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COVID 19 Updates

House COVID-19 Relief Bill Includes Relief for Chambers

Will Burns on Friday, May 15, 2020 at 12:00:00 am

A proposal to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program to all 501 (c) organizations is part of the $3 trillion COVID-19 relief package introduced by House Democrats this week.

Chambers of commerce have been urging their congressional delegations to support (c)(6) inclusion for weeks. It’s great to see lawmakers recognize the vital role chambers are playing during this crisis, helping companies access capital, sharing best practices for reopening, coordinating the sourcing of personal protective equipment, helping displaced workers find new jobs and more.  

Among other priorities, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, the bill provides nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments. View the complete bill summary here.

One additional provision within the bill is the extension of the $600 federal unemployment payments through January 2021. We are hearing from many chambers that, as states ease stay at home restrictions, this benefit is undermining businesses' ability to bring back employees, who are instead opting to stay on unemployment because of this added benefit.

The bill faces opposition in the Senate, where Senate Republicans are drafting their bill with a heavy emphasis on liability protections for businesses. No word yet on whether that bill will allow for (c)(6) inclusion in PPP. Expect bipartisan negotiations on a final package in the weeks ahead.

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