NASE Washington Watch - Get Small Business News and Small Business Legislation First February-25-2021

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Washington Watch

Washington Watch - February 25, 2021

In this issue of Washington Watch, read about changes to the PPP Program and the American Rescue Plan

House Takes Up Biden Covid Relief Measure, American Rescue Plan

This week the House will take up the Covid relief; the $1.9T includes the following small business provisions:

Amendments to the Paycheck Protection Program:
Eligibility of Certain Organizations

- Non-profit organizations are eligible to receive a covered loan if the organization employs no more than 500 employees per physical location

 - Non-profit entities are eligible for a covered loan if the non-profit entity does not receive more than 15% of its receipts from lobbying activities and if the cost of lobbying activities did not exceed $1M during the most recent tax year that ended prior to February 15th, 2020 and if the non-profit entity employs no more than 300 employees

Eligibility for 2nd draw loans
Eligibility of Internet Publishing Organizations
- Internet-only periodical publishers engaged in the collection and distribution of local or regional and national news and information will be eligible for a covered loan for the continued publication of news, information, content and emergency information if the organization employs no more than 500 employees, or the size standard established by the Administrator for the North American Industry Classification code and that the organization makes good faith efforts to ensure that the loan will be used to support local or regional news.

Second Draw Loans
- Changing PPP funding from $806.4B to $813.7B Any money not otherwise appropriate by the Treasury for fiscal year 2021 will be appropriated to the Small Business Administrator, and $7.25B  will remain available

Support for Restaurants
- There will be $25B appropriated to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (in addition to amounts otherwise made available). Of the appropriated funds, $5B  will be made available to eligible entities with gross receipts of no more than $500,000 and $20B will be made available to the SBA Administrator to award grants in an equitable manner to eligible entities of different sizes based on annual gross receipts

 - Restaurant Revitalization Grants will be available to businesses who have not applied or received grants under the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act. The grants will be prioritized for small business concerns owned by women, veterans and economically disadvantaged small business concerns. Grants shall not exceed $10M and will be limited $5M per physical location. 

Community Navigator Pilot Program
- The Community Navigator Program refers to outreach, education and technical services provided to community navigators that target eligible businesses to increase awareness of programs of the SBA

 - Community Navigators refers to a community organization, a community financial organization of the SBA or any other private non-profit organization engaged in the delivery of community navigator services. Eligible businesses include: small business concerns owned and controlled by women, veterans, and socially and economically disadvantaged small businesses.

 - In addition to amounts otherwise made available, there will be $100M appropriated for the Community Navigator Program by the Treasury

Shuttered Venue Operators
- There will be $1.25M to be used for the Economic Aid to Hard Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act, of which $500,000 will be used to provide technical assistance to assist applicants access the System for Award Management or to assist applicants with alternative grant applications

Direct Appropriations
- $840M has been appropriated to the Small Business Administrator for Administrative expenses including to prevent, prepare for and respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, domestically and internationally.

 - $460M will be appropriated to carry out the disaster loan program, of which $70M will be used for the cost of loans and $390M will be used for administrative costs to carry out the program 

Changes to PPP Program Aimed at Increasing Self-Employed and Micro-Business Eligibility

The Biden Administration also announced changes in how the self-employed can calculate the size of their PPP loan. Until now, a self-employed PPP loan applicant would use “net income” (Line 31 on Form 1040 of the Schedule C), to calculate the loan amount. Using net income as the basis of determining loan size dramatically reduces the value of PPP loans for self-employed because it excluded eligible expenses. Going forward, self-employed individuals will use gross income to calculate the PPP loan amount. Additionally, the Biden Administration has set aside $1 billion for businesses in this category without employees located in low- and moderate-income (LMI) areas. The changes in the application are expected to go into effect on/around March 1. The NASE has advocated for this change to ensure that the self-employed are able to secure a PPP loan during the Covid pandemic.

Additionally, starting on Wednesday, February 24, the SBA will open a priority window for business owners with 20 or fewer employees to secure a PPP loan.

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