Contact The U.s. Congress today on Behalf of the attractions industry!
Congress is expected to begin work on what is likely to be the last major COVID-19 stimulus package.
We need you to ACT NOW!
Please contact your elected officials and urge them to include the following items in the next phase of COVID-19 related stimulus funding:
Small Business Administration Loans
- Modifications made in the Paycheck Protection Flexibility Act added necessary changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and were beneficial for eligible IAAPA members, however, more needs to be done:
- Extend and authorize additional funding for the program through December 31, 2020, prioritizing lending to severely impacted businesses such as those forced to close with a verifiable decrease in revenue.
- Increase borrowing limits for new borrowers to eight times the average monthly sum of all covered expenses – including operating costs, increasing maximum loan amount from $10 to $25 million. Severely impacted businesses that have already been approved for loans should have the ability to apply for additional loans up to the maximum amount allowable.
Mid-Size Lending Programs in the Emergency Stabilization Fund
- Defer loan repayment to one-year beyond the date businesses are allowed to reopen at full capacity.
- Support the bi-partisan Jumpstarting Our Businesses Success Credit (JOBS Credit), which among other things, modifies the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC), by:
- (1) increasing the credit percentage from 50 percent to 80 percent of qualified wages;
- (2) increasing the per-employee limitation from $10,000 for all quarters to $15,000 per calendar quarter;
- (3) changing the threshold for treatment as a large employer from employers having more than 100 employees 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;
- (4) enabling ERTC eligibility for PPP (Section 1102 of the CARES Act) recipients, and
- (5) 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 any expense over $50 that is incurred while traveling away from home within the U.S., with explicit reference to the expense of meals, lodging, recreation, transportation, amusement or entertainment, businesses meetings or events and gasoline.
- Tax credits for purchase of 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. The pandemic has resulted in the cancellation of many trade shows, meetings and exhibitions. These trade shows are essential for industries, promote product and service sales and support the communities across the country that host these events. Tax measures supporting trade shows will jump-start the economy across all sectors.
- Provide targeted COVID-19 liability protections for businesses that are following best practices to protect guests and workers against COVID-related illness.
Federal Backstop for Pandemic Risk Insurance
- Provide reinsurance for pandemic risk insurance to help businesses and organizations avoid going bankrupt in the wake of future pandemics. The program should cover commercial line of business interruption or event cancellation insurance that covers losses stemming from a public health emergency.
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. These costs remain ongoing even while their gates remain closed or begin to reopen with restricted crowd capacity. The aid is sought for all Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service-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.
- For purposes of program eligibility for PPP, Main Street or any other program basing business size on employee count, eligibility for seasonal businesses such as those in the attractions industry should be based on year-round employees, not seasonal employees. Small and mid-size businesses in the attractions industry look deceptively large if each and every employee that works for them for even a two-week period over spring break is counted in the employment count. It is typical in the attractions industry for a business to employ more than four times their full-time permanent staff in short-term seasonal positions each year.
Support for Severely Impacted Businesses
- Grants or long-term low interest rate loans should be made available to businesses which can verify that their revenues have been severely impacted due to state or local COVID-related safety requirements requiring them to limit their operating capacity.
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.