Farm Bureau Supports Measure to Expand Farmer Eligibility for Relief Loans

Farm Bureau is backing a pair of proposals in Congress that would ensure farm partnerships are eligible for the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program loans.

The Paycheck Protection Clarification for Producers Act and PPP Flexibility for Farmers and Ranchers Act have each been introduced in the U.S. House.

The Paycheck Protection Program offers forgivable loans to small business, including farms, that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic so they can continue to pay employees and cover certain other expenses. Congress adopted several updates to the program last year designed to expand farmers’ access to the program. But the Small Business Administration has continued to deny loans to self-employed farmers who operate in a partnership or as sole-owner LLCs.

“Congress intended to provide critical PPP assistance to farmers who are not paid wages and who have net operating losses. Unfortunately, SBA’s interpretation of this provision has significantly limited the relief that Congress intended to afford,” Farm Bureau and other agriculture organizations wrote in a letter to members of Congress.