3 Key Benefits for Small Businesses Found in the Stimulus Package

Industry accountant Mitch Reitman has read through the entire economic stimulus package and identified benefits to assist small businesses.

President Trump on Friday signed into law the largest economic stimulus package in modern American history. As Congress raced to save the economy, they still managed to slip in some old-fashioned pork.

The relief package amounts to a $2 trillion measure designed to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and deliver direct payments and jobless benefits for individuals, money for states and a huge bailout fund for businesses hammered by the crisis.

I spent my evening reading through the more than 850 pages and found these benefits for my clients. Senator Patrick Leahy (D – Vt.) managed to include a minimum assistance figure for every state of $1.5 billion to make certain that states like his got their “fair share.” The targeted breaks were a bipartisan effort and both parties managed to weigh in. Get out your knife and fork and get ready to dig in, even if you typically keep Kosher.

1. Student Loans

The final package creates a new tax benefit for student loan borrowers whose employers help them pay off their debt. Under the bill, a company could pay up to $5,250 of an employee’s student loan payments each year on a tax-free basis.

This means that you will most probably be able to make the payments directly and deduct the amount from your employees’ wages. This would result in a tax-deductible payment for your company and a tax free benefit for your employee.  Check with your employees that have student loan debt. I will update our readers when the details are released.

2. Casinos

The gambling industry was very organized and pushed for provisions to ensure they would get some federal aid. The gaming industry can borrow up to $10 million from the SBA. Larger casinos have access to a $454 billion loan program backed by the Treasury Department.

Casinos have been hard hit by the lockdowns and travel bans, but should recover quickly. Security, fire protection, access control and video surveillance systems are a major part of their operations. Many casinos use CCTV to track the betting activities of high rollers. Look for opportunities to serve this market segment.

3. Prison Video Visitation

The stimulus act will subsidize free video and phone calls for prisoners and their families. Many jails and prisons have been implementing video visitation to help reduce traffic in the facilities and eliminate the ability to pass contraband to inmates. Video visitation is not much different than a video conferencing system, but most states require vendors to hold a security license or registration.

Mitch Reitman is the Managing Principal of Reitman Consulting Group, a member of the SSI Editorial Advisory Board and an SSI Industry Hall of Fame inductee.

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