COVID-19 Relief Bill

Impact of the COVID-19 Relief Bill on Industries Including Franchises

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Congress reached a much anticipated $900 billion dollar COVID-19 bill. It pronounces a prominent impact on American citizens and businesses of all kinds. It contains a few interesting clauses for small and medium sized businesses including franchises.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D. Calif) said in a statement, “We are going to crush the virus and put money in the pockets of the American people.” Neil Bradley, US Chamber of Commerce chief policy officer, commented on how this move is vital for affected businesses. “At a moment in which their viability was in question, this could be the lifeline that keeps those small businesses open”, he said.

Relief for Businesses

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) as issued in April would be revived through this agreement. This Covid-19 relief program supported $525 billion in forgivable loans to 5.2 million US businesses under the Cares Act. Presently the bill has allotted $284 billion to reopen the program.

The eligibility criteria extend to first-time PPP recipients and those who have already gotten a PPP loan but incurred significant revenue losses. Eligible businesses with an employee base of 300 or less need to show a 25 percent decline in revenue in 2020 as compared to 2019.

The range of expenses eligible for forgiveness for new or pre-existing PPP loans would be however restricted in the new relief package. They would include personal protective equipment and the expenditure related with conforming to COVID-19 standards. 

Citizen Benefits

Stimulus checks have also been brought back for the well-being of American citizens. The checks are ready to include up to 600$ worth of payment to every adult and child.

The Employee Retention Credit may also be reauthorized by the stimulus package. It is a refundable tax credit of 50 percent. It includes the first $10,000 in the annual wages of each eligible employee. 

Impact on Franchises

Franchises can be significantly benefitted with the new features of the relief bill. PPP funding is set to unlock new opportunities for companies. On securing the PPP loans, franchisees would be able to satisfy the employees’ paychecks and slash overhead. The part of the PPP loans used to pay employees can be fully forgiven.

The stimulus checks would fill the pockets of several Americans who have been struck by unemployment due to the pandemic. They will have more to spend after nine months of financial uncertainty. Yet franchises cannot get their hopes up as it is unclear whether many consumers would see that income as ‘disposable’.

Significantly, there would be no special money set aside for the restaurant sector. Almost 110,000 restaurants have shut down since the start of the pandemic.


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