Congress Passes “Stimulus 3.5” to Aid Small Businesses, Hospitals, and Virus Testing

Governmental Affairs Alert

Firm Alert

Author(s) , , , , Ricky Callaway (Governmental Affairs Specialist)

The House and Senate have passed the latest round of emergency stimulus measures to address the COVID-19 crisis – a $484 billion package geared toward helping small businesses and hospitals negatively affected by the virus. President Trump is expected to sign the legislation right away.

What’s in the Bill

The “Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act,” which is being referred to as “Stimulus 3.5” since it builds upon the CARES Act, is the fourth stimulus action in response to the economic and health crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic. The bill includes further aid to small businesses and hospitals, as well as funding for coronavirus testing. 

Below are some of the key provisions in the bill:

Small Business

  • $370 billion for small business loans
    • $310 billion to replenish the Paycheck Protection Program for small business loans, including:
      • $30 billion set aside for banks and credit unions with $10 billion to $50 billion in assets
      • $30 billion set aside for even smaller institutions
    • $10 billion for Emergency Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL)
    • $50 billion for other SBA disaster loan programs

Hospitals

  • $75 billion for hospitals and healthcare providers
    • For COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue
    • In addition to the $100 billion in the CARES Act

Virus Testing

  • $25 billion for virus testing
    • Research and development, manufacturing, purchasing, and expanding testing capacity, among other provisions

Outlook/Further Stimulus

It is expected that Congress and the administration will immediately begin work on another comprehensive stimulus bill. This round of stimulus funding should fund both needs addressed in previous stimulus efforts and new areas of need. 

What Steps Business Should Take

To prepare for this next stimulus effort, we recommend that businesses take the following steps: 

  • Identify improvements, clarifications or additional funding needed for existing stimulus programs.
  • Identify areas of need that have not been addressed yet in existing stimulus programs.
  • Engage with your trade association(s) and key business associations to ensure that they are aware of and are advocating for your needs.
  • Engage with your federal, state and local elected officials to let them know about your needs.

How Bradley Can Help

Bradley’s Governmental Affairs team is actively monitoring these efforts, working with key people in Congress and in the administration on their stimulus efforts and advocating for our clients within this rapidly changing political and legislative environment. Please contact our Governmental Affairs Practice Group Leader, David Stewart, if you are interested in learning more about these stimulus efforts or pursuing policies that can protect your business interests during these challenging times.

Please note that Paul Kavinoky, Katie Ashley and Ricky Callaway are not attorneys.

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