Make Paycheck Protection Program Work for Seasonal Employers, Tester Urges Administration

Senator: “Seasonal businesses need your help”

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged the U.S. Department of Treasury to add flexibility to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for seasonal employers relying on the critical program to stay afloat.

In a letter to Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Small Business Administration chief Jovita Carranza, Tester wrote that many seasonal employers applied for and received PPP loans using off-season employment numbers, which are typically lower than on-season, and received smaller loans as a result. An April 28th rule fixed that problem and allowed seasonal businesses to use on-season data, but left no way for businesses whose paperwork had already been submitted to get enough cash to meet their needs.

“Seasonal businesses need your help,” Tester and his colleagues wrote. “…We urge you to issue a new Interim Final Rule immediately that enables seasonal businesses to access the larger PPP loans for which they qualify.”

Tester is now calling for seasonal businesses who applied for and received loans before April 28th to be eligible to retroactively increase the size of their loans based on on-season employment data, and to include a process for lenders to submit new or revised paperwork to ensure proper reporting on disbursements of seasonal business PPP loan increases.

“Seasonal businesses in our states need you to act now so that they can access full PPP funding before the SBA’s guaranty authority expires on June 30,” Tester and his colleagues continued. “We appreciate your efforts to assist our seasonal businesses during this difficult summer, and thank you for your consideration of this important request on their behalf.”

Tester led the charge to ensure Montana’s seasonal businesses are eligible for the PPP—a critical lifeline intended to help small businesses keep the lights on—that was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. Tester has fought to improve the program so that more Montana main street businesses receive the support they need. Tester successfully secured expansions to the PPP allowing electric co-ops and rural hospitals to qualify for relief, and to expand flexibility for Montana’s seasonal businesses and workers.

Tester’s letter is available HERE.

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