Policies & Issues

5 Things Retailers Should Know About the Stimulus Bill

Policies & IssuesApr 01, 2020

5 Things Retailers Should Know About the Stimulus Bill

The CARES Act will provide $2 trillion in aid to keep businesses afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

President Donald Trump signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, also known as the CARES Act, into law Friday.

New York—The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump, providing $2 trillion in aid.

The 880-page act lays out a variety of provisions aimed at keeping individuals and businesses afloat as the U.S. navigates the coronavirus pandemic.

Here are five measures that could benefit retailers.

Tax provisions may allow retailers to retain employees and offset costs.

Tax code can be a tricky subject, so National Jeweler consulted Major Gen. Tim Haake, an attorney in the Washington, D.C. office of international law firm Dentons with a background in taxation. Haake has a Master of Laws degree in taxation from Georgetown University Law Center.

He is also a principal at Haake & Associates, the consulting firm that lobbies in D.C. on behalf of Jewelers of America and its political action committee, JAPAC.

He said a major measure of the bill for retailers to keep in mind is the employee retention tax credit, which will make it easier for employers to hold onto their workers by providing a 50 percent refundable payroll tax credit.

Retailers are eligible if business has been fully or partially suspended as a result of a government order, or if the business has experienced a 50 percent decline in gross receipts.

Something jewelers in particular may want to take note of, said Haake, is the $15 billion in funds available to retailers that took on remodeling projects during 2018 and 2019, available in the form of tax refunds.

As a result of a glitch in the 2017 tax reform law, affected companies overpaid federal taxes over the past two years.

Collection of federal payroll taxes is delayed until 2021, with 50 percent due then and 50 percent in 2022.

Deductions for interest paid on business loans also have expanded.

In addition, net operating loss carryback has been restored for tax years 2018-2020, which means companies will be able to carry back losses to profitable years up to five years prior and obtain refunds.

Haake broke down the basics of how this works.

For example, let’s say a retailer is not making a profit as a result of the impact of the coronavirus, but did make a profit in the last five years.

The provision allows retailers to go back to a year in which they made a profit and paid a tax and receive a refund for some of the tax paid.

There are some technical exceptions if averaging

the five years, said Haake, but an accountant will know where to look and how to assist, which brings up a point National Jeweler columnist Sherry Smith made in her latest “On Data” article.

Jewelers should consult their corporate attorney, certified public account and payroll company (if they use one) to help them decode CARES.

It may seem complicated, but actually, the act was “crafted in a way to eliminate technicalities and get money out there quickly,” said Haake.

Access to loans for small businesses has been expanded.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) set up a $350 billion Paycheck Protection Program that offers forgivable loans to cover up to 250 percent of payroll for small businesses with 500 or fewer employees.

In addition, the Federal Reserve, backed by the Federal Reserve Act, has the power to buy debt or extend loans to businesses of all sizes in extenuating circumstances, with the approval of the Treasury.

The regulatory body will do just that, receiving $500 billion to support credit facilities and leveraging that to provide more than $4.5 trillion in support.

More details on Federal Reserve credit programs will be available in the coming days.

In addition, Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the SBA are available to businesses with fewer than 500 employees and, now, also to sole proprietors and Employee Stock Ownership Plans, a type of company that sets up an employee stock ownership trust.

There is also a new emergency grant available allowing a business that has applied for a disaster loan to get an immediate advance of up to $10,000, which can be used for payroll purposes.

The advance is not required to be repaid, even if the request for a loan is denied.

Unemployment benefits have been expanded.

The CARES Act expands unemployment benefits, including to those who are self-employed and to independent contractors.

Individuals qualify for unemployment if they are able or available to work, but cannot for reasons related to COVID-19.

Coronavirus-related reasons include school closures, caring for a sick family member, or if their place of employment is closed or can’t be reached, like if a stay-in-place order is in effect.

The coverage applies to those unable to work for coronavirus-related reasons beginning on or after Jan. 27 and ending on or before Dec. 31, 2020.

Individuals who qualify for unemployment will receive an additional $600 on top of the amount given by the state in which they reside.

The plan, known as the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, will provide unemployment insurance for 39 weeks, an extension on the standard 26 weeks.

