Washington, D.C. (May 14) - As the House of Representatives is on the verge of acting on H.R. 6800, the HEROES Act, the nation’s charitable nonprofits strongly urge leaders in both the House and Senate to take swift action to ensure that nonprofits of all sizes receive critical relief so they can continue to serve their communities through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
We are grateful that the HEROES Act recognizes the important role nonprofits play in strengthening our communities by including bipartisan initiatives, such as 1) expanding eligibility of the Paycheck Protection Program to nonprofits with more than 500 employees with set-asides for nonprofits; 2) including nonprofits of all sizes in the Main Street Lending program with loan forgiveness for nonprofits that primarily serve low-income communities; 3) enhancing employee retention credits; and 4) clarifying state flexibility around unemployment insurance.
We encourage the Senate to ensure those provisions remain in any stimulus package advanced in the coming weeks, as well as consider additional measures to help our nation’s charitable organizations meet critical needs.
More than 450 national nonprofit organizations sent a letter to congressional leadership calling on them to include the following measures in any future legislation that builds on the CARES Act.
Specifically, the letter urges Congress to:
1. Expand nonprofit access to credit by designating funding exclusively for nonprofits within the two principal loan programs established in the CARES Act, and make the following additional improvements:
- Paycheck Protection Program: Provide incentives to private lenders to prioritize processing of applications of small nonprofits and expand the eligibility for nonprofits to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program loans under CARES Act Sections 1102 and 1106 by modifying the current 500-employee cap or by other means.
- Mid-Size Business Loan Program: Adjust CARES Act Section 4003(c)(3)(D) to implement a program to support nonprofit employers with between 500 and 10,000 employees, including loan forgiveness for all nonprofits and other provisions. The legislation should direct the U.S. Department of the Treasury to have this program operational no later than 15 days after enactment.
2. Strengthen charitable giving incentives to encourage all Americans to help their communities through charitable donations during these challenging times. The following modifications would generate immediate results:
- Applicable to 2019 Tax Filings: Encourage immediate financial donations by enabling taxpayers to make donations on and after March 13 (date of national emergency declaration) and before July 16, 2020, to claim the deductions on their 2019 tax filings (applicable to itemized and above-the-line deductions).
- Above-the-Line Deduction in CARES Act Section 2204:
- Increase the $300/person cap.
- Extend the effective date of the incentive.
- Treat self-funded nonprofits fairly by increasing the federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-funded nonprofits to 100 percent of costs in CARES Act Section 2103.
3. Increase emergency funding by appropriating funds for targeted state formula grants and programs that can provide a rapid infusion of cash to nonprofits that are partnering with state and local governments to protect vulnerable families and frontline responders.
4. We thank the bipartisan group of congressional members who worked to gain support for nonprofit issues over the past several weeks by signing on to the letters supporting relief for nonprofits led by Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) in the House and Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) and Angus King (I-ME) in the Senate. We’d also like to thank Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) for her leading legislation, Help Charities Protect Communities Act, to include nonprofits in the Main Street Lending Program with loan forgiveness.
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Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network
American Heart Association
American Lung Association
Americans for the Arts
Covenant House International
Girl Scouts of the USA
Goodwill Industries International
Habitat for Humanity International
Land Trust Alliance
Lutheran Services in America
March of Dimes
Mental Health America
National Council of Nonprofits
The Jewish Federations of North America
Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America
United Way Worldwide
Volunteers of America
YMCA of the USA