ATLANTA — U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., is providing guidance and resources to assist Georgians impacted by the coronavirus. These resources are also included on a webpage Loeffler launched several weeks ago.
“Right now, every Georgian is facing the various challenges that accompany the spread of COVID-19,” Loeffler said.
“Congress and the Trump administration have taken steps to help Americans during this unprecedented time. Most recently, we passed ‘Phase Three’ legislation to help small businesses keep employees on payroll, put money directly into the hands of families and stabilize our economy.
“As this law takes effect, my number one priority is getting these resources to the people of Georgia as efficiently as possible. Every Georgian should know that my team and I are here to serve them and we’re working hard to ensure they’re getting the resources they need to keep their families safe and combat the effects of this public health crisis.”
Georgians looking for information related to the CARES Act can email Loeffler’s office at CARESact@loeffler.senate.gov.
For Small Businesses and Employers:
The Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans of up to $10,000 in advance that does not have to be repaid to Georgia small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. The assistance will provide working capital to help with operating expenses, including rent, utilities and existing debt payments.
- Click here or contact the SBA’s Georgia office by calling 404-331-0100 to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan.
- Click here for a COVID-19 emergency loans small business guide and checklist.
The CARES Act provides $349 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under. The Paycheck Protection Program would provide eight weeks of cash-flow assistance through 100% federally guaranteed loans to small employers who maintain their payroll during the COVD-19 emergency. If the employer maintains payroll, the portion of loan used for covered payroll costs will be forgiven. The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed. The new loan program will be available retroactive to Feb. 15, 2020, so employers can rehire their recently laid-off employees through June 30, 2020.
- Click here for information from SBA on the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Click here for a list of the Department of Treasury’s frequently asked questions about the Paycheck Protection Program.
- Click here for a list of SBA’s frequently asked questions.
- Click here and here for information from Treasury on the Paycheck Protection Program.
- If you’re a lender, click here for more information.
- If you’re a borrower, click here for more information.
Loeffler has urged the administration to ensure Georgia small businesses are able to access loans provided through the Paycheck Protection Program.
Unemployment Compensation and Paid Family Leave:
Through the CARES Act, unemployment insurance has expanded to four months and will now cover self-employed workers and “gig economy” workers.
In legislation known as “Phase Two,” that preceded the CARES Act, Congress provided paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to employees of businesses with less than 500 employees.
- Click here to view frequently asked questions regarding the new regulations implemented by the U.S. Department of Labor.
- Click here to view DOL’s fact sheet for employees.
- Click here to view DOL’s fact sheet for employers.
While Congress recently made a number of changes to directly address COVID-19 concerns, unemployment compensation eligibility determinations are decided by states.
- Click here for more information on Georgia COVID-19 unemployment compensation.
- Click here to find out how to apply for unemployment in Georgia.
- Click here for a summary of how Georgia determines weekly unemployment benefits amounts.
- Click here for information Georgia’s unemployment agency is responding to COVID-19.
Tax Relief, Deferred Payments and Food Assistance:
The deadline to file and pay 2019 income taxes has been extended until July 15, 2020. Gov. Brian Kemp has extended state tax filing deadlines to comply with this new federal date.
The CARES Act prohibits foreclosures for 90 days on federally backed mortgages for those who experience hardship related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
Federal student loan borrowers will see payments automatically deferred — without incurring interest – for six months. This only applies to federal and not private loans.
Many Americans will be eligible for a direct payment of $1,200, plus $500 per child. That payment is reduced for individuals who made $75,000 to $99,000 and couples who made $150,000 to $198,000. Payments are based on 2019 tax returns or 2018 returns if 2019 returns have not yet been filed.
Social Security beneficiaries who are not typically required to file tax returns will automatically receive their payment.
Click here for information on when to expect that check and to answer any questions you might have about tax relief during the COVID-19 mitigation period.
The CARES Act includes $25.06 billion for various USDA programs dedicated to acquiring and distributing food to families and children affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. Click here for more information on USDA’s food assistance programs.
The bill includes $15.1 billion for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to cover waiver authorities authorized in the Phase 2 package, which expanded states’ flexibility to implement and expand the program as well as prepare for an anticipated increase in participation during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The CARES Act provides $8.1 billion to USDA’s Child Nutrition Programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program. These funds will allow states to continue providing nutritious and affordable meals to children and adults that would otherwise receive meals through schools or other programs.
Regarding personal protective equipment and costs, providers have been urged to take steps to preserve PPE, including canceling elective surgeries and other procedures. Such cancellations are devastating to hospitals and physicians already at financial risk.
Supporting ongoing operational costs in the face of severe supply shortages is critical to maintaining the country’s ability to provide care to the most acutely ill patients during a potential COVID-19 pandemic, and the CARES Act does this by allocating $100 billion in funding to hospitals and providers. These funds will provide critical financial support to providers, meet the needs for uninsured patients, and keep our healthcare system stable while dealing with a surge in COVID-19 patients.
The CARES Act also includes $16 billion in funding for the Strategic National Stockpile to procure equipment such as masks and other personal protective equipment and medical supplies needed for health care workers. When combined with the first supplemental package, this totals to $16.5 billion.
- Click here for information on the CDC’s website on the supply of PPE.
- If you are a private company that wants to produce a product related to the COVID-19 response, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The Georgia Emergency Management Administration is assisting providers with supply chain issues on PPE. For more information, contact your local GEMA office or visit its website.
The bill provides $275 million to expand services and capacity for rural hospitals, telehealth, poison control centers and the Ryan White HIV/AIDS program. Language is also included to allow community health centers to use FY2020 funding to maintain staffing and capacity to address the coronavirus, and community health centers are given an additional $1.32 billion in funding.