Ag groups call for farmer participation in PPP

Coalition urges Congress to work with Small Business Administration on PPP eligibility.
EDITED BY ANNE BLANKENBILLER
PPP Loan

A coalition of 35 agriculture organizations are urging Congress to work with the Small Business Administration to ensure that farming partnerships and limited liability corporations are able to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

The coalition sent a letter to the leaders of the Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship and the House Committee on Small Business.

“As you know, farming and ranching are capital-intensive operations often operating at a loss and with owners who frequently do not work for wages,” the organizations wrote. “When Congress designed the original PPP program, it did not recognize these special circumstances facing those working in agriculture. As a result, many farmers and ranchers did not qualify for PPP assistance.”

The letter noted that Congress addressed these challenges and made changes to the eligibility requirements for the PPP in Section 313 of The Economic Aid Act, which helped many farmers and ranchers participate in the program. Unfortunately, the Small Business Administration has since interpreted this language to exclude farm and ranch operations structured as partnerships and LLCs.

“We believe this interpretation is in error and is preventing many farm and ranch families from participating in the PPP,” the organizations wrote. “We ask that you clarify to SBA that Congress intended to include farm partnerships and LLCs in Section 313.”

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