Payments will be made available from the first week of unemployment, eliminating the usual one-week delay.

Individuals will receive a one-time check.

Checks start at $1,200 and go up or down from there, depending on how much individuals earn and how many dependent children they have.

Individuals making $99,000 or above and couples making $198,000 and above who have no dependent children will not receive a check.

An individual’s income will be determined using 2019 tax returns or 2018 returns if the taxpayer hasn’t filed their 2019 taxes yet.

There are a number of calculators available online to help people determine how much they will get, like this one from H&R Block.

There are resources available to individuals and retailers in need of guidance.

The CARES Act is a lengthy one with a long list of provisions and complicated exceptions.

But, “life is complicated,” said Haake. “Rely on whoever has advised [you] over the years in terms of how to take advantage of these provisions.”

Jewelers of America, which owns National Jeweler, compiled a resource guide breaking down the provisions and highlighting especially important information.

“We’ve been trying to provide members and the industry with the best information we have on hand,” CEO David Bonaparte said in an interview with National Jeweler.

He encouraged jewelers to reach out to the industry’s trade organizations with any questions and, more importantly, to stay on top of things.

“Don’t shutter and wait for this to go away. Stay active in the marketplace,” he said, advising jewelers to keep in touch with customers and vendors, and their banks.

The National Retail Federation also provided an overview of the bill on its blog.

The Small Business Administration put together a list with guidance for small businesses and loan resources.

The SBA is reachable on a local level as well, with 68 district offices, and works alongside resource partners.

The SCORE Association is a nonprofit comprised of more than 13,000 business counselors volunteering to offer their services.

The Small Business Development Centers’ office is also available to support small businesses.

Women-owned small businesses can reach out to The Women’s Business Centers, and veterans can contact the Veterans Business Outreach Centers.

In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a guide available for businesses and employers.
Lenore Fedowis the associate editor, news at National Jeweler, covering the retail beat and the business side of jewelry.

The Latest

Exterior of the Colorado Convention Center
Events & AwardsJun 05, 2023
HardRock Summit Organizers Gear Up for Third Annual Show

More than 250 gem, jewelry, and mineral companies are expected to exhibit, including the American Gem Trade Association.

Alexandra Rosier gold and opal Eternal Love Hands necklace
TrendsJun 02, 2023
Take a Peek at Couture’s Newest Design Talents

This year’s Design Atelier is full of gems.

Saboo Fine Jewels emerald and titanium earrings
CollectionsJun 02, 2023
Piece of the Week: Saboo Fine Jewels’ Emerald Earrings

They’re a testament to the power of excellent design.

Brought to you by
The Next Step for GIA Diamond Reports

The most trusted diamond report, available in print or the GIA App.

Holly Wesche, Stan Razny, Ingrid Razny, Candy Udell
IndependentsJun 02, 2023
These Are the 2023 Retailer Hall of Fame Inductees

This year’s honorees include one of Florida’s largest independent jewelers and two multi-store independents in the Chicago and New York areas.

Weekly QuizJun 02, 2023
This Week’s Quiz
Test your jewelry news knowledge with this short test.
Take the Quiz
Jane Taylor letter pendants
TrendsJun 01, 2023
See 50+ Jewels Debuting at Couture in Las Vegas

The industry’s most influential contemporary designers are showcasing their latest jewelry designs.

35-carat lab-grown diamond created by Maitri
Lab-GrownJun 01, 2023
35-Carat Lab-Grown Diamond Going on Display in Vegas

Created by Maitri Lab-Grown Diamonds and graded by IGI, it’s slightly bigger than the record-setting lab-grown diamond GIA just examined.

Brought to you by
Beyond Borders: Crucial Factors in Colored Stone Origin Determination

Navigate origin determination with Continuing Education seminars offered by the GIA Alumni Collective™.

Bottom Line Marketing Chief Growth Officer Gus Garcia and CEO Jackie Brooks
MajorsJun 01, 2023
Bottom Line Marketing Announces Restructured Leadership, New Service Offerings

The marketing agency has integrated its first C-suite.

Events & AwardsJun 01, 2023
Meet JCK’s 2023 Keynote Speaker

The jewelry trade show also will debut educational content centered around social media.

