State Rep. Harry Arora: Have you received your stimulus check ?

Posted on January 19, 2021

COVID related closures have imposed severe economic hardship on so many in our community. Our government has instituted a number of programs to provide economic assistance. These different programs like PPP, PUA, FPUC, DECD grants, EIDL, EIP can be confusing. Find below a description of the various programs and how to access them.

Unemployment Assistance (FPUC, PUA, PEUC) – The traditional unemployment assistance has been expanded by the Federal government. There are up to 50 weeks of unemployment assistance available (26 weeks normal + 24 weeks extended by PEUC) and a $300 additional FPUC payment for 11 weeks up to the week ending March 14, 2021. The unemployment program has also been expanded for those who are self-employed and are unable to work or have substantially reduced income (PUA programs). Many in our community do not know about this program, so please pass this information to friends and family members. The CT state Department of Labor administers all these programs. You can apply online HERE. I am available for clarifications and to assist with the process.

Small business assistance (PPP Loans)
The Federal government has announced another round of Payroll protection program for small businesses with between 1 – 300 employees. The first round was done in the summer of 2020. Under the second round of this program
• COVID impacted businesses can receive a loan for up to 2.5 months of their payroll. The maximum amount of loan that can be taken is $ 2 MM.
• Those in the hospitality industry (NAICS code 72) are eligible for 3.5 months of their payroll.
• The loan is forgiven if most of it is used to fund the payroll.
• Companies that received PPP in the summer and are applying for a second time have to prove that their revenue has decreased by 25% in one of the quarters in 2020 (over a similar quarter in 2019). Firms using this program for the first time have to represent that COVID has impacted their business.
• This program is administered through banks but is backed by the SBA. Please reach out to your bank or an online provider (like Paypal, Kabbage,Bluevine etc.). HERE is the link to SBA with detailed information. But do remember that this program is available via a bank or online provider.

Economic Impact Payments of $600 for each individual
The Treasury Department is sending the second round of Economic Impact Payments (or stimulus checks). EIP 2 is generally $600 for singles and $1,200 for married couples filing a joint return. In addition, those with qualifying children will also receive $600 for each qualifying child. Dependents who are 17 and older are not eligible for the child payment. The IRS emphasizes that there is no action required by eligible individuals to receive this second payment. The IRS reminds taxpayers that the payments are automatic, and they should not contact their financial institutions or the IRS with payment timing questions. These payments start phasing out at incomes above $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married filers. Eligible individuals who did not receive an Economic Impact Payment this year, either the first or the second payment, will be able to claim it when they file their 2020 taxes in 2021.
HERE is the link to the Treasury website with details.

DECD $5000 grants
The Connecticut DECD recently awarded 10,000 grants of $5000 each to businesses impacted by COVID. Firms from non-distressed municipalities like Greenwich were awarded 5000 of those grants. There were around 10,000 eligible applications, so the grants were made to only those firms which paid salaries using a W-2. The underlying reason provided by DECD for using this screen was that this prioritization would save jobs. The DECD also made another 2000 grants for a total of $35 MM to firms in the hospitality business (restaurants etc.), which have been hardest hit. HERE are details about that program