NCBA Helps Lead Ag Coalition Letter Urging Improvements to Paycheck Protection Program
WASHINGTON (April 27, 2020) -- The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) today helped lead a coalition of more than 35 different agricultural groups in sending a letter to leaders on Capitol Hill urging specific improvements in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
A second round of PPP relief is being rolled out after winning final Congressional approval last week. Unfortunately, the agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors received only 1.3 percent of the original $349 billion in the first round of approved funding, which was quickly depleted.
"Federal relief is only as good as the access that people in need have to it." said Marty Smith, President of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. “Unfortunately for agricultural producers, accessing the first round of Paycheck Protection Program funding proved to be nearly impossible, with less than 2% of these loans reaching our industry. Hopefully the second round of PPP will be more accessible to family ranchers and farmers, and more equitably distributed so we can continue working to feed America during this crisis."
The list of priorities for the next round of SBA loans includes:
Expedite Approval of Applications for Rural Lenders
* Most of agriculture’s primary lenders have not administered SBA loans.
* Allow Farm Credit institutions to access the newly established PPP set-aside for small financial lenders.
Guidance for Agricultural Applicants
* Sole proprietors who file a Schedule F should be eligible to participate in the Payroll Protection Program.
* Allow businesses to use additional income documentation to qualify for PPP.
Define “Primary Place of Residence” in SBA Statute
* The Primary Place of Residence should be defined to clearly include H-2A guest workers, as many of these workers spend over half the year in the United States.
Rent and Utilities
* Rental payments for all business-related items should be included in the SBA loan program.
Eligibility Cap for Agriculture
* An increase in SBA’s eligibility cap for employees is essential for family farms and agricultural processors that employ more than 500 employees to continue operating and paying their employees.
You can read the full letter here.