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Baldwin Still Pushing to Make More Farmers Eligible for PPP Loans
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 02/18/2021

For the second time in less than a month, U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and John Thune of South Dakota have urged the U.S. Department of Treasury and the Small Business Administration to make more farmers eligible for the second round of PPP funds.

In a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Acting Administrator Mike Perriello, the lawmakers said it was important to recognize the significant market volatility and financial hardships farmers across the country faced because of the coronavirus pandemic. The letter was also signed by Wisconsin Congressman Ron Kind.

"Many farmers in our states and districts organized as partnerships or limited liability companies have been unable to apply for loans under the new calculation because of the confusion around this narrow interpretation even though they file self-employment income on a tax form Schedule F," the memo said. "Therefore, we urge you to act as swiftly as possible to clarify that all farmers reporting self-employment income on tax form Schedule F can access this new formula created by Sec. 313. Our offices stand ready to provide any additional information you may need to clarify this provision of the bill."

Baldwin and Thune have co-sponsored legislation in the recently passed Economic Aid Act to increase the amount of small and struggling farmers eligible to receive a loan from the PPP by allowing them to use gross income to calculate their loan award.

Specifically, the measure would require agencies to issue guidance excluding Coronavirus Food Assistance Program payments from farmers' 2020 gross receipts for purposes of obtaining a second loan through the Paycheck Protection Program.

"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," she said

Last year, Baldwin and Thune introduced legislation to make farmers that were closed out of the PPP eligible. That measure was included in the recently passed Economic Aid Act, which increased the ability of small and struggling farmers to access the PPP.

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