Support the RESTART Act
Within the mists of the post 4th of July ashes falling and a global pandemic (i.e COVID-19) the firework industry and those who depend on its success urge everyone to endorse the RESTART Act. The letter below from the American Pyrotechnic Association (APA) gives information on how to support the APA's efforts to obtain industry financial assistance in the next COVID stimulus package that would help the display, proximate and domestic manufacturing segments of our industry.
APA Advisory - APA Endorses the RESTART Act
July 16, 2020
TO: John Bechtold, Spirit of ’76 Fireworks
SUBJECT: Call to Action for Association Members to Contact Their Elected Officials
Working with the legislative team at K&L Gates, the APA is making progress in its efforts to obtain industry financial assistance in the next COVID stimulus package that would help the display, proximate and domestic manufacturing segments of our industry.
Yesterday, the APA formally endorsed Senate legislation (S. 3814) Reviving the Economy Sustainably Towards A Recovery in Twenty-twenty, more commonly referred to as the RESTART Act. The proposal, introduced by Senator Michael Bennett (D-CO) and co-sponsored by Senator Todd Young (R-IN), extends the 8 week Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), to a 16 week period and creates a new loan program to provide funding to cover 6 months of payroll, benefits and fixed operating expenses for businesses that have taken a substantial revenue hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
APA Director Mike Cartolano, Melrose Pyrotechnics, participated in a press conference with Senator Young just prior to the 4th of July offering his company’s support of RESTART. S. 3814 enjoys bi-partisan support and currently has 10 additional co-sponsors including
Sen. King, Angus S., Jr. (I-ME)
Sen. Cramer, Kevin (R-ND)
Sen. Gardner, Cory (R-CO)
Sen. Tester, Jon (D-MT)
Sen. Reed, Jack (D-RI)
Sen. Ernst, Joni (R-IA)
Sen. Tillis, Thom (R-NC)
Sen. Merkley, Jeff (D-OR)
Sen. Blunt, Roy (R-MO)
Sen. Kaine, Tim (D-VA)
A companion bill to the Senate’s RESTART Act, was introduced in the House of Representatives on July 2 by Congressmen Jared Golden (ME-2) and Mike Kelly (PA-16). Like its Senate counterpart, the legislation builds upon the PPP, enhancing it to ensure that more of the hardest hit American small and medium sized businesses have access to vital assistance. The APA has endorsed their efforts as well, click here for the House letter.
Call to Action
Negotiations on the COVID aid package are likely to intensify next week and we need APA members to contact their elected representatives NOW – before next Tuesday.
Please contact your elected representatives in the House and Senate and urge them to support the RESTART Act. Attached is an updated version of our “talking points ” which you should refer to when speaking with your elected officials or their staff. If you have previously made contacts in response to our May 28 Call to Action, make sure you follow-up with individuals you may have spoken with to alert them to the RESTART Act and to voice your support of this legislation. The APA letters referenced earlier in this advisory may also be modified and sent, however personal contact with a staff member of your representative or senator is generally most effective.
APA’s Executive Director is reaching out individually to member companies located in the 10 States listed above where Senators have already signed on as a co-sponsor of S. 3814. She is providing a specific template for contacting these Senators. If any member needs assistance, please contact Ms. Heckman at email@example.com or (240) 401-4513.
We wish to thank APA directors Mike Cartolano, Steve Pelkey, Atlas PyroVision Entertainment, James Souza. Pyro Spectaculars, and Stephen Vitale, Pyrotecnico for their ongoing work to support the association’s legislative efforts. We hope that you will lend your support by contacting your elected federal officials. Time is of the essence. Please take action now to help the industry obtain necessary relief in the next COVID stimulus package.