The New England Aquarium, along with the Boston Children’s Museum, Museum of Science, Museum of Fine Arts, and Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) are urging Congress to support emergency relief funding for aquariums, zoos, and non-profit museums amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
In a joint letter to the Massachusetts Congressional delegation, these cultural institutions have pointed out gaps in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act when it comes to non-profit organizations. They are requesting additional provisions including:
- An increased allocation of at least $6 billion to provide grants for operational support, distance learning, and recovery planning and implementation;
- Increased and extended Paycheck Protection Program and loan forgiveness provisions;
- Expansion of the universal charitable deduction provision by removing the $300 cap and by eliminating the 60% limit on adjusted gross income that may be deducted through charitable gifts of cash.
This comes after the New England Aquarium announced a series of budget cuts in early April to preserve resources. The Aquarium has also posted a petition on their website if individuals wish to show their support for this emergency relief funding.