AN ACT TO PROVIDE ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO BUSINESSES FOR JOB RETENTION, RECRUITMENT, AND REPATRIATION DURING AND AFTER THE COVID-19 3
Senate committee substitute deletes the content of the 1st edition and instead provides the following.
States the purpose of the act regarding the use of funds from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help NC businesses during and business investments after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Directs the State Controller to transfer $200 million from the Coronavirus Relief Reserve to the Coronavirus Relief Fund (both established in SL 2020-4). Appropriates the transferred funds to the General Fund for 2020-21 to implement the act, subject to federal CARES Act requirements and specified US Treasury guidance, for job retention, recruitment, and repatriation.
Establishes the COVID-19 Job Retention Program (program), administered by the Economic Investment Committee (Committee), to provide one-time grants of up to $500,000 to a business that retained jobs during and after the COVID-19 pandemic and meets program requirements. Limits program eligibility to businesses that: (1) employ at least 90% of the number of full-time or equivalent employees during the COVID-19 period in NC as it employed for the pay period ending on or about February 28, 2020; (2) have sales for the COVID-19 period that are at least 10% below its sales during the same period in the preceding calendar year; and (3) did not participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or the Mainstreet Loan Program. Provides nine defined terms. Defines a business to mean an entity subject to income tax, and defines the COVID-19 period to mean the period beginning March 1, 2020, and ending May 31, 2020. Provides for grants awards to be up to two months of the business's average monthly payroll costs, as defined, from the last year plus an additional 25%. Provides for the grants to be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis upon application to the Committee.
Additionally appropriates $50 million from the General Fund to the Department of Commerce to be used for the program. Directs funds unexpended on December 30, 2020, to be transferred to the COVID-19 Increased Investment in North Carolina Program (investment program), established by the act, for investment program grants.
Establishes the increased investment program, administered by the Committee, to provide grants to businesses that increase its investment in the State to help the State economy recover from the economic losses sustained during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Defines eligibility to include businesses that increase its actual investment in tangible property in the State from the previous taxable year, as specified. Defines a business to mean a corporation subject to franchise tax. Provides for grant amounts to equal five times the increased investment amount multiplied by 15%, payable to businesses in five equal installments over a five-year period. Provides for the grants to be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis upon application to the Committee. Conditions the grant award on the business's commitment to maintain operations in NC for the term of the grant with Committee authority to recapture awarded funds in the event of noncompliance.
Appropriates $50 million from the General Fund to the Department of Commerce to be used for the investment program. Directs funds unexpended on December 30, 2022, to be transferred to the COVID-19 Local Government New Infrastructure Program (local government program), established by the act.
Establishes the local government new infrastructure program, administered consistent with the One North Carolina Fund provisions set out in Part 2H, Article 10 of GS Chapter 143B, to expedite recovery from economic loss during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. Explicitly states that no local matching is required for awards under the local government program. Restricts awards to availability of funds provided in the section.
Appropriates $100 million from the General Fund to the Department of Commerce. Allows up to $6 million to be allocated to one or more of the State's eight prosperity zones upon recommendation of the Committee, with no prosperity zone receiving more than $750,000 and restricts the use of funds for State match purposes. Allocates the remainder of the funds for the local government program.
Directs the Department of Commerce to notify the Office for Historically Underutilized Businesses as soon as practicable about the three programs created by the act, and directs the Office to identify and inform minority owned businesses that may be eligible for program grants.
Directs the Committee to report to the specified NCGA committee by January 1, 2021, on program awards, including the total number, of awards and amounts, and the percentage of grants awarded to historically underutilized businesses.
Changes the act's titles.
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