Business Briefs – April 1, 2020

What You Need To Do To Get Your Government Stimulus Check

(AP) – The IRS and the Treasury Department say Americans will start receiving their economic impact checks in the next three weeks.

The payments are part of the $2.2 trillion rescue package signed into law last week by President Donald Trump aimed at combating the economic ravages of the coronavirus outbreak.

Most people don’t need to do anything to get the money. But some — including senior citizens and low-income people who might not traditionally file tax returns — do need to take action. People behind on filing their taxes might also want to get caught up.

Anyone earning up to $75,000 in adjusted gross income and who has a Social Security number will receive a $1,200 payment. That means married couples filing joint returns will receive the full payment — $2,400 — if their adjusted gross income, which what you report on your taxes, is under $150,000.

The payment steadily declines for those who make more. Those earning more than $99,000, or $198,000 for joint filers, are not eligible. The thresholds are slightly different for those who file as a head of household.


Parents will also receive $500 for each qualifying child.

China’s Manufacturing Rebounds As Virus Controls Ease

BEIJING (AP) — China’s manufacturing rebounded in March as authorities relaxed anti-disease controls and allowed factories to reopen, an official survey showed Tuesday, but an industry group warned the economy has yet to fully recover.

The ruling Communist Party is trying to revive the world’s second-largest economy after declaring victory over the coronavirus even as the United States and other governments shut down businesses.

The purchasing managers’ index issued by the Chinese statistics bureau and the official China Federation of Logistics & Purchasing rose to 52 from February’s record low of 35.7 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 show activity increasing.


Fed Steps In Once Again To Try To Smooth Out Lending Markets

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve is intervening once again to try to smooth out the world’s lending markets, this time by lending dollars to other central banks in exchange for Treasurys.

The Fed’s move Tuesday marks its latest aggressive effort to keep borrowing rates down and ensure that financial markets can still function in the face of the coronavirus outbreak. The virus has caused a near-shutdown of economic activity in the United States and abroad and made it harder for some banks and companies to borrow. The Fed is trying to facilitate lending and boost confidence that it will do all it can to support the global financial system.


Treasury Wants Airlines To Say How They Will Pay Back Loans

DALLAS (AP) — The Treasury Department wants airlines to say how they will compensate the government for $25 billion in grants used to keep employees on the payroll during the coronavirus outbreak.

The economic-relief bill passed last week gives the Treasury Secretary the power to take an equity stake in airlines that get taxpayer help.

The law provides money for grants and another $25 billion in loans or loan guarantees for passenger airlines hurt by the severe drop in travel from the outbreak. The number of people going through security checkpoints at U.S. airports has plunged more than 90% from a year ago, and airlines have suspended nearly all of their international flights.

The Treasury Department warned airlines in a document posted Monday night to apply for aid by late Friday or face delays in processing their requests. If they fail to apply by April 27, they could be shut out.


Trump Rollback Of Mileage Standards Guts Climate Change Push

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration rolled back ambitious Obama-era vehicle mileage standards Tuesday, raising the ceiling on damaging fossil fuel emissions for years to come and gutting one of the United States’ biggest efforts against climate change.

The Trump administration released a final rule Tuesday on mileage standards through 2026. The change — after two years of Trump threatening and fighting states and a faction of automakers that opposed the move — waters down a tough Obama mileage standard that would have encouraged automakers to ramp up production of electric vehicles and more fuel-efficient gas and diesel vehicles.

“We are delivering on President Trump’s promise to correct the current fuel economy and greenhouse gas emissions standards,” Andrew Wheeler, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, said in a statement Tuesday marking the release.


Amazon Fires Warehouse Worker Who Staged Walkout

NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon fired a worker who organized a walkout at a New York warehouse to demand greater protection against the new coronavirus, saying the employee himself flouted distancing rules and put others at risk.

The decision prompted a rebuke from New York Attorney General Letitia James, who called on the National Labor Relations Board to investigate. James said her office is also considering legal options, saying the right to organize is protected in New York.

Several Amazon workers walked out of the warehouse, demanding the facility be shut and cleaned during a paid time off after the co-worker tested positive for the virus. About 100 workers were expected to attend the rally, but Amazon said the actual number was much lower.