If your AV business and your workers are still feeling the sting of the coronavirus-induced economic downturn in the U.S. despite two historic stimulus packages, more help may be on the way.
House Democrats on Tuesday introduced the HEROES Act, a $3 trillion economic package aimed to give a shot in the arm to the economy and those struggling to find work and make ends meet.
If passed, it would be the third round of funding after more than $2 trillion has already been doled out to corporations, small businesses, families and frontline workers.
According to the House Committee on Appropriations, the $3 trillion bill includes:
· Another $10 billion for COVID-19 emergency grants through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program
· Strengthening the Payroll Protection Program to ensure it reaches underserved communities and organizations of all sizes and types
· Enhancements to the new employee retention tax credit to encourage companies to keep employees on payroll and connected to their benefits
· A second round of $1,200 stimulus checks per family member, up to $6,000 per household
· Requiring OSHA to issue a strong, enforceable COVID-19 workplace standards like infection control plans and prohibiting employers from retaliating against workers who report infection problems
· Protections for Americans in danger of losing their employer-provided health insurance with COBRA subsidies to maintain their coverage, and a special enrollment period in the ACA exchanges
· Extension of unemployment benefits and the $500 federal unemployment payments through January
· Nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial and tribal governments to pay first responders, healthcare workers and teachers
· $200 billion to establish a hazard pay fund for essential workers
· $75 billion to support testing, tracing and treatment
· Bolster housing assistance with $175 billion in funds to help renters and homeowners make payments
· Raise the maximum SNAP benefit by 15% and fund additional nutrition programs
The HEROES Act bill was just introduced, and it’s unclear if it will eventually become law.
It’s worth noting that the bill comes as many states are beginning to take steps to reopen their respective economics and loosen restrictions on gatherings.
According to Forbes, some in Congress may be unwilling to appropriate another gigantic round of taxpayer money to stimulate the economy when simply reopening the economy and getting back to normal may just do the trick and stem the tide of rising unemployment.
However, health officials are simultaneously warning against a quick return to normalcy as the virus could be spread even more once restrictions are eased.
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