American Rescue Plan Beefs Up Support for U.S. Small Businesses

March 24, 2021

President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan provides financial relief for most U.S. households as we outlined here. However, it also includes some important new resources for small businesses struggling to recover from the economic impact of COVID-19.

The new stimulus money for businesses falls into the following two categories:

Beefed up support for existing programs.

An additional $7.25 billion has been allocated to provide Paycheck Protection Program loans to help small businesses meet payroll and cover other operating expenses. Eligibility has also  been expanded to include nonprofits and digital news services.

The Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance effort was signed into law in late-December 2020, allowing businesses in low-income communities to receive advance funds of up to $10,000 on their loans. The American Rescue Plan added $15 billion to these advance EIDL payments and made another $5 billion supplemental advances for the hardest hit businesses.

Venues affected by COVID-19 have access to special Shuttered Venue Operators Grants, and the recent stimulus package enhanced grant funds available. More importantly, it allowed businesses to apply for a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020 and a shuttered venue grant.

New industry-specific grants.

Nearly $29 billion has been allocated to help restaurants who’ve experienced significant declines in revenue as Americans were encouraged to stay at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Restaurant Revitalization Fund makes financial relief available as grants – rather than loans – which is a much-needed lifeline for the struggling food and beverage industry.

Finally, $100 million is being used to establish a pilot program for ‘Community Navigators’. These grants support organizations helping Americans navigate COVID-19 assistance programs and resources.

Specific criteria and more details on these programs can be found on SBA.gov. Your accountant and financial advisor can be a great resource in applying for relief programs and determining which source of support makes the most sense for your business.

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