This week, Rep. Chris Pappas (D-New Hampshire) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pennsylvania) introduced bipartisan legislation which would allow 501(c)(6) organizations to access loans through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The bill, H.R. 6697, "The Local Chamber, Tourism, and 501(c)(6) Protection Act of 2020," is supported by the Big “I” which worked closely with Rep. Pappas’ office prior to introduction. The legislation already has 40 bipartisan cosponsors despite only being introduced on Tuesday. Similar legislation is being discussed in the Senate as well.
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.
“Our local chambers, associations, and non-profits will continue to play an instrumental role in ensuring our Main Street businesses and regional economies can weather this storm,” Rep. Pappas noted in a press release. “This bipartisan legislation will expand crucial small business assistance to the groups whose mission it is to support them.” The Big “I” is the only agent/broker group cited in Rep. Pappas’ release.
Introduction of the bill comes after Rep. Pappas led a bipartisan letter to U.S. House of Representative leadership urging support for 501(c)(6) organizations. Similarly, the issue has gained traction in the U.S. Senate after Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) sent their own letter.
The Big “I” is thankful for Rep. Pappas’ leadership on the issue and is looking forward to continuing to work together. The Big “I” has also sent its own letters to congressional leadership advocating for support for 501(c)(6) organizations. As these efforts progress, the Big “I” will make the most up-to-date government affairs information available on the coronavirus resource page and News & Views.
Joseph Cortina is Big “I” director, federal government affairs.