Benefits / Resources / Articles
April 01, 2020

Updates on COVID-19 Government Assistance and Additional Resources to Support You.

Here at PPA, we are continuing to break down what’s in the approved federal relief package while providing you with resources to assist you during this time. If you have not already bookmarked the page: be sure to do so. This page is being updated daily with news, information on government assistance, upcoming webinars and additional resources that may be helpful to you and your business during this time. The Coronavirus Assistance stimulus package (called the CARES Act) was signed by President Trump on Friday, March 27th. Not a lot of people will be able to take the time to go through this 880-page-long legislation, so we’ve pulled out the highlights that will affect you most and shared them on PPA’s new Government Assistance resource page


The CARES Act provides for: 

  • Direct payments to taxpayers
  • Small business loans
  • Enhancement of unemployment benefits
  • Loans for hard-hit industries
  • Funds for states and municipalities
  • Business tax provisions
  • Funding for medical facilities

Recovery Rebates for Individuals

The recovery rebate (aka relief check) for individuals is a single, cash-in-your-pocket payment of $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. This benefit phases out at the rate of $5 for every $100 of annual income over $75,000 (or $150,000 for couples). What do I need to do to receive it? Nothing. That’s right. The IRS will base this off your 2019 tax return. If you haven’t done that yet (they are not due until July 15th, 2020), then the IRS will use your 2018 return. Haven’t done either of those yet? No worries, they will base it on your SSA-1099, Social Security Benefit Statement.

Read more about the Recovery Rebates for Individuals.


Self-employment Tax Credits

This benefit will apply to certain self-employed individuals and will remain in effect between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. If you are a self-employed photographer who is away from your job because of one of the reasons listed HERE, you are eligible to receive a tax credit on your income taxes.

You can also read more about this topic and download documentation about it on PPA’s Self-Employment Tax Credits page

Enhancements of Employment Benefits

With the passage of the CARES Act, the federal government will give jobless workers an extra $600 a week, for up to 16 weeks until July 31st, on top of their state benefits. This adds 13 weeks of extended unemployment benefits, providing up to 39 weeks of financial assistance in total when combining federal and state help. These Enhancements of Employment Benefits apply to independent contractors, those who are self-employed (aka most photographers!), and gig economy workers, who were not covered for unemployment prior to this bill.

There is a lot more to read about on PPA’s Enhancements of Employee Benefits page including a tool to help you find unemployment benefits in your particular state. 


Small Business Loans

Small Business Loans are financial assistance through a federal guarantee of 100% for small business interruption loans made by 7(a) lenders of up to $10 million (loan amount is tied to a payroll amount formula). It will be provided so small business owners can use the money toward payroll support, employee salaries, mortgage payments, insurance premiums, and any other debt obligations. A portion of these loans – equivalent to 8 weeks of payroll cost for employees earning up to $100,000 per year – can be forgiven to the extent that there is no workforce reduction. If you employ someone, you are provided with a financial incentive to retain them as an employee since the loan will be forgiven in the future.

To find out more and to get resources, head to PPA’s Small Business Loans page. There you will find a guide on how to apply for an Economic Injury Disaster Loan advance. We also have a free webinar on how to navigate the application process.  

Payroll Tax Credit for Employers

This tax credit will apply to small business owners, like photographers, who have fewer than 500 employees and will remain in effect between April 1, 2020, and December 31, 2020. Keeping a small business afloat during these unprecedented times is difficult enough. Paying for extended employee sick leave associated with Coronavirus could sink many photographers and other small businesses so this benefit gives a payroll tax credit if you have employees out for one of the reasons listed here.

To find out more about this particular benefit, head to PPA’s page about Payroll Tax Credits for Employers.


Paycheck Protection Program

This program provides financial assistance through a federal guarantee of 100% for small business interruption loans made by 7(a) lenders of up to $10 million (loan amount is tied to a payroll amount formula). It comes in the form of a loan and can be applied towards:

  • Interest on mortgage obligations, incurred before February 15, 2020
  • Rents that have been under lease agreements in force before February 15, 2020
  • Utilities that have been under service prior to February 15, 2020
  • Payroll costs (using the formula provided), including benefits

Read more about this program and download the application on PPA’s Paycheck Protection Program Page. We also have a free webinar: How to Apply for the Paycheck Protection Program that will give you more details on this process.