Now that an agreed upon $2 trillion stimulus package is heading toward a Senate vote, what exactly is in the bill, and how will it help independent dealers?
According published reports, the legislation sets aside $350 billion to establish lending programs to help small businesses meet their payrolls. Companies that pledge to keep their workers on would receive assistance in the form of federally guaranteed loans, which would be forgiven if employees are paid for the duration of the COVID crisis.
Businesses would also receive an employee retention tax credit as an incentive to keep their employee ranks whole.
The bill also earmarks $500 billion in loans to bail out distressed businesses, including $75 billion for especially hard-hit sectors like airlines.
In a statement to the media, AVB CEO Jim Ristow said, “Like many businesses, our members are in need of federal support at this time and anything that can help their operations is good news. The macro figures in the stimulus package are large, and we need to fully understand the nature of the assistance and how quickly it can be made available to the members on a local level.”
He added that AVB will leverage the COVID Info Hub on YourSourceNews to disseminate details of the bill as it relates to the members and to facilitate their aid.
Elsewhere in the stimulus package, unemployment benefits would be extended by 13 weeks and certain enhanced benefits, including full pay for those pink-slipped by the pandemic, would be provided for four months. The appropriation for those measures is $250 billion.
In addition, individuals with annual incomes of up to $75,000 would receive $1,200 in direct payments from the government, to be scaled down for higher earners and phased out entirely for those with incomes of $99,000 or more. Married couples earning up to $150,000 would receive $2,400 plus $500 per child, to be scaled down by income and phased out entirely at $198,000 for couples without children.
The bill also includes $100 billion in aid for hospitals and $150 billion to help state and local governments fight the pandemic and fill budget gaps resulting from tax revenue shortfalls.