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ASAE Crafts Latest Sign-on Letter Requesting 501(c)(6) Aid

Congress is expected to re-start negotiations on another bill next week

The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) recently prepared another sign-on letter calling on Congress to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include 501(c)(6) nonprofit associations. Congress is set to return from summer recess next week, and negotiations are expected to resume on the specific provisions that will be included in a new COVID-19 relief package.

Sticking points in the negotiations are plentiful, including how much money to give state and local governments, how much weekly unemployment benefits should be and whether to appropriate billions of dollars for the beleaguered U.S. Postal Service, among others. Strengthening and expanding access to the PPP, however, is one of the more agreed upon components of the 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 Sept. 14.

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

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