Capitol Correspondence - 04.14.20

ANCOR’s Advocacy for Expansion of Eligibility to SBA Loans

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Dear ANCOR members,

As has been widely reported (including all of the related problems), the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides eligible organizations with flexible loans intended to cover operating expenses.  These loans are forgivable for certain organizations who maintain their workforce and salary levels – providing much needed financial relief to hundreds of ANCOR members. In addition, the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) provided tax relief for businesses, including tax exempt entities, as outlined by the IRS here.

Unfortunately, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) restricts eligibility to organizations with fewer than 500 employees – a restriction that arbitrarily excludes numerous ANCOR members providing invaluable behavioral and substance use services to the most vulnerable Americans. There is additional loan relief available through other programs, including the expanded Main Street program which will be accessible to midsize businesses (up to 10,000 employees), but these loans, while favorable, will not be forgivable.

That’s why I want to assure you that ANCOR is working closely with Congress and the Administration in an effort to ensure that nonprofits with more than 500 employees will have access to future relief funding opportunities that include forgiveness.  In coalition with other national associations, ANCOR has signed on to several letters to congressional leadership asking that the 500 employee limit be lifted or modified.  Additionally, ANCOR, in partnership with the National Council for Behavioral Health, has retained an outside lobbying firm dedicated to supporting ANCOR and NCBH members who were excluded from the Paycheck Protection Program and working towards their inclusion in subsequent relief measures. 

But please allow me to be candid. It will be extremely difficult to expand the PPP beyond the 500 because of the overall cost and current underfunding of the existing program. ANCOR’s primary advocacy goal remains focused on achieving our “Wildly Important Goal “ of obtaining access to grants for IDD providers for all ANCOR providers regardless of size, or corporate status. Our external lobbyists, ANCOR government relations staff, and our Government Relations Committee Co-Chairs, based on multiple conversations with members of Congress and key staff, believe that approach has a far more realistic chance of inclusion in the next package. That’s why you will see the focus of ANCOR’s action lobbying and grassroots efforts on grants for all, with more targeted advocacy for expanding PPP for the 500+ through our partnership with NCBH.

As always, please let me know if you have any additional questions at [email protected].