New stimulus package promises aid to businesses and individuals

With the announcement of a second COVID-19 stimulus package, some are wondering who will be helped, how this package is different from the first and what has been done to fix issues with the first package.

Good Jobs First Research Analyst Mellissa Chang joined America’s Work Force Union Podcast to explain how Good Jobs First analyzed the first stimulus package and how this new package differs.

Payroll Protection Program

In the first stimulus package, companies were offered funding in order to keep employees on their payroll. Unfortunately, this fast tracked bill did very little to punish those who took money and still laid workers off.

She said some 200,000 workers were laid off by some of the companies who received funding. This number is expected to be higher, as many of the companies who took loans were able to remain private.

In addition to laying off workers, Chang said many of these companies did not abide by rules that require an employer to inform employees and local governments of the layoffs 60 days in advance. Many companies either did not report the layoffs or waited until after laying off workers.

Second stimulus package

Over the weekend it became apparent that lawmakers came to an agreement on another stimulus package. Chang feels it is sure to be exploited in similar ways, with companies taking advantage.

She does hope the majority of help quickly reaches those most affected. The first package saw high wage earners receiving plenty of help while service workers and other lower wage earners waited. Additionally, small companies waited weeks longer than large corporations for relief with preferential treatment given to those seeking more money.

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