By Charlotte Haberaecker, President & CEO
Over 600 Lutheran Services in America member representatives reach out to Congress.
UPDATE: On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed this bill into law.
On March 25, 2020, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to approve the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (H.R. 748), a $2.2 trillion package meant to address the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the economy. This is the third and by far the largest to date in what is expected to be a series of additional such relief measures. A vote in the House of Representatives is expected on Friday (3/27) to finalize this legislation.
Particularly important for Lutheran Services in America members, the package makes available forgivable loans for small business with less than 500 employees per location that can be used to cover payroll support, such as employee salaries, paid sick or medical leave, insurance premiums, and mortgage, rent, and utility payments. The package also creates a low-interest loan program that can be used for larger nonprofits who employee between 500 and 10,000 employees. (Additional key details to come shortly.)
Over 600 Lutheran Services in America member representatives sent nearly 1,150 messages to their Senators and Representatives, at all hours of the day and night, calling for nonprofit organizations to be included in this relief package. This priority outreach from so many people in our network made an enormous difference, and we heartily thank everyone for their vital efforts and action during this critical time!
While this legislation is an important step forward, we emphasize that much work remains to help ensure that health and human service agencies working on the frontlines of this crisis have access to the equipment, supplies, and funding they need to help carry out their work helping so many people each day. Lutheran Services in America will continue to work closely with our federal partners in the coming days and months to help ensure the needs of our members and the people they serve are front and center.
We issued a statement shortly after the Senate vote, in which we emphasized these loans are a “crucial part of this third Congressional relief package, given how many nonprofits like our 300 health and human services organizations are on the frontlines fighting COVID-19.” You can read the full statement here.