EDITORIALS

Lawmakers push to make more farmers eligible for second PPP loans

Wisconsin State Farmer

Wisconsin U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin along with Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota are urging the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make more farmers eligible for the second round of PPP funds.

The senators are asking the Treasury Department and SBA to issue guidance excluding Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP) payments from farmers’ and ranchers’ 2020 gross receipts for purposes of obtaining a second loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

John Thune
U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin

“Recognizing the significant market volatility and financial hardships farmers and ranchers across the country faced because of the coronavirus pandemic, last year Congress provided the USDA authority and funding to support producers,” the senators wrote. “As a result, USDA established CFAP, which provided critically needed financial assistance to producers to ensure they were able to continue providing our nation with a safe and abundant food supply. Therefore, we respectfully request that you clarify through additional guidance or an FAQ that CFAP payments provided to farmers and ranchers in 2020 do not count toward gross receipts for purposes of demonstrating a 25 percent reduction in revenue in 2020 compared to 2019.”

Last year, the pair introduced legislation to make farmers that were closed out of the PPP eligible. The legislation was included in the recently passed Economic Aid Act, which increased the ability of small and struggling farmers to access the PPP.