Coronavirus Response for Main Street: Letter to President Trump and Congressional Leaders

By at 18 March, 2020, 3:18 pm

The President

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

Washington, DC 20500


The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

The Speaker of the House of Representatives

United States Capitol

Washington, DC 20515


The Honorable Mitch McConnell

Majority Leader

United States Senate

Washington, DC 20510


Mr. President, Speaker Pelosi, and Majority Leader McConnell:

As America confronts COVID-19, it is critical that any fiscal and economic response to help businesses survive the crisis match the scale and intensity of the steps being taken to end the pandemic.

Schools, workplaces, and entire industries have been closed in an effort to slow the spread of the disease. These steps are unprecedented, as is the speed and severity of the economic collapse they have precipitated. The operations of millions of businesses are threatened, together with the jobs of the millions of workers they employ.

Individually and family-owned companies operate on their cash flow, and that cash flow has been severely disrupted in the past week – their costs are up and their revenue flows are down, if not shut off completely.  The public response to the pandemic should be over in a few months, but the negative effects of lost jobs and closed businesses will be with us for much longer.

To minimize the number of businesses closed and workers unemployed, the response from Washington needs to be coordinated, massive, and focused on ensuring that all businesses have the resources necessary to ride out the pandemic.  This response should include – but not be limited to – the following areas:

● Immediately provide readily accessible, unsecured credit to businesses of all sizes to ensure they have the cash to pay their workers, rent, and other costs during this crisis.  While Congress, Treasury and the Federal Reserve have recently announced policies to increase the availability of credit to some businesses, these policies need to be expanded to make certain they are comprehensive and that the credit is readily available to all operating businesses in the short term.

● Suspend the filing of business returns and the payment of all business taxes to the federal government for the duration of the pandemic.  These suspended taxes should include taxes owed for the 2019 Tax Year, estimated payments for 2020, and all payroll tax obligations.  The suspension should be broad and apply to all businesses. When the pandemic is over, the repayment of any deferred taxes should be spread out over time.

● Amend the Tax Code to, among other items, restore the ability of businesses to carryback any net operating losses against previous year tax payments; suspend the application of the Section 163(j) limitation on interest expense deductions for tax year 2020 to avoid penalizing businesses for borrowing during this crisis; and suspend the Section 461(l) loss limitation on pass-through businesses to allow the owners of pass-through businesses to fully deduct any losses they incur this year.

The undersigned groups believe the key to helping businesses survive this crisis is to reduce their costs and increase their cash flow as much as possible in the coming weeks.  The policies above are designed to do that and ensure that businesses are not penalized by the Tax Code if they lose money or increase their debt levels in 2020.

We appreciate your consideration and thank you for your leadership during these very difficult times.


Agricultural Retailers Association

American Beverage Licensees

American Coatings Association

American Composites Manufacturers Association

American Council for Capital Formation

American Council of Engineering Companies

American Dental Association

American Farm Bureau Federation

American Forest & Paper Association

American International Automobile Dealers Association

American Supply Association

American Veterinary Medical Association

Angel Capital Association

Asian American Hotel Owners Association

Associated Builders and Contractors

Associated Equipment Distributors

Associated General Contractors of America

Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers

California Association of Winegrape Growers

CCIM Institute

Construction Industry Round Table

Convenience Distribution Association (CDA)

Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers

DHI – Door Security + Safety Professionals

Equipment Leasing and Finance Association (ELFA)

Family Business Coalition

Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA)

Heating, Air-conditioning, & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI)

Independent Bakers Association

Independent Community Bankers of America

Independent Electrical Contractors

Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America

Independent Office Products & Furniture Dealers Alliance

Institute for Scrap Recycling Industries

Institute of Real Estate Management

International Association of Plastics Distribution

International Foodservice Distributors Association

International Franchise Association

International Sign Association

International Wood Products Association

ISSA – The Worldwide Cleaning Industry Association

Manufactured Housing Institute

Manufacturer & Business Association

Metals Service Center Institute

Mortgage Bankers Association


National Apartment Association

National Asphalt Pavement Association

National Association of Broadcasters

National Association of Chain Drug Stores (NACDS)

National Association of Electrical Distributors

National Association of REALTORS®

National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors

National Automobile Dealers Association

National Beer Wholesalers Association

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

National Community Pharmacists Association

National Cotton Council

National Electrical Contractors Association

National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association

National Grocers Association

National Limousine Association

National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association

National Marine Manufacturers Association

National Mining Association

National Multifamily Housing Council

National Office Products Alliance

National Oilseed Processors Association

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

National Roofing Contractors Association

National Small Business Association

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association

National Tooling and Machining Association

National Waste & Recycling Association

NATSO, Representing America’s Travel Centers and Truckstops

NEMRA (National Electrical Manufacturers Representatives Association)


North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)

North American Die Casting Association

Office Furniture Dealers Alliance

Outdoor Power Equipment and Engine Service Association

Parity for Main Street Employers

Precision Machined Products Association

Precision Metalforming Association

REALTORS® Land Institute

Renewable Fuel Association

Reserve Organization of America (ROA)

Retail Industry Leaders Association

S Corporation Association

Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council

SNAC International

Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS)

Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America (SIGMA)

Southeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association

Specialty Equipment Market Association

The Aluminum Association

The American Institute of Architects

United Fresh Produce Association

Vinyl Institute

Western Equipment Dealers Association

Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America



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