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New Federal Stimulus Legislation Provides Funding for Small Businesses, Healthcare Providers, and Coronavirus Testing

On April 24, 2020, President Trump signed the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act, which will allocate over $480 billion in additional funding for the federal COVID-19 response, including:

  • $320 billion in additional funds for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which is the program the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established to allow for forgivable loans through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for small companies to use to retain employees on their payrolls. This measure infuses funding for additional PPP loans since the original amount allocated to the program was exhausted on April 15, 2020. Of the new funding, $30 billion is set aside for loans made by federally-insured lenders with between $10 billion and $50 billion in assets, and $30 billion is set aside for loans made by community financial institutions and smaller federally-insured banks and credit unions with less than $10 billion in assets.
  • $60 billion in funding for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL).
  • $75 billion in hospital assistance.
  • $25 billion for COVID-19 testing, including $11 billion for states and municipalities, $1 billion for testing costs for individuals without health insurance, and $1 billion for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This legislative measure has been referred to as phase “3.5” of Congress’s stimulus plan. Unlike the most recent congressional responses to the COVID-19 crisis—the CARES Act and the Families First Coronavirus Response Act—this latest effort does not provide for any additional unemployment funding, nor does it contain any new obligations for employers.

Employers that were considering filing for PPP loans may wish to submit applications to the SBA promptly in anticipation of this additional funding, as the original amount was exhausted within two weeks, and the media attention to PPP loans has been significant in the interim.

Ogletree Deakins will continue to monitor and report on developments with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic and will post updates in the firm’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center as additional information becomes available. Critical information for employers is also available via the firm’s webinar programs.

© 2020, Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C., All Rights Reserved.National Law Review, Volume X, Number 115

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About this Author

James J Plunkett Government Relations Counsel in the Washington, D.C. office of Ogletree Deakins
Senior Government Relations Counsel

James J. Plunkett works as a Senior Government Relations Counsel in the Governmental Affairs practice of Ogletree Deakins.   

Jim was previously the Director for Labor Law Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce where he focused on legislation, regulations, and policy decisions that impact the workplace.  This included activity concerning the National Labor Relations Board, the Department of Labor, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as international labor issues.

Prior to joining the Chamber, Jim was an associate at a national law firm...

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Michael Oliver Eckard Employment Attorney Ogletree Deakins
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Michael Oliver Eckard is a shareholder in the Charleston and Atlanta offices and has been an employment lawyer at Ogletree his entire legal career. Michael represents companies in labor, employment, restrictive covenant, and wage and hour matters in the health care, manufacturing, chemicals, hospitality, transportation and logistics, and retail industries, among others. He regularly advises companies on human resources and labor policy issues. Michael represents his clients in many types of employment litigation matters, including wrongful termination claims, sexual harassment claims, employment discrimination claims, employment contracts, wage and hour claims, trade secrets, and non-compete agreements. He also represents management in union organizing campaigns, collective bargaining negotiations, arbitrations, and unfair labor practice and representation proceedings.

Michael’s nationwide litigation and advice practice focuses on protecting corporate clients against claims of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation; claims involving restrictive covenants, unfair competition, and trade secret claims; federal and state wage and hour laws; and claims of defamation, breach of contract, and intentional torts. He has litigated labor and employment-related matters in federal and state courts throughout the United States, including appeals before the Georgia Court of Appeals, Georgia Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. His litigation matters include single-plaintiff, multiple-plaintiff, and collective action cases, as well as labor and employment arbitrations and administrative proceedings.

Michael serves as a trusted advisor to his clients, regularly providing counsel to corporate executive, legal, and human resources leaders on matters such as risk management; labor relations; workforce planning (including workforce growth and reductions in force); labor and employment matters pertaining to corporate mergers, divestitures, and other transactions; employee recruiting and hiring practices; employee discipline and termination; wage and hour law compliance; and strategies for preventing and investigating harassment and discrimination claims.

Prior to his legal career, Michael served in the U.S. Army, specializing in Military Intelligence. Michael served in multiple duty stations, including operational tours in Kuwait. Michael is also a licensed pilot and enjoys flying airplanes for recreation.

Michael is a former law clerk for the U.S. Department of Justice – Civil Division, Washington D.C. Michael is also the 2005 recipient of the University of South Carolina Law School’s coveted Knox L. Haynsworth Labor Law Scholarship Award.

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