by Laura Walling, Senior Director of Government Relations, Goodwill Industries International
The American Rescue Plan Act has passed the House and Senate, and President Biden has signed it. The $1.9 trillion bill includes economic stimulus funding, expansion of support for child care, rental assistance, food security, paid leave incentives, education, vaccines, and is expected to cut child poverty nearly in half. The bill also includes several provisions of importance to the charitable nonprofit sector, including local Goodwill organizations.
Building upon support provided in previous relief packages, the bill expands the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to include some nonprofits with more than 500 employees. This will help a number of Goodwills serving large metropolitan cities and large rural areas access relief. The bill also increases coverage of unemployment costs charged by states to self-insuring nonprofits. The inclusion of state and local funding as well as emergency grant funding in the American Rescue Plan Act means nonprofits will receive the support they need to be able to serve local communities at this time of immense need.
After a year of your advocacy – call, emails, and tweets to lawmakers and working with our #Relief4Chairities coalition partners, we can take a moment to celebrate our success. This has been a difficult year, and many of us have lost a lot. Some have lost homes, jobs, family members and friends. We know that the impact of the pandemic has had a disparate impact on communities of color, low-income communities, people with disabilities, and women. However, we did not give up. Your tireless advocacy helped us the charitable sector continue to keep their doors open and fulfill their missions in communities across the nation.
As we reflect upon this past year, please also take a moment celebrate what we have achieved together. Thank you! There will be more work to be done going forward as we turn towards recovery efforts including job creation, workforce development and infrastructure. Goodwill and the sector is counting on your support going forward.