Baldwin and Thune push to make more farmers eligible for the 2nd PPP loan
US Senator from Wisconsin Tammy Baldwin and Republican Senator John Thune from South Dakota are urging the US Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) to make more farmers eligible for the second round of PPP funds.
Senators call on the Treasury Department and SBA to issue guidelines excluding Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (COFOG) payments from 2020 gross receipts to farmers and ranchers for the purpose of securing a second loan through the Program paycheck protection (PPP).
“Recognizing the significant market volatility and the financial hardships farmers and ranchers across the country were facing as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Congress last year provided the authority and funding for the USDA to support producers, ”wrote the senators. “As a result, USDA created COFOG, which provided much needed financial assistance to producers to ensure they were able to continue to provide our country with a secure and plentiful food supply. Therefore, we respectfully request that you clarify through additional guidance or an FAQ that COFOG payments provided to farmers and ranchers in 2020 are not factored into gross receipts in order to demonstrate a reduction in 25% of revenues in 2020 compared to 2019. ”
Last year, the couple introduced legislation to make farmers excluded from PPP eligible. The legislation was included in the recently adopted Economic Aid Law, which increased the capacity of struggling small farmers to access PPP.