On March 25, 2020, the U.S. federal government announced a record-breaking stimulus package to help individuals and businesses handle the COVID-19 crisis.
Small businesses are the crux of the US economy. Ensuring their ability to survive during this pandemic is key to economic stability. Most of us have by now heard that the government approved $1,200 payments to individuals making less than $75,000 per year.
But the details get a little fuzzier on the business side. Who qualifies? And how much can help is available? What portion doesn’t have to be repaid? How do we apply? While waiting for the funds, there are ways to protect your business and your customers from COVID. Learn more about the stimulus package here.
Understanding the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act
The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
There are two primary loans being provided through the CARES stimulus package: The Economic Injury Disaster Loan and the Paycheck Protection Program. $350 billion is earmarked for small businesses.
Opportunities To Outsource Are Ample
The economy is slowing down, but it doesn’t mean you should. This may be a time to be proactive and look for opportunities. The HR department, for instance, must keep tabs on incomings and outgoings to stop the company from becoming insolvent.
Thankfully, there are ways to outsource jobs to cut costs while maintaining full employment. The main one is cloud computing because it allows you to store data remotely so that everyone can access it regardless of location. Read more here. If you need convincing, remember that Microsoft recently shaved $120,000 a day off its expenses via enhanced cloud services.
New State and Local Paid Leave Benefits
To alleviate some of the economic strain on employees unable to work due to COVID-19, some state and local governments have begun to implement new or modify existing paid leave requirements.
Generally, the COVID Stimulus Act provides that employees of covered employers are eligible for:
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at the employee’s regular rate of pay where the employee is unable to work because the employee is quarantined (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), and/or experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis; or
- Two weeks (up to 80 hours) of paid sick leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay because the employee is unable to work because of a bona fide need to care for an individual subject to quarantine (pursuant to Federal, State, or local government order or advice of a health care provider), or to care for a child (under 18 years of age) whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19, and/or the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition as specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in consultation with the Secretaries of the Treasury and Labor; and
- Up to an additional 10 weeks of paid expanded family and medical leave at two-thirds the employee’s regular rate of pay where an employee, who has been employed for at least 30 calendar days, is unable to work due to a bona fide need for leave to care for a child whose school or child care provider is closed or unavailable for reasons related to COVID-19.
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