Forty states are now signed up to provide their residents with an extra $300 or $400 in unemployment, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The benefit was originally envisioned by President Trump as an extra $400 to unemployed workers, with the federal government providing $300 and the states providing $100. But states balked at the additional cost, and now the states’ standard unemployment benefit is counted as their contribution. Workers who are not eligible for at least $100 in unemployment will not receive the additional benefit.
So far, only three states, Kentucky, Montana and West Virginia, have decided to supply the extra $100. Vermont’s plan to bring the total payment to $400 is awaiting approval from the state’s legislature.
South Dakota’s governor has said the state will not apply.
That leaves nine other states that have either not applied or have not been approved: Delaware, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota, Wisconsin and South Carolina. Delaware, Illinois, New Jersey, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina and Wisconsin say they have applied or will apply. Kansas says it has applied and intends to supply the extra $100 to bring the total payment to $400.
Most states won’t be able to start paying the benefit until mid-September or even October. And the payments are expected to last only four or five weeks.
As the coronavirus pandemic drags on, it is threatening an increasing number of small businesses — even many that were financially healthy before the crisis.
A wave of failures would prolong the recession, slow the recovery and perhaps enduringly reshape the American business landscape, accelerating corporate consolidation and the dominance of the biggest companies.
Federal initiatives have helped over the last five months. The Paycheck Protection Program provided hundreds of billions in loans and grants to businesses. A $1,200 tax rebate and a supplement to unemployment benefits provided billions more in spending money.
Now that aid is largely gone, and without more on the way, many businesses face a choice: try to hold on, or cut their losses? For the Cheers Replica bar in Faneuil Hall in Boston, the answer was to throw in the towel after nearly two decades in business.
“We just came to the conclusion, if we’re losing that much money in the summertime, what’s the winter going to look like?” said Markus Ripperger, president and chief executive of Hampshire House, the bar’s parent company.
“If we have to go through another shutdown or more restrictions, it’s going to be even worse for a lot more restaurants that are just barely scraping by,” he said.