Yesterday, Western Growers joined a group of 38 agriculture organizations in sending a letter to congressional leaders requesting changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sectors received only 1.3 percent of the original $349 billion in approved funding.
The letter requests several changes for agriculture to fully participate in the SBA relief programs:
- 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.
Click here to read the entire letter.