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Lawmakers Rally Congressional Support for Trade Associations

A bipartisan letter called for 501(c)(6) organizations, such as trade associations, to be able to access loans through the Paycheck Protection Program.
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This week, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) led a bipartisan letter to Senate leaders along with 16 other senators calling for 501(c)(6) organizations, such as trade associations, to be able to access loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

Specifically, the letter notes that “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.”

Unfortunately, 501(c)(6) organizations are still unable to access loans through the PPP program, despite the much-needed services they provide, including training America’s workforce, creating industry and professional standards, and disseminating essential information and resources to people in need—particularly during times of crisis.

The 501(c)(6)-PPP issue has also gained traction in the U.S. House of Representatives. In early April, Rep. Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania) sent a bipartisan letter signed by 60 other House members to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-California) urging support for 501(c)(6) organizations.

The Big “I” is supportive and thankful for the efforts in both chambers and has also engaged with many congressional offices, including Sen. Manchin and Sen. Cassidy, on the issue. In addition, working in tandem with the American Society of Association Executives, the Big “I” has sent multiple letters to congressional leadership advocating for support for 501(c)(6) organizations.  And now, the Big “I” is working closely with House members as follow up to their letter on legislation giving 501(c)(6)s access to the PPP with introduction expected soon.

The Big “I” will continue to advocate for 501(c)(6) organizations and, as these efforts progress, will also make the most up-to-date government affairs information available on our coronavirus resource page and News & Views.

Joseph Cortina is Big “I” director, federal government affairs.