The US House passed a revised bill H.R. 6800 – the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act or the HEROES Act[1], Thursday to provide $2.2 trillion in relief to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy, public health, state and local governments, individuals, businesses, and health care workers serving during the pandemic. The bill now moves to the Senate to be debated and voted.

Among other things, the bill proposes:

  • Additional Recovery Rebates to Individuals – provides additional direct payments of up to $1,200 per individual; ($2,400 in the case of a joint return), plus $500 multiplied by the number of dependents of the taxpayer for the first taxable year beginning in 2020.
  • Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act and Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is expanded – Emergency leave is extended until February 28, 2021 and the threshold is amended by striking ‘‘fewer than 500 employees’’ and inserting ‘‘1 or more employees”.
  • Improved coordination between Paycheck Protection Program and Employee Retention Tax Credit – The Secretary, in consultation with the Administrator of the Small Business Administration, shall issue guidance providing that payroll costs paid or incurred during the covered period shall not fail to be treated as qualified wages for the Employee Retention Credit to the extent that a covered (PPP) loan of the eligible employer is not forgiven.
  • Economic injury disaster loans – to reduce the interest charged on loans and to offer borrowers up to 4 years of deferment on the payment of interest and principal; Congress encourages the SBA to use this discretion to provide relief to the hardest hit small businesses that have received or will receive direct loans from the SBA.
  • Modifications to Economic Injury Disaster Loans – New borrowers – a borrower adversely impacted by COVID–19 during the period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act and ending on December 31, 2020 –
    • the borrower shall be eligible for a loan in an amount equal to 6 months of working capital if the borrower otherwise meets the underwriting standards established by the SBA.
  • Modifications to Economic Injury Disaster Loans – Existing Borrowers – a borrower adversely impacted by COVID–19 during the period beginning January 31, 2020, and ending on the date of enactment of this Act may submit to the SBA a request for an additional amount to increase the amount of that loan, provided that the aggregate amount received is not more than the lesser of —
    • an amount equal to 6 months of working capital for the recipient; and
    • $2,000,000.
  • Principal and Interest Payments for Certain Disaster Loans – The SBA shall pay the principal, interest, and any associated fees that are owed on a physical disaster loan or a covered EIDL loan for:
    • 12 months beginning with the next payment due if the loan is not in deferment;
    • or for the 12-month period beginning with the next payment due after the deferment period If the loan is currently deferred.
  • 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 – Loan Forgiveness:
    • PPP Loans under $50,000 – The recipient of the loan shall certify to the SBA that it used the proceeds in accordance with the PPP loan requirements, and is not required to submit any documentation or application to the SBA;
    • PPP Loans $50,000 – $150,000. The recipient of the loan shall certify to the SBA that it used the proceeds in accordance with the PPP loan requirements and complete a simplified one-page application form that does not require the submission of any documentation.
    • PPP Loans greater than $150,000 – Not later than 60 days after the date on which a lender receives an application for PPP loan forgiveness from an eligible recipient, the lender shall only be required to review the application to ensure completion, including that required attestations have been made, before submitting such application to the SBA Administrator.
  • Proposal for elimination for 2020 limitation on deduction of State and local taxes.
  • Protecting Renters and Homeowners from Evictions and Foreclosures by expanding the moratorium on certain evictions and foreclosures;
  • Establishes a fund to award grants for employers to provide pandemic premium pay for essential workers;
  • Provides funding and establishes requirements for COVID-19 testing and contact tracing;
  • Eliminates cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatments;
  • Requires employers to develop and implement infectious disease exposure control plans;
  • Provides payments and other assistance to state, local, tribal, and territorial governments; and
  • Providing Medical Equipment for First Responders and Essential Workers

Additional Resources

Have a question about the impact of the HEROES Act bill? Contact us – our COVID-19 Advisory Team is standing by to help you successfully navigate the way ahead. And, take our PPP Loan Forgiveness Quick Test and we’ll contact you with recommended next steps.

Barnes Dennig COVID-19 Advisory Team Leaders:

 

[1] https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6800/text?r=48&s=1