General Information on COVID-19
In response to the global emergency and economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Puerto Rico Fiscal Agency and Financial Advisory Authority (FAFAA) continues to work diligently to support Puerto Rico’s path to economic recovery. The United States Federal Government and the Government of Puerto Rico have established several stimulus programs to aid individuals, families, and businesses during this pandemic.
As part of the Government of Puerto Rico’s commitment to transparency and accountability, FAFAA has developed this section containing the most up to date information on state and federal relief programs available as part of the COVID-19 emergency response. As part of these efforts, the Government of Puerto Rico has developed new reports detailing the deployment of COVID-19 emergency funds.
Federal Aid Package
In its effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government has dedicated a historic amount of financial support through both monetary and fiscal policy actions. The total impact of the federal monetary and fiscal stimulus programs so far exceeds $6.8 trillion.
Est. Amount (billions)
Phase 1: Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act
Phase 2: Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Phase 3: Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
Phase 3.5: April 2020 Package
Subtotal Fiscal Policy Action
Estimated Monetary Policy Actions
Estimated Total Impact
On March 13, 2020, President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The declaration allows the administration to utilize the Stafford Act, a federal law governing disaster-relief efforts. The declaration makes $50 billion in emergency funding available to states and territories.
The emergency declaration follows a $8.3 billion emergency COVID-19 aid package signed by the President on March 6, 2020, known as the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act. At least $1.05 billion of this package will go to state, local and tribal efforts through grants and cooperative agreements with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or as reimbursements from the Federal Government. The initial federal aid package was focused largely on public health concerns.
On March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Aid Package was enacted. The bill includes free COVID-19 testing for those uninsured, emergency paid sick leave, expanded family and medical leave programs, unemployment assistance, food aid and federal funding for Medicaid.
A third phase of federal COVID-19 relief, the CARES Act, was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The relief package, as amended on April 24, 2020, allocates an estimated $2.8 trillion to battle the harmful effects of the COVID-19 pandemic (Exhibit 7). The package is the biggest fiscal stimulus package in modern American history. As one of the main categories of the stimulus bill, state and local governments will receive $150 billion to help fund the unanticipated costs of fighting the pandemic. Additionally, the bill establishes a ~$500 billion lending fund for businesses, states and cities. Eligible taxpayers will receive a $1,200 direct payment and $500 for each dependent child.
On April 24, 2020, the PPP and Health Care Enhancement Act was signed into law as an amendment to the CARES Act. The $484 billion package includes $310 billion for the SBA’s PPP with $60 billion allocated for loans made by small lenders and community-based institutions, $50 billion for the SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, and $10 billion for the SBA’s Emergency Economic Injury Grant program. It also includes the HHS Hospital and Provider Grants under the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund that provides an additional $75 billion to support the need for COVID-19 related expenses and lost revenue due to COVID-19. Finally, it provides $25 billion for necessary expenses to research, develop, validate, manufacture, purchase, administer and expand capacity for COVID-19 tests.
Click HERE to read a Summary of the CARES Act.
Coronavirus Relief Fund
On April 22, 2020, the Government of Puerto Rico announced that it received over $2.2 billion from the U.S Treasury Department as part of the CARES Act stimulus package to assist the island with emergency expenses and mitigate the effects of the global pandemic and the subsequent economic downturn. The Government of Puerto Rico is fully committed to assisting individuals, businesses, and the municipalities with these funds, while following the U.S. Treasury Department guidelines.
The plan allocates funding for three main components: (i) testing, contact tracing, isolation and treatment, (ii) reactivating the economy and protecting jobs and (iii) Government service continuity.
On May 15, 2020, Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced issued Executive Order OE-2020-040 establishing Puerto Rico´s Strategic Disbursement Plan for the Coronavirus Relief Fund under the CARES Act.
Click HERE to read the Strategic Disbursement Plan.
Click HERE to read Executive Order OE-2020-040.
Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidelines
The U.S. Treasury Department published the Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments on April 22, 2020. These guidelines provide guidance to recipients—including Puerto Rico and its municipalities—of the funding available under the CARES Act, particularly the $150 billion Coronavirus Relief Fund (CRF). The guidance sets forth the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s interpretation of the CARES ACT limitation on the permissible use of CRF payments.
On May 4, 2020, the U.S. Treasury Department published Frequently Asked Questions to supplement the Coronavirus Relief Fund Guidance for State, Territorial, Local, and Tribal Governments dated April 22, 2020.
The Assistance Program to Private Hospitals under the Coronavirus Relief Fund is intended to provide emergency assistance (grants or short-term loans) to private hospitals for necessary expenditures related to the COVID-19 emergency. The allocation to each institution will be based on a necessity standard.
Restrictions: These funds will only be available to cover necessary expenditures related to the COVID-19 emergency that have not been covered or reimbursed, or that will not be covered in the future, by other state, federal or private insurance programs that the institutions may have, including funds received through the CARES Act’s Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund. Entities that receive these funds will not be able to use them to pay executive bonuses, debt refinancing or other expenses that are determined to be ineligible. Likewise, the beneficiary entities must sign an agreement as part of the program in which they agree to return the money if it is determined in the future that they did not comply with any of the eligibility requirements. Beneficiaries must spend the money on or before December 30, 2020. This will be a first come, first served basis program.
CRF Assistance Program to Municipalities
Under this program, CRF funds will be transferred to municipalities for eligible expenditures related to the COVID-19 emergency, as provided in CARES and in the guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury.
Restrictions: Funds may only be used for eligible expenditures related to the COVID-19 emergency, as provided in CARES and in the guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Treasury. The funds must be spent on or before December 30, 2020.
CRF Assistance Program to Small Businesses
Description: To provide emergency assistance of up to $5,000 to each small business or micro-enterprise with between 2 and 49 employees, duly registered in the Merchants Registry of the Department of the Treasury, for the losses caused by the interruption of operations caused by the COVID-19 emergency and/or for necessary expenditures related to the COVID-19. This will be a first come, first served basis program. This includes non-profit organizations that provide direct assistance or services to the citizenry.
Restrictions: This aid would be subject to terms and conditions to ensure that its use is limited to matters related to the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, the entities that receive them may not use the funds to pay executive bonuses, or to refinance debt, or for other expenses determined to be ineligible. This program will not apply to entities that participate in other programs described in this plan, including the private sector payroll protection plan. Beneficiaries must spend the money on or before December 30, 2020.
CRF Assistance Program to Medium Businesses
Description: To provide emergency assistance of up to $10,000 to each medium-sized company with between 50 and 500 employees, duly registered in the Merchants Registry of the Department of the Treasury, for the losses caused by the interruption of operations caused by the COVID-19 emergency and/or for necessary expenditures related to the COVID-19. This will be a first come, first served basis program. This includes non-profit organizations that provide direct assistance or services to people.
Restrictions: This aid would be subject to terms and conditions to ensure that its use is limited to matters related to or the product of the COVID-19 emergency. In addition, the entities that receive them may not use the funds to pay executive bonuses, or to refinance debt, or for other expenses determined to be ineligible. This program will not apply to entities that participate in other programs described in this plan, including the private sector payroll protection plan. Beneficiaries must spend the money on or before December 30, 2020.
Emergency Relieve Measures Package (787MM) Report
In addition to the federal stimulus package, the Government announced an unprecedented package of direct assistance to workers and businesses which totals $787 million and is intended to supplement the federal aid and help alleviate the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Puerto Rico COVID-19 Dashboard
This is the official dashboard on COVID-19 statistics of the Government of Puerto Rico. This dashboard contains the latest data related to the virus in the island.
Click HERE to view the dashboard.
Links to Other Relevant Information on the COVID-19 Emergency
Roberto Sánchez Vilella (Minillas) Government Center de Diego Ave. Stop 22 San Juan, PR 00907
PO Box 42001, San Juan, PR 00940-2001