As the end of 2020 rapidly approaches, Congress has several significant pieces of legislation to address before adjourning for the year, including federal government funding, national defense policy, and most critical to Home Furnishings Association members, additional COVID-19 relief. HFA has consistently advocated and urged Congress to pass further business relief measures given the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic. As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths surge across the U.S., there is a focused bipartisan, bicameral effort to craft legislation that can be passed and signed into law before Christmas.
Adding to the urgency is the incoming Biden Administration supporting and pressuring Congress to act now and not wait until Inauguration or late in Q1 2021. The growing consensus has centered on a smaller legislative package than congressional Democrats have been seeking but larger than recent proposals from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell with a top-line figure of $900 billion. That number could increase during the negotiation process.
Vital elements under consideration in the current framework have been central to HFA’s advocacy messaging for several months:
- Additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP)
- Second Draw eligibility for those who already received a PPP
- PPP Loan Forgiveness Simplification
- Legislative correction to allow forgiven PPP funds to be tax-deductible
- Federal liability protections for businesses related to COVID-19
HFA has also been monitoring a recurrence of state and local business restrictions/orders. Unlike March and April, these closures have been more targeted in nature and not as widespread. However, HFA continues to educate federal, state, and local leaders on the essential AND safe nature of home furnishings retailers.
The overall U.S. economy remains in a precarious position, and Congress must act to provide this critical relief to businesses.
To help our communities and the economy, be sure to contact your representatives in Washington (https://www.usa.gov/elected-officials) and urge them to act now in support of stimulus for home furnishings retail businesses today.
For more resources and information on COVID-19 relief efforts visit our COVID-19 Resource hub.