New Business and Worker Resources in 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act

Last night, Congress approved the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act. While final rules won’t be issued for days or weeks, here are some items we’re tracking:

Additional Insights Regarding New Federal Resources

The US Chamber of Commerce has provided updated information on the PPP, EIDL and other business assistance/resource programs. To learn more, visit

PPP Business Loan Program Expanded:

  • Billions have been added to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs. Entities who received either loan in the first round are eligible to apply again through a “second draw
  • PPP applicants can apply (and have loans forgiven) for higher amounts as the range of eligible expenses has been expanded to include supplier costs [restaurants], worker protections [PPE], software [tools that make doing business easier] and property damage
  • Economic development organizations [501(c)(6)] and DMOs DO qualify for PPP loans
  • Forgiven PPP loans (grants) are NOT counted as taxable income
  • New PPP Loans under $150k: one-page application and reduced submittal requirements
  • SBA has 10 days from adoption of Act (TBD) to issue clarifying administrative rules

Other Business Tax Relief:

  • $15 billion to support live entertainment venues, agents, cultural institutions such as theaters and museums with 500 or fewer FTE (cannot also apply for a new PPP loan)
    • $2 billion of these funds are reserved for entities with 50 or fewer FTE employees
    • Initial grant can total up to $10 million per eligible business. A supplemental second grant, worth half the amount of the first, may also be available if funds are available
    • Grant amount based on 45% of recipient’s 2019 gross earned revenue
    • Priority in the first 14 days given to businesses who faced 90% or more of losses of earned revenue between 4/1 to 12/31/20, compared to the same period in 2019
    • Priority for next 14 days given to companies who faced 70% or more of losses of earned revenue between 4/1 to 12/31/20, compared to the same period in 2019
    • Special formula allowances available for seasonal businesses
    • Funds can be used to cover all the same new covered costs of a PPP loan plus payments to independent contractors (not to exceed $100K annual pay), maintenance costs, licensing, insurance premiums, advertising, theatrical production costs, and capital expenditures incurred 3/1/20 to 12/31/21
    • Recipient would not include grant funds in their taxable gross income
    • Grant funds cannot be used to purchase real estate, pay loans taken out after 2/15/20, investment or re-lend, or for electoral activity and lobbying expenditures
    • Applications are made to the SBA and the SBA Administrator to issue guidance within 21 days of bill’s enactment
  • Business tax /credit  extended through March 2021 (payroll tax, sick and family leave)
  • Increased fee schedule proposed for physicians (more federal funding for public payers)
  • $10B allocated for childcare (to help replace parent copay, fund technical training)

Impacted Worker Support:

  • Key unemployment benefits extended to March 14 and or 21, 2021 (with total eligibility expanded from 39 to 50 weeks)
  • IRS tax credits extended for 2020 returns ($1,200 for joint filers under $150k annual income)

Thurston Strong will provide pertinent updates as formal rules are adopted and the programs above are announced or launched.

In the meantime, the National Development Council (NDC) is offering a free webinar to delve deeper into the appropriations and programs contained within the new Act. The webinar starts at noon on Wednesday, December 23. To register, visit