Signature Boston

U.S. Members

Events are evolving day by day and sometimes minute by minute. Use this page to receive the latest information on IAEE Advocacy Actions in dealing with the United States Federal government regarding the impact of COVID-19.

IAEE has been at the forefront, working to defend and protect our member businesses, their work forces, the ecosystem of our supply chain, as well as the entire exhibitions and events industry. Acting in conjunction with our numerous advocacy coalition partnerships, IAEE is a consistent and steady voice for B2B exhibitions and events. Working the phones during near-daily calls and virtual meetings ensuring that your concerns are part of the conversation when it comes to all the stimulus packages working its way through Congress.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 28, 2020

IAEE signed on to a letter on April 27, 2020 to request financial assistance needed for public entertainment and event industry recovery. – read the pdf here.

UPDATE: Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Update on the CARES Act: The Senate passed legislation that will add approximately $484 billion to stimulus funding available under the CARES Act, including $310 billion in additional funds for the Payroll Protection Program and $75 billion for hospitals and health care providers. While the outcome is not certain, the House plans to vote on the measure this Thursday.

Opening Up American Again: President Trump recently unveiled a three-phase approach with criteria to help state and local officials when “reopening their economies, getting people back to work, and continuing to protect American lives.” The approach includes broad guidelines related to large venues, business travel and face-to-face interaction. Northstar reports:

    • In phase one, Americans should avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Non-essential travel should be minimized and work from home policies should resume where possible. Large venues can operate, but under “strict physical distancing protocols.”
    • In phase two, Americans may gather in groups of up to 50 people and non-essential travel can resume, for both individuals and employers. As long as “moderate physical distancing” is enforced, large venues are able to operate.
    • In phase three, Americans must only “consider minimizing time spent in crowded environments” and employers should “resume unrestricted staffing of worksites.”

A handful of governors have already announced plans to ease physical distancing, even with the phases and with the CDC director warning today that a second wave of coronavirus could to be more devastating than the current one. As of now, experts agree that despite the actions taken by elected officials now, Americans will likely approach travel slowly and cautiously when physical distancing lifts.

Trump Calls on CEOs: More than 200 executives, including leaders across the meetings and travel industry, are being tapped by the White House to shape the nation’s long-term economic reboot. Roger Dow is among the experts participating in the White House’s recovery task force and said, “This task force presents the perfect opportunity to continue our productive conversations with senior government officials and ensure all segments of our industry have their voices heard. We will all have a seat at the table.”

UPDATE: 2:00 PM CT, Monday, March 30, 2020

FEMA releases COVID-19 Advisory: Whole-Of-Government Response to COVID-19 Pandemic – read the pdf here.

UPDATE: 2:00 PM ET, Friday, March 27, 2020

Today the United State House of Representatives, passed by voice vote, the $2 trillion coronavirus relief package known as the CARES Act (H.R. 748).  This act was passed by the Senate earlier in the week and now goes to President Trump for his signature and final enactment.

Resources and Reference Documents

National Governors Association – State-By-State Summary Of Public Health Criteria In Reopening Plans

National Safety Council: Return-To-Work Guidelines for Public Operations

U.S. Chamber of Commerce – Global Dashboard on COVID-19 Government Policies

The CARES Act: A Guide to the Resources for Nonprofit Organizations – by Tenenbaum Law Group PLLC

How the CARES Act Affects Retirement Plans, Loans, Nonprofits and More – information provided by Barnes & Thornburg, LLP

Summary of the CARES Act and Possible Direct Impacts to IAEE Members

The CARES Act provides real and immediate assistance for the workforce and businesses of all sizes across our industry and supply chain.

  • Included in this bill at a high level:
    • Help for Small Businesses and Non-Profit Organizations: Provided through $377 billion in loans and loan forgiveness.
    • Help for Severely Impacted Industries and State and Local Governmental Entities: Provided through $454 billion in loans, loan guarantees and other financial instruments.
    • Business Tax Relief: For the current tax year and previous tax years.
    • Help for Affected Workers: Provided through cash payments, tax relief, and unemployment insurance benefits.
    • Help for Hospitals, Healthcare Workers, and Infected Individuals: Provided through grants and other forms of relief.
    • Help for States, Local Government, and Transportation: Provided through grants, including direct support for the tourism industry and airports

Once final enactment is in place, regulatory agencies will have to issue regulations to make the benefits available. IAEE will work to connect members with resources as soon as they become available.

