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AIA Update on Federal COVID-19 Relief and Executive Order

As you have probably seen in the news, Congressional lawmakers passed a government spending bill that included a COVID-19 relief package for the American people. The new law provides over $900 billion in economic relief to U.S. businesses and affected communities to help them further weather the pandemic’s economic and health impacts.

Importantly for architecture firms, the law included changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that have long been championed by AIA:

  • A new provision clarifies that firms who received a PPP loan will be allowed to deduct expenses paid with those loans. This key improvement will prevent a tax liability increase next year for firms who received PPP loans.
  • Many AIA components will now be eligible for a PPP loan since the law now allows 501(c)(6) organizations to apply for relief (if there are no more than 300 employees and less than 15% of time is spent on lobbying).

On a distressing note, on Monday, President Trump signed the Executive Order establishing classical architecture as the preferred design style for federal courthouses and federal buildings over $50 million. In 2020 over 11,000 AIA members contacted the President, objecting to this unnecessary mandate, and we have worked with members of Congress to thwart the effort if signed. Rest assured that we will ask the Biden administration to overturn this errant policy and work with Congress to safeguard the Design Excellence program to ensure that our nation’s federal buildings reflect local preferences and America’s diverse architectural achievements.

Thank you to everyone who weighed in with your Members of Congress this year! AIA sincerely appreciates your engagement.

Until next year, stay safe and happy holidays!

Timothy Hawk, FAIA
Chair, Government Advocacy Committee

Mattia Flabiano, AIA
Chair, ArchiPAC

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