Main Street Lending Program

The American Heart Association is leading other mid-sized nonprofits (500 to 10,000 employees) to expand the Federal Reserve’s Main Street Lending Program to apply to nonprofits for low-cost loans. In addition, we are advocating for Congress to use the loan forgiveness model for smaller nonprofits to apply for larger nonprofits – recognizing that charitable nonprofits operate differently from for-profit businesses. Every dollar used toward loan and interest repayment is a dollar diverted from helping people in our communities, therefore it is imperative to the nonprofit sector that loan forgiveness be available to all mid-size nonprofits.

AHA Position 

The American Heart Association has responded quickly on the frontlines. 

  • We have committed $2.5 million in rapid response research awards to better understand COVID-19 and its interaction with heart and brain systems.
  • AHA has also developed the first COVID-focused registry to aggregate data and aid research on the disease, treatment protocols and risk factors tied to adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

Congress recognized the importance of nonprofits in the CARES Act, including loans with forgiveness for nonprofits with less than 500 employees, but more must be done to help larger nonprofits. Nonprofits of all sizes are essential to the wellbeing of our nation. Individuals, families, and communities are relying on the expertise and resources of nonprofits to aid the fight against COVID-19, and will continue to depend on our support in the recovery efforts.

Legislation to this effect, which we have developed, would include a pathway to loan forgiveness for nonprofits, a 0% interest rate, longer deferral periods for payments, and a good faith certification to maintain payroll and retain employees during the term of the loan.

The bottom line is nonprofits need relief now. That is why the American Heart Association is committed to expanding the Main Street Lending Program to apply to nonprofits and asking Congress to allow loan forgiveness.


AHA is leading an effort supported by a wide array of other organizations in the charitable sector to build support for expansion of the Main Street Lending Program. If you have any questions or need advocacy support, please contact Emily Horowitz, Associate Government Relations Manager, at [email protected].