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The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (H.R. 1319) on a 220-211 party-line vote. H.R. 1319 provides $1.9 trillion in further support for individuals, families, nonprofits and businesses to help mitigate COVID-19’s devastating impact. President Joe Biden will sign H.R. 1319 into law on Friday, March 12.

Some highlights of the plan include:

For businesses:

  • $7.25 billion additional for the Paycheck Protection Program, including to expand eligibility to additional nonprofits and digital news services.
  • Additional funds are allocated for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program (SVOG), and now allows businesses to apply for BOTH a PPP loan after Dec. 27, 2020 and the SVOG.
  • $15 billion additional for Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance (EIDL) payments, including NEW $5 billion for Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance payments for those hardest hit.
  • The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) which will feature $28.6 billion for restaurants with 20 or fewer locations, and will be administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
  • Fully refundable employer tax credits included in the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will be extended through Sept. 30, 2021. These are credits against payroll taxes to compensate employers and self-employed for providing coronavirus-related paid sick leave and family and medical leave. The act increases the limit on the credit to $12,000 and increases the number of days a self-employed individual can take into account in calculating the qualified family leave. Paid leave credits also allowed for leave due to COVID-10 vaccination. The limit on the overall number of days taken into account for paid sick leave will reset after March 31.
  • Employee retention tax credit will extended through Dec. 31, giving business owners access to as much as $33,000 per employee in incentives. Eligible employers can claim a refundable credit against the employer share of Social Security tax equal to 70% of a full-time employee's qualified wages paid Jan. 1 through June 30. The maximum amount available is $7,000 per employee per quarter or $14,000 for eligible wages paid in the first half of 2021. For the second half of 2021 businesses can claim a refundable credit against the employer share of employment taxes (including Medicare) equal to as much as $7,000 per full-time employee per quarter during the last half of the year. Eligible employers must have experienced a full or partial shut down or at least a 20% drop in quarterly gross receipts in 2021.

For individuals:

  • The first $10,200 of unemployment benefits received in 2020 (for those making less than $150,000 a year) will be tax free.
  • There will be a $300 supplement to weekly unemployment benefits for weeks extending through Sept. 6.
  • Recovery rebates of $1,400 per person (with certain income limits) plus $1,400 for each dependent - including college students.
  • Premium assistance for those paying for continuing health insurance (COBRA coverage) between March 11 and Sept. 30, 2021.
  • Increases the child care tax credit to $3,000 per child and $3,600 per child for children under 6. 17-year-olds now qualify as children for the child care tax credit. Also, payments can be estimated and paid in advance each month July through December of 2021.

The child care tax credit has been increased to $4,000 for one child or $8,000 for two or more children with reductions kicking in at certain income levels.

SVOG is Open Now & RRF Apps are Expected to Open in April, but Applicants Should Prep Now. Steps Can Take up to 10 Days. Get Tips by Scrolling Down to the Program Details Below.

Paycheck Protection Program

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides loans to help businesses keep their workforce employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The PPP loans can be converted into grants if eligible recipients use the funds to pay their workers as the program outlines.

PPP Updates for Small Businesses

In order to reach the smallest businesses, SBA will offer PPP loans to businesses with fewer than 20 employees and sole proprietors only from Wednesday, February 24 through Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at 5pm ET. President Biden has also announced additional program changes to make access to PPP loans more equitable:

  • Establish a 14-day, exclusive PPP loan application period for businesses and nonprofits with fewer than 20 employees
  • Allow sole proprietors, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals to receive more financial support by revising the PPP’s funding formula for these categories of applicants
  • Eliminate an exclusionary restriction on PPP access for small business owners with prior non-fraud felony convictions, consistent with a bipartisan congressional proposal
  • Eliminate PPP access restrictions on small business owners who have struggled to make federal student loan payments by eliminating federal student loan debt delinquency and default as disqualifiers to participating in the PPP; and
  • Ensure access for non-citizen small business owners who are lawful U.S. residents by clarifying that they may use Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to apply for the PPP.

Applications have been extended to May 31, 2021. Businesses are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this program. If banks said you didn't qualify previously, try again due to the recent changes. To apply for this round, you do not need to have had the first round of your PPP loan forgiven. You only must have already used the funds from the first round to apply for the second round.

Shuttered Venue Operations Grant

Emergency assistance for eligible venues affected by the COVID pandemic.  Eligible applicants may qualify for a grant equal to 45% of their gross earned revenue, with the maximum amount available for a single grant award of $10 million. $2 billion is reserved for eligible applications with up to 50 full-time employees.

