U.S. Congress approved this $2 trillion stimulus package Friday, March 27, 2020 to combat the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alliance for Strong Families and Communities has created the following summary of key provisions of interest to our members. 

Access the Alliance’s COVID-19 resources page, which includes several webinars, news articles and updates, and an online discussion and resources collection for members.

View more public policy news  and sign up for the weekly Alliance Policy Radar online.

Financial Relief for Nonprofits

Small Business Administration (SBA) 7a Forgivable Loans for Nonprofits

(500 Employees or Less)

Provides funding for special emergency loans of up to $10 million for eligible nonprofits to cover payroll, operations, debt services, etc. Loans can cover payroll and associated costs, health insurance premiums, facilities costs, and debt service. The loans have a maximum interest rate of 4% and are available as an incentive for employers to hire back as many workers as is feasible. Authorizes administration of new loans until Dec. 31, 2020. The size of the loans would equal 250% of an employer’s average monthly payroll. Provides lenders authority to make determinations on a borrower’s eligibility and creditworthiness without going through all of SBA’s regular channels. Eligible borrowers will need to make a good faith certification that the loan is necessary due to the uncertainty of the current economic conditions caused by COVID 19. Most likely, organizations cannot participate in both Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) through SBA and SBA 7a and will have to choose one or the other. 

  • Loan Forgiveness: Loans can be forgiven, in whole, for organizations that maintain employment from March 1-June 30, 2020, essentially turning the loan into a grant. Amounts forgiven cannot exceed the principal amount of the loan. 
  • Loans Disbursed through Any Government-Backed Lender: An application through SBA is not necessary. Any major lenders should be able to start making loans within a few weeks of final passage of the bill. Stay tuned for more details and start talking to your government-backed lender now about how to get ready.
  • Medicaid Exclusion Successfully Removed: The Alliance advocated to remove a dangerous provision to the small business loan program that would have prohibited any nonprofit that receives or is eligible for Medicaid reimbursement from getting access to these critical loans. After an uphill battle, this provision has been removed. If left in place, this would have barred most of our sector from accessing critical capital during a difficult time.

Access to Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)

Available Now.

These grants are available now, and the CARES bill dumps more money into them. They go directly through the SBA in any area that has a declared disaster (the entire U.S. is covered by that right now). Allows eligible entities who have applied for EIDL loans to request an advance of $10,000, which the SBA must distribute within three days. Loans are up to $2 million total. The CARES Act eliminates creditworthiness requirements and appropriates an additional $10 billion into the program. Authority to grant these loans until Dec. 30, 2020. Most likely, organizations cannot participate in both EIDL and SBA 7a and will have to choose one or the other. 

Access to Loans for Medium-Large Nonprofits

(500 Employees or More)

A new loan relief package for mid-size nonprofits was created that would provide loans with a 2% interest rate to organizations with 500-10,000 employees. The funds received must be used to retain at least 90 percent of the recipient's workforce, with full compensation and benefits, through Sept. 30, 2020. The loans would not accrue interest or require any payments for the first six months. Borrowers must demonstrate that alternative financing is not reasonably available to them. There is not a clearly indicated borrowing limit, but we presume payroll would be part of the bank’s calculation. There is no statutory dollar cap.

Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit 

Available to nonprofits with over 500 employees that do not qualify for the SBA 7a loan program. Creates a refundable payroll tax credit of up to $5,000 for each employee on the payroll when certain conditions are met, such as operations are fully or partially suspended due to COVID-19 shutdown order or significant gross receipt decline. The availability of the credit would continue each quarter until the organization’s revenue exceeds 80 percent of the same quarter in 2019. For tax-exempt organizations, the entity’s whole operations must be taken into account when determining the decline in revenues. Notably, employers receiving emergency SBA 7(a) loans would not be eligible for these credits.

*Thank you to the National Council of Nonprofits for thorough summaries and analysis of loan and tax provisions.

Paid Sick & Family Leave for Nonprofits

Changes to New Paid Sick Leave Mandates 

Lowers the amount that employers must pay for paid sick and family leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act that was enacted last week to the amounts covered by the refundable payroll tax credit (i.e. $511 per day for sick leave or $200 per day for family leave). 

Learn more about paid family and sick leave for COVID-19, under the previous bill (the Families First Coronavirus Response Act), which passed earlier in Congress.

Rebate Checks for Adults & Families 

All U.S. residents, with adjusted gross income below $75,000 ($150,000, if married), who are not dependents and have a work-eligible social security number will receive a $1,200 ($2,400 married) rebate from the federal government, plus $500 per child. The rebate will decrease by $5 for each additional $100 in income up until $99,000 ($198,000 married with no children), at which point the rebate phases out entirely. Individuals and households with no income, as well as income from non-taxable means-tested benefits programs, like SSI, are eligible for the rebate.

Charitable Giving Incentives

New Universal Charitable Deduction. To bolster charitable giving in a time of economic downturn, the Alliance and other advocates secured a $300 above-the-line tax deduction for charitable giving, eligible to both itemizers and non-itemizers alike. This is not a permanent provision and will expire at the end of tax year 2020. It is our hope that this will spur more charitable giving in your communities in 2020 to make up for lost revenue and we will continue to advocate for making a universal tax deduction permanent.

Unemployment Insurance

The bill would increase unemployment benefits by $600 per week for laid off workers through July 31, 2020. This $600 supplement, together with the traditional state unemployment insurance benefit, should replace 100% of lost income for the average U.S. worker. The bill also expands coverage to workers not usually allowed to access these benefits, like self-employed individuals, independent contractors, and “gig economy” employees. This expanded coverage will last for 13 weeks longer than states usually allow, through Dec. 31, 2020. 

