May 12, 2020

Democrats in the House of Representatives released a proposal for the next phase of major COVID-19 relief legislation – the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act. On May 11, ASAE sent Congress an updated cover letter, along with its original sign-on letter with 4,300 organizations, to reiterate the need to include associations in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

As written, the HEROES Act includes all Section 501(c) organizations in the PPP. Following are other notable provisions, among many, that are relevant to our community:

  • There would be a set-aside provision that at least 25% of PPP funds go to nonprofits, and at least half of that 25% to nonprofits under 500 employees.
  • The covered period for PPP loans would be extended to December 31, 2020.
  • The covered period for PPP loan forgiveness would expand from the current eight weeks to 24 weeks.
  • Clarifies that organizations receiving PPP loans can also take advantage of the Employee Retention Payroll Tax Credit.
  • Eliminates the 75/25 rule on use of loan proceeds.

While this is a considerable development, the need for steadfast advocacy remains to ensure associations and nonprofits gain access to the PPP. As stated by Susan Robertson, CAE, ASAE’s President and CEO:

“Associations have been working to help prop up the nation’s essential industries and professions without a financial safety net during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many are struggling to maintain basic operations such as payroll, mortgages and rent. Elements of this package will obviously require reconciliation with the Republican-controlled Senate where there is bipartisan support for assisting the association community during this economic crisis. ASAE urges Congress to act swiftly to resolve differing priorities in the next round of COVID relief legislation and affirm the support associations need to weather this pandemic.” 

ASAE staff is further reviewing the proposal and will continue to update its members and other stakeholders with additional information as legislative talks continue. According to reports, the House is likely to vote on this package on Friday, May 15.

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