Lauren K gold and gemstone rings
TrendsMay 31, 2023
Here’s a Sneak Peek of New Jewelry to Check Out at JCK

Luxury kicks off today, with the full show in swing on Friday.

A pearl pendant and a pearl ring
CollectionsMay 31, 2023
Verragio’s Debut Fine Jewelry Collections Honor Company Heritage

One of the three new collections was inspired by the legend of a woman who traded her mansion to Cartier for two strands of natural pearls.

Rob Ballew
MajorsMay 31, 2023
Signet Jewelers Names New Head of Investor Relations

Rob Ballew will be tasked with communicating the jewelry giant’s plans and financial performance to investors.

Mobile mock-up screens of the new LUX Digital Vault app from Jewelers Mutual Group
MajorsMay 31, 2023
Jewelers Mutual Launches App for Retailers, Introduces New Brokerage

With the app, customers receive a 15-day insurance offer on new purchases while their coverage needs are being evaluated.

Rendering of Lightbox lab-grown diamond store in House of Showfields
Lab-GrownMay 30, 2023
Lightbox Is Testing Out a Trendy Concept Shop in Brooklyn

It is in House of Showfields, a bazaar-style retail space in the borough’s Williamsburg neighborhood.

Attendees at the JCK Las Vegas show
Events & AwardsMay 30, 2023
These Are the Can’t-Miss JCK Talks Education Sessions

From consumer trends to retail technology, these are the JCK Talks sessions that should be on attendees’ radar.

Constance “Connie” Barber Mellon’s David Webb Elephant Clip-Brooch
AuctionsMay 30, 2023
Sotheby’s to Auction Mellon Family Jewelry

Signature pieces from Cartier and David Webb will appear in the June jewelry auction.

Georgie Gleim, Shelly Sergent, and Molly Peterson
Events & AwardsMay 30, 2023
24 Karat Club of Southern California Recognizes 3 Honorees

They will be celebrated at the annual dinner dance and gala in the fall.

Historic and modern photos of diamond grading GIA
GradingMay 26, 2023
State of the Diamond Industry: AI and the Future of Diamond Grading

Gemologists have long used machines in diamond grading but technology has made it possible for them to “learn” how to do it on their own.

Supplier Spotlight Webinar John Pollard and Garry Holloway
Recorded WebinarsMay 26, 2023
Watch: Diamond Cut Quality: The Final Frontier Part 2

Supplier Spotlight Sponsored by IGI

My Next Question webinar series episode on selling lab-grown diamonds
Recorded WebinarsMay 26, 2023
Natural and Lab-Grown Diamonds: What It’s Like to Sell Both

Watch retailers Jeffery Bolling and Bobby Bengivengo discuss employee training, customer education and the sticky subject of future value.

Models wearing Calvin Klein watches and jewelry
FinancialsMay 26, 2023
Movado Sales Slip in Q1 Amid Inflation Woes, Tough Comps

The company has plans to revamp the Movado brand and offer less expensive watches this year.

Bulgari necklace set with 118.35-carat unheated Sri Lankan sapphire
AuctionsMay 26, 2023
Piece of the Week: A Bulgari Sapphire and Diamond Necklace

Set with a 118-carat unheated Sri Lankan sapphire, it just sold for $3.4 million at Phillips jewelry auction in Hong Kong.

Supplier BulletinMay 25, 2023
RAE Fine Jewelry Collection Debuting at JCK Luxury 2023

Sponsored by Noam Carver

Graphic of phishing scheme
TechnologyMay 25, 2023
State of Retail: Why Jewelers Need to Invest in Cybersecurity Now

As cybercrime incidents threaten the industry, jewelers need to know what they’re up against and the best ways to protect their businesses.

Louis Anthony Jewelers remodeled exterior
IndependentsMay 25, 2023
Louis Anthony Jewelers Is Remodeling and Expanding

The Pittsburgh jeweler is redoing the lighting and showcases, and adding a full hospitality bar as well as new shop-in-shops.

Yurman Family Crystalline Pass at American Museum of Natural History in New York City
SourcingMay 25, 2023
David Yurman Unveils Quartz Exhibition at AMNH

The Yurman Family Crystalline Pass is inside the museum’s brand-new Richard Gilder Center.


This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy