The second stimulus bill, the Economic Aid to Hard-Hit Small Businesses, Nonprofits, and Venues Act, has been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump. While you may be hopeful that it will help your small business, you probably are also glazing over the fine print, unsure of whether you’ll actually be able to take advantage of any of the new relief.
To help, I’ve pulled out some of the key points from this bill that you should consider, as they may be relevant to you and your business—even if you’re a solopreneur or gig worker.
As happened after the CARES Act passed March 27, 2020, the Treasury Department and the Small Business Administration (SBA) will issue guidance that may change how this legislation is implemented. So use this as a starting point but don’t rely on it as the final word, or as guidance for your specific situation.
- You may be eligible for a second PPP loan
As you recall from the CARES Act earlier this year, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans were available to small businesses that had been negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Those funds have been replenished, and even if you took out a loan the first time, you may qualify for another PPP loan. (New applicants who qualify are also welcome to apply under the original terms of the CARES Act.) The key is that if you did get a PPP loan already, you must have already used your funds or have plans to use them to qualify for further PPP funds.
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Second draw PPP loans, however, put even more emphasis on very small businesses, including those that have:
300 or fewer employees and
Had at least a 25% reduction in gross receipts in one or more quarters of 2020 when compared to comparable quarters the year before (with some caveats for seasonal and newer businesses)
What this means for you: Whether or not you took out a PPP loan the first time, if your business has continued to struggle in 2020, consider applying if you believe your business qualifies. These loans, just like the first round, may qualify for full forgiveness. And if you didn’t apply the first time because you didn’t think your business was big enough (maybe you’re a solopreneur with no employees), now may be the time to consider it.
- You may pay less taxes
Prior to this bill, the expenses you paid for with funds from PPP were not eligible to be deducted on your taxes. The IRS determined that getting a forgivable loan that wasn’t taxed and then using that tax-free money to pay for expenses that you deducted on your taxes would be double dipping. Unfortunately, that meant some businesses were facing an ugly tax bill for 2020.
In addition, many businesses received a grant (advance) from the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program and the IRS was mum on whether those funds would be taxed. (Normally small business grants are taxable.)