Last night the U.S. Senate and the Trump administration agreed on a $2 trillion stimulus package to help the country’s economy during the coronavirus pandemic. The Senate is set to vote on the package later today. President Trump has already said he will sign it.
So what’s in the package that could help U.S. tech providers? While the final terms of the package are still unknown, here’s some of what we do know.
First, you and your employees could qualify for a direct payment of $1,200. That’s assuming your annual salary is under $75K. For those with salaries of $75K to $99K, there will still be checks, but for smaller amounts. If you have kids, there should be a check for an additional $500 per child.
If your organization has laid off workers, the new package reportedly will extend their unemployment benefits by an additional 13 weeks. Also, their unemployment checks will be bumped up by $600 a week for as long as 4 months.
If your organization qualifies as a small business, it could be eligible for a government loan to help keep the doors open. The Senate package reportedly allocates a total of $350 billion for loans to small businesses that hold their payrolls steady.
There will also be a kind of cash-flow assistance, structured as federally guaranteed loans. Unusually, these loans will be forgiven — meaning, recipients won’t have to pay them back — if the business continues to pay all its workers for the duration of the pandemic crisis.
But if your company is publicly traded, the bill will reportedly prohibit it from using these loans to buy back the company’s own stock. This prohibition will last for the term of the government assistance plus 1 year.
What if you or a colleague do get sick? Then the plan could help you with additional funds to hospitals, to the tune of $130 billion. It’s said to also include another $150 billion for state and local governments.
This is a fast-moving, fast-changing situation. We should know more later today, if — fingers crossed — the bill gets signed into law.
For now, it looks like tech providers struggling through the coronavirus pandemic could soon get some help from the federal government.