Congress has passed the CARES Act to help address the unprecedented public health and economic crisis related to COVID-19. One critical component of the CARES Act that may help brewers weather this economic crisis is the expanded authority for Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to small businesses, sole proprietors, independent contractors, and employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). The bill provides $659 billion for SBA loan guarantees and subsidies.

The bill is summarized below:


The CARES Act is intended to address the economic impacts of, and otherwise responds to, the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and is broken into several subparts, which are summarized below. 

Title I: Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act

The Keeping American Workers Paid and Employed Act, which includes the Paycheck Protection Program, would provide $377 billion to help prevent workers from losing their jobs and small businesses from going under due to economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Click here to view an overview of this section.

Paycheck Protection Program

Effective April 3, 2020 small businesses and sole proprietors can apply for and receive loans to cover their payroll and other certain expenses through existing SBA lenders. Click here to learn more about the Paycheck Protection Program

On April 22, 2020, Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program Increase Act of 2020 to increase funding for the PPP from $359 billion to $659 billion. Read more here

SBA Releases its Latest PPP Guidance on 4/28

Apply for PPP here

Title II: Relief for American Workers, Families and Businesses

This section is broken down into two (2) main areas: relief for individuals and relief for employers/businesses. The relief for individuals is primarily provided through rebates payable directly to individuals and changes to the tax code. The relief to businesses is provided by beneficial changes to the tax code, including the ability to amend prior years' tax returns. Click here to read a line by line summary of Title II.

Title III: Supporting America's Health Care System in the Fight Against Coronavirus

The section purports to address the supply shortages of medical products, drugs and equipment as well as supporting healthcare providers. This section also addresses education (including students, teachers and schools) and labor and employment laws. Click here to view a line by line summary of Title III.

Title IV: Economic Stabilization and Assistance to Severely Distressed Sectors of the United States Economy

This section of the Act adds $500 billion to Treasury's Exchange Stabilization Fund to provide loans, loan guarantees, and other investments to distressed businesses that are not otherwise assisted by the provisions of the Act. This is intended for larger businesses and industries, as opposed to the small business loan program discussed above. Click here to view a line by line summary of Title IV.