House Passes COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package
Supported by both Democrats and Republicans, the $2 Trillion stimulus package includes one-time cash payments to adults, emergency relief money for airports, public transportation and hospitals, up to four months of pay to laid-off workers, among other provisions.
In particular interest for the pecan industry, this bill also contains $9.5 billion to assist specialty crop producers. A total of $48.9 billion is allocated for the Department of Agriculture and the Food and Drug Administration so that they can continue to respond to the pandemic.
Additionally, the package provides $350 billion in forgivable loans for small businesses for monthly expenses like payroll, rent, and utility payments. To be eligible, the business must have 500 or fewer employees and for their approved purpose. If the business meets these requirements and also maintains the average size of its full-time workforce, then the principal will be forgiven.
The bill also directs $562 million to Small Business Administration so that it can provide Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) to small businesses, adversely impacted by COVID-19. The eligibility for access to EIDL is expanded in this package and includes Tribal businesses, cooperatives, ESOPS, and private non-profits.
The stimulus package also includes grants, tax credits, and other forms of relief for small businesses and authorizes the Small Business Administration to “provide additional financial awards to resource partners.”
Now approved by Congress, the stimulus package makes its way to the White House, where President Trump is expected to sign it into law shortly.