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Understanding the fiscal stimulus package

Mitch McConnell (Credit: Speaker’s Press Office)

Informative F.A.Q from NYTimes and a good resource for understanding some tenants new reality following the passage of the $2 Trillion stimulus package. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he expects most people to get their payments within three weeks.

  • Covers independent contractors: The plan wraps in far more workers than are usually eligible for unemployment benefits, including self-employed people and part-time workers.
  • Be Smart: Extended unemployment benefits: Current New York State Unemployment Insurance ranges from $104 to $504 per week. The stimulus package adds federal benefits, which will provide workers with an additional $600 per week for four months. Those who need extra help will also be able to extend the unemployment period from 26 weeks to 39 weeks. This means that an unemployed waiter who earned $52,416 last year will receive $4,416 per month.

Business component:

The bill calls for banks to lend directly to businesses, and those loans will be backed by the Small Business Administration. Businesses do not have to repay portions of the loans covering up to eight weeks worth of payroll expenses, in addition to their mortgage, rent, and utilities. 

  • Timing is key: The S.B.A.’s website has been so jammed that many users have been unable to complete loan applications, and those who did are told that they will take at least three weeks to process. For small business owners — many of whom operate on thin margins — delays could mean the difference between surviving and shuttering their businesses permanently, NYTimes astutely noted.
  • Dig Deeper: The banks lending the money would be reimbursed for those portions by the Treasury Department, which is receiving $377 billion to fund the program. Venture-backed startups are not eligible.

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