WASHINGTON, D.C. (WCBD) – On Tuesday, the US Senate unanimously passed a $484 billion Coronavirus Relief Package.
The bill allocates $320 billion to help small businesses via the Paycheck Protection Program. $60 billion will be reserved for use specifically by “community banks and credit unions to reach underserved communities.” An additional $60 billion will be set aside for Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
In addition to the $100 billion allocated in the first package, $75 billion will be “provided for hospital and healthcare provider reimbursement.”
$25 billion will be put towards research, development, and increasing COVID-19 testing capacity. The breakdown of that includes $11 billion for states, $1 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), $1.8 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), $825 million for community health centers and rural health clinics, and up to $1 billion to cover the costs of testing uninsured patients. The allotment of these funds will require plans from “states, localities, territories, and tribes on how resources will be used” to increase testing capacity and ease “COVID-19 community mitigation policies.”
Senator Tim Scott said that “this essential funding will help thousands of South Carolinians keep their jobs and their paychecks, and ensure more small businesses can continue operating…I am also pleased we were able to provide more financial assistance to our hospitals and funding to states for increased testing.”