COVID Package is Out; 501(c)(6)s are In!

December 21, 2020

The long-awaited COVID relief package is finally here, and we have critical news to share:

Many 501(c)(6) nonprofits are included in the Paycheck Protection Program! Here are new eligibility criteria:

  • The organization does not receive more than 15 percent of receipts from lobbying (up from 10 percent);
  • The lobbying activities do not comprise more than 15 percent of total activities (up from 10 percent);
  • The cost of lobbying activities of the organization did not exceed $1,000,000 during the most recent tax year that ended prior to February 15, 2020; and
  • The organization has 300 or fewer employees (up from 150).

There are several other ASAE priorities that were included in the package:

  • More resources for EIDL loans;
  • Simplified PPP forgiveness;
  • Personal protective equipment; and more.

Congress is expected to pass the bill this evening.

The PPP eligibility criteria are an improvement from previous expansion proposals, and ASAE played a major role to expand the percentage thresholds and require regulators to consider the most recent tax year that ended prior to February 15, 2020. These changes help include as many 501(c)(6) nonprofits as possible. And, while ASAE was on the front lines in Congress, it was your outreach, data and efforts that helped our messaging stick. Special thanks to everyone who submitted data surveys and signed our community letters.

Despite this significant progress, however, we take major issue with Congress’ and outside influence organizations’ false perception that associations and other 501(c)(6) organizations exist solely to lobby the government.

As stated by ASAE President and CEO, Susan Robertson, CAE:

“ASAE recognizes that this legislation came together only as a result of bipartisan compromise and congressional leaders were forced to accept a deal both parties described as imperfect to produce emergency relief measures for a nation in acute crisis. We’re thankful Congress has recognized that associations are deserving of access to federal relief programs like the PPP. This year-end relief package qualifies as progress. However, there are many deserving associations that will find themselves still unable to qualify for PPP loans as a result of the conditions set in this bill. No legitimate, well-purposed association should be left in the cold simply because they exercise their First Amendment rights to advocate on behalf of the industries or professions they represent.” (Read ASAE’s press release for more.)

We’re still pouring over the bill and will provide more information and analysis, as it includes many critical provisions to help Americans and the association community. Until then, we wanted to share this important news and express our immense gratitude for your hard work and unwavering support. We wouldn’t be here without you.

Share This...