CARES Act Letter

WCCE is looking to join our colleagues from the Idaho Chamber Alliance to submit the following letter to the Washington Congressional Delegation requesting that Chambers are included in phase 4 of the COVID-19 relief program.  If your Chamber is willing to support the following letter...you will be listed at the bottom of the letter in support.  Thank you

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Dear Members of the United States Congress:

On behalf of the undersigned chambers of commerce in the Great State of Washington, we urge you to include all nonprofit organizations in phase 4 of the COVID relief packages. Unfortunately, the CARES Act excluded thousands of nonprofit organizations, including trade and professional associations, preventing them from receiving the financial aid they need to continue their critical missions in local communities.

During these tumultuous times, nonprofit organizations, such as chambers of commerce, are playing a critical role in communicating vital information to the business community. We provide educational services, support workforce development, economic development, and support their communities through their programs and events. Now more than ever, small businesses are relying on chambers of commerce to serve as the voice of business.

With stay-at-home orders and social distancing practices in place, our organizations are suffering major financial losses as we struggle to continue serving our communities while being compliant with CDC guidelines. Membership dues and event fees are the major source of operational revenues for associations and those sources are rapidly disappearing. Many associations have already been forced to take wage cuts, issue layoffs, and close their doors to the communities they serve. The only relief afforded them comes in the forms of loans, which has the potential to create an even greater strain on their limited incomes during a time of uncertainty in the months to come.

We commend and applaud the steps you have taken to aid our citizens and support the economy but are concerned at the exclusion of many nonprofit organizations. We urge you to extend these benefits to associations and trade organizations, including chambers of commerce, as our mission is critical to the small business communities we serve.

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