Congress Passes Newest Covid Bill: The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

March 19, 2021

On March 10, 2021, Congress passed the newest Covid bill, The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. While primarily focused on relief payments to individuals, support to reopen schools, and overall public health initiatives related to Covid, there are some items of note for businesses.

A key item for the federal contracting community is the continuation of the CARES 3610 provision through September 30, 2021. This part of the legislation is targeted to preserve the workforces of contractors who are unable to perform work remotely or on-site, due to closures or other worksite limitations. At the option of the contracting officer, reimbursement for paid leave can be made to contractors to keep these skilled workforces in a “ready state”.

Additional items addressed in the Act include enhancements to the EIDL program to make additional funds available to businesses that did not receive full amounts previously and focused support to the restaurant industry, prioritizing grants to veteran-owned, women-owned, and economically disadvantaged small businesses.

On Tuesday, March 16, the House passed an additional extension to apply for Paycheck Protection Program loans (both first draw and second draw loans) making the new deadline May 31, 2021. Now it goes to the Senate for a final vote. Read Aronson’s previous update for more detailed information on The Paycheck Protection Program.

For questions, contact our COVID-19 Advisory team.