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What to Know About the American Rescue Plan

American Rescue Plan

March 15, 2021

The American Rescue Plan Act has been signed by President Biden after passing the U.S. Senate 50-49 and the U.S. House 220-211. The bill is the fourth major piece of legislation that is aimed at providing COVID-19 economic relief. Highlighted below are some noteworthy pieces of the American Rescue Plan.


  • $14 billion to extend the Payroll Support Program (PSP). Allows funding for eligible air carriers and contractors through Sept. 30, 2021.
  • $8 billion for airports for cost related to personal, cleaning, sanitation and janitorial services.


  • $7.2 billion to create an Emergency Connectivity Fund to reimburse schools and libraries for internet access and connected devices for students and teachers learning remotely due to the pandemic.

Child Care

Child Tax Credit

  • Temporarily expands the child tax credit, increasing the amount to $3,000 for children ages 6 to 17 and $3,600 for children under age 6. The amount is gradually reduced for couples earning over $150,000 and individuals earning over $75,000 per year. Families eligible for the full credit would get payments of up to $300 per child per month from July 2021 through the end of 2021.


Small Business Relief

  • $7.25 billion for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), forgivable loans for businesses and nonprofits that use at least 60% of the funds on payroll.
  • $10 billion for the State Small Business Credit Initiative. Allows states to make low-interest loans and other investments to help their small business economies recover.
  • $15 billion for Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL). Loans that provide economic relief to small businesses and nonprofit organizations that are currently experiencing a temporary loss of revenue.
  • $29 billion to create a grant program aimed at providing relief for restaurants.
  • $15 billion for the Shuttered Venue Grants Program. Grants that are intended to help museums, theaters, concert and other venues that had to shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions.

State and Local Assistance

  • $350 billion for fiscal relief for states and local governments. Local governments in Iowa will receive more than $1.4 billion.

Stimulus Checks

  • $1,400 direct payment for individuals earning up to $75,000 and couples earning up to $150,000. Individuals will also receive an additional $1,400 payment for each dependent claimed on their tax return.

Unemployment Benefits

  • Individuals on unemployment will receive an additional $300 per week through Sept. 6, 2021. It also reduces taxes workers are owed on unemployment benefits received in 2021.

Vaccine Distribution

  • $7.5 billion for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to track, administer and distribute COVID-19 vaccines. An additional $46 billion will go toward diagnosing and tracing coronavirus infections and $2 billion will go toward buying and distributing various testing supplies and personal protective equipment.

View the American Rescue Plan Act in its entirety here.

The Partnership's Public Policy team engages with local, state and federal officials to create public policy that generates economic growth, business prosperity and talent development in Greater Des Moines (DSM). The Partnership is a nonpartisan organization.

You can count on The Partnership to continue to share accurate and fact-based updates. See more on COVID-19 here.

Andrea Woodard

Andrea Woodard was the Director of Regional Community Integration at the Greater Des Moines Partnership.