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Mississippi Coronavirus Update March 30, 2020

Dear Friend,

I will be hosting a Facebook Live Townhall on Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. with Mississippi's State Health Officer Dr. Thomas Dobbs. We will be answering frequently asked questions to give you the most up-to-date information on federal and state COVID-19 response efforts. Tomorrow on my Facebook page, we will be asking for questions to answer live during the Townhall. However, as one of my newsletter subscribers, we are asking for your questions first. For a chance to have your questions answered, submit yours below.

Have a question about COVID-19 federal legislation or Mississippi's response? Ask below:

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Stimulus Package Information for Small Businesses in Mississippi's Third District

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, approved by Congress and signed by President Trump last week, provides a significant boost to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. The CARES Act included approximately $350 billion in loans for the new Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to assist small businesses with payroll, group health benefits, rent, utility, and other expenses. Under the PPP, businesses and nonprofits with 500 employees or less can apply for up to $10 million in low-interest SBA loans to help with payroll costs during the COVID-19 outbreak. These loans are 100% guaranteed by the federal government, and fees and collateral requirements for these loans have been waived.

The legislation also enables small businesses to apply for loan forgiveness under the PPP in the amount spent they spend to retain employees and on other qualified expenses during an 8-week period after the origination date of the loan. The loan forgiveness amount will be reduced proportionally based on decreases in employee retention and employees’ pay rate compared to the previous year. However, borrowers who rehire employees who were laid off after February 15th due to the coronavirus will still be eligible for the loan forgiveness for any employee they bring back on the payroll. Eligibility for this program remains open until June 30th, 2020.

Payroll taxes will be delayed for the remainder of the year for businesses that do not take advantage of the PPP. Businesses who choose to delay will pay back these taxes over the next two years at 50% per year.

More information, including answers to frequently asked questions, can be found in the links below:

Stimulus Package Rebate Eligibility and Amount

There is no minimum income requirement and no tax liability requirement to be eligible for a rebate check. All Americans with a valid social security number are eligible. Those who did not file an income tax return for 2018 are still be eligible for the rebate by 1) completing their 2019 tax return before July 15th, or 2) using the SSA-1099 to identify Social Security beneficiaries who fall below the tax filing requirement. Individuals living in the United States illegally are not eligible for the rebate.

Individuals who qualify will receive $1,200 and joint filers will receive $2,400. Those with dependent children will receive $500 per child. The payments are phased out beginning at incomes of $75,000 for individuals/$112,500 for heads of households/$150,000 for joint filers. The rebate is phased out completely for individuals with individual incomes above $99,000 or joint filers with incomes above $198,000.

Current Statistics

As of Monday, March 30, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that 140,904 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, 2,405 individuals have passed away as a result of infection, and 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Northern Marianas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have at least one case. As of Monday morning, 847 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Mississippi and 16 Mississippians passed away as a result of infection. MSDH also released the following statement on COVID-19 testing: “Since many COVID-19 tests are now being done by private providers, we’re no longer reporting the number tested only in the MSDH Public Health Laboratory. State laboratory numbers alone do not provide an accurate picture of testing statewide."

For more information, I have compiled a list of helpful resources on my website. You can visit my Coronavirus Relief page and access to important guidance on coronavirus relief efforts. If you are not already subscribed to receive updates on COVID-19, you can sign up below.

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Sincerely

Michael Guest
Member of Congress



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