By Chris J. Scoggin
Chaston Tax & Accounting
First and foremost, let me start this month’s article by saying that we all should continue to take the warnings of the medical experts seriously and let’s use common sense as we adjust to our new reality.
Last month, I wrote about the various stimulus programs that have been passed to help address this unprecedented shock to the American economy. Never before have the engines of business and prosperity been stopped so suddenly. Our lives changed drastically in the matter of just a few weeks.
We were suddenly unable to go to our favorite restaurants and entertainment venues, and most shockingly, many of us were now without work. Customers stopped calling, businesses were closing, and our paychecks stopped being deposited.
Given all that has happened with blinding speed, it is tough to be optimistic. But that is what we have to be. We have to be optimistic that the COVID-19 virus will run its course in the next few weeks, and we can start to visit family and neighbors, gather for a meal at our favorite restaurant and, most importantly, we have to be optimistic that we can go back to work.
While, admittedly, I am taking a forward-looking perspective, it is becoming apparent that this virus has not created the health crises that were initially projected. The predicted number of American deaths has shrunk from the millions to 260,000 to 100,000 to the latest projection of under 60,000.
While this is still an incredible toll in terms of human life, the data are indicating that the worst is behind us for now. So, what can each of us do to ensure the quickest economic recovery possible?
For small businesses, there are several programs that will pay some or all of your payroll, rent and utilities for eight weeks after funding. This program, called the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), is available to every small business with fewer than 500 employees. The program allows the business to take out a loan based upon 2.5 times average monthly salaries paid. For the amount of this loan that is used over the eight weeks from the date of funding to pay wages and benefits, plus rent, utilities and business mortgage interest, this debt will be forgiven and never need to be repaid.
There are other loan programs that will help a business injured by the coronavirus. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program will grant a low-interest loan to businesses that have been severely harmed by the recent economic shutdown. These are long-term loans, some as long as 30 years, intended to help the business owner rebuild their business from the ground floor. These EIDL loans have an immediate $10,000 grant to help the business owner keep their doors open until the larger loan has been funded.
For Individuals, each adult over 18 years old (with some exceptions) will be paid up to $1,200 to help every American citizen be able to cover some of the loss of income that might have been caused by the shutdown. If you have a child under age 24 that can still be claimed as a dependent, you will receive an additional $500 in Stimulus Payments.
If you haven’t filed a tax return for 2018 or 2019, you can go to IRS.gov and click on Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here to ensure you receive your incentive payments as soon as possible.
As this medical crisis begins to wane, please do everything in your power to support your local Maricopa businesses. If you are financially able, try that new restaurant, shop at that store around the corner, call a Maricopa based professional to assist you with your needs.
If you are a Maricopa business that has been searching for a great member of your team, look to hire a new employee that lives here in Maricopa. These are your new customers. These are your neighbors. This is how we recover and this is how we ensure that Maricopa remains a great place to live and work.