Here are some resources for business owners:
Working Washington Small Business Grants, Round 4: Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Legislature approved a new round of small business grants. The $240 million in grants will focus on small businesses impacted by COVID-19. The application portal will open March 29. For details go to commercegrants.com.
American Rescue Plan: President Joe Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act on March 11. It includes:
- Stimulus checks: The bill provides for $1,400 checks for individuals making less than $75,000 annually, and phased-out amounts for people with higher incomes. Married couples who file taxes jointly can receive two $1,400 checks if their combined income is below $150,000. Payments would phase out at $80,000 for individuals and $160,000 for married couples. Children and adult dependents (including disabled adults and college students) are eligible for the full $1,400.
- Unemployment payments: The bill includes enhanced unemployment benefits totaling $300 a week through Sept. 6. In addition, the first $10,200 of the benefits for 2020 wouldn’t be taxable for those making under $150,000.
- Child tax credits: The bill increases — for a period of one year — the $2,000 Child Tax Credit to $3,600 for children under age 6 and to $3,000 for children aged 6-17. The bill makes the credit fully refundable, so low-income households would get the full benefit, no matter how little they earn.
- Vaccines and testing: The bill allocates $8.75 billion for distributing, administering and tracking vaccinations; $20 billion for biomedical research for vaccine and therapeutic manufacturing and procurement; $3 billion for a strategic national stockpile of vaccines; and $25 billion for testing, contact tracing and reimbursing hospitals for lost revenue related to the pandemic.
- Restaurants: The bill provides $25 billion in relief targeted at small and midsize restaurants and chains. The money would be distributed as grants that don’t need to be repaid if the restaurants use them for operating expenses, including payroll, rent and providing personal protective equipment to employees.
- Schools: The bill provides $130 billion for K-12 schools to pay for reducing class sizes to accommodate social distancing, improving ventilation, hiring more janitors and providing more personal protective equipment.
More information on the American Rescue Plan:
Shuttered Venue Operators Grant: Museums, movie theaters and live venues can apply for new federal grants starting April 8. The U.S. Small Business Administration on March 19 launched a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal to help businesses prepare for the process. For details go to svograntportal.sba.gov/s/. The SBA has a list of frequently asked questions and video tutorials available at sba.gov/svogrant. Applicants will need to register with the federal System for Award Management, sam.gov.