The Senate’s $2.2 trillion stimulus package contains support provisions for gig workers and freelancers, in addition to measures designed to help small businesses, individuals, and others.
Late Wednesday, the Senate voted unanimously (96-0) in approval of the legislation, which has been sent to the House of Representatives for a vote that’s expected to take place almost immediately. It’s anticipated that the House will also vote in favor of the financial relief plan, and President Trump has indicated that he will sign the massive aid package into law once it reaches his desk.
The stimulus package is set to bolster unemployment benefits for four months, extend unemployment protection for 13 additional weeks, and forward these advantages to non-traditional employees—that is, freelancers and gig workers, artists and musicians among them.
Addressing the stimulus package in a statement, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) Chairman and CEO Mitch Glazier emailed Digital Music News with a big thumbs up. “We applaud Leaders McConnell and Schumer, Secretary Mnuchin, and all Members of the Senate and the Administration,” Glazier noted. “The music community always steps up to help Americans get through trying times and circumstances, and this legislation steps up to help our community face unique circumstances during this national emergency.”
CEO Glazer then said that his organization, which represents America’s leading record labels, was “grateful” for the stimulus package’s offering emergency unemployment benefits to artists.
Glazier, who has worked for the RIAA for two decades, further commended the aid package’s other provisions, including small business loans. “We know the power of music will help us get through this crisis, but we also know that economic pain will continue to cut even deeper in the weeks and months ahead,” he continued. “We look forward to working with the House to get this relief across the finish line as quickly as possible.”
The aforementioned small business loans extend risk-free cash to local companies in exchange for their pledge not to lay off employees. A Federal Reserve-controlled $425 billion fund will be used to support distressed businesses, but aid recipients must meet comparatively stringent requirements (that is, compared to the requirements associated with the 2008 bailout).
Finally, the $2 trillion stimulus package will provide hospitals with $100 billion and most American adults who earn $75,000 or less with $1,200 payments.
Much of the described financial assistance, and particularly the small business loans, boosted unemployment benefits, and individual payments, will become available very quickly after the stimulus package is signed into law.