relief for small and startup businesses, as well as self-employed individuals, including gig employees. Listed below is what people know about changes to these programs for small and startup companies, as well as self-employed individuals.
Access to debentures and emergency money
To keep enterprises afloat and workers paid, the government includes another round of 1st and 2nd forgivable debentures for small enterprises. This relief bill provides more or less $250 billion for the PPP or the Paycheck Protection Program.
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It offers debentures guaranteed by the SBA or the Small Business Admin at an IR of one percent. The new Paycheck Protection Program authorization broadens funding to more businesses and industries. These things also allow some enterprises to qualify for the second round of PPP credits.
Second credits target individuals who have previously borrowed with no more than three hundred workers and can show a twenty-five percent drop in their annual gross receipts or any quarter during the COVID-19 pandemic compared with the same pre-pandemic period.
Enterprises also need to have a plan to use or used all their first Paycheck Protection Program debenture to qualify for a second credit. Self-employed individuals, sole proprietors, and independent contractors are also eligible for 1st and 2nd Paycheck Protection Program credits. This debenture does not need personal guarantees, collaterals, or fees that small- and startup-enterprise loans usually involve.
These credits are to be used for compensation and payroll costs, health-care benefits, rent, housing loan interests, interest accumulated on other existing debts, and utilities. The relief bill broadens the allowable expenses to include various operational costs like software, workplace modification to meet health and government guidelines, protective equipment, and supplier costs.
It also includes property damages from public disturbances during the pandemic if the insurance company did not cover these costs. This relief bill also allocates twenty billion dollars for a second SBA scheme, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan that is being offered directly from the government agency. This round of Economic Injury Disaster Loan targets startups or small enterprises in low-income areas under the law.
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan can be transferred into a PPP debenture to take advantage of credit forgiveness. But this relief package would eliminate the clause requiring a Paycheck Protection Program individuals to deduct the Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance from the Paycheck Protection Program debenture eligible for credit forgiveness.
Qualified promoters and venue owners may also qualify for the SVOG or the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant. It offers fifteen billion dollars in small-business grants. Talent representatives, movie theater owners, and other qualifying enterprises can receive grants of up to forty-five percent of their gross earned revenue. Ten million dollars is the maximum amount of this grant.
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Debt forgiveness for operational and payroll costs
PPP credits are one-hundred percent forgivable provided that individuals use the profits on allowable expenses during the time of the borrower’s choosing between eight and twenty-four weeks following the origination. People will not be required to pay back the credit funds if they spend at least sixty percent of the debenture on the payroll, as well as the remaining forty percent on the other covered expenses, including housing loan interest payments, utilities, rent, supplier costs, and software. The forgiveness amount will not be taxable as gross income since forgiven debts usually are.
Employer tax credits
Employee retention loans were established under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act during the early stage of the pandemic. It originally provided fifty-percent payroll tax credits on wages up to ten thousand dollars per worker for enterprises that closed down due to COVID-19 and helped them comply with federal orders or suffered a sudden decrease in gross receipts of fifty percent or more than the same period pre-pandemic.
The specifics of this credit – who qualifies, as well as how much – were broaden as part of the COVID-19 relief bill. Starting January 2021, payroll credits increased to seventy percent and are not readily available to companies that have a twenty percent drop in gross receipts compared with the same quarter pre-pandemic. Companies that accept a PPP debenture can claim the retention loan on any qualified wages not covered by their Paycheck Protection Program credits.
Two weeks of paid leave for employees under quarantine or people with coronavirus symptoms awaiting a diagnosis, capped at one-hundred percent of their minimum wages or regular salaries, whichever is higher, up to $5,110 over two weeks or $511 per day.
The paid leave to those who can’t work because they need to care for people under quarantine is capped at 2/3 the worker’s regular wages or 2/3 minimum wage, whichever is higher, up to two hundred dollars per day and two-thousand dollars over the course of two weeks.
Up to twelve weeks of paid leave for workers who need to care for their kids whose child care or school is closed because of COVID-19. Payments are capped at 2/3 the worker’s regular pay or 2/3 of the minimum salary, whichever is greater, up to two hundred dollars per day or twelve thousand dollars over the twelve-week period. Small enterprises may be eligible for exemptions for leaves relating to school and child care closures if providing those leaves would jeopardize the company.
Since these requirements are pretty expensive, companies and self-employed individuals are eligible for reimbursements of payments and the cost of maintaining worker health insurance coverage. This relief act extends reimbursements in the form of various tax credits.