WASHINGTON— U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) today sent a letter to Senate leadership and the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship asking that local trade and professional associations become eligible for assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in any future coronavirus bill. The letter requests support for 501(c)(6) associations, including regional Chambers of Commerce, nursing professional organizations, state certified public accountant societies, state restaurant associations, and tourism and hospitality leagues.
“At this exceptionally difficult time, [these associations] are providing critical guidance on resources to help small business weather the current economic downturn. Unfortunately, just like the small businesses they serve, many of these community leaders are now experiencing their own financial challenges. If these organizations are unable to survive, the path to recovery for our hard-hit Main Street economy will be even more difficult,” the Senators wrote.
Sen. Cornyn launched a series of statewide outreach calls with chambers of commerce, hospitals, healthcare workers, and other Texans on March 6. Sen. Cornyn’s website has additional resources for Texans during the coronavirus outbreak here.
Joining Sen. Cornyn on the letter were U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Richard Burr (R-NC), Doug Jones (D-AL), Steve Daines (R-MT), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Angus King (I-ME), Tim Scott (R-SC), Gary Peters (D-MI), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Martha McSally (R-AZ), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), John Boozman (R-AR), Jon Tester (D-MT), James Lankford (R-OK), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI).
You can read the full letter by click here, and text is below.
The Honorable Mitch McConnell The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Majority Leader Minority Leader
United States Senate United States Senate
The Honorable Marco Rubio The Honorable Ben Cardin
Chairman Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Small Business Senate Committee on Small
and Entrepreneurship Business and Entrepreneurship
Dear Majority Leader McConnell, Minority Leader Schumer, Chairman Rubio, and Ranking Member Cardin:
We appreciate your leadership in providing unprecedented resources for American small businesses through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136). Unfortunately, local trade and professional associations organized under § 501(c)(6) of the Internal Revenue Code are ineligible for assistance through the lending programs included in this legislation. Given the crucial role these organizations play in sustaining the Main Street economy, and the severe financial difficulties they are confronting, we strongly support their inclusion in the next round of federal aid for coronavirus relief.
Organizations structured under 501(c)(6) bring the community together to help negotiate shared challenges and promote local economic development. These entities include regional chambers of commerce, nursing professional organizations, state CPA societies, state restaurant associations, and tourism and hospitality leagues, among others. At this exceptionally difficult time, they are providing critical guidance and resources to help small businesses weather the current economic downturn. Unfortunately, just like the small businesses they serve, many of these community leaders are now experiencing their own financial challenges. If these organizations are unable to survive, the path to recovery for our hard- hit Main Street economy will be even more difficult.
To help local 501(c)(6)s meet their current obligations and continue assisting small businesses in our communities, we endorse expanding access to the Paycheck Protection Program in forthcoming legislation. These organizations require revenue beyond annual member dues to make ends meet. As conferences and education events are postponed or cancelled, and contributions become uncertain, finding funds to continue operations and maintain payroll is an increasingly dire issue.
Again, we believe the CARES Act will make a significant positive difference in our communities. However, to ensure that local chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations can continue to support small businesses at this precarious moment for our country, they need our help. We look forward to working together with you to address this matter in future legislation.
We are grateful for your attention to this request and appreciate your diligent and committed work during this crisis.