CARES Act: Providing Relief During COVID-19
On March 27, 2020, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law. The CARES Act is a $2 trillion economic stimulus package, which will provide critical relief for businesses and individuals who are now managing the economic challenges created by the COVID-19 global pandemic. CARES is the largest rescue package in American history. The passing of this bill represents the third phase of the congressional action plan and recovery in the U.S.
Phase I—Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act provided $8.3B in emergency funding for federal agencies to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, including appropriations for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the State Department, and the Small Business Administration (SBA). Funds are currently being directed to public health agencies and organizations, affected small businesses, and the development, manufacturing and procurement of vaccines and other medical supplies.
Phase II—Families First Coronavirus Response Act includes provisions for sick leave, family leave, emergency unemployment insurance, and healthcare. The act protects employees who are unable to work because their child’s school or care provider has closed due to this public health emergency and deems all employees eligible for paid sick leave if they are unable to work due to conditions related to COVID-19.
Phase III—The CARES Act builds on previous legislation and provides stronger support to individuals, businesses, and healthcare workers. The bill focuses on keeping workers paid and employed, economic stabilization, and healthcare system enhancements, including emergency appropriations for Coronavirus health response and agency operations. CARES provides new resources to help strained state, local, and tribal governments. It also includes support for first responders, law enforcement, firefighters, scientists researching treatments and vaccines, schools and universities, and funding for affordable housing and homelessness assistance programs. More details on the CARES ACT can be found here,