What’s included in Phase 4 relief, aka ‘The Heroes Act’

The latest proposed COVID-19 relief legislation includes $3 trillion in spending.

BY HBSDealer Staff

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republicans have told President Trump that the next stage of relief spending must be under $1 trillion.

Introduced by Democrats in the House of Representatives , H.R. 6800 – the Heroes Act – includes more than $3 trillion in COVID-19 relief funding for individuals, businesses, and state and local governments. 

Last week, the National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association (NLBMDA) sent a letter to the White House and Congress which included a list of priorities for the lumber and building material (LBM) industry as the Phase 4 relief package is debated, and likely trimmed.

But Republicans have argued whether additional relief spending is even necessary, saying the results of previous COVID-19 relief packages has yet to be fully realized. 

But what’s inside the Phase 4 relief package?

Here’s an outline  of what is included in the legislation, as broken down by the NLBMDA:

  • Expands Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) eligibility to 501(c)(6) organizations;
  • Reverses IRS guidance to allow for the deductibility of PPP and other small business loan expenses;
  • Creates a carve out of 25% for PPP funds to be used specifically for small businesses with 10 or fewer employees;
  • Adds flexibility in the covered period for PPP borrowers by extending the 8-week period to 24 weeks and extends the covered period from June 30 to December 31;
  • Removes the requirement that 75% of PPP loan proceeds be used for payroll;
  • Ensures the principal and interest of PPP loan assistance is not treated as taxable income to small business borrowers;
  • Includes $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program;
  • Mandates that the Federal Reserve, through the Main Street Lending Program, provide at least one low-cost loan option that small businesses and small non-profits are eligible for that does not have a minimum loan size, overriding the current $500,000 minimum loan size to participate in the program;
  • Expands the existing Employee Retention Tax Credit;
  • Provides a 50% refundable payroll tax credit for qualified fixed costs for employers subject to closure by reason of COVID-19;
  • Requires OSHA to issue an enforceable standard within seven days to require all workplaces to develop and implement infection control plans based on CDC expertise, and prevents employers from retaliating against workers who report infection control problems;
  • Extends the weekly $600 federal unemployment payment increase through January 31, 2021;
  • Provides $200 billion in hazard pay for essential workers; and
  • Provides additional economic impact payments of $1,200 per family member, up to $6,000 per household.

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