It is imperative that you contact your elected officials TODAY and urge them to pass a COVID-19 relief bill which includes the following items before they adjourn in December:

Liability Protection

  • Provide targeted COVID-19 liability protection for attractions businesses that are following best practices to protect guests and workers against COVID-related illness

Small Business Administration Loans

  • Provide additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) extending the program through December 31, 2021 to enable a second draw for eligible attractions industry businesses:
    • Priority should be given to severely impacted businesses such as those required to close or operate at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 related concerns which can show substantial revenue decline in 2020.
    • Clarify that seasonal small businesses with fewer than 500 employees who work for six months or less are eligible.
    • Clarify that small businesses can deduct expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan from their taxes.
    • Ensure Economic Injury and Disaster Loans (EIDLs) are not capped by the Small Business Administration but available to eligible businesses up to the $2 million allowed.

Tax Credits

  • Modify the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), by:
    • Increasing the credit percentage to 80 percent of qualified wages,
    • Increasing the per-employee limitation to $15,000 per calendar quarter,
    • Changing the threshold for treatment as a large employer to employers having more than 1,500 employees (based on the average number of full-time employees in 2019) or having gross receipts above $41.5 million in 2019, enabling ERTC eligibility for PPP recipients, and,
    • Clarifying that “qualified wages” include qualified health plan expenses.
  • Create a temporary travel tax credit worth 50 percent of qualified travel expenses incurred in the U.S. during a specified 12-month period up, to a maximum tax credit of $4,000 per household in order to incentivize a restart of the travel economy. Qualified travel expenses would include meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, amusement or entertainment, businesses meetings or events, and gasoline.
  • Tax incentives such as an investment tax credit, for capital equipment purchases. This would provide facility operators incentive to purchase equipment which would also benefit manufacturers and suppliers.
  • Tax credits for purchase of personal protective equipment goods and services which enable businesses to safely reopen. Eligible expenditures would include sanitation products, protective equipment, and employee training to ensure businesses are operating safely.
  • Enact tax measures to help revitalize U.S. Trade Shows, Meetings and Exhibitions. These tradeshows are essential for industries, promote product and service sales and support hosting communities. Tax measures supporting trade shows will jump start the economy across all sectors.

Animal Care Financial Assistance

  • Provide $800 million in federal support to help the zoological community cover the critical ongoing animal care costs, including food, medicine and medical supplies, diagnostics, environmental testing, life support and other costs related to animal care, while their gates remain closed and even as they begin to reopen to restricted crowd sizes. The aid is sought for all APHIS-licensed zoos and aquariums, regardless of whether they are structured as a nonprofit or a for-profit institution, and regardless of which trade association(s) they are accredited by.

Repurpose the Mainstreet lending program

  • Funds should be made available for long term low interest rate loans for mid-size businesses that are ineligible for PPP. Prioritization should go to businesses that can verify that their revenues have been severely impacted due to state or local COVID-related safety mandates requiring them to limit their operating capacity.
  • Provide temporary tenant protections from evictions and late fees due to nonpayment of rent for commercial facilities that have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provide clear direction that banks, and other lending institutions have the ability to defer principal and interest payments of business loans that are in good standing but have clearly been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

IAAPA recognizes that not all of these asks are applicable to all members. You may edit your message to your elected officials.

Thank you in advance for all you do to support our industry.