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By John Greenberg, Mount Pleasant Communications and Marketing CoordinatorMOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (January 4, 2021) - The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 was signed into federal law on December 27, 2020. The Act includes a COVID-19 stimulus relief package for businesses and employers. The Town of Mount Pleasant is offering a summary of these relief measures.The Act includes $284 billion for additional Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and extends the program until March 31, 2021. Reserves are set aside for smaller lenders and borrowers. Harder hit businesses that already received PPP loans are eligible for a second draw. Eligibility is defined as businesses that have no more than 300 employees, the business has used/will use 100% of proceeds from the first PPP loan for permitted purposes, and have had at least 25% reduction in gross revenues between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. All second-draw PPP loans are capped at $2 million per borrower. The Act also clarifies that business expenses paid for using the tax-free loans made under the CARES Act's PPP are now tax-deductible. The Act provides a tax credit for businesses who are offering paid sick leave to employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed in March 2020, required many employers to provide their employees extra paid sick leave and extra partially paid family and medical leave. The FFCRA is no longer required as of December 31, 2020, but if covered employers voluntarily provide the same benefits through March 31, 2021, they are eligible for a tax credit. The Act extends federal unemployment insurance benefits of $300 a week for 11 weeks, for unemployed individuals. The Act does not include liability protection from COVID-19 related lawsuits for businesses, universities, and healthcare centers. To read a detailed breakdown of the implications for businesses from the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, click the link below.