COVID 19 Updates
Chambers Win PPP Eligibility in New Relief Package
After months of fighting for access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) nonprofit organizations gained long-overdue access to federal support after Congress agreed to a new COVID stimulus deal.
There are more than 6,500 chambers of commerce in the United States. Despite a long-standing reputation of supporting small business and promoting community prosperity, chambers were denied access to critical federal support when Congress first created the PPP
“Chambers of commerce stepped up with creativity, tenacity and commitment to help their communities through unprecedented times,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Thousands of chamber executives spent months advocating for PPP eligibility, and ACCE is grateful that our elected leaders finally took action to support the vital roles chambers play in the communities they serve.”
Chambers of commerce have been critical in supporting their communities during the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. They launched helplines and provided advice to small businesses struggling to survive. They led community-wide efforts to leverage local businesses and their supply chains to ensure access to personal protective equipment. They administered local loan and grant programs and created campaigns to encourage residents to support local restaurants and retailers. Through it all, they were ineligible for the federal aid they frequently helped small businesses access.
"It has been inspiring to see chambers across the country stepping up and finding innovative ways to pivot and serve our communities under very challenging circumstances," said Jay Byers, CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Chair of the ACCE Board. "We thank our congressional leaders for working closely with the chamber industry to provide additional pandemic relief to our business members and our organizations as we continue to focus on economic recovery and growth strategies for our cities, regions, states and country."
Eligible chambers must not receive more than 15 percent of their revenue from lobbying activities. Lobbying activities may not comprise more than 15 percent of the total activities of the organization and lobbying expenses during the most recent tax year may not exceed $1 million.
SBA Releases Updated PPP Rules and Application
The Small Business Administration reopened the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan portal this morning. Chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations are now eligible to apply. The PPP website has been updated with new details including the application form and the Interim Final Rule for the program changes recently signed into law.
- Reviewing the Small Business Administration's PPP resources.
- Watching this ASAE webinar with instructions from the prior application period.
- Reviewing the US Chamber's PPP guides that were created prior to 501(c)(6) organizations gaining eligibility: Summary of 501(c)(6) Eligibility | Guide to Small Business Emergency Loans (PPP) | Guide to PPP Loan Forgiveness