USA Swimming among US Olympic groups receives PPP aid

USA Swimming is one of 32 US National Governing Bodies (NGBs) to apply for financial assistance through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to an Associated Press survey.

The AP interviewed 44 NGBs. Thirty-six responded, 32 of whom admitted to applying for PPP loan assistance under the program created to deal with the financial fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. Approved aid totaling at least $ 12 million

Among the NGBs who disclosed loan amounts, the $ 1.6 million received by USA Swimming was the third largest, behind the $ 2.18 million given to USA Hockey and the $ 2.5 million received by USA Skiing and Snowboarding. Excerpt from AP’s story:

USA Swimming received $ 1.6 million to cover the payroll. This NGB is largely dependent on membership fees and doesn’t expect to see the full impact of COVID-19 until fall, when the bulk of its membership renewals arrive.

“There is a very, very real and dire financial situation in sport”, Sarah Hirshland, the CEO of the US Olympic and Paralympic committees, who oversees the NGBs, told the AP. “And certainly the sports organizations we work closely with are feeling a loss of revenue. And it is immediate.

USA Swimming has had to devote resources to strengthening its members, many of whom are feeling the decline in revenues and the closure of facilities. Last week he announced a Strategic recovery plan, pledging $ 1 million in club grants as the first wave of pandemic support.

The need for help follows the models American NGBs use. Instead of direct government support, many rely on sponsorship dollars, broadcast revenue, and membership fees. The postponement of the Tokyo Olympics from this summer to 2020 postponed the revenues of the first two categories, and the closure of facilities across the country has caused the latter source to dry up. The Tokyo postponement also leaves the USOPC facing a mandate to fund athlete delegations to two Olympics within eight months, with the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing looming.

Hirshland and the USOPC board are looking to cut spending for 2020 by up to 20%. If COVID-19 were to cancel the Tokyo Games next summer, Hirshland called the potential impact “devastating.”


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