Specific help is included below:


Existing SBA Loans:

Eligibility: For small business or franchises with 500 employees or less, including but not limited to; meeting and event services, hotels, attractions, restaurants, wineries, and more.

  • Provides $17 billion for the SBA to cover the next 6 months of loan payments due on existing SBA 7(a) loans, Certified Development Company loans, and microloans. Any business with an existing loan under these programs are eligible for relief.

SBA Disaster Loans:

Eligibility: Broadest eligibility, including private nonprofits, DMOs organized as 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(3) organizations, along with small businesses including but not limited to; meeting and event services, hotels, attractions, restaurants, wineries, and more.

Provides $10 billion for the SBA to provide economic injury disaster loans to small businesses, private nonprofits (including 501(c)(6) organizations), small agricultural cooperatives, self-employed individuals, and any business that employs less than 500 employees until December 31, 2020.

  • Allows applicants to be approved for the loans based on credit score alone and waives personal collateral requirements for loans totaling less than $200,000. Additionally, the bill waives rules requiring borrowers to be in businesses for at least a year, and the requirement that an applicant be unable to obtain credit elsewhere.
  • SBA is also authorized to give grants (up to $10,000) to any business or private nonprofit eligible for a loan within 3 days of receiving a disaster loan application, to cover needed expenses (including payroll, rent, mortgage payments, and materials).

SBA Interruption Loans:

Eligibility: For any small business, and any DMO organized as a 501(c)(3) organization that doesn’t receive an SBA Disaster Loan, with certain exceptions.

  • Provides $349 billion for the SBA to provide “interruption loans” to small businesses, self-employed individuals, 501(c)(3) organizations, and veteran organizations, provided they have less than 500 employees or they meet SBA small business size standards, whichever is greater—with exceptions for businesses that provide food and accommodation services.
  • The loan amount is based on 250% of the borrower’s average monthly payroll cost before the crisis hit (including the cost of wages, paid leave, severance, healthcare benefits, retirement benefits, state and local taxes, and compensation for independent contractors making less than $100,000 per year), up to $10 million.
  • Waives collateral requirements and loan fees and defers repayment for at least 6 months.
  • Recipients are eligible for tax-free loan forgiveness for a portion of the loan used cover payroll, rent or mortgage interest, and utilities for the 8-week period after the loan is originated—with conditions for maintaining employment and wages during the crisis.

SBA Express Loans:

Eligibility: For any small business.

  • Increases the maximum loan amount for an SBA Express loan from $350,000 to $1 million. These loans currently have a much faster approval process through SBA and provide borrowers with revolving lines of credit for working capital purposes.


Eligibility: For any impacted business of any size. Also includes eligibility for States, territories, municipalities, subdivisions of a State, or instrumentalities thereof (including DMOs organized as an instrument of government, DMO’s classified as 501(c)(6).

  • Provides $454 billion for the Treasury Department to provide secured loans to U.S. businesses, States, tribes, and municipalities (including DMOs organized as instruments of a State or local government) or to fund liquidity assistance through the Federal Reserve, in support of businesses, States, tribes, and municipalities that haven’t already received economic relief through any other loan provided under the bill.
  • There is no deadline for when Treasury or the Federal Reserve must issue regulations setting up a program providing this assistance.
  • To receive a direct loan from the Treasury Secretary or Federal Reserve, businesses must have a majority of its employees based in the U.S. and agree not to conduct until 12 months after the loan is repaid: 1) stock buybacks; 2) pay dividends on common stock; and 3) agree to certain limits on executive compensation.
  • The liquidity assistance provided by the Federal Reserve can be in the form of direct loans to businesses and governmental entities (including certain DMOs, hotels, restaurants, rental car companies, software companies, and retailers) or the direct purchase of debt obligations or securities from the business. Assistance can also be in the form of the purchase of bonds, loans, and securities directly from banks or from investors in the secondary market. Collateral is required for all loans given by the Federal Reserve and Treasury, and all loans, bonds, and securities purchased by the Federal Reserve must be collateralized.
  • Directs the Treasury Secretary to establish a program that provides banks with liquidity to make loans to businesses and nonprofit organizations (including travel businesses and 501(c)(6) organizations) with between 500 and 10,000 employees, capping interest rates for the loans at 2 percent and providing 6 months of forbearance, on condition of the entity maintaining employment and meeting collective bargaining and other requirements.
  • Also provides $46 billion for the Treasury Department to give direct loans to airlines, cargo air carriers, and businesses critical to national security (e.g. Boeing).
  • Treasury is also able to provide $32 billion in grants to passenger airlines, cargo air carriers, and air service contractors (including airline catering services) under strict conditions.
  • Companies that receive a direct loan from the Federal Reserve or the Treasury Department cannot engage in stock buybacks or pay dividends until a year after the loan is fully paid back. They must also limit executive compensation, and employment requirements may apply depending on the form of assistance.
  • Creates a Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery and a 5-member Congressional Oversight Commission to oversee direct loans and financial assistance provided by the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve.


