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March 25, 2020

COVID-19 UPDATE: Federal and State Economic Relief Programs


Today, U.S. Senators considered an updated version of the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act” or “Phase 3”) to provide emergency assistance and health care response for individuals, families, and businesses. At around $2 trillion, this is the largest economic rescue package in American history.

As of the release of this update, the Senate had not voted on the bill, and the House is expected to vote on it tomorrow or Friday. In our next update, we’ll focus on key provisions in the latest version of the Senate bill, including the following:

  • Direct Payments to Taxpayers
  • Expanded Unemployment Benefits
  • Small Businesses Emergency Loans, with additional relief for businesses that retain workers
  • Relief for Distressed Industries, including airlines and airports


Department of Labor Guidance
The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has issued its initial guidance regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The guidance provides information to employees and employers about how each will be able to take advantage of the protections and relief offered by FFCRA and clarifies that it will take effect on April 1, 2020. To view the full guidance click HERE.

Later this week, DOL also plans to release a model notice poster for employers explaining the effects of FFCRA to employees. We will continue to monitor any developments and update our clients when it is released.


Tax Deadline Extended.
To coincide with the IRS deadline for federal income taxes, the State of Illinois extended today its filing date for state income taxes to July 15, 2020.

Emergency Business Loan and Grant Funds.
Governor Pritzker also announced today three (3) new economic relief programs for small businesses: (1) $14 million Hospital Emergency Grant Program; (2) Small Business Emergency Loan Fund for suburban and downstate businesses; and (3) $20 million Downstate Business Stabilization Program. See details HERE.

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