Dear APAP Members and Colleagues,

First of all, I hope this finds you and yours well and safe.

With the Senate back in session this week to begin work on a fourth Coronavirus relief bill, we want to give you some updates on the relief programs rolled out so far.

Before I do, I want to take a moment to thank those of you who have contacted your Congressional representatives , shared your stories, and made the case for performing arts organizations, agencies, artists, and arts workers. Our entire ecosystem is important, and your voices are critical to building legislation that serves our field.

Here are the updates:

  • For those still in the process of applying for PPP loans, the Treasury has issued new rules for seasonal employers that allow applicants to determine their maximum loan amount by calculating average monthly payroll over the period of March 1 to June 30, 2019 (as announced in the original PPP guidelines), or May 1 to September 15, 2019 (a new time frame, for those with more staff in summer months).

  • The Federal Reserve is in the process of broadening the eligibility requirements that will allow nonprofit organizations and a wider array of businesses to apply. This is a helpful initial response to comments filed by our performing arts partners, the nonprofit sector and members of Congress, calling on the Fed and Treasury to take action, as we also seek Congressional support for legislation that would make mid-sized and Main Street loans forgivable and available to nonprofits that have more than 500 employees. Currently, these loans are not forgivable, but have highly favorable terms.

  • While many states have officially opened the application process for unemployment benefits available to self-employed workers, including artists and arts workers, access to those benefits is challenged by overwhelming demands on state systems.

  • Meanwhile, guidelines issued to states by the U.S. Department of Labor are further restricting access to relief meant to be provided under the CARES Act, as some artists who typically earn a mixture of 1099 and W-2 income report being locked out of opportunities for Pandemic Unemployment Benefits.

  • The CARES act created a new giving incentive for taxpayers that do not itemize their tax returns and it also removed the 60% Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) restriction on charitable deductions for those that do itemize their tax returns for the 2020 tax year.

  • While the Internal Revenue Service has not yet issued guidance, the Congressional Joint Committee on Taxation issued a report on CARES Act provisions on April 23, specifying that the new non-itemizer deduction's $300 cap applies to each "tax filing unit," which means the limitation applies per tax return, regardless whether filed individually, or jointly by a couple. This gives even more urgency to the request made by arts organizations and our colleagues in the broader nonprofit sector to lift the $300 cap and apply this important giving incentive to both 2019 and 2020 returns.

  • More than 140 members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter to House leadership last week in support of this and other provisions that will increase the capacity of the nonprofit sector to serve communities.  

As always, we encourage you to visit the many resources on APAP's COVID-19 resource page and our dedicated  government relief page . We will continue to update these pages as we learn more. We also thank our colleagues at the League of American Orchestras for their significant contribution to information gathering.

Have you had success accessing government relief? Or have you encountered challenges accessing it? Let us know through this short questionnaire .

We are here for you. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us.
Mario Garcia Durham
President and CEO, APAP