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Coalition of Over 140 Chambers Urge Congress to Support Cultural Institutions

May 07, 2020

BOSTON, MA and ALBANY, NY- The Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce and the Capital Region (NY) Chamber of Commerce partnered to lead a coalition to support cultural institutions during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This coalition of over 140 chambers of commerce from almost 40 states is urging congressional leaders to expand funding and enact relief provisions for the cultural and performing arts sectors, including aquariums, zoos, performance centers, and museums.

“We’re so pleased the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce took the lead in advocating for us during this pandemic. Many institutions like the New England Aquarium continue to provide dedicated animal care. The nation’s aquariums, zoos, and museums are in desperate need of significant federal aid to continue to survive months of public closure,” said Vikki N. Spruill, President & CEO of the New England Aquarium. Last month, the Aquarium led an effort among Boston cultural institutions to send a joint letter to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation urging support for emergency relief funding.

The pandemic will have a devastating impact on our cultural institutions which already operated on thin margins of financial sustainability. These institutions rely on revenue from visitors. As closures extend and event cancellations continue these institutions stand to lose millions of dollars a day, jeopardizing their ability to re-open and to drive economic activity through employing residents and attracting visitors from other localities. Moreover, a projected decline in charitable contributions and limited access to tax-relief benefits only exacerbates these financial issues.

Critical gaps in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act fail to meet the needs of these important community members. Swift action through specific measures – including an increase in the allocation for the Institute of Museums and Library Services and the National Endowment for the Arts, and expansions of both the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the universal charitable deduction provision – is needed to ensure that Americans still have access to these treasured community assets for years to come. The coalition urges our congressional leaders to take immediate action to preserve our nation’s cultural assets.

About the Greater Boston Chamber

We are the convener, voice and advocate of our region's business community, committed to making Greater Boston the best place for businesses and people to thrive. We help our members and Greater Boston succeed by convening and connecting the business community; researching, developing and advocating for public policies that contribute to our region’s economic success; and providing comprehensive leadership development programs designed to grow strong business and civic leaders. Learn more at BostonChamber.com.

About the Capital Region Chamber

The Capital Region Chamber, based in Albany, NY, represents 2,900 businesses and organizations in Albany, Saratoga, Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties and beyond - that employ more than 160,000 area residents. The Capital Region Chamber provides leadership and advocacy to advance the regional economy, as well as broad-based member services. Learn more at capitalregionchamber.com.

Contact: James Sutherland, JSutherland@BostonChamber.com