The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) was signed into law on Friday, March 27.  This is the third measure to address the impact of COVID-19.  Within the bill, 27 of 29 501(c) organizations were excluded from eligibility for Payroll Protection Loans from the Small Business Administration – including 501(c)(7) clubs. These loans of up to $10 million would enable clubs to help maintain operations (payroll, mortgage, rent, utilities, and certain debt payments).

We encourage you to join others in the industry by contacting your state Senators and Representatives through CMAA’s grassroots network. Share the impact of COVID-19 on your facility and employees within their district and how you would benefit from assistance at this time via Club Industry Votes. To date, more than 2,800 letters have been sent to the Hill. Below are elements we suggest you include in a handwritten or typed letter:

  • Thank you for your extraordinary work to address the health and economic impact of COVID-19 on our country.
  • We urge you to strongly consider an expansion of these efforts by including 501(c)(7) employees in the next round of relief.
  • Excluding 501(c)(7) clubs has sent most of the 4,500 operations into a financial crisis.
  • Clubs employ more than 500,000 American taxpayers who are being furloughed or laid off.
  • The golf industry is an $84 billion industry, and 2 million citizens directly or indirectly earn their living through our sport.
  • Golf is a charitable engine that annually contributes $4 billion to local, state and national charities with 501(c)(7) clubs being a huge driver.
  • Our Clubs face the same challenges as any small business and our employees should not be forced to suffer due to IRS classification.
  • Despite tax-exempt status, 501(c)(7) clubs pay federal, state and local taxes on revenue from non-members and pay hundreds of millions in property tax.
  • Without relief like the Paycheck Protection Program, this crisis will have a long-lasting effect on the viability of many clubs and the income of a half million Americans.
  • Please consider including 501(c)(7) organizations in upcoming relief packages.

There is some good news, as Clubs can take advantage of two tax credits in CARES, the Employee Retention Tax Credit and Payroll Tax Credit. To take advantage of these tax credits, access the IRS guidanceFAQs, and utilize Form 7200.

Clubs can also use the credits for paid and sick leave as mandated in HR2401, the Families First Act. Make sure to share the required DOL Required Poster for FFCRA Paid and Sick Leave with your team. Access guidance on how to take advantage of these credits.

We will continue to update PGA.org with relevant government relations and club best practices.

The PGA of America cares about you, your family, your staff, and your club members.  We are sending our best wishes that you remain safe and healthy.

Best,

John Easterbrook Jr., PGA
Chief Membership Officer