Update from Rep. Jake Johnson on State & Federal Economic Relief Efforts
Raleigh, NC- For the past several weeks, lawmakers in Congress and in the North Carolina legislature have been working on relief packages designed to help the citizens and businesses of North Carolina through this current crisis. The federal stimulus package that was passed this week, along with the unemployment benefits and economic support offered through the state should offer much needed support to the citizens who are taking a financial hit due to the closures and decline in revenues.
“The purpose of this update is to make sure our citizens here in North Carolina know what financial support is available to them, and how to get it.” Said Representative Jake Johnson. There are two separate paths of relief depending on if you are seeking assistance as the owner of a business acting as an employer or an employee who is seeking financial support because your employment or income has been impacted by the current crisis.
If you are a business owner who is in need of economic support, here are some of the options that you could potentially qualify for and a brief description:
1) Small Business Administration (SBA) Loans and Grants
- Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDLs)
- Emergency Economic Injury Grants
- Express Bridge Loan
- Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Small Business Debt Relief
These are programs offered through the Federal Small Business Administration. These programs do a variety of things from help pay monthly expenses, make payroll, make payments on business debt, offer short term relief of lost revenues, etc.. Some of these programs also offer long-term low interest loans, some of which may be forgivable. Nonprofits can apply for some of these programs as well. If you would like more information or directions on how to apply, please reach out to the SBA at: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela
or find additional contact info at: https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/organization/contact-sba
2) North Carolina Golden LEAF Loan Program – Rapid Recovery Loan Program:
- The Rapid Recovery Loan Program are Bridge Loans designed to enable a business to operate while pursuing other long-term solutions. Terms of the loan are:
- zero interest and no payments for up to six months
- the maximum amount a borrower is eligible for is equal to the lesser of two months of revenue or $50,000
- expedited underwriting and release of funds.
- If not repaid or refinanced, loan converts to a term loan with 5.5% interest rate.
To learn more about the NC COVID-19 Rapid Recovery Loan Program visit https://ncrapidrecovery.org/
Applications will be reviewed in the order they are received as additional funds become available.
For employees who are in need of financial assistance, here are some useful resources:
1) State Unemployment Benefits:
The General Assembly changed state law in 2017 to ensure benefits paid during federal disaster declarations may be provided without waiting a week or without showing the usually required job search. State and federal executive orders also allow beneficiaries to apply online and waive penalties for employers, among other emergency changes.
Constituents can create an account and apply for unemployment benefits with the Employment Security Division at https://des.nc.gov/apply-unemployment
. The department is in the process of hiring and training many additional employees to help handle the processing of new and pending applications.
2) Unemployment benefits for independent contractors & sole proprietors:
The newly passed stimulus package does offer unemployment benefits for independent contractors and sole proprietors. All COVID-19 related unemployment claims and all associated rules are managed and enforced by the NC Division of Employment Security, who is awaiting guidance for issuing those payments. Any benefits owed will be paid retroactively once guidance is given from the federal government.
3) One-time tax rebate check (for employers & employees):
a. $1,200 per individual, $2,400 per couple and $500 per eligible child.
b. Not reduced for lower income Americans.
c. They are reduced for higher income earners, starting at $75,000 for individuals, $112,500
for head of household, and $150,000 for married couples.
d. Expanded unemployment insurance to cover gig workers and self-employed and non-profit
“I want to thank all of those on the front lines of fighting this virus and everyone who is having a positive impact on their community during this hard time. I hope this list of resources is useful and can help our citizens weather this storm. I believe that as always, we will come out this hardship stronger than before and our economy will come roaring back to the levels it was prior to the outbreak. If anyone has any questions regarding these programs or how to apply, please reach out to my office at Jake.Johnson@ncleg.net
or 919-715-4466 and I will be happy to help in any way I can. I look forward to working together to get through this. God Bless.
-Rep. Jake Johnson, member of the Covid-19 Economic Support Task Force.