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Congress Receives COVID-19 Sign-on Letter With Strong Ohio Support

The letter was supported by many Ohio organizations

This week, the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) delivered a community sign-on letter to Congress, alongside 2,200 organizations, including OSAE and many other Ohio organizations, requesting assistance for nonprofit associations impacted by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic.  

Thousands of organizations, including OSAE and ASAE, have urged Congress for months to grant nonprofit associations access to federal relief programs created to assist small businesses and industries struggling with payroll and other basic operations during the coronavirus pandemic. Congress specifically authorized financial assistance to 501(c)(3) charitable nonprofit organizations under these relief programs in the CARES Act, but to-date most associations have not been given access.

Many associations that were financially solvent before the COVID-19 pandemic were forced to cancel conferences, conventions and other in-person events when the virus spread, and previously steady streams of revenue from membership dues, advertising, sponsorships, fundraising and job boards are all down in this struggling economy. 

This latest sign-on letter has three main requests for Congress: provide 501(c)(6) associations access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and reauthorize the PPP until at least Dec. 31, 2020; pass the Pandemic Risk Insurance Act of 2020 (H.R. 7011) that would establish a system of shared public and private compensation for business interruption losses and event cancellations resulting from future pandemics or public health emergencies; and pass the Skills Renewal Act (H.R. 7031/S. 3779), which would provide Americans who have been laid-off or furloughed due to COVID-19 a $4,000 tax credit to pursue post-secondary skills training and career development. ASAE supports amendments to the Skills Renewal Act proposed by the Professional Certification Coalition (of which ASAE is a co-founder and Steering Committee member) ensuring that the tax credit is available for use with a wide range of reputable national certification programs and for expenses associated with testing required to obtain and/or maintain a postsecondary credential.

"This letter powerfully states the value that associations provide as employers, community stewards and educators," said OSAE President & CEO Jarrod A. Clabaugh, CAE. "More lawmakers need to understand  many of the small businesses supporting and driving engagement at this time are 501(c)(6) organizations. To be left in the cold when we do so much for our various communities is a slight that cannot be ignored. I am proud to see so many of our association peers' names listed in this letter - yet another reminder that we're better together."

Congress is reportedly set to begin formal negotiations on a fourth coronavirus stimulus package after the two-week July 4th recess. Many relief programs created by the CARES Act to assist millions of individuals and small businesses during the pandemic are set to expire at the end of July. 

 “Associations have been largely left out of COVID-19 relief measures to date and continue to work tirelessly in support of the industries and professions needed to restore the U.S. economy,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “It’s past time for Congress to take action to ensure associations can continue their vital roles in workforce development, standard-setting and industry advancement as the nation moves toward economic recovery.” 

This article was provided to OSAE by the Power of A and ASAE's Inroads.

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