Eligibility: For any business of any size, or DMO organized as a 501(c)(6) or 501(c)(3) organization, as applicable.

  • Employee Retention Tax Credit: Provide a temporary tax credit against employer payroll taxes, worth 50 percent of wages (up to $10,000 of qualified wages per employee per quarter) paid this year by a qualified employer. Qualified employers include those forced to suspend activities due to the coronavirus outbreak but does not include employers that receive an SBA interruption loan.
  • Payroll Tax Deferral: Defers payment for Social Security taxes on employers and the self-employed until January 1, 2021—not including any employers that get loan forgiveness on an SBA interruption loan.
  • Net Operating Loss Deduction: Allows businesses to fully carry back net operating losses occurring in 2018, 2019, or 2020 to the previous 5 years, allowing them to amend previous tax returns to get a refund and help cover liquidity demands.
  • Refundable Credits for Prior Year Corporate Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT): Accelerates the ability for corporations to recover AMT credits, allowing them to claim a refund now and obtain additional cash flow.
  • Business Interest Expense Deduction: Temporarily increases the cap on the business interest expense deduction for the 2019 and 2020 tax year.
  • Qualified Improvement Property: Allows restaurants and retail stores to fully expense the cost of property improvements in the year the cost occurs, rather than over time through a depreciation schedule.


Eligibility: For any airport, State, territory, municipality, subdivision of a State, or instrumentality thereof.

  • Provides $10 billion in grants to airports for the purpose of maintaining airport operations, distributed through FAA’s Airport Improvement Program by formula.
  • Provides $5 billion in Community Development Block Grants to States and local governments to mitigate economic disruptions in impacted industries, including making direct grants to tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19.
  • Provides $1.5 billion in Economic Development Agency grants to State and local governments for economic injuries to impacted industries, including grants to support economic revitalization of tourism businesses impacted by COVID-19.


Eligibility: For any worker of an affected employer, including private businesses, and DMOs, as applicable.

  • Provides enhancements to existing State unemployment insurance programs, including allowing furloughed workers to receive unemployment insurance benefits, waiving the 7-day waiting period for regular unemployment insurance, extending the duration of unemployment insurance benefits, and promoting short time compensation benefits for workers forced to cut hours.

Earlier Advocacy Actions

March 19, 2020 – Call to Action Alert to engage directly with your Members of Congress.  Working with a large network of organizations affiliated with the Power of Travel Coalition, IAEE shared an online mechanism to connect with Congress and express your vital concerns.  There was also a call to write a Letter to the Editor for your local newspaper.

Here is the link to this Action Alert.

IAEE signed on to a letter to the Administration, led by US Travel Association in March.

IAEE signed on to a letter on March 20, 2020 to the members of Congress Sen. McConnell, Sen. Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, led by the Events Industry Council Coalition.

March 22 & 23, 2020 – Call to Action Alert, Write Congress Today. Two direct email requests to have the exhibitions and events industry take action by writing to the policymakers negotiating the 3rd coronavirus stimulus package including the Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and their key staff members.  (Do we have a link)

March 26, 2020 – U.S. Government Phase 3 Stimulus Update.  An email recap of where the 3rd coronavirus stimulus package called the CARES Act is in the legislative process.