In Letter, ASAE Makes Case for Associations to Receive Federal Coronavirus Aid

In a letter to White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow, ASAE says that associations shouldn’t be left out of conversations regarding aid packages related to the coronavirus.

With the coronavirus creating major impacts around the world, the White House is looking into various solutions to aid communities and industries hurt economically by the epidemic.

ASAE is working to make clear that associations should be a part of that conversation. On March 6, ASAE President and CEO Susan Robertson, CAE, sent a letter to White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow [PDF] making the case for associations to receive relief in response to the significant number of event cancellations and changes in recent weeks.

“As the Administration considers federal intervention to temporarily assist the airline, travel and other targeted industries impacted by the COVID–19, or coronavirus, epidemic, ASAE urges you to include tax-exempt associations suffering from event cancellations and reduced meetings attendance in any federal aid package,” Robertson wrote.

The letter came on the heels of comments Kudlow made to CNBC, his former employer, regarding the need for “targeted” economic aid to certain industries, specifically mentioning the airline and travel industries.

“And we would prefer a targeted approach, a rather micro approach, if you understand,” Kudlow said on Friday. “Let’s think about individuals who might lose paychecks because they have to stay home, if they get the virus. Let’s think about small businesses, that might get hurt by this. Perhaps we would look at some sectors.”

He later followed up his comments at the White House, saying, according to The Hill, that the approach was intended to be heavily targeted, “because we think that we will get out of this in months.”

In her letter to Kudlow, Robertson noted ASAE’s efforts “to provide the association community with resources and advice on mitigating losses with hotel and vendor contracts and insurance options if conferences, trade shows or other in-person events must be cancelled or attendance is greatly diminished,” but that tax credits or other forms of federal assistance may be necessary to protect associations’ revenue streams and ensure that tax-exempt organizations can continue their mission-critical work.

“We are aware that the Administration is considering measures for small businesses that may require cash flow assistance amid the outbreak, and ask that tax-exempt entities not be excluded from any temporary aid designed to stem the economic fallout resulting from COVID–19,” she added.

White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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