Senate Passes Third COVID-19 Economic Stimulus Package

March 26, 2020

Earlier today, the US Senate passed a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package, which is intended to limit the negative economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and provide additional health care funding and resources. This will be the third such stimulus package passed by Congress since the virus outbreak, and once passed by the House of Representatives, is expected to be signed into law by the President in the coming days. Additional packages and US Government actions are expected to be passed in the coming weeks and months to further limit negative economic impacts of the COVID-19. 

Many provisions within the soon-to-be law aim to assist small businesses and individuals across the country, some of which may benefit eBay sellers and the businesses they operate. Text of the bill can be found here, with full summaries of specific policies here.

Relevant package details include:

Small Business Loans/Grants

  • $10 billion for Small Business Administration (SBA) emergency grants of up to $10,000 per business to provide immediate relief for small business operating costs
  • $17 billion for SBA to cover 6 months of payments for existing SBA loans
  • $25 billion in emergency transit funding and an employee retention tax credit to incentivize businesses to keep workers on payroll during the crisis
  • Businesses with fewer than 500 employees can receive up to 8 weeks of cash-flow for assistance to maintain payroll during COVID-19

Tax Provisions

  • 50% tax credit on up to $10,000 of wages paid to those employees that have experienced hardship, furlough, or have been otherwise negatively impacted by the virus.
  • Individuals can delay the payment of their 2020 payroll taxes until 2021 and 2022
  • Allows businesses to carry back losses from 2018, 2019, and 2020 to the previous 5 years, which will allow businesses access to immediate tax refunds
  • Businesses may receive immediate tax refunds by carrying back losses from 2018, 2019, and 2020 to the previous 5 years on qualifying property improvements

US Postal Service (USPS)

  • $10 billion in potential credit to USPS for operations, to be made at the discretion of the Secretary of Treasury

Unemployment Benefits/Cash Payments to Individuals & Families

  • Increases the maximum unemployment benefit by $600 per week and provides laid off workers, on average, to receive full pay over next four months
  • Allows furloughed workers to stay on as employees
  • $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for married couples, plus $500 per child in direct cash payments (up to $75,000 in annual income or $150,000 for married couples)
  • Waives the 10% early withdrawal penalty for distributions up to $100,000 for coronavirus-related purposes, retroactive to Jan. 1

The eBay Government Relations team will continue to monitor developments at the federal, state and local level and provide regular updates about small business policies and assistance that may be made available, and will continue to advocate for resources and policies that support small businesses in this time, including additional support for the US Postal Service.