COVID-19 and CARES Act resources

March 29, 2020

To: Legislative District 28 Constituents

From: State Representatives Kelli Butler and Aaron Lieberman

 

Friends, 

Representative Aaron Lieberman and I continue to research federal and state measures available to help people and businesses during this COVID-19 crisis. We hope you and your family are staying safe, staying home and staying informed.

Our Arizona State House of Representatives policy staff created an excellent summary of the federal $2 trillion CARES Act, which was signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020.  We have posted the summary to our individual websites - here is the link to my webpage with more information.

NPR also produced a great top-level summary of the federal changes.  Some highlights:

  • Most individuals earning less than $75,000 can expect a cash payment of $1,200. Married couples would each receive a check and families an additional $500 per child.
  • For unemployment benefits, the bill adds $600 per week from the federal government on top of whatever base amount an unemployed person receives from the state. That boosted payment will last for four months. (Current AZ max rate is $250, which happens to be the 2nd lowest amount in the country.)
  • Gig workers and Freelancers: Typically, self-employed people, freelancers and contractors can't apply for unemployment. This bill creates a new, temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program through the end of this year to help people who lose work as a direct result of the emergency.
  • For small businesses: emergency grants and a forgivable loan program for companies with 500 or fewer employees. The bill provides $10 billion for grants of up to $10,000 to provide emergency funds for small businesses to cover immediate operating costs.

For small businesses impacted by the health crisis, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) implemented an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which applies to companies with 500 or fewer employees. Click here for more information from the SBA. If you believe your business may qualify for SBA loan programs, you’re encouraged to submit an application as soon as possible.

While our first priority is making sure our community is healthy, we are also very concerned about the health of our state’s economy. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has a number of helpful resources in its Coronavirus Small Business Guide.

Governor Ducey has issued a number of Executive Orders, providing new state regulation and guidance during this declared health emergency. These orders include the expansion of telemedicine availability, prohibition on evictions and improvements to unemployment insurance availability. You can find them all listed here.

We are pleased to share that the Arizona Community Foundation has established a relief fund specifically for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, schools, faith-based organizations, Tribal entities and occasionally to government agencies. More info can be found here.  

We know this is an incredibly stressful time as we worry about our health and our community. We’ve been so heartened to hear many positive stories about helpers during this crisis -- a favorite: Arcadia neighborhood’s O.H.S.O. Brewery converted from making beer to making hand sanitizer for our hospitals. We are grateful for all who are doing what they can to help!

We’re here to help too! Please don’t hesitate to reach out to either of us if there is anything we can do to connect you with information or services.

And remember: please stay home! Some people can be contagious and spread the virus to others, but have no symptoms themselves. We all need to self-quarantine as much as possible -- it’s the best thing you can do to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives. 

Sincerely,

kelli signature

Kelli Butler

Arizona State Representative, Legislative District 28

(602) 926-5156

kbutler@azleg.gov

aaron signature

Aaron Lieberman

Arizona State Representative, Legislative District 28

(602) 926-3300

alieberman@azleg.gov