The application portal opened April 26.

The first 14 days of grant awards will focus on entities that suffered a 90% or greater gross revenue loss between April 2020 through December 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The following 14 days will focus on those that suffered a 70% or greater gross revenue loss and then, beginning 28 days after these awards are made, the program will open to those businesses that suffered a 25% or greater earned revenue loss between one quarter of 2019 and the corresponding quarter of 2020.

What you need to know and do:

1) Because these are grants, not loans, the application will be done directly through the SBA and not through a bank.

2) The SVOG program will take a phased approach.

  • a) For the first two weeks, businesses of any size that suffered a 90% or greater revenue loss between April and December 2020 due to Covid-19 will be  admitted to the queue first.
  • b) The next two weeks will be opened to those that had a 70% or greater revenue loss. After the initial 28 days, it will open to venues that suffered a loss of 25% or more, which will include all eligible venues.

3) Businesses can receive up to $10 million. The funds can also go to a wide range of expenditures: for payroll, debt, purchasing personal protective equipment, but also capital expenditures necessary to get the curtain up again.

4) The program specifically set aside $2 billion designated for businesses that have 50 or fewer employees, to ensure there’s a bucket of funding for mom-and-pop operators. Publicly traded operators are not eligible for the program.

5) NEW! Entities that apply for a First Draw or Second Draw PPP Loan on or after Dec. 27, 2020 are now eligible to also apply for an SVOG. While entities originally were prohibited from receiving both forms of SBA assistance, the American Rescue Plan Act, which became law on March 11, 2021, removed this restriction. However, under the law, entities will be ineligible for a PPP loan AFTER they receive an SVOG. 

Prepare now with these steps:

Sign up for no cost confidential consulting to help you on your journey click here. Or reach out to your CPA.

Who can apply?

  • Live venue operators or promoters
  • Theatrical producers
  • Live performing arts organization operators
  • Relevant museum operators, zoos and aquariums who meet specific criteria
  • Motion picture theater operators
  • Talent representatives, and
  • Each business entity owned by an eligible entity that also meets the eligibility requirements

Restaurant Revitilzation Fund Grant Program

The American Rescue Plan Act established the $28.6 billion RRF to provide grants to help restaurants and other eligible businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This program will provide restaurants with funding equal to their pandemic-related revenue losses, up to $10 million per business and no more than $5 million per physical location. Recipients are not required to repay the grant as long as the funds are used for eligible expenses no later than March 11, 2023.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF) application will open on Monday, May 3, at 10 a.m. MST. The application portal will open for restaurants to pre-register on Friday, April 30, at 7 a.m. MST. We encourage you to apply as soon as the application goes live, as the funds are anticipated to go quickly.

To help you prepare your application, please check out the following links:

  • View the application here.
  • View a sample application here.
  • View the Nat'l Restaurant Association's FAQ here.
  • View the SBA's program guide here.
  • View the SBA Knowledge Base here.

Watch the Restaurant Revitalization Fund Webinar with Senator Hickenlooper, the National Restaurant Association, the Small Business Administration, and Messner Reeves LLP here. View the presentation slides here and here

Applicants can apply for RRF grants through one of three ways:

  • Through one of the following POS service providers:
    • Full-Service Vendors providing application submission and automation for current customers:
    • Participating Vendors providing supporting documentation and knowledge support for current customers:
  • By submitting your application online here.
  • By applying through the phone at (844) 279-9989. Please note phone applications may be subject to a longer processing time.

Who can apply?

Most restaurants and bars that lost revenue in 2020 versus 2019 will be eligible to apply for grants.

  • restaurant
  • food stand
  • food truck/cart
  • caterer
  • saloon/tavern/bar/lounge
  • inn
  • brewpub/tasting room/taproom
  • licensed facility or premise of a beverage alcohol producer where the public may taste, sample, or purchase products

These are not eligible:

  1. any restaurant or bar that is part of a publicly-traded company
  2. any restaurant owned by a state or local government
  3. owners that operate more than 20 restaurants (if you are the owner of a franchise and you do not control more than 20 locations, you are likely eligible to apply)

COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans

The American Rescue Plan provides an additional $15 billion for "Targeted Economic Injury Disaster Loan Advance" (EIDL) payments, including $5 billion for Supplemental Targeted EIDL Advance payments for those hardest hit.

