Reps. Kind, Fortenberry Introduce Bipartisan Legislative Fix to Make More Farmers and Ranchers Eligible for Paycheck Protection Program Loans
Washington, DC – Today, Reps. Ron Kind (D-WI) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) introduced the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Clarification for Producers Act to ensure more farmers and ranchers are eligible for loans through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
When the SBA first created the PPP last year, many farmers, ranchers and agricultural producers were falling through the cracks. Rep. Kind introduced bipartisan legislation aimed at increasing the amount of family farmers eligible to receive a loan from the PPP by allowing them to use gross income to calculate their loan award. The legislation was passed as part of the most recent COVID-19 relief package in December. However, many farmers and ranchers are organized as partnerships or limited liability companies, which are taxed differently than other farm and ranch entities. These agricultural producers have been unable to apply for loans under the new calculation because of the SBA’s interpretation of eligibility for partnerships or limited liability companies. The Paycheck Protection Clarification for Producers Act will address this issue and ensure more farmers and ranchers are eligible for PPP loans.
“Our family farmers are facing tough times through no fault of their own as the COVID-19 crisis continues,” said Rep. Ron Kind. “That’s why I’ve continued to fight to expand access to the Paycheck Protection Program and other relief programs for our hardworking agricultural producers. No farmer should be shut out of this crucial program and denied a financial lifeline because of an interpretation error, and I’m proud to introduce bipartisan legislation to right this wrong."
"Nebraska leads the U.S. in per capita PPP loans approved. Due to quirks in the law, some farmers hard hit by COVID-19 were left out. Today I joined Representative Ron Kind in introducing the Paycheck Protection Clarification for Producers Act to ensure farmers are eligible for PPP support,” said Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Ranking Member, House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, and Food and Drug Administration.
“Like many emergency response programs, the Paycheck Protection Program has needed consistent adjustments as it evolved in real time. NMPF has been working since day one to ensure our dairy cooperatives and farmers have meaningful access to PPP small business support, and we are grateful to those in Congress who have been real champions for improving PPP since the beginning. NMPF thanks Representatives Ron Kind and Jeff Fortenberry for introducing the bipartisan Paycheck Protection Clarification for Producers Act, again leading PPP improvements critical for dairy farmers and other small businesses to keep their doors open. We look forward to continuing to work with Congressmen Kind and Fortenberry to help ensure dairy producers across the nation have equitable access to the small business support vital to their operations and future,” said Jim Mulhern, president and CEO of National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF).
Since the COVID-19 crisis began, Rep. Kind has continuously advocated for our family farmers. Last week, Rep. Kind sent a letter to the SBA pushing for new clarifications to ensure more farmers and ranchers are eligible for loans through the PPP, the issue the Paycheck Protection Clarification for Producers Act is now addressing. In April 2020, Rep. Kind led a bipartisan letter urging the SBA to provide more flexibility and alternate eligibility requirements for farmers unable to enroll in the PPP. Additionally, he released his Family Farm Rescue Plan, which focused on five concrete steps that the former Administration could have taken to support family farmers during the COVID-19 pandemic, including ensuring farmers are eligible for all small business relief programs like the PPP.
Read the bipartisan bill here.