WASHINGTON DC – The $2.2 Trillion federal stimulus package will provide small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) who promise not to fire employees during the crisis would have access to $367 billion worth of guaranteed loans from community banks through June 30 that would be forgiven if the business continues to pay workers the whole time. That money could be used for employee salaries, paid sick leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage, rent or utility payments.
Larger companies would also have access to help: $454 billion of Federal Reserve money would be available to those businesses through subsidized loans, and an additional $46 billion in loans would be available for specific industries such as airlines. They would also be exempt from paying payroll taxes for two years.
Many of Michigan’s auto manufacturers would likely qualify for assistance from the $454 billion Federal Reserve fund, said Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s vice president of automotive and mobility initiatives.
This total of $500 billion for larger companies would be subject to transparency measures, including requirements to disclose the names of businesses that received federal help and the creation of an independent inspector general to review lending decisions. Companies that receive loans couldn’t do stock buybacks or give bonuses to their CEOs for the duration of the loans plus an additional year afterward.
Companies would also be eligible for a tax credit if they don’t fire employees and could defer payment of the Social Security payroll tax.
Any businesses owned by Michigan’s 14 U.S. representatives and two U.S. senators — or those owned by President Trump or top federal officials such as Education Secretary Betsy DeVos — would not be eligible to receive government assistance under the program.