Contact Congress Regarding Covid-19 relief funding for the attractions industry!
EMAIL YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS NOW!
As Congress continues negotiating the next and likely final piece of COVID relief legislation of 2020, your continued action is critical in ensuring the attractions industry’s voice is heard! Act now!
Unfortunately, negotiations are moving slowly and neither party has come to an agreement. Time is of the essence! If Congress does not act soon, the ability to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will expire this Saturday, August 8.
It is imperative that you contact your elected officials TODAY and urge them to include the following critical items in the next phase of COVID-19 related stimulus funding:
- 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
More modifications to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) are needed to assist eligible IAAPA members:
- Extend and authorize additional funding for the program through December 31, 2020, prioritizing lending to severely impacted businesses such as those required to close or operate at reduced capacity due to COVID-19 related concerns.
- Clarify that small businesses can deduct expenses paid with a forgiven PPP loan from their taxes.
- Increase borrowing limits for new borrowers to eight times the average monthly sum of all covered expenses – including operating costs, increasing maximum PPP loan amount to $25 million.
- Severely impacted businesses that have already been approved for loans should have the ability to apply for additional PPP loans up to the maximum amount allowable.
- Support the bi-partisan Jumpstarting Our Businesses Success Credit (JOBS Credit), which among other things, modifies 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 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.
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, 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.
- For purposes of program eligibility for PPP, Mainstreet 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 around employees, not seasonal employees.
Support for Severely Impacted Businesses
- Grants or long-term low interest rate loans should be made available 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.