The American Institute of Architects (AIA) praises approval of the third economic relief package passed by the Senate last night, which will provide significant financial support to businesses and their employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill on Friday and President Trump has already said he will sign the legislation.
In addition to funding for hospitals and hard-hit industries like airlines, hospitality and cargo, the $2 trillion plus emergency rescue package allocates more than $350 billion for small businesses covering an estimated 58-million U.S. workers and more than 30-million small businesses.
“This is the most significant relief for businesses the Senate has approved since the COVID-19 crisis began,” said 2020 President Jane Frederick, FAIA. “We’re pleased that all of these vital businesses are rightfully recognized as a priority. Architects will be a critical part of economic recovery, and AIA has forcefully advocated for infrastructure investment to stimulate recovery, as well as relief for businesses and employees. This relief package is a good start, and AIA continues to work with policymakers to ensure our members’ priorities are included in additional legislation as we continue to address this crisis.”
Approval for the latest relief legislation advances a number of AIA-supported measures to help meet the needs of firms and members, including the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses and sole proprietors, low interest loans to mid-sized businesses, and the Employee Retention Credit for all businesses. The package allows employers to defer payroll taxes during the crisis and provides direct payments to Americans under certain income thresholds. AIA also supports the package’s provisions to support students and those with student loan debt. A summary of measures most impactful to architecture firms is available on AIA's website.
Last Friday, AIA sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell calling on policymakers to address the critical needs of business owners and employees during the COVID-19 pandemic and outlining the infrastructure investment that is critical to stimulating America’s economic recovery. Both would provide much-needed relief in the short-term; reassure global markets; and help prepare the U.S. for challenges ahead.
As of this morning, AIA members had issued more than 4,500 letters to members of Congress urging them to provide critical relief measures to business owners and the additional resources to those affected by the virus, including frontline responders.
This is the third stimulus package the Senate has advanced to mitigate the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, AIA provided firms and architect members with guidance on how Congressional and administration policy activities would impact their practices.
Visit AIA’s website for COVID-19 resources for members.