WASHINGTON—In Washington, the Farm Bureau wants Congress to updates the paycheck protection program to allow all eligible self-employed farmers and ranchers a chance to access the critical wage program.
AFBF’s Emily Buckman says Congress did improve the program, but the last go-round the Small Business Administration left some farmers out.
“Congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 which contained improvements to the Paycheck Protection Program, including a provision that allows for self-employed farmers and ranchers who file a Schedule F with their tax return to use gross income rather than wages to determine eligibility. However, since the law was passed, the Small Business Administration has been denying loans to self-employed farmers and ranchers who operate in a partnership, or as sole-owner LLCs,” said Buckman.
The Farm Bureau says the action by the Small Business Administration goes against the intent of lawmakers.
“The PPP is currently providing valuable assistance to many farmers and ranchers who have been struggling to navigate financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. But contrary to congressional intent, not all self-employed farmers and ranchers can access the program,” said Buckman.
The Farm Bureau says fixing PPP is a matter of fairness.
“Farm Bureau believes that Congress intended that all self-employed farmers and ranchers should be eligible for PPP loans as another means to help navigate challenges caused by the pandemic. In many ways, this denial has caused picking winners and losers among those who are self-employed,” said Buckman.
In the time of COVID, A strong PPP program will strengthen farming and secure food security in the US.