Summary of COVID-19 Stimulus Packages

By Montana Busch, Alternative Energy Southeast


Information on the COVID-19 stimulus packages has been coming out rapidly. So far Congress has passed three pieces of legislation and there are talks of a fourth and fifth coming. For our members who may be having a hard time keeping up with all this we wanted to provide a high-level overview and let you know where to get the details. There are eligibility requirements and other limitations for these programs that we won't get into here. This is not legal or financial advice.

COVID-I -- The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was enacted on March 6th and provided funding for the EIDL (Economic Injury and Disaster Loan). These loans are provided by the SBA and they promise a $10,000 advance on the loan which does not have to be paid back if your application for the EIDL is denied. The entire state of Georgia is considered an eligible location as we are a hot zone for the virus. Click here for more information.

COVID-II -- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) was signed into law on March 18th and made active on April 1st. It provides tax credits to employers who offer up to two weeks of paid sick leave and/or up to 10 weeks of paid family medical leave. Employers can claim this tax credit immediately for full reimbursement through reduced payroll taxes. Click here for more information.

COVID-III -- The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was enacted on March 27th and brought the Paycheck Protection Program Loan (PPPL), tax relief and unemployment insurance expansion. The PPPL is a fully forgivable loan if the business meets certain requirements including keeping the same number of employees. The U.S. Treasury Department has advised businesses to apply for PPPL quickly because there is a funding cap. While the application was just released on April 3rd, banks are saying they’ve already received an influx of applications. Lawmakers intend to add more funds to the PPPL in future legislation that is already in the works. To learn about the application for the EIDL or PPPL Click here.

The CARES Act also provided debt relief for existing SBA 7a loans. If you had one of these loans before the crisis began the SBA will pay the next 6 months’ worth of payments (principle and interest). Talk to your lender to ensure you get this benefit. In addition, the CARES Act offers a lesser-known alternative to the PPPL called the Employee Retention Tax Credit. You cannot claim the tax credit if you get the PPP Loan. Further provided by this Act is expansion to unemployment eligibility (including independent contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and self-employed workers with an LLC or S corporation qualify), and direct cash payments to all income-tax-paying Americans who gross less than $99,000 per year. Click here for more information.

These benefits could be extremely helpful to a business. We hope you are successful in claiming them. GA Solar wants to see the solar industry come out of the other end of this unscathed and ready to grab a bigger share of the overall energy mix. Special thanks to NFIB for making their webinars available to all.

About the author: 

Montana Busch has been working closely with commissioners, utilities, code enforcement entities, and other renewable energy and electrical contractors for over a decade. Montana is President of Alternative Energy Southeast ("AES"), a full-service electrical contractor established in 2007 that specializes in the feasibility, design and installation of alternative energy systems. AES has completed hundreds of projects in the state of Georgia and they've also been selected for several Solarize Campaigns. As a board member and Chairman of GA Solar, Montana advocates for fair utility policies/regulations relating to behind-the-meter projects. Montana promotes smart grid services, micro-grids, solar+storage, blockchain applications and other innovative technologies that will improve how Georgia uses energy. 


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