WASHINGTON, D.C., July 17, 2020 –  A statement from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the American Heart Association, the American Lung Association, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, March of Dimes and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society:

While we appreciate the Federal Reserve updated some of the terms of the Main Street Lending Program based on comments submitted by our organizations and others, today’s announcement by the Federal Reserve Board of Governors still excludes our organizations and many others from applying for loans through this program. Our organizations call on Congress to include provisions similar to those found in HR 6800 but expanded to include all mid-sized nonprofits in the next COVID-19 relief package to ensure mid-sized nonprofit organizations have access to forgivable loans.

Months into the pandemic, our organizations remain ineligible for any loans under either the Paycheck Protection Act or the Main Street Lending Program. Each of our charities employs more than 500 people and together we serve hundreds of millions of Americans with lung and heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis and work to improve infant and maternal healthcare through the research we fund and the programs we provide.

The American public has turned to us during this pandemic more than ever before. But at the same time, our organizations have had to cancel events, which fund our lifesaving research and programs. However, unlike smaller nonprofits, we remain unable to access any sort of loans – forgivable or not.

Yesterday, the Chronicle of Philanthropy reported that 22,000 nonprofits will fail due to the recession and economic downturn caused by the coronavirus. A recent spot-check survey of mid-size nonprofits (between 500-5,000 employees) shows that organizations like ours have been severely impacted by this health and economic crisis:

  • 51% have laid off employees and 67% have furloughed employees;
  • 71% report a reduction in services or available operations; and
  • 83% of organizations had a reduction in contributions/revenue including a drop of 53% from individual charitable giving.

When asked what types of assistance would be most helpful, 92% suggested additional loan options such as forgivable loans.

We implore Congress to affirmatively act to expand the Paycheck Protection Program, increase the loan amounts, expand eligibility to include charities with more than 500 employees, and fix the Main Street Lending Program so that our organizations can continue to effectively serve patients in communities across the country.


About the American Heart Association
The American Heart Association is a leading force for a world of longer, healthier lives. With nearly a century of lifesaving work, the Dallas-based association is dedicated to ensuring equitable health for all. We are a trustworthy source empowering people to improve their heart health, brain health and well-being. We collaborate with numerous organizations and millions of volunteers to fund innovative research, advocate for stronger public health policies and share lifesaving resources and information. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookTwitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.

For media inquiries please contact:

Steve Weiss – 202-607-0911; Steve.Weiss@heart.org

For Public Inquiries: 1-800-AHA-USA1 (242-8721)

heart.org and stroke.org