The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act

The Key Provisions:

Small Business Loans

  • Businesses with less than 500 employees are eligible to receive fee-free loans of up to $10 million
  • Allowable uses of such a loan include:
    • payroll support, including paid sick, medical, or family leave, and costs related to the continuation of group health care benefits during those periods of leave
    • employee salaries
    • mortgage payments
    • rent (including rent under a lease agreement)
    • utilities; and
    • any other debt obligations that incurred before February 15, 2020
  • Businesses that retain their employees and maintain payroll between March 1, 2020, and June 30, 2020, are eligible for loan forgiveness


Industry-specific loan guarantees

  • The CARES Act includes $208 billion in loan guarantees for industries that are being impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The following is a breakdown of the $208 billion:
    • $50 billion for passenger air carriers
    • $8 billion for cargo air carriers; and
    • $150 billion for other eligible entities

Paycheck Protection Program

  • Set aside $349 billion and expands the SBA loan eligibility and number of businesses, including nonprofits, that are eligible for SBA loans.
  • All or a portion of the loan may be forgivable and debt service payment may be differed for up to one year
  • Establishes that the borrower under the Paycheck Protection Program shall be eligible for loan forgiveness equal to the amount spent by the borrower during an 8-week period after the origination date on (i) rent, (ii) payroll costs for workers making less than $100K, (iii) interest on a mortgage, and (iv) utility payments. The amount forgiven may not exceed the principal of the loan. 
  • Incentivizes companies to retain employees by reducing the amount forgiven proportionally by any reduction in employees retained compared to the prior year.
  • This bill encourages employers to rehire any employees who have already been laid off due to the COVID-19 crisis, borrowers that re-hire workers previously laid off will not be penalized for having a reduced payroll at the beginning of the period.


Direct cash payments to individuals

  • Cash payments of up to $1,200 would go to individuals and up to $2,400 for a joint tax return
  • Based on 2018 tax returns:
    • Full payments would go to individuals with an adjusted gross income of less than $75,000 and $150,000 for joint filers
    • Individuals with an adjusted gross income over $75,000 up to $99,000 and over $150,000 up to $198,000 for married filing jointly would see their payments reduced by $5 for each $100 in income over that amount
    • For individuals earning over $99,000 and married couples earning more than $198,000, the benefit completely phases out
    • Individuals with an adjusted gross income under $2,500 would be eligible for $600, or $1,200 for married filing jointly


Health care

  • The FDA is required to prioritize and expedite the review of new drugs
  • The CARES Act requires Health insurance providers to:
    • pay for COVID-19 testing without a fee for patients (free coverage)
    • not impose any cost-sharing (including deductibles, copayments, and coinsurance) requirements on certain vaccines as they become available
  • There is a $1.32 billion available for community health centers


Tax Filing Deadline

  • The tax-filing deadline shall be moved from April 15, 2020, to July 15, 2020, for most filers



  • Expands eligibility for unemployment insurance and provides people with an additional $600 per week on top of the unemployment amount already offered by North Dakota Unemployment benefits.
  • The additional unemployment compensation provided is not considered “income” for purposes of Medicaid and CHIP



  • Provides the Secretary of the Treasury with the authority to make loans or loan guarantees to states, municipalities, and eligible businesses and loosens a variety of regulations prior legislation imposed through the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, the Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, and others.


Student Loans Waiver

  • The CARES Act allows deferral of payments on federal student loans
  • The Secretary may waive amounts that college students are required to return for Pell Grants or other grant assistance if their universities cancel classes as a result of a qualifying emergency


Emergency Paid Sick and Family Leave

  • Employers are required to offer this program unless they are an employer over 500 employees or can file with the Department of Labor if you have under 50 employees for a potential forbearance.    
    • $511 per day or $5,110 in the aggregate for each employee when taking emergency paid sick leave if the employee is subject quarantine or isolation order, has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine, or the employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and seeking medical diagnosis; or the employer may offer
    •  $200 per day for each employee when taking emergency paid sick leave if the employee is caring for an individual who is subject to quarantine order,  is caring for an individual who has been advised to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 or caring for their children if the child’s school or daycare facility has closed.


Coronavirus relief funds

  • Provides $150 billion to states, territories, and tribal governments to use for expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19 in the face of revenue declines, allocated by population proportions. States with relatively small populations, such as North Dakota, are guaranteed a minimum of $1.25 billion.


Click here for a complete version of The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act