U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi returns to her office after the start of the vote on the latest stimulus package. Win McNamee/Getty Images

What’s included in the new $484 billion COVID-19 relief package

Janet Nguyen Apr 23, 2020
U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi returns to her office after the start of the vote on the latest stimulus package. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Congress has approved a nearly $500 billion COVID-19 relief package, which will now head to the White House for President Donald Trump’s signature.

The House approved the measure in a 388-5 vote today, following Senate approval on Tuesday.

The package includes more than $320 billion in funding for the Paycheck Protection Program, which provides loans to small businesses.

The government initially gave about $350 billion to the program, which drew criticism after major companies received loans. Publicly traded companies got more than $500 million in small business loans, in aggregate, according to an analysis from the Wall Street Journal

In response to the backlash, the Small Business Administration released new guidance today stating that public companies will have until May 7 to return aid. Some companies have already returned the funds, like Shake Shack, which received $10 million in loans

According to the SBA statement, borrowers will have to demonstrate “that their PPP loan request is necessary.”

“It is unlikely that a public company with substantial market value and access to capital markets will be able to make the required certification in good faith,” the SBA said in its frequently asked questions section.

As part of the relief package, $75 billion will go to hospitals, $60 billion will be earmarked for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and $25 billion will fund COVID-19 testing.

COVID-19 Economy FAQs

What’s the latest on the extra COVID-19 unemployment benefits?

As of now, those $600-a-week payments will stop at the end of July. For many, unemployment payments have been a lifeline, but one that is about to end, if nothing changes. The debate over whether or not to extend these benefits continues among lawmakers.

With a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases, are restaurants and bars shutting back down?

The latest jobs report shows that 4.8 million Americans went back to work in June. More than 30% of those job gains were from bars and restaurants. But those industries are in trouble again. For example, because of the steep rise in COVID-19 cases in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, increased restrictions on restaurant capacities and closed bars. It’s created a logistical nightmare.

Which businesses got Paycheck Protection Program loans?

The numbers are in — well, at least in part. The federal government has released the names of companies that received loans of $150,000 or more through the Paycheck Protection Program.

Some of the companies people are surprised got loans include Kanye West’s fashion line, Yeezy, TGI Fridays and P.F. Chang’s. The companies you might not recognize, particularly some smaller businesses, were able to hire back staff or partially reopen thanks to the loans.

You can find answers to more questions on unemployment benefits and COVID-19 here.

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