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From the Press Room

Boodell & Domanskis, LLC - Chicago Business Law

How Can the CARES Act Help Your Business?

How can the CARES Act help your business?

This is our third information note about Congress’s response to COVID 19. It is meant to provide follow-up to the SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR PROVISIONS OF THE FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT (click here) and the Department of Labor (DOL) poster summarizing employee rights under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (click here).

To date, there have been 3 major laws passed by Congress each referred to as Phases:

  • Phase 1 passed March 6, 2020, is known as the “Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act 2020” (“Phase 1”).
    • This provided $8.3 billion in emergency funding designed to treat and prevent the widespread transmission and effects of COVID-19.
    • In addition, it provided $20 million to the Small Business Administration (“SBA”) disaster loans programs that will be made available to affected small businesses.
  • Phase 2 passed on March 14, 2020, is known as the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” (“FFCRA” or “Phase 2”), which provided paid sick leave, free coronavirus testing, expanded unemployment benefits, and food insecurity measures.
  • Phase 3 passed March 27, 2020, “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act,’’ (‘‘CARES Act’’ or Phase3), which provides the financial and public health support to deal with the impact of COVID-19. The major provisions are:
    • $250 billion for direct payments to individuals and families
    • $377 billion in small business loans.
    • $260 billion in unemployment insurance benefits
    • $500 billion in loans for distressed companies (mid to large size)
    • $150 billion to assist states and local governments
    • $150 billion for hospitals to invest in equipment and infrastructure


This law is over 800 pages long, and the following is a summary of only a part of the CARES Act concerning relief for small businesses.

Clarifications to the FFCRA

The CARES Act includes amendments to the FFCRA. The CARES Act clarifies that:

  • Paid family leave under the FFCRA is capped at $200 per day and $10,000 in aggregate to each qualifying employee.
  • Paid sick leave under the FFCRA is capped at $511 per day and $5,110 in aggregate to an individual qualifying for sick leave.
  • Paid leave for employees caring for a sick or quarantined individual or a child whose school or childcare provider is closed due to COVID-19, is capped at $200 per day and $2,000 in aggregate to an individual,
  • Workers are covered from day one of employment and do not need to be employed for at least 30 calendar days to be eligible for paid family leave under the FFCRA.
  • Employees laid off after March 1, 2020 and later rehired are eligible for paid family leave under the FFCRA if they worked for the employer for more than 30 days before being laid off.

Direct Payments Cash to American Workers

  • One-time cash payments to workers from the federal government of $1,200 ($2,400 married), with an additional $500 cash payment for each dependent child, will be made.
    • Full payment is available for Americans making up to $75,000 (individuals) and $150,000 (married).
      • This applies even for those who have no income.
      • Also applies to those whose income comes entirely from Social Security, or other disability benefits.
    • The value decreases and then phases out completely for those making over $99,000 for single filers, $146,500 for head of household filers with one child, and $198,000 for joint filers with no children. The rebate amount is reduced by $5 for each $100 that a taxpayer’s income exceeds the phase-out threshold listed above.
  • For 2020, those that are subject to mandatory minimum distributions from their qualified retirement accounts would be able to keep their funds invested without penalty.
  • Individuals are allowed in 2020 to take distributions from their qualified retirement accounts, such as 401(k) plans and IRAs, of up to $100,000 without having to pay the 10% penalty on early distributions if the distribution is related to adverse financial consequences as a result of contracting COVID-19, or related factors.

We will also be sharing additional information about the CARES Act provisions in the near future.

Should you have any questions or require assistance, contact us. B&D is open for business and we are available to help you.

Should you have any questions or wish to schedule a consultation concerning the topics in this article, please contact Audra Karalius at

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