More than 1,000 organizations in the last week have joined ASAE’s latest sign-on letter calling on Congress to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations.

While the White House and congressional Democrats remain far apart in negotiations on a new COVID-19 relief package, the stakes are high if Congress does not address the economic and public health needs of the nation before the November election. A skinny Republican bill failed to advance in the Senate earlier today that did include 501(c)(6) access to the PPP, among other provisions. Sticking points in the negotiations remain plentiful but strengthening and expanding access to the PPP is one of the more agreed upon components of any eventual legislation.

In its latest sign-on letter, ASAE acknowledges efforts to extend assistance to associations through the House-passed HEROES Act and a Senate Republican bill that would restart the PPP, allow businesses to apply for second loans, reduce paperwork requirements for loan forgiveness applications and expand eligibility for PPP loans to include some 501(c)(6) organizations. ASAE staff remains in discussion with key congressional offices about the Senate bill, which includes inequitable employee caps and vague lobbying restrictions for 501(c)(6) organizations relative to all other borrowers.

In addition to expanding PPP eligibility to include 501(c)(6) organizations, ASAE’s sign-on letter urges Congress to extend the PPP until at least March 31, 2021; allow 501(c)(6) associations to obtain a second PPP loan if needed, referred to as a “second draw”; expand the definition for eligible receipts within the second draw program to include in-person event cancellations and lost revenue from certification programs and other education; and apply the lobbying restrictions for eligible PPP loan recipients outlined in the HEROES Act. That restriction requires PPP loan recipients to exclude compensation to any federally registered lobbyist as an eligible PPP expense.

ASAE’s sign-on letter also reiterates the dire financial implications for 501(c)(6) entities if Congress does not act soon.

“Since passage of the CARES Act last March, 501(c)(6)s have been without this essential relief made available to almost every other sector of the economy,” the letter states. “As their reserve funds continue to deplete, any more time without aid puts our community in jeopardy.”

Associations that wish to add their organization name to ASAE’s sign-on letter can do so through this form by Monday, Sept. 14.