Federal Stimulus Update
We were encouraged to learn last week that a bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives have a new COVID-19 emergency relief framework proposal in play. There has been an agreement between Nancy Pelosi (Speaker of the House) and Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader) that this new legislation should be the framework in which to fund the next round of federal aid. As you recall, there have been several federal relief proposals in both houses of congress, all in stalemate between party lines. At this writing, this new proposal includes provisions for replenishment of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, additional unemployment insurance, federal liability protections, and support for transportation, i.e., airlines, airports, buses, transit, and Amtrak. You can find a detailed framework of this bill provided by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the U.S. Chamber of Congress here.
Another federal stimulus-related issue, associated with the CARES Act, is back on our radar. In past updates that Chamber Member Sean LaFortune with WIPFLI (a national accounting firm) brought to our attention over the summer – adjustments were needed to the PPP regulations which if not made, would be detrimental to PPP recipients in their end of year taxes. In November, the IRS rulings underscored that urgent action is needed to prevent a significant tax bill for businesses who have received PPP funds. Sean LaFortune was able to provide financial scenarios of local businesses’ financial impact that we were able to share with Congresswoman Underwood and Congressmen Foster and Casten offices. These real-life stories will give them more persuasive tools to advocate for making expenses paid with forgiven PPP funds tax-deductible.
In addition, we are in the process of scheduling meetings with these members of congress to discuss in detail the need for swift approval of new federal stimulus package; calling for PPP eligibility to be extended to include 501 (c ) (6) organizations (local Chambers of Commerce) and a call to make the above discussed needed adjustments to the CARES act forged into this bill.
There seems to be some speculation that there may be an extension of the spending of the CARES funds as part of this proposal as well.
In an update call on Friday with Neil Bradley from the U.S. Chamber of Congress, it appears that this bill must be passed by this coming Friday, December 11th in order for any hope of the next round of funding. Be watching your email…as we will be sending any updates as we receive them. Please reach out to me if you are interested in sharing personal stories of how your business has been impacted by the CARES Act or the results of the lack of a future federal stimulus package. Our stories are powerful and can help motivate our elected officials to act on our behalf.
Affordable Housing-Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
The NACC orchestrated a roundtable discussion with stakeholders on Tuesday, December 1st, to discuss aspects of the inclusionary zoning ordinance inside Naperville. Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance (IZO), also known as inclusionary housing -refers to municipal and county planning ordinances that require a given share of new construction to be affordable by people with low to moderate incomes. The City Council is reviewing the issue as part of the affordable housing discussion. We will now move toward a working group to create tangible recommendations ahead of the city hiring an IZO consultant to solidify affordable housing plans. Please reach out if you are interested in being a part of this working group.
As always, we are working on behalf of our Member businesses. I ask that you contact us if you have a policy issue impacting your industry or if you want to be a part of our current initiatives.
Happy Holidays and cheers to a prosperous 2021!