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Calif. Businesses, Residents To Get State Pandemic Relief

By Maria Koklanaris · February 23, 2021, 6:33 PM EST

Small businesses in California will get billions in state grants, and middle- and low-income households will receive stimulus checks meant to ease the novel coronavirus pandemic's economic pain, under bills signed Tuesday by Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom.

The bills, S.B. 87, S.B. 88, and S.B. 94, will increase grants to small businesses fourfold, to a total of $2 billion from the previous $500 million. Other provisions include waiving certain fees for restaurants and bars, and providing a $600 cash stimulus to families that qualify for the state's earned income tax credit.

In the coming days, Newsom and state legislative leaders are expected to move forward on a bill to provide partial conformity to the federal tax treatment of expenses funded through Paycheck Protection Program loans.

On Feb. 17, Newsom and state legislative leaders said they would allow companies to deduct up to $150,000 in expenses paid for with funds from PPP loans. But lawmakers are amending that to increase the amount of expenses allowed for deduction, Newsom said Tuesday. He said the same tax treatment would apply to deductibility of expenses paid for with funds from federal economic injury disaster loans.

--Editing by Neil Cohen.

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