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House passes PPP improvement bill, & other updates

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Earlier today, the House of Representatives passed a bill with several improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program.  Some of the highlights included in the final product:Stretches the previous 8-week period to 24 weeks. The restriction limiting non-payroll expenses eligible for forgiveness is adjusted to 40% up from 25% in the original law Any new PPP loans issued will have a 5 year term rather than a 2 year term
The deadline to hire back employees in order to receive forgiveness for that portion used for payroll is now December 31, 2020.

These are prudent, needed improvements that reflect feedback many Members of Congress have received from small business owners, particularly restaurant owners.

It is expected that the Senate will take up this bill next week, and it should pass quickly.  You can find a more detailed summary here put together by Republicans on the House Small Business Committee:

The IRS has updated its Frequently Asked Questions document regarding CARES Act stimulus payments.  Here are the latest updates:
What about a child’s parents who are not married to each other, but both got the $500 for the same child? Will one of them have to pay that back? The law doesn’t require repayment of an Economic Impact Payment in these situations.  Each parent should review Notice 1444, Your Economic Impact Payment.  The IRS will mail this notice to their last known addresses within 15 days after the payment is made.

The parents should keep the notice for their 2020 tax records. If someone who owed tax scheduled payment from their bank account, will the IRS send the payment to the account used? No, the IRS will not send an Economic Impact Payment to an account used to make a payment to the IRS.  If the agency doesn’t have direct deposit bank information for someone, their payment will be mailed to the address the IRS has on file. If someone requested a direct deposit of the payment, why is the IRS mailing it? There are several reasons why someone’s payment may have been sent by mail.

These include:
The payment was already in process before the bank information was entered.
The IRS does not have the correct bank account information
The bank rejects the direct deposit
The IRS will mail the payment to the address they have on file for the taxpayer.  Typically, it will take up to 14 days to receive the payment.

An important additional reminder about stimulus payments: nearly four million people will receive their payments via prepaid debit card.  These cards arrive in a plain envelope from Money Network Cardholder Services.  The Visa name will appear on the front of the card; the back of the card has the name of the issuing bank, MetaBank®, N.A.  Information included with the card will explain that the card is an Economic Impact Payment Card.  Be careful not to discard this card as junk mail.

If you receive your payment via prepaid debit card, you can do the following fee-free:Make purchases online and at any retail location where Visa is accepted Get cash from in-network ATMs Transfer funds to your personal bank account. Check your card balance online, by mobile app, or by phone

Here is some additional information about the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program, designed to provide support to medium-sized businesses and their employees struggling during the COVID-19 crisis.  The program is intended to ease the flow of credit to businesses that were in strong financial condition before the crisis but now need new loans to help them survive.  It’s targeted to entities that are too big to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program, but too small to access credit options available to large corporations.

A good overview of the program and how it works is available from the Fed here. This page has useful information for borrowers, including a Frequently Asked Questions page. Interested lenders can view eligibility requirements on the Main Street Lending Program term sheets. Several webinars for lenders and borrowers are planned in the coming days: Business/borrower webinar (presentation & Q&A) – Fri., May 29
Business/borrower drop-in call (Q&A) – Weds. June 3 Lender Ask the Fed webinar (presentation & Q&A) – Thurs. June 4

The New Hanover County Senior Resource Center will resume its Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program starting Monday, June 1st with drop-off services.  VITA is a free tax preparation service by trained and IRS-certified volunteers available to any New Hanover County Resident.  Starting Monday, residents can drop off 2019 tax paperwork for preparation at either the Senior Resource Center or the Carolina Beach Community Center.  An appointment may be needed, visit this page for more information.
For today’s good news story, I’m highlighting the teachers, staff and parents of West Brunswick High School, who went above and beyond to ensure their graduating seniors had a memorable end to their final semester despite the COVID-19 outbreak.

As always, stay tuned to and the NC Department of Health and Human Services’ website for the latest on the outbreak.  And please feel free to send good news stories our way to highlight in this newsletter by replying to this e-mail.


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