Biden Signs $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan To Provide Relief Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

On March 11, President Joe Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package. The plan aims to accelerate the country’s recover from economic and health effects of the pandemic.

An estimated $6.1 billion worth of funding is going to Hawai’i which will provide new program for restaurants, expand child tax credit and send more vaccines among other initiatives to alleviate the community.

“Billions of dollars are coming to Hawaii to help families and small businesses,” said Senator Brian Schatz.

“This new package will deliver immediate help to people who have lost their job or can’t make their rent. It provides funding for schools and health care and will give our state more resources to get people vaccinated.”

Some of the American Rescue Plan’s key provisions includes:

Direct cash payments. Eligible individuals will receive a one-time cash payment of $1,400 and additional $1,400 per dependent.

Unemployment Assistance. $575 million in funding to help Hawaii workers. The aid will cover salaries up to about $65,000 through September 6 with an additional $300 per week.

More support for small businesses. Additional $7.25 billion to the Paycheck Protection Program and $29 billion for a new Small Business Administration program to grant support for restaurants, bars and other food-related establishments.

Better COVID-19 response efforts. $20 million will go to Hawaii to help distribute and administer COVID-19 vaccines, while a $47.8 billion national fund aims to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

Expanding health care in Hawaii. An estimated $150 million will go towards Hawaii’s healthcare system which includes $50 million to the state’s community health centers needs, $40 million for rural health care providers, $20 million to the Native Hawaiian Health Care Systems, and at least $25 million towards a new program that will recruit, hire and train new public health workers in Hawaii.

With a wide array of programs under the American Rescue Plan ready to provide aide, Sen. Schatz released a comprehensive COVID-19 federal resource guide which includes details on eligibility, coverage and directions on how to apply for these programs.

“At least $6.1 billion from the new COVID package is headed to Hawai‘i, and our new resource guide will help families, workers, and small businesses access this new relief,” said Sen. Schatz.

“If you’ve lost your job, can’t make rent, or need help keeping your businesses afloat, I encourage you to visit our website to learn more about the latest federal resources and programs.”

As more assistance becomes available, Sen. Schatz reassures that his office will continue to regularly update its resource guide.

To view the full resource, head to

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