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On Wednesday, Congressional leadership and the Trump Administration came to agreement and released the text of a massive $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. While it is expected to pass both chambers of Congress and be signed into law by President Trump in the coming days, it is possible that additional changes might be made.
For the time being, provisions of the CARES Act that will provide relief to the travel agency industry, its employees and independent contractors (ICs) include:
“The coronavirus pandemic has proved to be the biggest challenge ever faced by ASTA and its members,” said Zane Kerby, president and CEO ASTA. “Over the past few weeks, we have worked hand-in-hand with our 13,000 members to secure the maximum amount of relief for the travel agency community in this package. The fact that travel agencies are included in the airline assistance portion of the bill is a huge win and means that Congress heeded our call to include our members in any targeted travel industry relief.”
In the coming days, the American Society of Travel Advisors (ASTA) says it will analyze the entirety of the relief package for provisions impacting its members and will explore key topics, such as how the new SBA loan program interacts with the Administration’s existing Disaster Relief programs. ASTA says it will also monitor SBA and Treasury/Transportation Department announcements with regard to how they plan to distribute this relief.
ASTA adds that it sent over 28,000 grassroots messages to legislators through its advocacy page. It will also hold a member webinar on Friday, March 27 at 3 p.m. ET to provide members with a preliminary analysis.