ACG Network Message About CARES


ACG Optimistic About Access to CARES Relief

Good morning, 

It’s been a busy week; a reality I know is shared by all of you. 

Monday, upon learning that the U.S. Small Business Administration was near its issuance of guidance around the “affiliate rule” which helps determine what qualifies a small business for emergency loans, available through CARES, ACG submitted a letter to the U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Stephen Mnuchin and Small Business Administration Administrator Jovita Carranza.

We were optimistic then and remain so today. The current Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) program guidance has broad language that does not explicitly exclude companies with equity investment. Further, the SBA, states it will issue additional guidance if needed.

My optimism is rooted in three things.

  • Intent: U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sent a letter Tuesday to Mnuchin and Carranza reiterating the intention of the United States Congress and President Trump with CARES was to provide relief to as many businesses as possible. Speaker Pelosi highlighted the importance of startups – many of which have equity investors. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has joined her, and my interview Monday with U.S. Representative Steven Horsford (D-NV), he too echoed Congress' broad intent. 
  • Echo: Treasury held true to that intent in its March 31, 2020 press release: “The Paycheck Protection Program is specifically designed to help small businesses keep their workforce employed”.
  • Absence: Sometimes it is best not to be mentioned. While I was being interviewed by the Wall Street Journal Tuesday night, the SBA issued the PPP guidanceNot seeing an exclusion was the best outcome. 

It’s our philosophy that SBA is interpreting the language broadly which will allow relief for our lower middle market companies, venture-backed small businesses and not for profits like ACG. That said, it doesn’t mean we are resting our laurels, nor should you. 

While this pandemic has wreaked unprecedented havoc on our lives it has also created a great opportunity for us to re-evaluate how we engage. Together with our chapters, we are cranking. Many of our events  have gone virtual, dynamic panels that would have been at InterGrowth and chapter events will still come to life through video streaming, podcasts are popping us as quickly as virtual happy hours. 

Life has changed but our community hasn’t. We weathered the storm in 2008 and we will do it again. We are stronger together. We wish you the best of health and resiliency at this time. And please, if you have a story to share, please pitch us at


Tom Bohn, CAE, MBA
President & CEO
ACG Global