Let’s Talk Legislation:
What Every Barber Needs to Know About the CARES Act
If the COVID-19 pandemic has you feeling lost, overwhelmed, and undeniably heavy, know something important—you’re not alone.
What we’re all dealing with right now is so far from normal. No matter how experienced we are, how professional we are, how great with money we are, how creative we are, we’re all sitting in this together, feeling its effects, and wondering, what’s next for us?
We obviously don’t need to explain the link between you being unable to work with your clients and ensuring that your finances are taken care of—that’s a reality that you already understand.
And you know what? We’ll just come right out and say this bluntly—everything that’s happening absolutely sucks right now.
We’re not whining or complaining or in any way trying to undermine the seriousness of this outbreak, but if we don’t address the fact this virus has wreaked havoc on a lot of us in a very real financial way, we’d just be pretending.
If you’re scared, know this—even if it feels like you’re drowning and you don’t know how you’ll ever recover, there are life rafts available to you, and one of those life rafts comes in the form of the CARES Act.
Before we dive into the CARES Act fully to help you better understand it, we want to be clear—we know that the CARES Act isn't going to solve all of your problems. We know it’s not going to destroy the virus.
But we do know that it can help you, and the better you understand the CARES Act and how it can make a difference for you, the sooner you can request that relief.
First Things First—What is the CARES Act
We’ll keep this part short and sweet. The CARES Act is the United States Congress’s latest coronavirus relief package that’s set up to allocate $2.2 trillion in support of businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn.
The CARES Act—short for Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act—is the largest economic relief bill in U.S. History, and it’s mostly designed to provide relief and support where it’s needed most.
The CARE Act will provide much-needed equipment and funding for hospitals (about $127 billion) but it will also help you, too.
How? That’s what we’re breaking down in the next section.
How the CARES Act Can Help You & Your Shop
We’re not going to quote the entire piece of legislation to you (it’s like, hundreds and hundreds of pages long—check it out right here if you’re interested in reading it in full!), but we’re more than happy to deliver the need-to-know highlights and how they apply to you.
- The CARES Act sends a $1,200 stimulus check to eligible adults earning up to $75,000, with couples who earn up to $150,000 receiving up to $2,4000.
- The CARES Act allows borrowers to delay their payments on federal student loans until September 30 (only those that are owned by the Department of Education are eligible, private lenders or school don’t necessarily apply).
- The CARES Act will enhance unemployment insurance, paying out an additional $600 weekly for four months to those who are receiving unemployment insurance through their states’ unemployment insurance. This will be received in addition to what the stay has already paid and will be extended for 13 weeks. It’s important to note that you will have to take the initiative to apply for unemployment.
- The CARES Act extends unemployment to self-employed and independent contractors, those who don’t usually qualify for assistance.
- The CARES Act grants all businesses—no matter what size—the eligibility to apply for a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit. This credit will apply toward the first $10,000 of an employee’s wages.
- The CARES Act allows small businesses to be eligible for a small business loan “during the covered period” which now is listed through June 30, 2020.
More About the CARES Act—Resources That Can Help
That was a lot of information all at once—we wouldn’t blame you if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed (spoiler alert, we are, too). But don’t let that stress you out.
What we’re all living right now is not a normal situation, so there’s no way for any of us to naturally know what to do. It’s going to take us all some time to understand what this means for us, how we can ask for help, and what our next steps are. So, please, be gentle with yourself as you figure it out.
One of the ways you can nurture your knowledge of the situation is by understanding the CARES Act better. The more you know, the sooner you’ll be able to take dedicated steps toward getting the help you might need.
Check out a few of these helpful resources:
- FAQ: The CARES Act
- What’s in the Coronavirus Relief Law (CARES Act)?
- Your Money: A Hub For Help During the Coronavirus Crisis
- Calculate How Much You’ll Get From the $1,200 (or more) Coronavirus Checks
- The CARES Act Has Passed: Here are the Highlights
- Small Business Administration Disaster Loans Information
- Unemployment Benefits in Your State
If you’re looking for ways to help yourself cope with what’s currently going on or you’re simply looking to take care of your mental health, we suggest reading our post right here about a few ways you can instill a little personal peace during the pandemic.
Remember, your mental health should be a top priority—taking care of yourself matters, especially during rough times like these.
For ideas on how to help offset some of the financial burdens you might be feeling, give our article about coping with the financial burden of the coronavirus right here—let these suggestions and tips inspire you to come up with creative solutions for offsetting (even slightly) some of the financial issues from COVID-19.
We’re not in the business of sugar-coating things. In fact, we’re mostly in the business of trying to help you protect yourself in any way possible—and that often requires talking about the ugly, the unlikely, and the improbably. We wish, more than anything, we could solve the COVID-19 pandemic—if we could, we’d do it in a heartbeat.
But for now, let this community embrace you, let us help you in the ways we can, and be a source of light for the barbers within (and beyond) your circle.
If you have words of encouragement, advice, or positivity to share with your community, share them with us. Scroll down to our comment section and let your community know you’re in this, too.
And don’t be afraid to talk to us, either—leave us a comment and let us know how we can help you during this difficult time.