COVID-19 INITIATIVES AND EFFORTS
Across the Commonwealth, many of our residents have faced serious hardships, whether it is through the loss of income or employment, the inability to see loved ones on a daily basis, or fighting off the virus itself due to the repercussions of COVID-19 pandemic. Many looked for assistance with unemployment, housing, SNAP, food banks, and small business relief.
The Coronavirus pandemic has caused unprecedented and unforgettable harms to our nation, and world. Due to the COVID-19, our economy has been negatively impacted; many lives have been lost, in particular, the lives of the most vulnerable population, our seniors; our businesses and schools have been shut down, many people have lost their jobs, our lives have been abruptly disrupted; people are living in fear. While all of these are happening, many essential workers and fighters are in the front lines fighting to control the contagious virus and making sure people are safe and getting what they need. Marcos is one of these fighters who have been tirelessly working on behalf of the people of Lawrence and the Commonwealth through a plethora of initiatives and efforts.
MARCOS’S OFFICE has helped many constituents with many different requests: assistance to apply for unemployment and SNAP benefits, shelter opportunities, find available resources in the community, keep people informed about the COVID-19 updates, and best practices to flatten the curb, while being safe.
A complete list of Businesses that are allowed to be open in Massachusetts:
“COVID-19 Essential Services” can be found https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-essential-services-faqs
- This program will provide immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans.
- SBA will cover all loan payments on these SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months. This relief will also be available to new borrowers who take out loans within six months of the President signing the bill into law.
- The Small Business Administration (SBA) has low interest loans for small businesses and nonprofits that have been severely hurt by COVID-19.
- Providing working capital loans of up to $2 Million.
- These loans are not meant to replace profits. These loans are to help small businesses pay bills and keep businesses from permanently closing during this crisis
- This loan programs gives you 4 months before you have to make any payments
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) GET LINK
- The SBA is accepting applications from participating lenders for the PPP
- If you want to apply see this list of participating lenders
- SBA (Small Business Association) will forgive loans if all employees are kept on the payroll for eight weeks and the money is only used for payroll, rent or mortgage interest, or utilities
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
- Eligible applicants include:
- Self-employed individuals, independent contractors (including gig workers), and freelancers
- People looking for part-time employment
Applicants don’t have sufficient work history to qualify for benefits
Applicants that have been laid off from churches and religious institutions and are not eligible for benefits under state law
- If you are looking for an extension on your unemployment benefits, please apply for the PUA program
- The PUA was set up under the CARES Act to help people who would not usually qualify for unemployment. This could be you.
- If you get into the PUA program, you can receive benefits now, and then will get instructions on how to transfer over to the PEUC
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
- The FPUC program will provide an additional $600 per week to individuals who are collecting regular Unemployment Compensation (UC), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Extended Benefits (EB), Trade Readjustment Act (TRA), and Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DA).
- The Department has already begun implementing the FPUC program for regular UC claimants.
- The $600 will be added to all eligible weeks of benefits retroactive to March 29, 2020 and continuing until July 31, 2020.
- FPUC monetary disbursements will begin immediately in Massachusetts for those who are currently collecting benefits on regular UC claims.
Direct Payments to Citizens (CARES Act)
- The CARES Act authorizes direct payments for citizens with adjusted gross incomes up to $75,000 for individuals, or $150,000 for married couples.
- Individuals in this range get $1,200, and married couples get $2,400.
- Extra $500, per child younger than age 17
- The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service launched a new web tool allowing quick registration for Economic Impact Payments for those who don’t normally file a tax return.
- The Non-filer Tool provides a free and easy option designed for people who don’t have a return filing obligation, including those with too little income to file.
- The feature is available only on IRS.gov, and users should look for Non-filers: Enter Payment Info Here to take them directly to the tool.
- Check the status of your direct payment on the IRS’ official website.