Changes would make it easier for specialty crop growers to access relief
NPC joined 37 agriculture groups this week on a letter to Congress requesting adjustments to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to make it easier for specialty crop growers to access relief. Noting that, combined, the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sectors received only 1.3% of the original $349 billion in approved PPP funding, the groups argued that the program should be adjusted to ensure agriculture is given equal access to assistance.
“We continue to press forward on two major fronts in pandemic relief. The first, exemplified by this letter, is ensuring our growers are eligible for and able to make the most use of existing programs. The second is driving toward enhanced funding and new programs with Congress and the Administration to give growers the relief they need,” said RJ Andrus, NPC Vice President of Legislative and Government Affairs.
The ag groups outlined priorities for the next round of Small Business Administration loans, including:
- Expedited approval of applications for rural lenders and allowing farm credit institutions to access the newly established PPP set-aside for small financial lenders;
- Guidance for agricultural applicants to allow profits from farm equipment trades and breeding livestock to be included in the calculation of income for PPP;
- Defining “primary place of residence” so it includes H-2A guest workers, because many of these workers spend more than half the year in the United States; and
- Increasing the eligibility cap for agriculture so family farms and agricultural processors that employ more than 500 employees can continue operating and paying their employees.
The full letter can be found here.