If Congress doesn’t act quickly, a special relief program that’s already helping workers across the country may run out of money.
America’s small businesses, nonprofits, small hospitals, and churches are turning to the Paycheck Protection Program in droves, with about $70 billion distributed in just the first few days – 1/5th of the total money available. The first-of-its-kind CARES Act program provides loans to cover rent, utilities, payroll and other expenses for organizations with less than 500 employees. In exchange for keeping employees on payroll (or rehiring employees laid off since the coronavirus pandemic struck), the loan will be forgiven. For more details on the program, click here.
With $350 billion committed to this program, Main Street is eager to keep paying their workers and stay open. Here’s why Congress needs to act quickly to provide more funding.
Keeping Our Workforce Strong
- Nearly half of America’s workforce would be able to stay on payrolls.
- It’s easier to ramp up an organization that already exists than to try to start one from scratch.
Providing Health Insurance to Workers
- More than half of all workers receive their insurance from work (see here), and those who work at qualifying organizations would be able to continue to receive their health insurance from work.
Providing Relief to Hospitals and Health Care Providers
- Health care providers on the front lines of this health crisis need all the support they can get.
- Hospitals and providers with up to 500 employees are eligible to apply. Loans can be used to pay certain expenses such as rent and employee payroll. If loan recipients retain their current staff levels or rehire furloughed workers by June 1st, some of the loan payments will be forgiven.
- Many providers operate like small businesses, and ensuring they can still take patients, or provide services, will help ease the strain faced by hospitals and provide support for patients’ other health issues.
Helping Those Who Support Communities
- Churches and other non-profits that support communities qualify. This is important to ensure that support networks continue to exist.
There’s no reason to delay. American workers need relief. Congress should add more funding to the popular Paycheck Protection Program.
For more information on the Paycheck Protection Program click here. For more updates on how the federal government is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, click here. For more information about how small businesses can get relief, click here.