As it became apparent the COVID-19 outbreak was going to have far-reaching implications on the automotive industry and the nation as a whole, NIADA took a leading role in advocating for Congress to pass legislation to help independent dealers and other small businesses get through the crisis.
Dealers responded to the association's call to action, telling their representatives and senators to vote for the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Econo
mic Security (CARES) Act, a $2.2 trillion relief package that was passed and si
The CARES Act provides significant economic aid to small business, including $349 billion in loans for paid sick or medical leave, employee salaries, mortgage or rent payments, utilities and any other debt obligations, with opportunities for loan forgiveness.gned into law by President Trump on March 27.
NIADA also weighed in at the White House, writing a letter calling on the Administration to include auto sales as an essential service permissible during the emergency situation in guidelines issued by the Department of Homeland Security and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
The CARES Act represents phase three of the federal government's response to the pandemic. And even though Congress adjourned soon after it was passed and remained in recess for most of April, discussion about a likely phase four bill is already ongoing.
While at press time there was no clear picture of what that bill might look like, the President joined congressional Republicans and Democrats in acknowledging individuals and small businesses need more help.
In an April 6 phone call, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told House Democrats the phase four package should include at least another $1 trillion in aid, including resources for health care workers and expanded unemployment benefits.
President Trump said the next phase could include another round of direct payments to individuals. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in a statement that Paycheck Protection Program - the CARES Act's small business loan plan - needs more funding.
NIADA made its voice heard in the phase four debate by signing on to a letter from the American Society of Association Executives to Congress and the Administration asking them to include associations in Small Business Administration loan expansion and other programs to help combat financial loss due to COVID-19.