Press Releases

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Congressmen Donald Norcross (D-NJ-01) and Chris Smith (R-NJ-04) today led a bipartisan letter cosigned by the entire NJ Congressional Delegation to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Leader Kevin McCarthy, Leader Mitch McConnell and Leader Chuck Schumer as part of their effort to amend the critical COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program to include both labor and business member organizations, allowing them to tap into the loan program and sustain staff during the economic crisis.

The letter recognizes the leadership’s bipartisan work to pass the first three phases of legislative response to combat the pandemic, especially and including the $2 trillion stimulus Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security, or CARES Act, which created the Paycheck Protection Program.  Unfortunately employees of both labor member organizations (designated as 501c5 entities) and trade associations (such as a  Chamber of Commerce, designated 501c6), were not included in the program leading the delegation to push to have them added as part of an anticipated phase IV relief package which is currently being negotiated.

“Working families and businesses are hurting right now and need the tools and resources to help weather this difficult time,” said Congressman Norcross. “Labor organizations and business trade associations play an integral role, even in good times, in helping workers and businesses wade through the details of federal resources and regulations, something especially important now. Without access to financial supports such as the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program, these organizations will have to lay off staff leaving themselves, workers and businesses without an important tool to help navigate these uncertain waters. I’m pleased to lead this effort along with Congressman Smith and the rest of the New Jersey Delegation in calling to expand access to these resources.”

“The CARES Act is a good law, but the people who work for both labor and/or business associations—501c5 and 501c6 organizations—need better access to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program,” said Congressman Smith. “Congressman Norcross and I are pleased members of the delegation are speaking in one voice for these workers. As Congress takes up the next phase of federal coronavirus response, the people who work for these groups must not be left out. They each serve their members faithfully by providing invaluable guidance, such as advising on employment and unemployment matters. If they lose their jobs, they can’t help their members, who will lose out, too. During the COVID-19 outbreak and resulting turmoil these organizations need to keep their doors open and stay operational.”

Norcross and Smith were joined by all other members of the delegation, including Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, and Reps. Jeff Van Drew (NJ-02), Andy Kim (NJ-03), Josh Gottheimer (NJ-05), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Tom Malinowski (NJ-07), Albio Sires (NJ-08), Bill Pascrell (NJ-09), Donald Payne Jr. (NJ-10), Mikie Sherrill (NJ-11), and Bonnie Watson-Coleman (NJ-12).

The letter read, in part:

“As you well know, however, there’s still more work to be done on many fronts—especially and including an increase in access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) created by the CARES Act.

“First, we must pass legislation to financially supplement the PPP and allow more businesses to access funds—demand has surpassed expectations and the Administration believes all appropriated funds will soon be committed.

“Additionally, we respectfully request that, in the next anticipated bill, you expand access to the PPP for 501(c)(5) and 501(c)(6) organizations. These organizations are nonprofits that exist for the primary purpose of serving their members first. The organizations have very small, but effective and critical staff helping—workers and businesses—in our home state of New Jersey which has yet to hit even the worst of the pandemic.”

To read the full letter, click here.


Contact: Carrie Healey, Communications Director