WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs (SCIA), today issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration (SBA) determination to include all tribally owned businesses, including Indian gaming enterprises, as eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), consistent with congressional intent. Hoeven just spoke with Treasury Deputy Secretary Justin Muzinich, who informed the senator of the new Treasury guidance.
“We appreciate the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Small Business Administration for working with us to allow Indian gaming enterprises to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program. When we drafted the tribal provision of the CARES Act, we intended that all tribally owned businesses be eligible for PPP,” said Hoeven. “Today’s announcement by Treasury aligns the execution of the program with congressional intent. Indian gaming enterprises are uniquely situated economic drivers for their local communities and the majority of these tribal businesses are located in rural areas where they are the primary employers. Treasury’s decision to include more tribally owned businesses as eligible for PPP protects jobs in rural America from the negative economic impacts of COVID-19.”
As Chairman of SCIA, Hoeven worked to secure many of the tribal provisions in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and has been working to secure PPP eligibility for Indian gaming businesses. The senator raised the issue with President Trump, and has made the case for including these businesses with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and the SBA. Last week, Hoeven held a video conference with North Dakota tribal leaders and Administration officials to discuss implementation of the CARES Act in tribal communities.
The PPP is a federally guaranteed loan program created by the CARES Act to provide funds to small businesses experiencing economic distress caused by COVID-19. The PPP is operated by the SBA and is intended to ensure small businesses can retain workers and cover operating costs. Generally, small businesses with 500 or less employees are eligible to participate in the program.
For more information on PPP, click here.