President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), H.R. 748, on Mar. 27, which gives relief to individuals, small businesses and corporations during the coronavirus pandemic.
The bill offers a $2.2 trillion stimulus package that would provide relief to individuals and companies, including small businesses, according to SEMA. The CARES Act is the third aid package from Congress aimed at stimulating the American economy.
According to NPR, the CARES Act:
- Provides small businesses emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. There are also changes to rules for expenses and deductions, aimed at making it easier for companies to keep employees on the payroll and stay open in the near-term;
- Provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 for emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs;
- Allocates $350 billion for the Small Business Administration to provide loans of up to $10 million per business. Any portion of that loan used to maintain payroll, keep workers on the books or pay for rent, mortgage and existing debt could be forgiven, provided workers stay employed through the end of June, according to NPR’s analysis of the bill.
- Provides $17 billion to cover six months of payments for small businesses’ existing SBA loans.
SEMA’s analysis of the bill says it also temporarily increases the amount of interest expense businesses can deduct on their tax returns, from a 30% limitation to 50% of the taxable income (with adjustments) for 2019 and 2020. The analysis also says the bill permits retailers to deduct the cost of renovating their store(s) in a single year instead of having to depreciate those improvements.