Starting the week of April 6, 2021, the SBA raised the loan limit for the COVID-19 EIDL program from 6-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $150,000 to up to 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.

Update April 20, 2021 - SBA allows reevaluation of Targeted EIDL Advance applications that have been declined

Effective immediately, applicants can send a request for reevaluation of a Targeted EIDL Advance application that was declined.

Follow these instructions when requesting a reevaluation:

  • Send an email to
  • Use the subject line “Reevaluation Request for [insert your 10-digit application number]”
  • In the body of the email, include identifying information for the application such as application number, business name, business address, business owner name(s) and phone number
  • Include an explanation and any documentation that addresses the reason for the decline, if available. SBA will contact applicants if additional documentation is required to complete the review.

April 6, 2021 - SBA is currently accepting new COVID-19 EIDL applications from all qualified small businesses, including agricultural businesses, and private nonprofit organizations.

Journal of Accountancy Recent Article

EIDL Loan Eligibility: click here

Loan Details: click for more details
1) EIDL purpose is to meet financial obligations and operating expenses that could have been met had the COVID disaster not occurred.

2) For loans approved starting the week of April 6, 2021: 24-months of economic injury with a maximum loan amount of $500,000.
Note: For loans approved prior to the week of April 6, 2021, see loan increases.

3) Terms - 3.75% for businesses (fixed) - 2.75% for nonprofits (fixed) - 30 years - No pre-payment penalty or fees.

4) View these FAQ's for more details.

What you need to know and do for an EIDL Loan:

1) If you did not apply previously for an EIDL Loan you may apply now via this portal. This program is not run through local banks you will work directly with the US Treasury and SBA. Any new loan applications and any loans in process when the new loan limits are implemented will automatically be considered for loans covering 24 months of economic injury up to a maximum of $500,000.

2) Loan Increases: If you wish to participate in the loan increase opportunities please note.
a) Some loans approved prior to the week of April 6, 2021 will be eligible for an increase based on new loan maximum amounts announced March 24, 2021.

  1. b) Businesses that received a loan subject to current loan limit do not need to submit a request for an increase at this time. SBA will reach out directly via email closer to the April 6, 2021 implementation date to provide more details about how businesses can request an increase.
  2. c) If an applicant accepted a loan for less than the full amount originally offered, the applicant will have up to two years after the date of the loan promissory note to request to request additional funds.

3) Loan Deferment Changes: This new relief builds on SBA’s previous March 12, 2021 announcement that the agency would extend deferment periods for all disaster loans, including COVID-19 EIDLs, until 2022 to offer more time for businesses to build back. In order to shift all EIDL payments to 2022, SBA will extend the first payment due date for disaster loans made in 2020 to 24-months from the date of the note and to 18-months from the date of the note for all loans made in the calendar year 2021. More.

Download this information and links in a PDF file here.

SBA Express Bridge Loans

Enables small businesses who currently have a business relationship with an SBA Express Lender to access up to $25,000 quickly.

The Small Business Administration is providing debt relief to existing SBA loan borrowers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cross Program Eligibility on SBA Relief Options

An comprehensive overview of the criteria that must be met when considering different funding options.

Alternative Sources of Funding: This Google sheet helps Colorado’s small businesses find alternative funding sources beyond EIDL, PPP, and other federal loans and programs.

CLIMBER fund: This fund provides up to $250 million in working capital loans to Colorado small businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic through 2023. We recommend that businesses first take advantage of PPP loans, as they can be forgivable loans.

Colorado COVID Legal Relief: This organization matches volunteer attorneys with Colorado businesses to help them make informed decisions and get back on their feet.

Emergency Rental Assistance: The Colorado Department of Local Affairs supports landowners and tenants facing eviction and foreclosure.

Layoff Assistance: The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment outlines programs and resources to help business owners make difficult decisions around laying off employees.

The Small Business Navigator: can direct you to resources and answer questions you may have. Please Email or call (303) 860-5881.  Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm.

Energize Colorado Resources

Energize Colorado also provides a number of resources to help small businesses including financial resourcesbusiness guidancefree professional services, and mental health resources.

Resources to Support the Arts

In Colorado and around the world, artists and arts and culture organizations have been hit hard by COVID-19, losing revenues due to canceled events and loss of sales, and facing reduced contributions indefinitely. This page is a central hub of resources to support artists, creative businesses, and arts and culture organizations.