On March 25th, congressional leaders released the final text of their $2 trillion coronavirus rescue package. The agreement includes a dramatic expansion of unemployment insurance, a rescue fund for state and local governments, immediate cash for hospitals, and a huge pool of grants and loans for small businesses. See the National Restaurant Association's full analysis here.
Passage in both chambers is all but assured – the only question is one of timing. The Senate is on a path to pass the bill this evening. Timing of a House bill remains murky. A vote Thursday night or Friday morning is likely. President Trump is likely to sign the bill very soon thereafter.
Overall the bill is very strong, with many provisions that specifically reflect the National Restaurant Association’s asks from last week. Here are the highlights of the deal:
The measure creates a $349 billion program for the SBA to offer unique loans to small businesses (500 or fewer employees). The loan amount is based on 250% of the borrower’s average monthly payroll cost for the preceding year (provisions for seasonal employers are included), up to $10 million. Collateral requirements are waived, and the “credit elsewhere” requirements (which have slowed down the process) have been waived as well. The loan is forgiven if used for payroll costs, mortgage interest, or rent/utilities.
The agreement offers restaurant owners relief in the form of Net Operating Loss (NOL) carrybacks, delay of payment of employer payroll taxes, and an Employee Retention Tax Credit.
Qualified Improvement Property
At long last, restaurants can immediately write off costs associated with improving facilities. The QIP fix is complete.
Congress is likely to draft subsequent recovery bills. We are working on what industry-specific provisions should be included.
Thanks to You
In an era of chronic dysfunction in Washington, Congress broke modern speed records in developing comprehensive legislation to address a national pandemic that has devastated many businesses – particularly ours. Amidst the disruption of shuttered congressional offices and a cacophony of industries asking for assistance, the restaurant industry spoke with a clear, unified voice. We achieved unprecedented levels of grassroots engagement at every level of government.
See the National Restaurant Association's full analysis here.
Once this bill has been enacted, we are planning a Virtual Town Hall to answer your questions. Call-in information and how register to follow. For questions, contact email@example.com or (702) 878-2313.
Thank you again for everything you do for the restaurant industry, for your resiliency, and for being such an integral part of our communities.