Congress passed and the President just signed into law the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) to provide additional support for Americans and our economy. Title V of this relief package contains an additional appropriation of $53.6 billion to assist small entities through programs managed by the Small Business Administration (SBA). As discussed below, it tinkers with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) but does not extend its March 31 deadline.
The most notable inclusion in H.R. 1319 was a new $28.6 billion grant program for restaurants and other food and drink establishments (bars), known as the Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Tax-exempt grants will be available for up to $10 million per restaurant group, or $5 million per location. Grants may be used for a wide variety of expenses, including payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, supplies, food and beverage expenses, paid sick leave, and operating expenses. The program has eligibility and other limits and will remain open until at least December 31, 2021. It supplements the additional PPP assistance for food and drink establishments from the prior pandemic relief bill (see CARES Act Alert #14).
The most notable exclusion from H.R. 1319 was any extension of the deadline to apply for a PPP loan. That deadline remains March 31, 2021. While the legislation includes an additional $7.25 billion in funding for the PPP, and eligibility for businesses involved in digital journalism, it does not extend the application closing date. Thus, for all those who remain on the fence about filing a first or second PPP loan application, now is the time to contact your lender and complete your paperwork. Some PPP lenders apparently plan to stop accepting new applications well before the March 31st deadline to ensure they have enough time to process existing applications. Don’t wait until the last minute!
To explain key relief for 501(c)(3) non-profits and small businesses in the CARES Act (complete text) and related legislation, including the Economic Aid Act (Division N of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, complete text), we published our CARES Alert #1 (Help for Small Businesses & 501(c)(3)s via the PPP); CARES Alert #2 (Get Ready to Apply); CARES Alert #3 (PPP vs EIDL), CARES Alert #4 (Treasury Guidance), CARES Alert #5 (SBA’s Interim Final Rule), CARES Alert #6 (IFR on Affiliation & Religious Nonprofits); CARES Alert #7 (FBO Guidance), CARES Alert #8 (Unemployment Benefits, including FBOs); CARES Alert #9 (Safe Harbor Guidance); CARES Alert #10 (Fixes to the PPP); CARES Alert #11 (New EZ PPP Forgiveness Application); CARES Alert #12 (PPP Application Deadline Extended); CARES Alert #13 (PPP Forgiveness FAQs); CARES Alert #14 (PPP Second Draw); CARES Alert #15 (Rule for PPP Second Draw); and CARES Alert #16 (PPP Priority for Small Entities).
Our CARES Act Team is available to help you navigate these difficult issues, including the unique issues faced by nonprofits, religious organizations, and churches. For assistance, please contact one of our designated attorneys: Nancy LeSourd, Matthew Szymanski, Scott Ward, or Derek Gaubatz. Our CARES Act Team also includes our non-attorney consultant Phil Eskeland. Mr. Szymanski and Mr. Eskeland bring experience from their past service, respectively, as the chief of staff and the deputy chief of staff of the Small Business Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, including during the legislative response to 9/11.