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Rep. Christopher H. Smith. (Photo: Chris Smith.)

Norcross, Smith want relief for labor, industry groups

$349 billion Paycheck Protection Program excludes certain sectors

By Nikita Biryukov, April 15 2020 11:22 am

Reps. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) and Chris Smith (R-Hamilton) and the rest of New Jersey’s delegation called on congressional leaders to expand bailout protections to labor groups and trade associations in a letter sent Wednesday.

“Working families and businesses are hurting right now and need the tools and resources to help weather this difficult time,” Norcross said. “Labor organizations and business trade associations play an integral role, even in good times, in helping workers and businesses wade through the details of federal resources and regulations, something especially important now.”

The $2 trillion bailout package signed into law last month included a $349 billion program meant to provide loans to small businesses so they can continue to pay their employees amid vast restrictions enacted to slow the spread of COVID-19.

But the Paycheck Protection Program does not cover 501(c)(5) or 501(c)(6) organizations, meaning employees of labor organizations and trade associations are not eligible for the aid.

“The CARES Act is a good law, but the people who work for both labor and/or business associations — 501c5 and 501c6 organizations — need better access to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program,” Smith said. “Congressman Norcross and I are pleased members of the delegation are speaking in one voice for these workers. As Congress takes up the next phase of federal coronavirus response, the people who work for these groups must not be left out.”

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