Small Business Relief with the Biden Administration
January 21, 2021
January 21, 2021
As of May 28, 2021, the Paycheck Protection Program has run out of funding. You can learn more about the PPP with our COVID-19 resource hub.
With his speech on January 14, we now have a better idea of how this administration plans to provide COVID-19 relief to the United States.
We want to outline the three legislative plans weâ€™ve been following these last few months:
Weâ€™re focusing on small business relief plans right now although there is a lot more planned with pandemic relief and recovery. This is an ambitious legislative plan, but lawmakers are hopeful it can pass Congress.
On May 12, House Democrats introduced The Heroes Act. Following the CARES Act and interim coronavirus relief packages, this was an ambitious $3 trillion relief package. Introduced by Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Nita M. Lowey (D-NY)
It laid out 12 proposals:
The Heroes Act passed the House on May 12 but Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) called it a “liberal wish list.” The package stayed in the Republican-controlled Senate for months without a vote. Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) worked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to craft a new package in December that became the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits and Venues Act.
Now with the Trump administration coming to a close, President-elect Biden’s proposals and plans are taking center stage in the Capitol.
Back in August, Joe Bidenâ€™s campaign released proposals to â€śset up support for deserving small businesses.â€ť At that time, we did not know the outcome of the November elections and everything was hypothetical. However, it does provide a good way to see President-elect Bidenâ€™s priorities for small businesses and what he plans to do with the American Rescue Plan and beyond.
There were five main parts to his plan:
All of these proposals were made during the campaign â€“ and some of them were directed at the Trump administration to implement immediately. However, from this, we can see that President Biden will be focused on small businesses and minority-owned small businesses. Although we have seen some of these changes in the most recent round of PPP, it appears that the Biden administration will look to expand beyond the PPP and provide additional targeted relief.
At the beginning of January, both the Washington Post and Bloomberg were reporting a â€śmultitrillion-dollar relief package.â€ť This came after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 140,000 job losses in December. Many people and businesses are struggling.
In a speech on January 14, Biden unveiled the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan. There are four main pieces to the plan:
As Bloomberg noted in early January, elements of Bidenâ€™s package planned to draw on the Heroes Act that passed the House in May. The American Rescue Plan does have a lot of similarities but costs $1 trillion less.
We wanted to focus on what’s in it for small businesses. Biden noted that small businesses account for nearly half of the U.S. workforce but have suffered revenue losses of 32 percent. His plan focuses on three specific actions taken with Congress:
The President-elect has pledged support to small businesses â€“ with a â€śfocus on minority-owned small businesses and women-owned small businesses.â€ť CNN notes that the plan would also create a new $15 billion grant program that is separate from the Paycheck Protection Program.
This is one of the biggest and most comprehensive coronavirus relief packages that we’ve seen since the pandemic began. With a Democratic-controlled Congress and Executive branch, there is a good chance it will be signed into law during President Biden’s first days in office.
The Biden administration plan is focusing on relief for individuals, businesses, and local governments from the federal government. In the package, there is $400 billion directly for the pandemic response and another $350 for state and local governments in addition to direct individual stimulus checks. The $1.9 trillion package is broad with a focus on economic recovery and pandemic response. Although Republicans on Capitol Hill have been wary of a large stimulus, Biden believes he can make it work. “Unity is not a pie-in-the-sky dream, it is a practical step to getting things done,” President-elect Biden said.
Some of the major parts of the coronavirus response and relief package include:
Many taxpayers have been asking Congress for more relief and with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) set to control the Senate in a few weeks, it may all be possible. As Biden said in his speech, â€śThe very health of our nation is at stake.â€ť
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the next President and Vice President of the United States on January 20 and 12 p.m. Georgia’s Democratic Senators-elect Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff are likely to be sworn in around the same time, making Democratic control of the Senate official. This new legislative power will allow the Biden-Harris administration the opportunity to implement programs with Congress, instead of through executive order, and pass large spending bills. With Biden also naming his picks for Treasury, Commerce, and Labor, along with the Small Business Administration (SBA), the federal agencies will be working to carry out this relief bill.
The administration’s focus is on coronavirus relief. With so many people unemployed and small businesses closing, the Biden administration and Congress want to ensure that all Americans have the assistance they need.