The following is a guest blog by Greater Mankato Growth member, Blethen Berens. In it they highlight two important elements of the American Rescue Plan as it relates to employee leave.
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (hereinafter referred to as the “ARPA”). ARPA provides, among other things, important changes to the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave originally provided for under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) for employers with less than 500 employees. The most important thing to note is that these leave options are completely voluntary for employers: Employers are not required to offer either emergency paid sick leave or paid FMLA leave to their employees under ARPA, but there are tax incentives available to encourage employers to voluntarily offer this paid leave.
This week, President Biden signed the $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan. This is the third major stimulus package passed by the Federal Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. While there has been much discussion about relief to individuals including a new round of $1400 stimulus checks & unemployment benefit extensions as well as increased funding for vaccine purchase & distribution, this blog post will focus on the relief programs impacting businesses including the creation of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, expansions and changes to the PPP & EIDL loan programs, and expansions and changes to the Employee Retention Tax Credit Program. The full text of the law can be found here.
Restaurant Revitalization Fund
Edit: An updated post specific to the Restaurant Revitalization Fund & how to prepare for an application can be found here.
Restaurants, bars, & other elligible entities will be elligible to apply for a grant equal to 2019 revenue minus 2020 revenue minus PPP loans already received.
Businesses that opened in 2019 will determine their amount of grant eligibility by multiplying their average monthly gross revenue in 2019 by 12.
Businesses that opened in 2020 that experienced operating losses will be elligible for a grant under a similar formula that covers losses incurred.
Businesses that have not yet opened but that have already incurred payroll costs will be elligible for a grant that covers those expenses.
*Note: Formulas for determining grant eligibility for all three above categories may be modified via SBA guidance.