Congress and the White House are taking final action on a narrowly-tailored “interim” COVID-19 relief bill. The deal adds funding to the existing Paycheck Protection Program administered by local lenders and the Economic Injury Disaster Relief program administered by the Small Business Administration, and provides additional resources for COVID-19 testing and hospitals. Congress is expected to take up a separate package of new and expanded COVID-19 relief measures in the weeks to come, and ongoing advocacy will be essential.

Here is a quick overview of the Paycheck Protection and Health Care Enhancement Act:

  • Paycheck Protection Program:
    $310 billion in new funding (with $60 billion of that amount set aside to be administered by smaller lending institutions like credit unions and community financial institutions).
  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Relief:
    $50 billion in new funding for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program
    $10 billion in new funding for the EIDL Grants

In the interest of speedy passage of this bill, negotiators chose not to make substantial changes to the eligibility for the relief programs, which means requests by nonprofit advocates (PDF) for a dedicated pool of resources and for Congress to lift the 500-employee cap are not included in this measure. The bill has been approved by the Senate and House, and the White House has signaled its support.
While there is not a clear answer as to how soon lenders will be able to administer the new funds, policy leaders say the resources will be “rapidly” available to lenders.
The League’s COVID-19 Federal Assistance Resource page provides more information about these and additional forms of relief.

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