Congress recently approved Farm Bureau-backed legislation that extends the Paycheck Protection Program application deadline by two months, from March 31 to May 31, helping more farmers and ranchers participate in the loan program, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.
“The existing March 31 deadline does not allow enough time for newly eligible farmers and ranchers to apply, nor does it adequately account for the required eight-week waiting period between first draw approval and second draw applications,” AFBF President Zippy Duvall said in a letter to House and Senate Small Business Committee leaders in support of the PPP Extension Act of 2021 (H.R. 1799). The measures’ sponsors – there were two bills, a House version and a Senate version – were also included in the letter.
The PPP is a low-interest Small Business Administration loan program that helps small businesses keep employees on their payrolls. The SBA forgives loans if employee retention criteria are met and the funds are used for eligible expenses.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, passed in December, contained additional funding for the program, allowed for a second loan and expanded eligibility to self-employed farmers and ranchers who file a Schedule F. More recently, farm and ranch eligibility was further extended to single-member LLCs and qualified joint ventures.
The AFBF letter went to Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and Reps. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.), chair of the House Small Business Committee, Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.), ranking member of the House Small Business Committee, Carolyn Bourdeaux (D-Ga.) and Young Kim (R-Calif.).