How is the coronavirus impacting your small business? In response to the ongoing pandemic, the House of Representatives passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, also known as the coronavirus bill. This legislation provides financial assistance to businesses impacted by the recently-mandated closures and quarantine measures. The legislation includes provisions that would guarantee free coronavirus testing, secure paid sick or family leave, and enhance unemployment insurance.
The Impact of Small Businesses
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses. They account for 44-percent of U.S. economic activity, create two-thirds of new jobs, and are a major driver of innovation. Small businesses are the lifeblood of the economy and main streets across the country. Unfortunately, small businesses are also often most vulnerable to major unexpected economic changes. That makes small businesses a priority in times of crisis.
Supporting Small Businesses
Many of the provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are aimed at employers with fewer than 500 workers, including one that would secure a mandatory two weeks of paid sick leave for those affected by the health crisis.
The act also provides up to three months of paid family and medical leave and strengthened unemployment insurance for those employees. This family and medical leave time would help families who need additional leave related to being quarantined or caring for children whose schools are closed because of the coronavirus. For those taking this additional family and medical leave, workers would receive a benefit from their employers, amounting to at least two-thirds of their usual pay.
What’s Next for Small Businesses
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is just one piece of the relief efforts and actions being taken by Congress in response to the pandemic. The President previously signed an $8.3 billion emergency funding bill that would provide money to federal public health agencies, help federal, state, and local governments prepare for and respond to the coronavirus threat, and subsidize $7 billion in small business loans.
The Senate is currently discussing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act legislation. More details to follow.
At Safeguard, small business is our passion. We are confident that in times of crisis and uncertainty, you can count on your local Safeguard advisor to see you through.
- The coronavirus bill legislation is a response from the federal government to provide financial assistance to people impacted by the worldwide pandemic.
- Small businesses represent 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses.
- Many of the provisions in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act are aimed at employers with fewer than 500 workers.
- The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is just one piece of the relief efforts and actions being taken by Congress in response to the pandemic.