Individuals, businesses to get more benefits under COVID relief bill; FPUC raised to $400

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If the COVID relief package being cobbled by the Democrats in the House eventually becomes law, qualified Guam individuals and businesses can have more unemployment benefits and for a longer period of time.

According to Congressman Michael San Nicolas, all of the unemployment programs will be extended to August 29, 2021.

Moreover, the federal pandemic unemployment compensation, or FPUC, will be increased to $400.

In addition, San Nicolas said there’s a much larger ramp up in the state small business credit initiative funding that’s going to be available to Guam.

“This is funding that basically underpins small business loans with guarantees that this funding will be providing. This should help our small businesses further access bank capital, if they need to. We are estimating that allotment will come out to about $85 million for the territory, which is a dramatic increase in the $13 million that was initially rolled out in previous programs,” San Nicolas said.

He added that the Paycheck Protection Program is currently ongoing and there’s an additional $5 billion that’s available.

There is also a targeted economic injury disaster loan allotment that’s been included in the package with a lump sum of $15 billion allotted for that. Under this provision, eligible businesses on Guam can have access to $10,000 grants.

Businesses qualified to avail of this are severely impacted small businesses that have suffered a loss of at least 50% and are located in low-income census tracts.

“That’s pretty much a significant component of our community. These grants are being provided to businesses that have 10 employees or fewer. And we are exempting economic injury disaster loan grants from tax. So basically if you receive a loan as a business you’re not going to be paying taxes,” San Nicolas said.