Letter to the Hon. Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Hon. Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, the Hon. Nydia Velázquez, Chair of the House Small Business Committee, and the Hon. Steve Chabot, Ranking Member of the House Small Business Committee - Pappas and Fitzpatrick Lead Bipartisan Group of 62 Lawmakers in Fighting for Relief for Local Chambers of Commerce


Dear Speaker Pelosi, Leader McCarthy, Chair Velázquez, and Ranking Member Chabot:

We appreciate your leadership in providing unprecedented resources for American small businesses through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (Public Law 116-136). Unfortunately, local chambers of commerce, which play a crucial role in sustaining our Main Street economy, are ineligible for assistance through the lending programs included in this legislation. Given the severe financial difficulties that many of these organizations are now confronting, we ask that you include language in the next coronavirus relief bill to enable local chambers and other 501(c)(6) organizations that support the needs of our local businesses to access direct federal aid.

Chambers of commerce are non-profit, tax-exempt organizations that bring together business leaders in our communities, helping them to negotiate shared challenges and promote local economic development. At this exceptionally difficult time for our Main Street economy, local chambers are providing critical guidance and resources to help small businesses weather the current economic downturn, including urgently-needed assistance in obtaining loans and grant funding from the federal government.

Unfortunately, just like the small businesses they serve, many local chambers are now experiencing their own financial challenges. If these organizations are unable to survive, the path to recovery for our hard-hit Main Street economy will be even more difficult. To help local chambers meet their current obligations and continue assisting small businesses in our communities, we strongly believe that Congress should ensure these organizations are eligible for Economic Injury Disaster Loans and allow them to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.

Again, we believe the CARES Act will make a significant positive difference in our communities. However, to ensure that local chambers of commerce can continue to support small businesses at this precarious moment for our country, we are hopeful that you will take action to enable chambers of commerce and other 501(c)(6) organizations that support the needs of our local businesses to receive direct federal support through the initiatives in this legislation. We are grateful for your attention to this request and appreciate your diligent and committed work during this crisis.