On July 13, ASTC and other national museum associations sent U.S. Congressional leadership a letter raising up the continued threats our sector faced due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Through the joint letter, the coalition requests several legislative actions be included the next Federal relief bill that would provide support for our community. These requests include:
- Emergency Funding Programs
- Extend and expand the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by enabling a second round of funding for all nonprofits, including museums, and make eligible nonprofit organizations with greater than 500 employees.
- Enact and expand grant and funding programs—such as the proposed Work Opportunities and Resources to Keep Nonprofit Organizations Well (WORK NOW) Act or the Employee Retention Tax Credit—to help nonprofits retain employees, scale service delivery, and create new jobs.
- Low-Cost Loans for Mid-Size and Larger Nonprofits
- Authorize and require the Federal Reserve to quickly finalize a nonprofit lending facility under the Main Street Lending Program that is tailored to accommodate mid-size nonprofits and includes language similar to the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which offers a loan forgiveness option.
- Extend eligibility of PPP to all nonprofits of all sizes, similar to the HEROES Act, and lift the loan cap to appropriately reflect the operational needs of these nonprofits.
- Emergency Supplemental Funding for Museums
- Allocate $6 billion specifically for museums, to be administered by the Institute for Museum and Library Services’ Office of Museum Services, to offer museums funding for general operating support, assistance in developing and sharing distance learning content, and pandemic recovery planning and implementation, including improvements to protect employees and visitors and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
- Charitable Giving Incentives
- Expand the above-the-line, or universal charitable, deduction in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by enacting the provisions in the Universal Giving Pandemic Response Act, increasing the amount to one-third of the standard deduction.
- Extend this and the giving incentives enacted in the CARES Act through 2021.
- Unemployment Benefit Reimbursement
- Increase the Federal unemployment insurance reimbursement for self-insured (reimbursing) nonprofits to 100% of costs.
Download the letter for more detailed descriptions of the above legislative requests. See also ASTC’s Business and Operations Guidance for more information on the PPP, Main Street Lending Program, and other Federal relief programs for nonprofits.