C.A.R. worked to ensure REALTOR®-supporting provisions bring relief for self-employed, independent contractors and small businesses.
President Trump today signed the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act’’ (CARES Act), a bipartisan bill providing financial relief to individuals and businesses impacted by the coronavirus.
The $2 trillion package includes provisions that may assist our members through this crisis. C.A.R. worked with NAR to ensure these REALTOR®-supporting provisions remained in the final bill:
- Forgivable Small Business Administration Loans – Under the CARES Act, self-employed independent contractors may qualify for forgivable SBA loans. Under this program, borrowers who take out 7(a) SBA loans between Feb. 15, 2020, and June 30, 2020 to cover payroll costs, mortgage interest, rents, and utility costs during the covered period may be forgiven. C.A.R. urged Congress to include this provision; as independent contractors, REALTORS® do not have access to the safety net of unemployment benefits afforded to millions during this crisis.
- Direct Payments to REALTORS® – Like many Americans, REALTORS® and their families with adjusted gross annual incomes of up to $75,000 will receive a rebate check of $1,200 ($2,400 for married couples with gross annual incomes up to $150,000). An additional $500 may be given per child in the household. This rebate amount decreases for incomes above those amounts and is completely phased out for individual incomes exceeding $99,000 ($198,000 married). These payments are expected to start going out in April.
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – REALTORS® who are not otherwise eligible for unemployment insurance, such as independent contractors, will be able to obtain unemployment assistance for up to 39 weeks if they were negatively impacted as a result of COVID-19 between Jan. 27- Dec. 31, 2020.
For more information on how to access benefits included in the CARES Act, see our FAQs on Financial Resources for REALTORS® and Financial Resources for Brokers. We will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.