CARES Act Information

Last updated on 7/7/2020

The federal CARES Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020 and provides emergency relief to several groups impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19).

CARES Act Consumer Benefits

Direct Payments 

The bill gives a one-time direct payment of up to $1,200 for individuals ($2,400 for couples) and $500 for each child under the age of 17.

Learn more about stimulus checks for individuals and families.

Information from the IRS on when to expect stimulus checks, as well as tax deadline changes.

Unemployment Benefits 

Under the CARES Act, the federal government has increased state unemployment benefits.

Learn more about unemployment benefits available in Connecticut.

Student Loans 

Borrowers will not have to make any payments for six months (through September 30, 2020) on federal student loans, though that money will have to be paid later. Interest during the six-month period will be waived entirely.

Only certain federal student loans are eligible.

Learn more about temporary relief for Federal Student Loan borrowers.

Retirement Plans 

The CARES Act loosens the limits on taking money out of your retirement plan in an emergency.

Learn more about the IRA and retirement plan changes in the CARES Act.

CARES Act Business Information

Loan Program - Overview 

The 7(a) loan program is the Small Business Association’s primary program for providing financial assistance to small businesses. The CARES Act increases the maximum 7(a) loan amount to $10 million and expands allowable uses of 7(a) loans to include payroll support (including paid sick or medical leave), employee salaries, mortgage payments, insurance premiums and any other debt obligations.

Learn more about the SBA 7(a) loan program in the CARES Act.

Loan Program - Eligibility 

You are eligible if you are:

  • A small business with fewer than 500 employees
  • A small business that otherwise meets the SBA’s size standard
  • A 501(c)(3) with fewer than 500 employees
  • An individual who operates as a sole proprietor
  • An individual who operates as an independent contractor
  • An individual who is self-employed who regularly carries on any trade or business
  • A Tribal business concern that meets the SBA size standard
  • A 501(c)(19) Veterans Organization that meets the SBA size standard

In addition, some special rules may make you eligible:

  • If you are in the accommodation and food services sector (NAICS 72), the 500-employee rule is applied on a per physical location basis
  • If you are operating as a franchise or receive financial assistance from an approved Small Business Investment Company, the normal affiliation rules do not apply

REMEMBER: The 500-employee threshold includes all employees: full-time, part-time, and any other status.

Learn more about loan eligibility.

Other Provisions 

Loan Forgiveness Provides a process by which borrowers would be eligible for loan forgiveness in an amount equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an eight-week period after the origination date of the loan on the following items:

  • Payroll costs
  • Interest payment mortgages
  • Rent payments
  • Utility payments

Learn more about loan forgiveness provisions for small businesses in the CARES Act.

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