ASAE Again Delivers Sign-On Letter to Congress Urging Access to PPP for 501(c)(6) Community

September 28, 2020

WASHINGTON— As Congress attempts to negotiate a likely final COVID-19 relief package for affected individuals, small businesses and industries before the November elections, ASAE has delivered another letter to Capitol Hill this week with more than 2,300 signatories requesting access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for Section 501(c)(6) organizations.

Securing access to financial relief programs for America’s COVID-affected associations has been ASAE’s top legislative priority since Congress passed the CARES Act in March. This marks the third massive sign-on letter ASAE has organized this year, underscoring the desperate financial condition of many 501(c)(6) organizations.

“For many 501(c)(6)s, prospective access to PPP funds is the singular option to avoid bankruptcy, sustain employee welfare and continue to provide resources, education and support for America’s industries and professions,” the ASAE letter states.

ASAE’s latest letter, which includes signatories from all 50 states and the District of Columbia, calls for 501(c)(6) eligibility under the PPP; reauthorization of the PPP until at least March 31, 2021; inclusion of 501(c)(6) organizations in the so-called “second draw” program; expansion of the definition for eligible receipts within the second draw program to include in-person event cancellations and lost revenue from certification programs and other education; and application of the lobbying restrictions for eligible PPP loan recipients outlined in the House-passed HEROES Act. That restriction requires PPP loan recipients to exclude compensation to any federally registered lobbyist as an eligible PPP expense.

The letter also provides survey data and testimonials supporting ASAE’s claims that associations have been financially challenged during the eight-month coronavirus pandemic. According to an August 2020 survey of 501(c)(6) leaders by the ASAE Research Foundation, more than 65 percent of respondents report a current and projected loss of at least a quarter of their total budgets. More than 26 percent of respondents expect to lose at least half of their budgets, while seven percent expect to lose three-quarters or more. Thirty-four percent of respondents expect to use half or more of reserve funds to cover current and projected losses, while more than 12 percent report insufficient reserves to weather the crisis.

“The chilling data compiled by the ASAE Research Foundation confirms what ASAE has been telling policymakers now for months: thousands of associations are in danger of ceasing operations without congressional action to expand the PPP,” said ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE. “This catastrophic certainty in the near future absent federal relief will not only impact millions of workers and their families, but literally every industry and profession that relies on associations for workforce development, credentialing, standard-setting and other critical programs and services. Congress has taken steps to prop up nearly every sector of the economy during the pandemic – except 501(c)(6) associations. This oversight must be addressed in the next COVID legislative package and we cannot overemphasize the urgency of this request.”

MEDIA CONTACT: Chris Vest, CAE, 202-626-2798, [email protected]

About ASAE
ASAE is celebrating 100 years of making society smarter, better and safer. The Centennial anniversary represents ASAE’s role as a leader and supporter of progress and innovation in the association industry.  ASAE is a membership organization of more than 48,000 association executives and industry partners representing 7,400 organizations. Since it was established 100 years ago, its members have and continue to lead, manage, and work in or partner with organizations in more than a dozen association management disciplines, from executive management to finance to technology. With the support of the ASAE Research Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge, and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession and provides resources, education, ideas, and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. Visit ASAE at asaecenter.org.