Bill Would Ensure Tribes, Tribal Businesses Receive Full Federal Relief They are Due
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet introduced the Tribal Business Access to PPP Act, common-sense legislation to ensure tribal businesses across the country have full access to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans in order to weather the economic crisis precipitated by the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The new legislation would ensure that tribal businesses that up to date have received less federal relief than they are due will no longer be disqualified from receiving PPP loans because they share an employer identification number (EIN) with another business.
“Our tribal businesses have unique structures and needs that should be recognized in the way we provide assistance. Right now, many have struggled to gain access to their fair share of PPP funding, and we cannot afford to let these businesses fall by the wayside,” said Bennet. “We must make sure that rules around programs like PPP allow for support to reach tribal businesses, and the Tribal Business Access to PPP Act would do just that.”
The Southern Ute Tribe issued the following statement of support for the bill: “We thank Senator Bennet for the action he has taken to address the unfair treatment of tribal businesses when seeking a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program. Tribes and tribal businesses have been particularly hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. However, like a lot of tribal businesses that have been denied an SBA loan simply because they operate under a single Employer Identification Number, the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and its many businesses have been similarly impacted. This ignores that Tribes, because they have limited taxing authority, by necessity operate tribal businesses to raise revenue. We appreciate Sen. Bennet’s efforts to address this disparity to make sure that tribal businesses receive the same treatment as non-Indian businesses during this economic crisis.”
Many tribal businesses have not received their fair share of funding through the PPP because multiple separate businesses are often aggregated under one employer identification number (EIN). By specifying that a tribal business cannot be disqualified for the sole reason that it has the same EIN as another PPP loan applicant, Bennet’s legislation provides a simple PPP-fix that enables tribal businesses to use the full federal relief funding at their disposal to survive the economic fallout of COVID-19.
The Tribal Business Access to PPP Act is cosponsored by U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).
The bill text is available HERE.