The COVID-19 pandemic is impacting just about every American across the country. It’s also had an impact on equipment manufacturing workers, including many in the I Make America community.
To help out Americans, Congress and President Trump recently passed a $2 trillion emergency relief package in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The “phase three” Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748) is the largest U.S. economic rescue package in history.
We’ve highlighted a few of ways the CARES Act provides support for equipment manufacturers:
1. Individual Rebate Checks:
The CARES Act provides checks of up to $1,200 to single individuals and $2,400 to married couples (increased by $500 per child). Check amounts begin to reduce as income exceeds a threshold amount ($75,000 for individuals/$150,000 for married filers) and are completely eliminated once income reaches $99,000 for individuals/$198,000 for joint filers with no children. Income amounts will be based on 2018 returns unless you’ve already filed your 2019 taxes.
2. Distributions from Retirement Plans:
The CARES Act waives the 10% penalty for distributions from certain retirement plans. The maximum allowable distribution is $100,000. Individuals can re-contribute these amounts to their plans over a period of up to three years. This provision is applicable to individuals diagnosed with COVID-19, whose spouse or dependents have been diagnosed, or who experience adverse financial consequences from the virus.
3. Paycheck Protection Program:
The CARES Act creates a loan program for certain businesses with 500 or fewer employees that allows businesses to take out loans of up to $10 million to cover payroll costs, healthcare benefits, mortgages, rent, and utilities for the business. The loans are eligible for 8 weeks of forgiveness as long as they maintain the workers they have and limit any wage cuts. This is retroactive to February 15, 2020 and therefore applicable to individuals who may have been laid off over the past few weeks.
4. Support for Agriculture:
The CARES Act contains a number of provisions that will provide relief to farmers and ranchers experiencing difficulty during this time through direct purchase for certain agricultural products and commodities, and increased funding for Commodity Credit Corporation programs.
5. Support for Infrastructure:
The CARES Act includes funds to shore up infrastructure programs that support aviation, public transportation, and airport infrastructure. It also ensures that the operation of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects across the country continue, as U.S. locks and dams, canals, harbors, and a wide range of public works programs are vital to the transportation of goods and products essential to the equipment industry.
Learn more by visiting the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’s (AEM) comprehensive resource information page about COVID-19.