The Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), which represents thousands of travel professionals worldwide, has joined with the American Hotel & Lodging Association, U.S. Travel Association, International Franchise Association, along with trade associations representing wide swaths of the economy, to implore Congress to take swift action to provide additional relief to America’s small businesses.
In a letter sent in late September to the U.S. House of Representatives, the groups urge members to sign the discharge petition initiated by Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Wash.). Acting on the discharge petition would compel the House to vote on H.R.8265, which is currently languishing in the Committee on Small Business. If passed, this legislation would amend the Small Business Act and the CARES Act to provide additional resources to businesses, including:
- Offer qualifying businesses with 300 or fewer employees per location that have also experienced a 25 percent revenue reduction, with a second draw at Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the $130 billion remaining in the available PPP program
- Require businesses to use at least 60 percent of these PPP loans on payroll
- Provide streamlined forgiveness of PPP loans of $150,000 or less
- Enable 501(c)(6) organizations to access PPP loans
In addition to this effort, GBTA has been actively pushing for additional funding for air travel. As part of the first CARES Act, U. S. airlines agreed to forego layoffs in exchange for $25 billion in grants. However, this agreement expires September 30 and without a new deal guaranteeing additional funding by Oct. 1 – Thursday – mass layoffs of airline employees will likely result, adding to the already millions of U.S. workers laid off during the pandemic.
“At a time when so many of our GBTA member businesses are desperately struggling to survive the COVID-19 health pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout, we call on Congress to quickly provide access to additional capital that businesses, their employees and stakeholders need,” said GBTA Interim Executive Director Dave Hilfman. “This discharge petition, a subsequent vote on H.R.8265, and additional actions to protect the thousands of airline workers are these businesses’ last hope for additional relief this year.”
The full letter to the U.S. House of Representatives can be read here.
Visit gbta.org for more information.