Regarding nonprofits, which traditionally pay 100% of the cost of unemployment compensation for laid off workers, the federal government will now cover 50% of these costs. These workers will also be eligible for the additional $600 in benefits provided by the federal government.

Appropriations by Federal Agency

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
General Provisions

  • Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund: $100 billion to reimburse health care providers—through grants or other mechanisms—for health care-related expenses or lost revenues that are directly attributable to COVID-19 (for example, purchase of personal protective equipment; laboratory testing to detect positive cases; infection control and mitigation at the local level to prevent the spread of the virus; and other public health preparedness and response activities).
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program: $900 million in grants to states to support immediate home energy assistance for low-income households.
  • Community Services Block Grant: $1 billion to help communities address challenges of unemployment and economic disruption

Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Children and Families (ACF) 

  • Child Welfare Services: $45 million for grants to states to support the child welfare needs of families and to help keep families together. 
  • Family Violence Prevention and Services: $45 million to provide additional support to family violence shelters and $2 million in additional support for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
  • Runaway and Homeless Youth Program: $25 million for additional immediate assistance to current programs providing critical services and housing for runaway and homeless youth.
  • Child Care and Development Block Grants: $3.5 billion for (1) state, territory, and tribal general revenue funds for child care assistance; (2) financial support to child care providers in the case of decreased enrollment or closures; and (3) child care assistance to health care sector employees, emergency responders, sanitation workers, and other workers deemed essential.
  • Head Start: $750 million for grants to all programs to help them respond to needs of children and families including making up for lost learning time.
  • Summer Programming: $500 million operating supplemental summer programs through non-competitive grant supplements to existing grantees.

Department of Health and Human Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

  • Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics: $250 million to increase access to mental health services in communities.
  • Emergency Response Grants: $100 million in flexible funding to address mental health, substance use disorders, and provide resources and support to youth and the homeless.
  • Suicide Prevention: $50 million to provide increased support for those most in need of intervention.

Department of Health and Human Services
Administration for Community Living

  • Administration for Community Living: $955 million for aging and disability services programs including senior nutrition, home and community-based support services, family caregivers, elder justice, and independent living.

Federal Communications Commission

  • Telehealth Initiatives: $200 million to support the efforts of health care providers by providing telecommunications services, information services, and devices necessary to enable the provision of telehealth services.

Department of Education

  • Education Stabilization Fund: $30.8 billion to address basic needs of students, transition to online learning, and support college students experiencing increased costs and challenges (e.g., housing and food) due to closed campuses.
    • $13.5 billion to state education agencies (SEAs) for grants to local education agencies (LEAs). SEAs must allocate funds to LEAs based on the relative share of federal Title I funding they received last year. Funds can be used for a variety of K-12 purposes including purchasing educational technology to support online learning; supporting mental health; afterschool and summer programming; and making up for lost learning time.
    • $14.3 billion to Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs).
    • $3 billion in flexible funding to governors for K-12 and IHEs.
  • Project SERV (School Emergency Response to Violence): $100 million to supplement funds otherwise available for Project SERV to help clean and disinfect affected schools and to address the impact of this emergency on students including their mental health. 

Department of Agriculture

  • Child Nutrition Programs: $8.8 billion to ensure children receive meals while school is not in session. National School Lunch Program, the School Breakfast Program, the Special Milk Program, the Child and Adult Care Food Program, and the Summer Food Service Program are included.
  • Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program: $25 million to help improve distance learning and telemedicine in rural areas of America.
  • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP): $15.81 billion to provide additional funding for SNAP to cover waiver authorities granted in H.R. 6201 and anticipated increases in participation. Provides $15.51 billion to cover anticipated increases in participation as a result of COVID-19; $100 million for food distribution on Indian reservations; and $200 million for grants to the territories for nutrition assistance.
  • The Emergency Food Assistance Program: $450 million for additional commodities, $150 million of which may be used to distribute emergency food assistance via community partners.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • Community Development Block Grant: $5 billion for CDBG to provide communities and states with funding to provide a wide range of resources such as services for senior citizens, the homeless, and public health services and funds for community health facilities, childcare centers, and food banks.
  • Rental Assistance Protections for Low-Income Americans: $3 billion to support Public Housing Agencies to keep 3.2 million Section 8 voucher and public housing individuals and families housed.
  • Emergency Solutions Grants: $4 billion to address the impact of COVID-19 among individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness and to support additional homeless assistance, prevention, and eviction prevention assistance. Eviction prevention activities including rapid rehousing, housing counseling, and rental deposit assistance to mitigate the adverse impacts on working families.
  • Housing for the Elderly: $50 million to maintain housing stability and services for low-income seniors, who are at particular risk of contracting COVID-19.
  • Housing for Persons with Disabilities: $15 million to make up for reduced tenant payments as a result of coronavirus.

Department of Homeland Security

  • Emergency Food and Shelter Program: $200 million for shelter, food, and supportive services through local service organizations.

Department of Labor

  • Employment and Training Administration: $360 million, of which $345 million are for services for dislocated workers, seniors, migrant farmworkers and homeless veterans.

Additional Resources

Legislative summaries of the coronavirus relief package:

Access the Alliance’s COVID-19 resources page, which includes several webinars, news articles and updates, and an online discussion and resources collection for members.

View more public policy news  and sign up for the weekly Alliance Policy Radar online.