There has been a lot of talk about another round of COVID relief plans recently, but we’ve yet to see one get approved for the second round of checks. It can feel like a real rollercoaster just keeping up with what has been voted down, what has been approved and what is happening next. Simple is good, so we’ll keep it simple as we cover everything you need to know about the next round of COVID relief bills.
We’re likely to see something happen before the Nov. 3rd elections, so it’s important to know what programs may be coming down the pike.
COVID RELIEF PLAN — THE HEROES ACT
The original COVID relief plan passed in March was called the CARES Act. While there have been a few attempts at a second relief plan that includes another round of checks, none has been approved yet.
Next up for approval is the Heroes Act.
In short, the Heroes Act is a proposed $2.2 trillion second round of stimulus checks.
Similar to the CARES Act, taxpayers would be up for the same check amount with the new exception of the $500 for each dependent being eligible no matter how old the dependent is. The bill would also restore the $600 in extra weekly unemployment benefits which had previously expired in July.
According to CNET, the House of Representatives has, “prepared a $2.2 trillion revision to its Heroes Act that would include a second stimulus check of up to $1,200 for qualifying Americans, renews unemployment benefits, small business loans and airline aid. The House could vote on the $2.2 trillion bill this week, Politico reported, if talks fall apart. The original Democratic-backed Heroes Act carried a larger $3.4 trillion price tag.
If approved, this bill —
- provides FY2020 emergency supplemental appropriations to federal agencies;
- provides payments and other assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments;
- provides additional direct payments of up to $1,200 per individual;
- expands paid sick days, family and medical leave, unemployment compensation, nutrition and food assistance programs, housing assistance, and payments to farmers;
- modifies and expands the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans and grants to small businesses and nonprofit organizations;
- establishes a fund to award grants for employers to provide pandemic premium pay for essential workers;
- expands several tax credits and deductions;
- provides funding and establishes requirements for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing;
- eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments;
- extends and expands the moratorium on certain evictions and foreclosures; and
- requires employers to develop and implement infectious disease exposure control plans. (Source: Congress.gov)
Who is Eligible: The same people eligible for the CARES Act in March. (Same requirements)
Status: This is expected to come up for a vote soon.
BENEFITS FOR ENTERTAINMENT VENDORS IN THE WEDDING INDUSTRY
As of September 28th, the Heroes Act was updated to include elements from the Save Our Stages Act. If the bill passes, this could mean $10 billion in grants for independent venues, producers, promoters, and talent representatives, according to The Rolling Stone.
In their article, they highlight what the Save Our Stages Act means to the community at large. The bill was introduced by Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) and Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN). When asked about the bill, Klobuchar said, “Independent venues were some of the first establishments to close down and will likely be some of the last to open. I refuse to sit by and let the music die, which is why I was proud to introduce the bipartisan Save our Stages Act in Congress.”
This is promising news for the entertainment sect of the wedding industry and independent small businesses.
While we wait on the final vote for the Heroes Act — or another COVID relief plan, be sure you’ve taken advantage of the current programs available for your wedding business.
Written by Corrie McGee