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CEO DATELINE – Stimulus bill does not aid association sector

March 25, 2020
By William Ehart

The $2 trillion stimulus bill being considered by Congress does not include the $25 billion sought by associations to cover lost event revenue, nor does it make all 501(c) organizations eligible for Small Business Association business interruption loans, ASAE told CEO Update in an email late Wednesday.

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“ASAE applauds Congress for swiftly taking action to assist millions of Americans, corporations and small businesses impacted by COVID-19,” said ASAE CEO Susan Robertson. “At least one of the provisions in this economic stimulus package—an employee retention tax credit to assist businesses and 501(c) entities that have a furloughed or reduced workforce due to the coronavirus—will benefit some revenue-stricken associations along with other impacted segments of the economy.

“We need more, and we have made some very specific asks of Congress to assist associations suffering due to COVID-19-related event cancellations and other losses. We understand there is an additional relief package under consideration after the passage of this third stimulus package, and we will continue to make the case that associations need and deserve additional aid during this crisis,” Robertson said.

ASAE had sought the $25 billion in capital assistance to cover lost revenue and asked that other tax-exempt groups such as trade associations and professional societies have access to the Small Business Interruption Loan Program.

Under current law, only 501(c)(3) organizations are eligible.

“Without this financial support, innumerable associations will fail,” Robertson had written in a March 23 letter to congressional leaders and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

This is a developing story and will be updated as needed.