Cities cannot do this on their own, and we’re working to understand specifics of the relief that may be afforded to small businesses in a federal stimulus package.
So far, we understand that the $2 trillion stimulus package, which was passed by the Senate and is awaiting a vote in the House, would offer multiple potential relief options for small business owners. A $10 billion Emergency Grant Fund will award $10,000 grants to small businesses that have applied for economic injury disaster loans so that they can offer paid sick leave or maintain payroll for workers, or to cover production costs or pay business obligations like rent and mortgage payments. Those grants would not need to be repaid.
The second component is the Paycheck Protection Program, a nearly $350 billion fund that will provide eight weeks of assistance to small businesses that maintain their payroll during the emergency. The loans would be available to companies with 500 or fewer employees, and would include nonprofits, self-employed people, and hotel and restaurant chains with up to 500 workers per location. If the companies maintain payroll for the eight-week period, those loans would be forgiven.
And the third piece of the bill would drastically overhaul the eligibility requirements for Unemployment Insurance, which would expand benefits to gig workers, the self-employed, and workers who may be furloughed but are still receiving health insurance from their employers. There would also be a $600 increase to the weekly benefit for four months.
As City partners continue to decipher this unprecedented federal stimulus package, we’ll continue to urge that these resources come online quickly and are easy to apply for.