COVID 19 Updates

Weekly Roundup - March 12, 2021

Will Burns on Friday, March 12, 2021 at 12:00:00 am

American Rescue Plan Act Signed Into Law

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 was signed into law this week. The law makes an additional $7.25 billion available for the Paycheck Protection Program and expands eligibility to most 501(c) nonprofit organizations. It does not, however, change the program's March 31 expiration date.

The law also extended the Employee Retention Tax Credit to December 31, 2021 and continued the extra $300 in extra weekly unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021.

Other key provisions include

  • $1.25 billion for a grant program for shuttered venues.
  • $25 billion for a new restaurant revitalization program.
  • $350 billion in state and local aid.
  • $300 in extra weekly unemployment benefits through September 6, 2021.

Here is an overview of other key provisions from our friends at ASAE.

In other PPP news, the Small Business Administration released guidance to clarify the definition of "lobbying activities" as it related to PPP eligibility for 501(c)(6) organizations. Learn more here.


#ChamberStrong Initiatives and Programs

  • The Buffalo Niagara Partnership launched an online petition to urge state government leaders to include essential manufacturing sector workers in New York’s COVID-19 1b vaccination group. 
  • The Monroeville Area Chamber of Commerce in Pennsylvania teamed up with Allegheny Health Network earlier this month on an event at the Monroeville Convention Center that provided COVID-19 vaccinations to 5,100 people in one day
  • Grand Rapids Chamber’s director of inclusion Ken James earned a prestigious Executive Certification in Diversity Coaching through the Coach Diversity Institute earlier this week. Congrats, Ken! 
  • The Seymour Chamber in Indiana launched a mural project to commission an artist to paint the side of its building. The goal is to provide a colorful and eye-catching piece of public art to enhance the downtown area and elevate the experience for those visiting the recently revitalized Burkhart Plaza.
  • The Culver City Chamber in California launched earlier this month to promote tourism and commerce in Culver City during a vital time in the pandemic’s recovery phase. 
  • The La Crosse Area Chamber in Wisconsin launched a community-wide talent attraction campaign, aimed at attracting more top-quality employees to relocate, live and work in its community.
  • The city of Nixa, Missouri named Nixa Area Chamber President & CEO Chris Russell 2020 Nixa Citizen of the Year. Russell was recognized his role in helping to guide the community through the COVID pandemic. 
  • The Greater Omaha Chamber is pleased to see several projects that could provide improved transit options, connectivity and walkability for the city’s residents. “There is a growing interest and desire to focus on walkability, bikeability and public transit,” said Stephen Osberg said, director of transportation development for the chamber. 
  • The Rowan County Chamber in North Carolina will host a Salute to Agri-Business to highlight the importance of the industry to the region’s economy. 
  • The Queens Chamber in New York announced a new collaboration with the NYC Family Enterprise Center to support family-owned businesses that have been hard hit by the COVID crisis. 

What We’re Reading

  • Korn Ferry: The way organizations interact with their customers, employees, and society at large is changing at breakneck speed. Organizations must learn how to improve, build on wins to generate momentum and move into a state of continual transformation. 
  • Heartland Forward: Bright, educated millennials are heading into the heartland in search of opportunity, affordable housing and the chance to live where they feel they can make a difference. 
  • Bloomberg CityLab: Don’t flatten the curve on urban innovation. Just because an end to COVID is in sight, cities shouldn’t abandon the bold ideas and actions that made a recovery possible. 
  • MultiState: Earlier this month, Virginia became the second state in the U.S. to pass a comprehensive data privacy law. Will other states follow suit?  
  • NYT: In statehouses, stolen-election myth fuels a G.O.P. drive to rewrite rules
  • Brookings: From commitments to action - How CEOs can advance racial equity in their regional economies. 
  • The New Localism: The American Rescue Plan was signed into law and it contains substantial flexible resources for cities and counties. Bruce Katz explores the challenges of finding the most efficient and equitable way to deploy the funding
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